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Forbes names UNG a 'Best Value College'

Forbes names UNG as one of the nation's Best Value Colleges as part of its fourth annual listing.

The University of North Georgia (UNG) was ranked one of the nation's Best Value Colleges by Forbes magazine in its fourth annual listing.

It marks the second time UNG has been named to the list, with 2018 being the first. UNG is one of only four Georgia universities selected, along with University of Georgia, Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology.

“Our faculty and staff are committed to student success, affordability, and academic excellence, and that combination creates a powerful educational value for students,” UNG President Bonita Jacobs said. “Such national recognition contributes to UNG’s growing reputation as a leading regional university.”

This is not the first time UNG has been selected as a "best" school in the country. UNG was ranked 20th among all public regional universities in the South on the U.S. News & World Report 2019 Best Regional Universities list released in September. UNG was also ranked for the first time on the magazine’s Most Innovative Schools list in 2019, earning the 13th spot among regional universities in the South.

In October 2018, UNG rocketed to No. 80 on the Military Times' 2019 Best for Vets college list. UNG was one of seven Georgia public colleges and universities ranked on the list.

Forbes deems its ranking system the "definitive guide for those looking for an excellent return on one of the most important investments of their lives." UNG was ranked No. 216 among Best Value Colleges by Forbes. Data from 645 colleges and universities from 50 states were examined as part of the ranking. Only 300 were selected as best values.

Forbes scored the higher education institutions in six areas: quality; net price; net debt; alumni earnings; timely graduation; and access for low-income students. The list evaluated public and private institutions offering four-year degrees. Private for-profit schools were not included.

"Our focus highlights schools with the highest quality and best financial outcomes," the Forbes article stated. "When it comes to judging quality, we rely on our most recent America's Top Colleges ranking."

For the financial aspect, schools are judged on net price, or sticker price for in-state tuition, fees and room and board minus grants, scholarships, and education tax benefits that students receive. Forbes accounts for average federal debt load per student, timely graduation rate and midcareer alumni earnings.

"Finally, the presence of Pell Grant students is considered a plus, as it tends to mean schools that are focused on creating opportunities for low-income students," the article stated. "We scored the percentage of each school's student body receiving Pell Grants."

In fall 2018, nearly 29 percent of UNG's student body were Pell Grant recipients.

UNG serves nearly 20,000 students across its five campuses — in Blue Ridge, Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville, and Oconee County — and online. UNG offers a broad range of degree programs and admission pathways with more than 100 programs of study and opportunities ranging from certificates and associate degrees to doctoral programs.

As one of only six federally designated senior military colleges in the United States, UNG is designated as The Military College of Georgia and as a state leadership institution.

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