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Photo: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia colleges score top marks on prestigious national rankings list

Three metro Atlanta colleges were ranked at the top of a list of nation’s most innovative schools and another Atlanta college was named America’s best Historically Black College & University in rankings released Monday by U.S. News & World Report.

Georgia State University and Georgia Tech were ranked, respectively, as the nation’s second and fourth-most innovative colleges. Agnes Scott College in Decatur was listed as the nation’s most innovative liberal arts college while Spelman College was ranked 35th.

The rankings of innovative schools came from feedback from fellow college presidents, provosts and admissions deans. The area colleges were lauded for “cutting edge changes on their campuses,” said Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Many educators and philanthropists have visited Georgia State in recent years to learn more about its use of predictive analytics to determine when students need help. Georgia Tech earlier this year completed a report exploring how it can better educate students by the year 2040 and has increased its online offerings, which has boosted enrollment.

Spelman also ranked as the nation’s top HBCU, with Morehouse College tied for third and Clark Atlanta University tied for 15th on the list. Spelman’s graduation rate, 76 percent, is well above any HBCU on the list.

Giles Hall is seen in the background on the campus of Spelman College in Atlanta. (Chris Shinn / Spelman College)
Photo: Chris Shinn

U.S. News does annual rankings of colleges in several categories. The rankings are closely examined by educators and used by colleges to market themselves to prospective students.

U.S. News ranked Princeton University as the nation’s best college. Three Georgia schools ranked in the top 50 nationally. Emory University was ranked 21st, the highest-ranked Georgia school on the national list. Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia ranked, 35th and 46th, respectively.

UGA, ranked 13th among public universities, noted that is its highest ranking on the list. The university attributes the increase, in part, to lowering class sizes and to new students with strong academic profiles. This semester’s first-year class of students had its highest ever grade-point average, 4.04, and combined SAT score, 1365.

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