For the fourth year, the University of North Georgia (UNG) has been named to Kiplinger's Personal Finance's list of 100 best values in public colleges in the nation. The 2013-14 ranking cites four-year schools that combine outstanding education with economic value.
UNG, also named to the list in the magazine's 2009-10, 2011-12 and 2012-13 rankings, is one of only four public universities in Georgia to be named to the magazine's list this year. UNG is ranked at 94, up two spots from the previous list. The University of Georgia is number 10, Georgia Tech is number 33, and Georgia College & State University is number 95. UNG was at the top of the list for lowest debt at graduation, with students' average debt at graduation from UNG only $12,166.
"This ranking reflects our on-going commitment to providing students throughout the region with access to a high-quality, affordable education," said UNG President Bonita C. Jacobs. "We are very proud to be included on this list again, as it is a testament to the university's commitment to providing consistent value within the University System of Georgia."
Kiplinger's assesses quality according to a number of measurable standards, including the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low tuition, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation.
"The college landscape today is very different – tuition increases and student debt dominate the national conversation surrounding higher education," said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance. "This year's top 100 schools have made admirable strides to maintain academic integrity and standards while meeting the financial needs of their students."
The annual public school rankings appear in Kiplinger's February 2014 issue, which hits newsstands Dec. 31 – and online now at kiplinger.com/links/college. Web visitors will find special features, including a tool that lets readers sort by in-state and out-of-state cost, average debt at graduation, and admission rate; a slide show of the top ten schools; archives of previous years' rankings, and an FAQ about the ranking methodology.
UNG was formed in January from the consolidation of Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University. The university offers more than 100 programs of study and has more than 15,000 students. As one of only six federally-designated senior military colleges in the United States, the university is The Military College of Georgia and its leadership development experiences have earned it designation as a state leadership institution by the USG Board of Regents.