Samford University continues to rise on the annual list of best college values published by Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. In the 2012 list of top 100 "Best Values in Private Colleges" recently released, Samford was number 63, up two places from its number 65 ranking in last year's list and significantly higher than the number 80 rank two years ago.
Kiplinger rates universities in five areas: cost and financial aid; student indebtedness; competitiveness; graduation rates; and academic support, which includes freshmen to sophomore retention rates and student-to-faculty ratio.
"The areas that Kiplinger's considers in determining its rankings are areas that are very important to Samford's constituents," said Jason Black, Samford's dean of admission. "To have this level of national recognition for our affordability and academic success is important to our students, their parents and our entire university community. It affirms the outstanding value of a Samford education."
The largest factor in the ratings is cost and financial aid, which helps Samford, Black noted. According to Kiplinger's, the most points go to "schools with the lowest total cost - tuition, fees, room and board, and books - with equal points to schools that knock down the price through non-need-based aid." Samford's total cost per year -- $34,400 - was among the very lowest of the schools ranked. Only Brigham Young ($17,552) and Indiana Wesleyan ($31,964) universities were lower.
Samford compares favorably with its peers in this latest ranking. It is the only Alabama university on the private schools best values list. Earlier this year, The University of Alabama (89) and Auburn University (90) were ranked on Kiplinger's list of best public universities.
Elon University (22) and Samford are the only two Southern Conference members in the Kiplinger top 100 rankings.
Other historically Baptist schools ranked by Kiplinger were the University of Richmond (11), Wake Forest University (29), Baylor University (48) and Union University (72).
Other Southeastern schools ranked by Kiplinger are Duke University (4), Vanderbilt University (13), Emory University (15), University of Miami, Fla., (37), Tulane University (51), Rollins College (78), Centenary College of Louisiana (88) and Loyola University, La. (97). Rollins was ranked first in Samford's peer group by U.S. News.
Yale University topped this year's list.
The list is available online at http://www.kiplinger.com/reports/best-college-values and will be published in the December print edition of the magazine.