Posted by Bill Nunnelley on 2008-05-06

Samford University ranks 27th among all national universities in a new results-based ranking by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) of Washington, D.C. The CCAP is an independent, not-for-profit organization that studies higher education issues.

Samford is the highest ranked national university in Alabama in the study. The rankings were released Tuesday, May 6, in a story by Richard Vedder, CCAP director, on the site. They are scheduled for publication in the May 19 issue of Forbes magazine.

The CCAP rankings are based on student perceptions of the quality of courses and instructors, graduation rates and such factors as percentage of students winning nationally competitive awards. It also looks at the number of graduates listed in "Who's Who in America" because that publication includes undergraduate affiliations of those listed.

The organization measures student evaluations posted on, a nine-year old site with 6.8 million student-generated evaluations.

"We always are pleased with national recognition," said Samford President Andrew Westmoreland, "because it affirms the work of our faculty, students, alumni, staff and friends in building the strong academic reputation of Samford University. That this latest recognition is based on research involving our outstanding faculty, graduation rates, student involvement and quality of life makes it even more meaningful."

Samford ranks just behind Rice University (24th), Carnegie Mellon University (25th) and Georgetown University (26th) and ahead of the University of California-Berkeley (28th), University of Rochester (29th) and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (30th) in the CCAP listing. Samford is the highest-ranked evangelical university on the list and the second highest ranked traditionally- Baptist institution after Wake Forest University (19th). Seven faith-based institutions rank higher than Samford, including one Jewish, two historically Methodist and three Catholic universities.

Samford also had the lowest total cost among the top 27 ranked universities at $28,875. Although the University of Virginia's total cost for in-state students was lower than Samford's, the cost for out-of-state students was significantly higher at more than $38,000 per year. UVA was the only public university among the top 27 on the CCAP list.

"Clearly Samford does not have the financial resources that the schools near us on the list enjoy," said Don T. Sandley, chair of the Samford Faculty Senate. "But, this ranking validates something we have in abundance, commitment and passion for what we do. Students recognize passion for one's calling far more readily than academics do. I hope this marks an exciting new era in the national profile of this school we love."

Most of the top 27 institutions on the Forbes list are located in the northeast. Samford and Emory University in Atlanta were the only schools southeast among the top group.

In the 2008 U.S. News & World Report rankings released last September, Samford ranked 118 of the 262 institutions classified as national doctoral research universities by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It was Samford's first year to be classified in the national category after 17 consecutive years among the top 10 regional universities in the south. More Information How to Choose a College from Center for College Affordability and Productivity Samford Ranks High Among National Universities.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.