Published on January 4, 2018 by Philip Poole  
aerial campus with sunset

Samford University is top-ranked in Alabama and among the top 50 private universities nationally in a prestigious annual ranking of the best value colleges and universities.  Kiplinger’s Personal Finance recently released the 2018 Kiplinger’s Best College Values. 

Samford is the highest ranked university in the state of Alabama and has been on the Kiplinger list for multiple years. Introduced in 1998, the rankings now combine public and private universities and private liberal arts colleges into a single, comprehensive list. Kiplinger also ranked the top 100 best values in each category.  

“We are pleased that Samford continues to be recognized nationally for academics, value and affordability,” said Betsy Bugg Holloway, Samford’s vice president for marketing and communication. “This national trend affirms our reputation as one of the nation’s premier private universities. It especially is affirming when an organization such as Kiplinger’s recognizes us as one of the best values in the U.S.” 

Kiplinger’s quality measures include the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include cost of attendance, financial aid and average debt at graduation. Unlike other rankings, which include subjective criteria in their assessments, Kiplinger restricts its analysis to measurable standards of academic quality and affordability. Kiplinger’s was the first ranking to focus on value, their core mission. 

“With our rankings—which weigh affordability alongside academic quality—our goal is to help students and their parents understand what’s really worth the price,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “While some may have ranked higher than others, all 300 schools on the list are of extraordinary value, being chosen out of a universe of 1,200.”

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.