How Georgia Universities fared in Best Colleges 2015 U.S. News and World Report

Lucy Adams

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Emory University stands out among Georgia colleges and universities on the 2015 U.S. News and World Report Best Schools survey. The private institution with an undergraduate population of 7,836 students ranks 21 among the nation’s National Universities. Schools in the National Universities category offer a full range of undergraduate majors and graduate programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. These schools also engage in top-line research. Emory tied with Georgetown University in Washington D.C.

As ranked by high school counselors, Emory University makes the 22 spot among National Universities, demonstrating that its reputation and its actual delivery of services mirror. The school, which charges tuition in the $45,000 per academic year range, has a 4-year graduation rate of 84 percent, among the highest in the country, private and public universities combined. Its position in the 18 spot of Best Value Schools is no surprise. Emory’s graduate program within its business school also ranks highly, coming in at 20, and the law school places 19 in its peer group.

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) also fares favorably in the annual survey, listed sixth for graduate programs in engineering and fourth for undergraduate engineering programs among institutions offering doctoral degrees. The computer science graduate program orders in the top 10 of like curriculums, standing at ninth. For Top Public National Universities, Georgia Tech rates the seven slot, while its in-state athletics rivalry, the University of Georgia, hits the list at 20, results that ensure Georgia residents have access to high quality, nationally competitive bachelor-degree level education.

The University of Georgia (as did Emory and Georgia Tech) classes well in several categories, including its school of veterinary medicine, which is listed ninth in the country, and its online graduate offerings, listed 22. The state of Georgia and the city of Atlanta are fortunate to boast three additional nationally ranked higher education institutions. Spelman College takes top honors for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, with Morehouse College close behind in the number three position. Clark Atlanta University is at 18.

On the list of Best Colleges for Veterans (Liberal Arts Colleges), Wesleyan College in Macon places sixth in the nation. Brenau University in Gainesville stands at 12 for Region South Universities and University of North Georgia in Dahlonega is 24. In a state with six army installations and three air force bases, it’s a coup to many of the nation’s superior academic institutions in terms of serving men and women transitioning to civilian careers. Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa, Reinhardt College in Waleska, Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, and Point University in West Point rank 1, 12, 21, 24 and 26, respectively, in the Best Colleges for Veterans Region South Colleges category.

Mercer University in Macon, a 150 acre campus with 4,419 undergraduate students, placed first among Best Value Schools Region South Universities and fourth among Up-And-Coming Schools Region South Universities, a sign of good things to come. Tuition is around $33,500 per year.

Other private and public Georgia colleges and universities secured footing at the Regional South level as well. Mercer University grades eighth place for Regional Universities South. Covenant College stands at six for Regional Colleges South and LaGrange College in LaGrange comes in at 13. Covenant College is also tenth for Best Value Schools Region South Colleges. In the Top Public Schools Regional Universities South division, Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville is in the top 10 at tenth.

The annual U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges lists, which rank the overall best colleges and universities in the nation and rank colleges and universities in a multitude of sub-categories and four sub-regions, uses specified metrics to compare and order schools. Links to methodology descriptions are included with each list. General domains include items like freshman retention, six-year graduation rates, rankings by high school counselors, faculty resources, faculty salaries, class sizes, student acceptance rates and so forth.