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U.S. News calls UNG one of South's most efficient schools

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In a new analysis, U.S. News & World Report looked at the schools that scored well in the publication's "2015 Best Colleges" rankings on overall undergraduate academic educational quality, but spent relatively less on their educational programs to achieve that quality.

The University of North Georgia (UNG) is the third-most efficient regional university in the South in an exclusive U.S. News & World Report analysis that compares spending and educational quality.

"The University of North Georgia is dedicated to educational excellence, student success and economic value and this new analysis underscores that commitment," said UNG President Bonita Jacobs.

For the analysis, U.S. News looked at the schools that scored well in the publication's "2015 Best Colleges" rankings on overall undergraduate academic educational quality, but spent relatively less on their educational programs to achieve that quality.

According to the publication's analysis, the less a school spent relative to its position in the overall rankings, the more efficient it was in its ability to produce a top-quality education.

"Amid restricted growth in many state budgets to fund higher education and increased public scrutiny about the rising cost of going to college, it's vitally important for many colleges to efficiently spend their limited resources to produce the highest possible educational quality," wrote U.S. News's Robert Morse, chief data strategist, and Diane Tolis, director of data. "Schools that are featured on these lists are doing a good job in managing their financial resources relative to other schools that may have far greater financial resources because of more state funding, higher tuition or larger endowments."

U.S. News determined operating efficiency by dividing each school's overall "Best Colleges" score into 2013 financial resources spent per student – a figure that includes money on instruction, research, student services and related educational expenditures. This calculation reveals how much each school is spending to achieve one point in its overall score and thus its position in the "Best Colleges" rankings.

UNG was listed as spending $206.30 per student for each point of its overall score of 42 points – based on spending some $8,700 per student in 2013. In the Southern regional universities category, Appalachian State University (ASU) was ranked most efficient, spending $162.96 per student for each point of its overall "Best Colleges" score of 78 points. ASU was followed by James Madison University, UNG, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, and Belmont University.

The only other Georgia school included in the U.S. News efficiency rankings is the University of Georgia. Listed among the top 25 most efficient national universities, UGA spent $512.04 per student for each point of its overall score of 56 points.

In the "2015 Best Colleges" report, UNG was ranked 25th among public regional universities in the South overall. Additionally, the 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 serves more than 16,000 students across campuses in Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville, and Oconee County. With a Corps of Cadets numbering more than 800 full-time students, UNG is one of only six senior military colleges in the United States and is designated as The Military College of Georgia.

To view the full results, read the article at http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-rankings-blog/2015/01/15/data-show-which-top-ranked-colleges-operate-most-efficiently. Only schools ranked in the top half of their ranking category in the 2015 Best Colleges rankings were included in the efficiency analysis and all schools remained in their original ranking categories.

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