Published on September 14, 2020 by Sarah Cain  

Samford University is Alabama's best value according to the 2021 Best Value Schools ranking released Sept. 14 by U.S. News & World Report. In the list of national universities included in the best value ranking, Samford is ranked 86th, placing it among the best universities in the country. It is the only Alabama university included in the list. 

This ranking is among the latest to affirm Samford's longstanding commitment to providing high-quality education that is affordable and attainable for students. U.S. News & World Report determines which colleges and universities offer the best value for students 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. 

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

"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."

U.S. News & World Report  also ranks Samford 143rd overall among all National Universities, which include the largest and most prestigious private and public institutions in the U.S. today. Universities on this list offer a full range of undergraduate majors as well as master's and doctoral degrees. There are 389 National Universities included in the ranking– 209 public, 176 private and four for-profit – based on the categories established by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The ranking criteria include academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, class size, faculty/student ratios and peer assessments from higher education leaders.  

Considering there are 4,300 degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the U.S. recognized by the Department of Education, these rankings place Samford among the top national universities in the country today.

Samford is regularly recognized as one of the leading Christian universities in the United States. Most recently, Samford was ranked 3rd nationally for student engagement by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. The university is ranked 34th nationally among private universities on 2019 Kiplinger's Personal Finance's "Best College Values" list.

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.