Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located in Huntsville, TX, Sam Houston State University is a 4-year public institution that offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition, and admission information.

Is Sam Houston State University the School for You?

A 4-year public school with its main campus located in Huntsville, TX, Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is part of the Texas State University System. SHSU has 2 additional satellite campuses in Northwest Houston and The Woodlands. Get the facts about studying at Sam Houston State University, including the pros and cons of attending the school, and decide if SHSU is right for you.


  • Acceptance rate is 8.8 percentage points higher than the national average
  • Average student debt at graduation is $2,162 less than the national average
  • Accepts AP and dual credits
  • Low number of TAs teaching courses


  • Graduation rate is 13 percentage points lower than the national average
  • Student-faculty ratio is 6 higher than the national average

Sam Houston State University at a Glance

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the total cost of attending SHSU during the 2011-2012 school year was $17,694 for in-state students and $25,206 for out-of-state students. These total costs include tuition, fees, books, supplies, and housing, and assume an on-campus residence. For in-state students, this is about $560 more than the national average, but for out-of-state students, it's about $4,500 less than the national average. According to U.S. News and World Report, room and board costs at SHSU were $1,553 less than the national average during the 2012-2013 school year. U.S. News and World Report also reported that the average student debt for the 2011 graduating class was $24,498, which is lower than the national average of $26,660.

If you're contemplating SHSU but worried that you won't get in, you should know that the acceptance rate in 2012 was 72.6%, about 8.8 percentage points higher than the national average; your chances of acceptance are relatively good. If you want to get a jump start on your college degree and you're still in high school, keep in mind that SHSU accepts AP and dual credits.

As of 2011, the student-to-faculty ratio at SHSU was 22 to 1, which you can compare to the national average of 16 to 1. Graduate teaching assistants make up about 17% of instructors, a relatively low number; it's likely that many of your classes will be taught by faculty members.

After 4 years, 27% of the students who began their studies in the Fall of 2005 had completed their bachelor's degree program, which can be compared to a national average of 40%. After 6 years, 50% of those same students had finished.

Admissions & Financial Aid at Sam Houston State University

In order to be considered for admission to SHSU, you must submit an application, SAT or ACT scores, your high school transcripts, and a non-refundable application fee. If you miss the August 1 application deadline for the Fall semester, you can still apply for the Spring semester until December 1. In 2011, 80% of students chose to submit their SAT scores, and 46% chose to submit their ACT scores. According to U.S. News and World Report, 21 was the average ACT composite score, and the average SAT scores were 495 and 512 for critical reading and math, respectively.

While SHSU has a rolling financial aid application policy, the priority deadline is April 1. In 2011, according to U.S. News and World Report, 74% of full-time undergraduates applied for need-based aid, but only 62% were determined to have need. On average, about 51% of students' financial aid need was met. Non-need-based aid is available in the form of grants and scholarships. U.S. News and World Report noted that the average non-need-based scholarship was $1,907 in 2011.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2013) August 1*
Financial Aid Application Deadline (2011) Rolling***
Application Fee (2012) $45*
Acceptance Rate (2011) 72.6%***
Tuition & Fees (2011) $5,972 in-state
$13,484 out-of-state**
Average Financial Aid Package (2011) $9,132***
% of Students with Need Met (2011) 4%***
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2011) $24,498***
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 10.8%**

Living at Sam Houston State University

As a first-year student, you'll be required to live on campus in one of 27 school-run apartments or residence halls; you'll also need to sign up for a meal plan. In 2011, SHSU had a total student population of about 17,500 undergraduate and graduate students. The NCES reported that in 2011, 61% of undergraduates were classified as white, 17% were classified as Hispanic or Latino, and 16% as African-American. In that same year, 85% of the student population was age 24 or younger.

If you're interested in pledging, SHSU has 12 fraternities and 12 sororities to choose from. Other organizations on campus include religious, political, and multicultural and academic groups. You can also find recreational clubs, including club sports. If you're athletic, SHSU has varsity sports for men and women.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Rural town
Student Population (2011) 14,921 undergraduate students
2,606 graduate students**
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 43% to 57%**
% of Full-Time Students (2011) 83%**
% of In-State Students (2011) 98%**
Retention Rate (2011) 73% of full-time students
42% of part-time students**
Campus Housing Available Yes*
Number of Libraries 1*
Extracurricular Activities About 240 clubs and organizations***

Article Sources: *Sam Houston State University, **National Center for Education Statistics, ***U.S. News and World Report

Contact Info

  • Address: Sam Houston State University Undergraduate Admissions Office, Box 2418, Huntsville, TX 77341-2418
  • Phone: (936) 294-1828