How Georgia’s colleges and universities rank nationally, according to WalletHub

A dozen make the ranking, but only one cracks the top 20

In-state rivalries often are limited to sports. Author Bill Cromartie described the UGA vs. Georgia Tech football rivalry is the “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.”

Georgia Tech has beaten the University of Georgia, but not very often.

When it comes to rankings that don’t involve athletics, however, the Yellow Jackets usually get the trophy. Will that hold true for 2020?

» Most and least educated states 2020: Georgia fails to crack the top 20

To determine the top-performing schools at the lowest possible costs to undergraduates, financial website WalletHub compared more than 1,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. across 33 metrics that were grouped into seven key dimensions: student selectivity, cost and financing, faculty resources, campus safety, campus experience, educational outcomes, and career outcomes.

Each metric was graded on a 100 point scale, with a score of 100 representing the best school performance and the most favorable conditions for undergraduate students during and after attendance.

According to WalletHub, the best college or university for 2020 is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a score of 78.38. It was followed by Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Stanford, in that order.

» These are the best colleges in Georgia, according to a new 2019 ranking

Georgia ended up with 12 schools in the top 500 — three of those in the top 100, and one in the top 20.



With a score of 72.22, the Georgia Institute of Technology claims the top spot in the state, ranking No. 16 in the U.S. It also ranked No. 4 for highest return on educational investment.

The state’s other two schools in the top 100 are Emory University, ranked No. 38 overall with a score of 69.34; and the Unversity of Georgia, which finished No. 69 overall with a score of 65.54.

» New ranking places Georgia Tech in even more elite company

Also in the top 500 are:

  • 126: Wesleyan College, with a score of 62.01
  • 279: Georgia College and State University, 58.66
  • 326: Mercer University, 58.06
  • 362: Oglethorpe University, 57.61
  • 379: Piedmont College, 57.39
  • 415: Brenau University, 56.84
  • 441: Berry College, 56.54
  • 455: Valdosta State University, 56.4
  • 464: Columbus State University, 56.33

These aren’t the only Georgia schools to make the ranking.

WalletHub made three lists: colleges and universities, just colleges and just universities.

» 2015's most beautiful college campus in the world is in Georgia

» Georgia's top 10 high schools for 2020

» These are 2020's top 10 public high schools in Georgia, according to Niche

When you factor out universities, defined as offering masters and/or doctoral degrees, the states adds seven institutions. Oglethorpe is included in the ranking of just colleges, taking the top spot in the state and finishing No. 43 nationally.

Georgia’s other schools to make the colleges list are:

  • 66: Young Harris College, 55.13
  • 73: Spelman College, 54.57
  • 94: Paine College, 52.12
  • 104: Toccoa Falls College, 49.73
  • 107: Emmanuel College, 48.13
  • 112: Morehouse College, 47.47
  • 118: Brewton-Parker College, 42.93

Toccoa Falls College tied for first place nationally as one of the safest schools. But not every institution finished in the top five of a positive category.

Middle Georgia State University, for example, was next to last for graduation rate; and Paine College in the top five for highest student loan default rate and lowest return on educational investment.

Seven Georgia schools were not included for one of these reasons: They lack available ACT and/or SAT score data; they are not the main campus; they provide only very specialized degrees; and/or other data limitations.

They are:

  • Agnes Scott College
  • Albany State University
  • Armstrong State University
  • Clayton State University
  • Georgia Christian University
  • Georgia Gwinnett College
  • Shorter University-College of Adult & Professional Programs
  • Thomas University

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