Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Tuition for Southern Methodist University is $46,594 for the 2017/2018 academic year. This is 68% more expensive than the national average private non-profit four year college tuition of $27,755. The cost is 203% more expensive than the average Texas tuition of $15,399 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 92nd in Texas amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the most expensive 4 year college in the state. Price does not vary by residence.

The school charges an additional fees of $5,904 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $52,498.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $16,510 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Dallas should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $800.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $2,600 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $2,600 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The annual tuition and living expense budget to go to SMU was $72,408 for the 2017/2018 academic year. The cost is the same for all students regardless of Texas residence status as there is no in-state discount.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 IPEDS survey response for Southern Methodist University and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for Southern Methodist University
Estimated Budgets
Texas Resident Total Budget $72,408
   In-State Tuition$46,594
   Other Fees$5,904
   Room and Board$16,510
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,600
   Books and Supplies$800
Non-Resident Total Budget $72,408
   Out-of-State Tuition$46,594
   Other Fees$5,904
   Room and Board$16,510
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,600
   Books and Supplies$800


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $72,408 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported SMU net price for in-state students is $34,189* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

72% of Southern Methodist University students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $26,922. 12 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,187. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend Southern Methodist University, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for Southern Methodist University
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$34,189*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid72%
Average Total Grant Aid$26,922
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants12%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,187

Average Net Price by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$20,936
$30,001 to $48,000$21,741
$48,001 to $75,000$27,708
$75,001 to $110,000$31,062

Average Financial Aid Mix - $72,408 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $72,408. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 39% - $26,922

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, Southern Methodist University or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 8% - $5,533

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 54% -  $37,353

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Is it Worth the Cost?

To make a comparative assessment if SMU is worth the price, measures of it's relative value for tuition dollar can be examined. We've calculated an academic national percentile rating of 87/100 for Southern Methodist University. Considering an average net price paid of $29,140, this leads to an overall value ranking of 60/100. This places the school 173rd on our national Best Value Colleges ranking as a provider of a very high value education compared to actual overall price paid.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Private Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. Southern Methodist University
Texas Christian University4.1% less expensive
Austin College17.1% less expensive
Baylor University15% less expensive
Southwestern University13% less expensive
University of Tulsa13.1% less expensive

Cost of a Degree

When considering ability to pay for college, the annual cost is often discussed but it's the "all in" multi-year degree cost which matters in the end. Let's take a look at what it could really cost for four years at Southern Methodist University.

Estimated 4 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 4 year bachelor's degree at SMU is $289,632 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 4 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $29,140 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $116,560**

If you end up on the "five year plan" and need an additional year to graduate, your five year cost could be as high as $362,040 or $145,700 using an average net price.

**Based on a 4 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at Southern Methodist University.

Texas Resident Tuition Per Semester$23,297
Texas Resident Total Cost Per Semester$36,204

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at Southern Methodist University are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at Southern Methodist University
Price per credit hour$1,946
Cost for one class (3 credit hours)$5,838
Cost for one class (4 credit hours)$7,784


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 30% of Southern Methodist University students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $5,533. The reported average student debt upon graduation is $29,829.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for Southern Methodist University? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $116,560, 100% of the estimated average net price for a four year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $144,624.23. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at Southern Methodist University. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 72% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $29,140. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our Southern Methodist University student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

Southern Methodist University Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$1,205.20
Amount Borrowed$116,560.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$28,064.23
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$144,624.23

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend SMU? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending Southern Methodist University, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $144,624.23 would be needed to afford a $1,205.20 monthly payment in the example $116,560.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to Southern Methodist University in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $37,050 to $46,594. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 5.2%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 4 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current 4 year cost of $289,632.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for Southern Methodist University.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$99,578$398,312
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$127,089$508,358
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $162,202$648,808
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $187,769$751,076

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at Southern Methodist University to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Finance, General Bachelor's Degree 147 95% costlier
Marketing/Marketing Management, General Bachelor's Degree 81 99% costlier
Accounting Bachelor's Degree 80 95% costlier
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other Bachelor's Degree 50 72% costlier
Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 49 71% costlier
Business Administration and Management, General Bachelor's Degree 36 110% costlier
Film/Cinema/Video Studies Bachelor's Degree 31 43% costlier
Operations Research Bachelor's Degree 27 52% costlier
Art History, Criticism and Conservation Bachelor's Degree 24 47% costlier
Financial Planning and Services Bachelor's Degree 22 102% costlier
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 22 70% costlier
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Bachelor's Degree 20 72% costlier
Spanish Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 16 68% costlier
Fine/Studio Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 16 68% costlier
Real Estate Bachelor's Degree 14 74% costlier
Music Performance, General Bachelor's Degree 12 81% costlier
Civil Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 9 71% costlier
Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering Bachelor's Degree 9 52% costlier
Public Policy Analysis, General Bachelor's Degree 9 31% costlier
Environmental Studies Bachelor's Degree 8 48% costlier
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 8 74% costlier
Music, General Bachelor's Degree 8 75% costlier
Dance, General Bachelor's Degree 8 60% costlier
Music Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 7 91% costlier
Geology/Earth Science, General Bachelor's Degree 7 75% costlier
International/Global Studies Bachelor's Degree 7 65% costlier
Voice and Opera Bachelor's Degree 7 64% costlier
Philosophy Bachelor's Degree 6 60% costlier
Anthropology Bachelor's Degree 6 60% costlier
French Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 6 57% costlier
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 6 79% costlier
Economics, General Bachelor's Degree 6 62% costlier
Insurance Bachelor's Degree 6 84% costlier
Biochemistry Bachelor's Degree 5 55% costlier
Humanities/Humanistic Studies Bachelor's Degree 5 70% costlier
Religion/Religious Studies Bachelor's Degree 5 52% costlier
Computer Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 5 71% costlier
General Studies Bachelor's Degree 5 114% costlier
Social Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 4 89% costlier
German Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 4 54% costlier
English Language and Literature, General Bachelor's Degree 4 80% costlier
Physics, General Bachelor's Degree 4 65% costlier
Geophysics and Seismology Bachelor's Degree 3 49% costlier
Keyboard Instruments Bachelor's Degree 3 63% costlier
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management Bachelor's Degree 3 93% costlier
Biology/Biological Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 3 79% costlier
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 3 74% costlier
History, General Bachelor's Degree 2 77% costlier
Music Therapy/Therapist Bachelor's Degree 2 71% costlier
Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 2 77% costlier
Music Theory and Composition Bachelor's Degree 2 55% costlier
Italian Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 16% costlier
Econometrics and Quantitative Economics Bachelor's Degree 1 37% costlier
Hispanic-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American/Chicano Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 50% costlier
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 1 76% costlier
Statistics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 61% costlier
Creative Writing Bachelor's Degree 1 57% costlier
Public Relations/Image Management Bachelor's Degree 1 83% costlier
Computer Science Bachelor's Degree 1 72% costlier
Latin American Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 37% costlier
Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 1 59% costlier
Italian Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 1 39% costlier
African-American/Black Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 54% costlier
Journalism Bachelor's Degree 1 87% costlier
Advertising Bachelor's Degree 1 86% costlier


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for Southern Methodist University or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford Southern Methodist University in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a Southern Methodist University student loan.

Prepayment Option

About Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University is a four year private college located in Dallas, Texas.  The school is affiliated with the United Methodist faith.  Full time enrollment is 9,009 and part time is 2,730.

Students attending this school may pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Southern Methodist University
6425 Boaz St
Dallas, Texas

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

Southern Methodist University is a private not for profit institution.

Southern Methodist University cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=228246 IPEDS survey data.