Published on November 11, 2015 by Joey Mullins  
Athletic Grad Success

Samford University’s athletics teams posted impressive scores in the annual Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report recently released by the NCAA. This included the highest ratings in Alabama and 11 teams that posted perfect scores. 

Eleven Samford teams posted perfect scores, making Samford the top university in the state of Alabama and in the Southern Conference in the report. Overall, Samford's teams posted an average score of 99 percent. The 11 teams that had perfect scores were men's basketball, men's cross country/track, men's golf, men's tennis, women's basketball, women's cross country/track and field, women's golf, soccer, softball, women's tennis and volleyball.

In addition to the perfect scores, the football team’s score of 98 is tied for the highest score among Division I-FCS programs with Princeton and Columbia universities, and was one of the highest in all of Division I. The Samford baseball team scored a 95, 45 points above the national average. 

“The results of the GSR report are a tribute to our student-athletes who work diligently in the classroom,” Samford director of athletics Martin Newton said. “They are also a tribute to our academic support team that goes above and beyond to make sure that our student-athletes have the resources and tools they need to balance their academic and athletic schedules, and to our university community that sees and cares about our student-athletes as students first and foremost, and to our coaches that understand that winning starts with an education.” 

Every Samford team was either at or above the national average. Samford’s scores were the top results in the Southern Conference, as well as among all Division I schools in the state of Alabama. 

“Samford students excel academically, and it is rewarding to see that our student-athletes excel both in the classroom and in athletics competition,” Samford provost J. Michael Hardin said. “These latest ratings from the NCAA reflect the work of our academic advisers and the Samford faculty in nurturing the academic success, not just of our student-athletes, but all Samford students.” 

The NCAA developed the Division I GSR in response to college and university presidents who wanted graduation data that more accurately reflect the mobility among all college students today. The graduation rate data are based on a six-year cohort prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Both the GSR and the Academic Success Rate account for the academic outcomes of student-athletes who transfer from one institution to another. The rate is compiled using the federal government's methodology for calculating graduation rates. Regardless of which rate is used, student-athletes nationally are shown to graduate at a higher rate than their peers in the general student body. 

Samford competes in 17 NCAA Division I sports in the historic Southern Conference. 

Samford GSR Scores by Team
Sport Score
Men’s Basketball 100
Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field 100
Men’s Golf 100
Men’s Tennis 100
Women’s Basketball 100
Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field 100
Women’s Golf 100
Soccer 100
Softball 100
Women’s Tennis 100
Volleyball 100
Football 98
Baseball 95
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.