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Posted: Saturday, September 29th 2012 at 1:43pm

Brenau, NGCSU show up in annual U.S. News ranking

By Ken Stanford Staff
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UNDTED - Brenau University and North Georgia College & State University (NGCSU) are listed in the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of the country's colleges and universities.

For the eighth consecutive year, Brenau placed in the top 15 in the Southeast in the magazine's “Great Schools, Great Prices” ratings of higher education institutions based on the value provided in exchange for student tuition dollars.

Brenau at 13th place was the only other Georgia school on the list along with Mercer University in the top spot.

Brenau, Mercer and Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville also were the only Georgia institutions to make the top 30 institutions in the Southeast – Brenau and GC&SU tied at 30 and Mercer tied for seventh.

“We are delighted that this higher education rating service once again recognizes that Brenau University offers high-quality academic programs at a tuition rate competitive with other high-quality public and not-for-profit private institutions,” said Brenau President Ed L. Schrader. “We strive to make sure that Brenau education is a high-value education. “


NGCSU is ranked 22nd among public universities in the South in the 2013 edition of Best Colleges.

“North Georgia’s repeated high ranking in this list is a reflection of the university’s outstanding students and a world-class faculty and staff that contribute to an excellent academic reputation,” said Bonita C. Jacobs, president of North Georgia College & State University. “Though no ranking can capture the breadth of a university’s full experience, this helps confirm the supportive and challenging educational environment North Georgia provides.”

For several consecutive years, the average high school grade point average of North Georgia’s entering freshmen has been the third-highest among all 35 schools in the University System of Georgia, just behind the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech. The fall 2012 freshman class has an average high school GPA of 3.55. Similarly, the SAT scores for its entering freshmen are consistently among the highest in the state. This fall’s freshman class has an average SAT score of 1117.

North Georgia’s six-year graduation rate, the standard used for reporting purposes, exceeds 52 percent; the average for the state university sector in the University System of Georgia is 37 percent.

“While we are pleased with this recognition, we will continue working toward our goals and strategic initiatives that emphasize innovative teaching, promoting a values-based campus culture, and educating engaged and globally prepared citizens,” Jacobs said.

Regional universities are categorized as institutions that provide a range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs, but few doctoral programs. The report ranks 625 universities in this category against their peer group in four different geographic regions: North, South, Midwest and West. Other ranking categories include national universities, national liberal arts colleges, and regional colleges. Including public and private universities, North Georgia was ranked as 53rd among Best Regional Universities in the South, moving up from 56th position in the previous year’s report.

Additionally, North Georgia was the second-ranked regional university in the South for the least amount of debt load for the class of 2011, with 55 percent of its students who borrowed money for school at some point graduating debt free. North Georgia is also included in the magazine's list of A-Plus Schools for B Students, which identifies schools that admit solidly prepared high-school students and provide an educational environment that helps them advance toward their educational goals.


U.S. News rankings are based on assessments of more than 1,400 schools nationwide by all the university presidents surveyed, surveys of key administrators and academic leaders in colleges and universities around the nation, graduation rates, average admission test scores, faculty/student ratio, tuition rates and levels of financial aid provided by the institution and other criteria. The examination of how accredited four-year schools compare on a set of up to 16 widely accepted indicators of excellence also includeS evaluation of data on graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.
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