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North Georgia named a best value public college by finance magazine

NGCSU ranked 88th in-state, 94th out-of-state by Kiplinger's

POSTED: January 4, 2012 10:24 p.m.

North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega has another accolade to add to its list.

The university was one of three in Georgia named to the Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's list of best value public colleges this week.

"Being a best value school is very much a part of what North Georgia is all about because we stress quality and achievement, and we also stress being good stewards of students' money," university President Bonita Jacobs said.

"It's the entire package for us and it's a fabulous indicator. We're very happy to be on the list particularly since it combines quality and affordability."

North Georgia was on the list in years past but had since dropped off, Jacobs said.

According to the Kiplinger's website, the report begins with more than 500 public four-year schools. That's narrowed down to about 120 schools based on academic quality criteria: SAT or ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student to faculty ratios and four- and six-year graduation rates. The cost of attendance criteria include tuition, fees, housing, books and debt following graduation.

North Georgia ranked 88th in-state and 94th out-of-state, according to the report. For Georgia students, it costs about $14,000 to attend, and for out-of-state students about $26,000.

The university has a 56 percent admittance rate and a 29 percent four-year graduation rate.

The top 10 best value colleges include the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Florida, University of Virginia, College of William and Mary, New College of Florida, University of California-Berkeley, University of Maryland, University of California-Los Angeles and University of California-San Diego.

The University of Georgia ranked sixth in-state and ninth out-of-state.

Both Georgia Institute of Technology, which ranked 31st in-state and 37th out-of-state, and the University of Georgia cost about $19,000 for in-state and closer to $40,000 per year for out-of-state students. These institutions admit more than 50 percent of applicants and have a 33 and 54 percent four-year graduation rate, respectively.

"As states cut funding for higher education and tuition continues to climb, the word ‘value' is more significant than ever," magazine Senior Editor Jane Bennett Clark said in a news release from North Georgia. "This year's top 100 public schools deliver strong academics at reasonable prices. We applaud these institutions for tightening their belts without compromising quality."

Jacobs said she was not sure how many prospective students apply because of these rankings, but she believes people pay attention to them.

"We know that marketing matters and that honors matter, but how much they matter is hard to get a handle on," she said. "We're certainly thrilled to have it even if it does not help with our recruitment. It's nice to know we're doing a good job in stewardship."



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