Published on January 5, 2016 by Philip Poole  
aerial campus with sunset

Samford University received a new milestone ranking among private universities in the “Best College Value” list released recently by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. 

Samford was ranked #49 of the top 100 private universities in the United States. Samford is the highest ranked private university in Alabama and one of the highest ranked overall among peer institutions in the Southern Conference. 

The rankings were released online in December and will be featured in the February issue of the magazine. 

“The latest rankings from Kiplinger’s continue a national trend for Samford to be recognized and ranked for academics, value and affordability,” said Betsy Bugg Holloway, Samford’s chief marketing officer. “While these rankings are just one measure of an institution’s effectiveness, they affirm Samford’s national reputation as one of the premier private universities in the U.S. I am pleased to see that we have risen again in the Kiplinger's rankings and that Samford continues to be recognized among the best values in the nation.” 

Samford also was ranked 165th among the overall Top 300 Best Values of public and private schools. This is the first year for Kiplinger’s to do a combined ranking of public and private institutions. Introduced in 1998, the Kiplinger’s rankings highlight public schools, private universities and private liberal arts colleges that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost. In addition, Kiplinger’s has ranked the top 100 best values in each category.    

Kiplinger’s assesses value by measurable standards of academic quality and affordability. Quality measures include the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker price, financial aid and average debt at graduation. Many schools, including Samford, have appeared on the list multiple times, a testament to the consistent value these colleges provide, according to Kiplinger’s officials. 

“We start with a universe of 1,200 schools, so each school on our rankings, from number 1 to number 300, is a best value,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s. “Families can use the list as a starting point and then tailor it to each student’s preference for such things as size, location, campus culture and major.”

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.