Published on September 28, 2017 by Philip Poole  
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Samford University is the top-ranked university in Alabama according to new rankings released Sept. 26 by The Wall Street Journal.

Samford is ranked 226th out of the 1,054 U.S. universities and colleges that appear in the new student outcome and teaching-focused rankings.The national ranking is drawn from 15 performance indicators that have been selected to answer the questions that matter the most when choosing a university.

The new Wall Street Journal ranking continues Samford’s growing national reputation. Samford is regularly recognized as one of the top Christian universities in the United States and recently was ranked third in the South by U.S. News & World Report. Samford also is recognized as the top-ranked university in Alabama in recent national rankings published by Forbes Inc. and The Economist.

“Rankings are just one measure of a university’s effectiveness and reputation, but it is especially rewarding to be so highly ranked in our state and nationally by an organization as prestigious as The Wall Street Journal,” said Samford President Andrew Westmoreland. “Because student engagement and outcomes are key to these rankings, it affirms the work of our faculty and staff in providing the rigorous academic preparation our students need to be successful in the marketplace.”

The Wall Street Journal ranking emphasizes how well a college will prepare students for life after graduation. The Wall Street Journal reports that the national ranking values schools that focus their spending on classroom instruction, and rewards both teaching and research excellence. To that end, the overall ranking is based on 15 factors across four categories: Forty percent of each school’s overall score comes from student outcomes, including a measure of graduate salaries, 30 percent from the school’s academic resources, 20 percent from how well it engages its students and 10 percent from the diversity of its students and staff.

Data sources for the rankings include the Times Higher Education U.S. Student Survey of 200,000 current U.S. students and the annual Times Higher Education Academic Reputation Survey, along with public data on areas including completion rates, graduate employment and loan repayments.

Samford scores especially high on measures of student engagement, ranking 52nd in the U.S. In the most recent year for which data is available, Samford students contributed 927,192 community service hours valued at $21.39 million.

Based on ongoing research of university alumni, 98 percent of Samford’s undergraduates report having  jobs or being in graduate school within six months of graduation. 

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.