Atlanta - Georgia State University students get their diplomas at the commencement ceremony on May 9, 2019. Georgia State is the largest school in the University System of Georgia, with more than 50,000 students. Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com
Photo: Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com
Photo: Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com

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.

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