The University of North Georgia (UNG) is ranked 19th among public regional universities in the South in the rankings released today in U.S. News & World Report's 2015 edition of Best Colleges.
"Our consistent annual ranking by U.S. News as one of the top 25 public regional universities in the South underscores UNG's commitment to educational excellence, student success and economic value," said UNG President Bonita C. Jacobs. "Our achievements reflect the high quality of our students and a dedicated faculty and staff that create an outstanding educational environment."
The rankings consider graduation and retention rates, peer assessments, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rates, and alumni giving. The measures are based primarily on data from fall 2013 and, for some factors, include averages of the previous two to four years of data.
This fall, UNG is serving more than 16,000 students across its four campuses – in Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville, and Oconee County – and is the sixth-largest public university in Georgia.
"The University of North Georgia combines a long-standing focus on academic excellence, student success and leadership development opportunities with a broad scope of degree programs and admission pathways through our four campuses," Jacobs said.
UNG was formed through the consolidation of North Georgia College & State University (NGCSU) and Gainesville State College (GSC) in January 2013 and offers more than 100 programs of study and opportunities ranging from certificates and associate degrees to a variety of graduate programs, including a professional doctorate in physical therapy. Since consolidation, UNG has expanded bachelor's degree offerings on the Gainesville Campus from eight to 20. UNG also offers dual-enrollment opportunities for high school students, associate degree programs, specialized certificate programs and graduate-level programs.
UNG's students are among the most academically talented students in the state; the GPA of freshmen entering UNG's bachelor's degree programs consistently ranks third in the state among public colleges and universities, trailing only the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech.
Additionally, the U.S. News report ranked UNG as the best public regional university in the South for the least amount of debt load for the class of 2013, with 51 percent of its students who borrowed money for school at some point graduating debt-free.
UNG also was ranked 11th among public regional universities in the South on the U.S. News Best Colleges for Veterans, which ranks only those schools included on the 2015 Best Colleges List.
A member of the University System of Georgia, UNG is the state's second-oldest public university and is designated as a state leadership institution. Additionally, UNG is one of only six senior military colleges in the United States and is designated as The Military College of Georgia. The other five senior military colleges are the Citadel, Norwich University, Texas A & M, Virginia Military Institute, and Virginia Tech.
For the purposes of the U.S. News publication, regional universities are categorized as institutions that provide a range of undergraduate majors and master's programs, but few doctoral programs. This year's report ranked 620 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, UNG was ranked as 60th among Best Regional Universities in the South.