Samford University has a record enrollment for the second
consecutive year. Total enrollment is 4,715, up from fall 2009’s record of
The increase was based on several factors, according to R.
Phil Kimrey, Samford’s vice president for student affairs and enrollment
management. Included in the total are a record 1,777 graduate students,
solidifying Samford’s growing reputation as a national doctoral research
Samford recently moved up 12 spots in the top tier of
national doctoral research universities in the prestigious U.S. News & World Report college rankings.
Kimrey noted an 89 percent increase in nursing school
graduate enrollment over fall 2009 as a major factor in the record total.
According to Nena Sanders, dean of Samford’s Ida V. Moffett
School of Nursing, the explosive growth in graduate enrollment is directly
related to two programs, including Samford’s three-year-old doctor of nursing
practice degree program. Samford has received nearly $1 million in grants to
provide scholarships for students obtaining advanced degrees, particularly to
teach, which has increased enrollment.
“There is a national shortage of nursing faculty and a
growing need for additional nursing faculty for the future,” Sanders added.
“Today’s nursing faculty is aging and retiring, and we have been able to expand
our nurse educator option to help meet the faculty needs for the future.
“The significant increase also relates to the future need
for nurse practitioners. With the anticipated new health care reforms, there
will be an increased need for primary care providers. Nurse practitioners will be
called upon to fill that need.”
Samford’s freshman-to-sophomore-year retention rate rose to
86.1 percent, a significant increase over the fall 2009 rate of 82.2 percent.
Retention is a key indicator of student success rates, Kimrey said.
“The increase in freshman-to-sophomore retention also
indicates a high rate of satisfaction by our students and their families.
Samford is providing the quality of education and services that they see as a
Although the number of entering freshmen, 712, was down
slightly from fall 2009, the number of transfer students was up to 128. The
total number of new students was 840. The academic profile of the 2010 freshman
class is the strongest in history, Kimrey added, with an average Scholastic Aptitude
Test (SAT) score of 1149 and an ACT college entrance examination score of 26.
Both are above the national average. The freshman class also includes 13
National Merit Scholars.
“The strong credentials of our entering class are further
indication of Samford’s rigorous academic programs and our growing academic
reputation,” Kimrey said.
The Samford student body includes students from 47 states
and 16 foreign countries. The majority of students come from the Southeast, led
by Alabama (2,180), Georgia (646), Tennessee (571) and Florida (296). Texas
followed with 172, a 37 percent increase over fall 2009. Alabamians represent
about 46 percent of Samford’s total enrollment.
Kimrey noted that western states had a significant representation
increase this fall, with Washington, Oregon, Nevada and New Mexico all seeing
at least a 50 percent increase in the number of students at Samford.
“Again, our growing national reputation is having a direct
impact on broadening our geographic diversity,” Kimrey said.
Samford’s record enrollment comes at a pivotal time for the
university, according to Samford President Andrew Westmoreland. He noted that
the uncertain global economic climate has created challenges for some
institutions, while Samford has maintained an upward focus.
“We continue to stress Samford’s strong academic reputation
and affordability to prospective students and their parents,” Westmoreland
said. “But, our faculty and staff contribute to the process by providing the
rigorous academic and outstanding co-curricular experiences that are important
Samford continues to be Alabama’s largest private
university. It also has been rated as one of the 50 “Best Values” nationally
among private universities by The
Princeton Review and USA Today.