In part, Georgia Tech earns its elite status through its much-vaunted return on investment. 
Photo: JOHN SPINK / AJC
Photo: JOHN SPINK / AJC

New ranking places Georgia Tech in even more elite company

Tech earns 16th place on national list of private and public universities

Georgia Tech lands in rarefied company in a new ranking released today of public and private universities. Tech came in at No. 16 on the list composed by WalletHub. 

In the more widely referenced U.S. News & World Report rankings of more than 1,800 schools across the country, Georgia Tech ranked #35 in 2019 among all national universities.

The personal-finance website WalletHub compared more than 1000 campuses to rank colleges and universities on the costs of attendance and the return on those costs in terms of career and salary.

On the list of 1,000 universities, Georgia Tech ended up a fraction below Johns Hopkins and higher than such prestige schools as UCLA, Brown, Dartmouth and Georgetown.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Stanford claimed the top five slots on the national university rankings.

Let me point out that rankings don’t speak to an individual’s experience. And they increasingly reflect the fact that STEM degrees lead to more job offers and higher starting pay, thus the ascent of campuses with a stronger science and math focus.

You can attend a college way down in the rankings and still have a great experience and be well prepared. So, while I believe rankings have some value, they are just one more piece of information to consult. 

 According to the WalletHub, institutions were assessed on 33 key measures across such areas as student selectivity, cost and financing and career outcomes. Also weighted are student-faculty ratio, faculty resources, campus safety and experience, graduation rates and post-attendance median salary.

In part, Tech earned its elite status through its much-vaunted return on investment and its high career outcomes, coming in fourth in ROI behind MIT, Harvey Mudd and the California Institute of Technology. 

In a breakout of top schools based on region, Tech is ranked fifth out of 328 campuses. 

The top four regional schools are Duke, followed by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Vanderbilt and Rice. 

On that same regional list, Emory comes in at No. 8, while the University of Georgia is ranked 14th, Wesleyan College is 27th, Georgia College & State University is 59th, Mercer is 68, Oglethorpe is 78th, Piedmont College is 82nd, Brenau is 96th and Georgia State University is 179th.

(You can see where other Georgia schools land on that regional list here.)

In the overall national university rankings:

Emory  ranks 38.

UGA ranks 69.

Georgia College ranks 279.

WalletHub also ranked smaller schools on a separate list. Many Georgia colleges appear on that list, including Oglethorpe (43), Young Harris (66) and Spelman (73). 

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About the Author

Maureen Downey
Maureen Downey
Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.
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