Published on November 28, 2018 by Sarah Cain  
Samford Outdoor Class

For the second year in a row, Samford University is ranked among the top schools in the United States for granting merit-based financial aid to the most students. Samford is one of only twelve colleges or universities in the national ranking, which was released Nov. 20 by U.S. News & World Report.

According to U.S. News, merit aid, sometimes referred to as non-need-based aid, comes into play when colleges use funds to attract desirable students. Typically, these students have a stronger academic profile or a specific talent, such as standing out with a particular extracurricular activity.

“Being recognized nationally for the academic and extracurricular achievements of our students is an immense honor,” said Betsy Bugg Holloway, Samford’s vice president for marketing and communication. “In addition to merit-based aid, we are committed to offering financial assistance to our students in many ways including need-based and work-study programs.”

For 2017-18, the year on which the rankings are based, 47 percent of Samford’s undergraduate students received merit-based financial aid. This placed Samford third among the 12 schools highlighted in the national ranking.

At each of the 12 institutions recognized in this latest ranking from U.S. News & World Report, more than 40 percent of full-time students in fall 2017 received merit awards. These colleges and universities gave merit aid at the highest levels, much higher than the average award of 14.5 percent given across the 1,107 colleges and universities that are included in the annual higher education rankings published by U.S. News.

Samford is continually recognized nationally for value and affordability and was ranked 50th nationally for value by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance this year. Samford regularly is recognized as the top-ranked university in Alabama, most recently by The Wall Street Journal, and as one of the premier Christian universities in the country. In its 2018 rankings of the best colleges and universities in the country, U.S. News & World Report ranked Samford fourth among regional universities in the South.

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.