Mix of Georgia schools among Washington Monthly’s best colleges

Several Georgia public and private colleges earned high marks in the latest round of college rankings for their work getting students graduated and instilling a desire for public service into their staffs and students.

The rankings are part of Washington Monthly’s 2016 College Guide and Rankings released Monday. The magazine has been publishing its version of college rankings since 2005, and bills its rankings as an alternative to the well-known U.S. News and World Report’s rankings.

The rankings are based on three factors: social mobility, research and service. Colleges’ success with low-income students was factored into the rankings, along with the schools’ commitment to service. The rankings are also compiled using federal data on student outcomes, such as salary earned by college graduates, and how many are able to pay down the principal on their student loans.

Georgia Tech, ranked 16th, was Georgia’s top-ranked college among the magazine’s top 30 national universities. Agnes Scott (ranked 22nd) was Georgia’s top-ranked liberal arts college, moving up twenty-one places this year, largely due to its students’ post-graduation earning results.

This year’s rankings include a new category, the best two- and four-year colleges for adult learners, students 25 years old or older. Weber State and Golden State universities in Utah and San Francisco received top honors in those categories. Georgia Tech (37th) was Georgia’s only college included in this category.

For-profit college American Intercontinental University in Atlanta (7th) was Georgia’s top-ranked college among schools considered Best Bang for the Buck in the Southeast region. Traditional institutions Georgia Tech (14th), Mercer University (18th), Brenau University (19th) and Piedmont College (20th) all ranked in the top 20 for the region.

Mercer also earned accolades from the magazine for enrolling more low-income and first-generation students than is typical for other similar private colleges. The university also received high marks for the large number of graduates it sends into ROTC and the Peace Corps.

In addition to college rankings, Georgia State University’s Tim Renick is included in the magazine’s roundup of the 16 most innovative people in higher education. Renick, Georgia State’s vice provost and vice president for enrollment management and student success, was lauded for his leadership of the school’s student success initiative. Through Renick’s leadership, Georgia State has been nationally recognized for its work in improving student outcomes, including graduating low-income and minority students.

Renick joins Georgia State President Mark Becker, who was included by the magazine on its 10 Most Innovative College Leaders list last year.

The rankings also include top master’s universities and baccalaureate colleges.

View the full Washington Monthly rankings, at washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide

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