Rigor, engagement and economics

Rigor, engagement and economics

By Samford University Marketing & Communication staff

Samford’s growing national reputation continues to be recognized by rankings from The Wall Street Journal and U.S. News & World Report, highlighting the university’s commitment to academic rigor, student success and value.

In its 2021 ranking of higher education institutions, The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education rank Samford second nationally for student engagement, climbing one spot from third last year. Samford also ranks 183rd overall among the nearly 800 universities in the national ranking, and first in Alabama, a position held every year since the rankings’ inception in 2016.

Engagement on campus

The annual student engagement ranking assesses the degree to which students feel prepared to use their education in the real world. According to The Wall Street Journal, this category examines “how engaged students feel they are with their professors, their peers and their education.”

Student engagement is deemed central to exceptional teaching quality and reflects “how well a university manages to inform, inspire and challenge students.”

Samford is also Alabama’s best value according to the 2021 Best Value Schools ranking published by U.S. News & World Report.

In the list of national universities included in the best value ranking, Samford ranks 86th and is the only Alabama university included in the list.

Educational value

U.S. News & World Report determines value by evaluating academic quality and cost after accounting for total expenses and financial aid.

The ranking reflects the ratio of academic quality relative to price, including measurement of need-based aid and the average tuition discount or scholarship.

Samford also moved up to 143rd overall in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of national universities, which include the largest and most prestigious private and public institutions in the U.S. Universities on this list offer a full range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees.

The ranking criteria include academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, class size, faculty/student ratios and peer assessments from higher education leaders.

U.S. News & World Report also recognized Samford in its Least Debt National Universities list, which highlights schools whose graduates have the lowest average debt as measured by graduates’ mean federal loan indebtedness.

Cumulatively, these recent rankings affirm Samford’s growing national reputation as one of the leading Christian universities in the United States today.

Considering there are nearly 4,300 degree-granting postsecondary institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, these rankings easily place Samford within the top 5% of colleges and universities in the country.

“We are pleased that Samford continues to be recognized for the quality and value of our academic programs,” said Samford President Andrew Westmoreland. “While national rankings are just one measure of our progress, they provide a source of pride for Samford students, employees and alumni who celebrate the growing national reputation of their university.

Fast facts

  • 5,729 students from 47 states and 30 countries
  • 10 academic schools
  • 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • 247 undergraduate and graduate majors, minors and concentrations
  • 17 NCAA Division I varsity sports
  • 97% of undergraduate alumni are working or in further study within six months of graduation
  • 52,838 alumni in 59 countries
  • $424.8 million annual fiscal and economic impact on Alabama