Local Colleges Make the Grade in Rankings List

Several Northeast Georgia colleges have received high marks from one of the nation’s most prestigious rankings publication.

The latest annual rankings released by U.S. News and World Report on Monday have Georgia as one of only three states with more than one public university in the nation’s Top 20.

Georgia Tech is ranked eighth among all public universities (35th among all institutions), tying with the University of California at San Diego and the University of California at Irvine. Three of Georgia Tech’s academic programs were tops in the nation: civil engineering, industrial/manufacturing and tied for first in undergraduate cybersecurity.

The magazine ranked the University of Georgia 15th in public institutions (47th among public and private universities), tied with the University of Illinois. UGA’s undergraduate insurance/risk management program was listed as best in the nation.

The rankings aren’t limited to just larger schools. Local colleges on the smaller side also were ranked high in the Best Regional Colleges category. Among them were Toccoa Falls (tied for 26th) and Truett McConnell University (tied for 47th). Berry College in Rome was the top-ranked school in the category.

Piedmont College tied for 53rd in Best Regional Colleges but scored higher in Regional Best Value Schools (27th) and Regional Top Performers on Social Mobility (tied for 18th), which recognized colleges that are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants.

Agnes Scott College in Decatur was arguably the biggest winner across the state, ranking in the top 10 in seven categories, including being tops in first-year experience and the most innovative liberal arts college. The other top 10 rankings for the private women’s college included Best Undergraduate Teaching (2nd), Top Performers on Social Mobility (tied for 6th), Learning Communities (3rd), Senior Capstone (tied for 9th) and Study Abroad (6th).