University System of Georgia gets national award for excellence

The University System of Georgia was honored Thursday with an award by a national education organization for its work to help incoming students and efforts to keep its 26 schools affordable.

The Colorado-based State Higher Education Executive Officers Association gave the Georgia system its Exceptional Agency Award for 2019-2020.

“The University System of Georgia (USG) has demonstrated a consistent commitment to advancing postsecondary education and student success within the state of Georgia,” the association said on its website.

The USG was recognized for:

  • Momentum Year - an effort it recently started that encourages students in their first year to take courses in subjects they're considering as majors.
  • over the last five years having an average tuition increase of 1.7%, the third-lowest average in Southern Regional Education Board states.
  • expanding access to academic programs in high-demand careers.

“This award is a recognition of the work the Board of Regents and our entire team is doing to advance the University System of Georgia’s three priorities — ensuring more Georgians enter the workforce with a college credential, making college more affordable, and finding opportunities to be more efficient and make college more accessible,” USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said in a statement.

Georgia’s top three elected officials - Gov. Brian Kemp, U.S. senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue - lauded the system for its work in a news release.

The association announced the award at other honors at its 66th annual meeting this week in Little Rock, Ark.