What's the best college in Georgia? Depends who you ask

A roundup of rankings stories from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to help you make the big decision.

A roundup of rankings stories from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to help you make the big decision.

There seems to be a new college ranking every few days, and it can be overwhelming to find the right school for you.

» Emory, UGA, Georgia Tech, Mercer among nation's best universities

To help, we've rounded up our exhaustive list of rankings stories so you can figure out what the best college choice entails for you, whether you're particular about professors, social life, best buys or prestige.

Looking for a view?

Berry College near Rome was named the most beautiful college in the world last year by BuzzFeed. With its nearly 30,000 bucolic acres of woodlands, lakes and streams, the campus nestled near the Appalachian Mountains, took home top honors in the BuzzFeed ranking.

The college was also named one of America's "Most Beautiful College Campuses" in 2011 by Travel and Leisure magazine.

Great Value Colleges even ranked Berry College the second-best small college for nature lovers last year. It earned the spot with its outdoor-oriented sports, the school's nature-focused courses, green status and its 40 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails.

Top-notch professors

Not even Harvard, Yale or Stanford made the 2014-15 Rate My Professors list of top 15 universities with the highest-rated professors. But two Georgia universities made the cut.

The list, based on student reviews examining clarity, easiness, rater interest and helpfulness, named University of Georgia at No. 8 and Emory University at No. 13.

Best bang for your buck

With median earnings of $74,000 within 10 years of entering, Georgia Tech was named the best Georgia college based on return on investment.

College Scorecard came up with the list after examining factors like college cost, graduation rates, debt and post-college earnings.

Georgia Tech was also the only Georgia college to make the Fiske 2014 Best Buy list based on its quality academics and affordability. Morehouse College and Spelman College made the cut in 2013.

Georgia Highlands College was also noted as a two-year college where students earn high salaries after graduation.

Two Georgia colleges—Georgia Tech and University of Georgia—were also named best values in MONEY's 2016 ranking of the best colleges for your money.

The MONEY ranking looked at affordability, quality of education and alumni success. Among the 705 schools in the list, Georgia Tech ranked 35th and UGA ranked 56th.

Dining hall food

OK, we don't recommend basing your big decision around food, but we also won't judge if you do.

According to Business Insidertwo Georgia schools serve up the best food in the country.

UGA ranked No. 8 with its five dining halls and four food courts, 24-hour dining and to-go meals.

At No. 9, Kennesaw State University made the list with its farm-to-table and sustainable practices. The school also serves more than 150 new dishes every week.

Party school

In 2010, UGA was named the nation's No. 1 party school for the first time, according to the top 20 list compiled by the Princeton Review.

The university fell to No. 8 last year.

Endowment funds

According to endowment funds, Georgia Tech made the top 25 richest public colleges ranking by education research site StartClass, which examined the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

The college ranked No. 14 on the list.

Best community college

Thinking of attending one of Georgia's community colleges? Check out Gwinnett Technical College, which ranked No. 33 among 812 community colleges in the nation, according to personal finance website's 2016's Best and Worst Community Colleges in the nation ranking.

Best for African Americans

Atlanta's Spelman College ranked sixth in the top 50 colleges for African Americans in 2016, a collaborative ranking by Essence and MONEY magazines. Spelman was the top-ranked among Georgia schools.

Georgia Tech ranked No. 12, and Emory University came in at No. 42.

Analysts interviewed researchers, students and professors, and collected data from more than 1,500 public and private four-year colleges. They examined opportunity, job market, affordability and quality of education.

Best for women

Of the 50 schools included in College Choice's 2016 best colleges and universities for women, Emory University is the only Georgia school to make the list at No. 26.

College Choice highlighted the university's women's studies program, which graduated its first women's studies doctorates in the spring of 1995 and has since graduated more than 40.


Agnes Scott College came in at No. 2 in the state and No. 33 nationwide.

Prestige and reputation

Best in the world: Among the Times Higher Education's World University Rankings list of the top 100 best universities in the world, Georgia Tech ranked No. 33, and Emory University ranked No. 82.

The list was based on teaching, research, international outlook and industry income.

Best in the U.S.:  Four Georgia colleges were named among the nation's best in U.S. News and World Report's 2016 ranking of top universities. At No. 20: Emory University; No. 36: Georgia Tech; No. 56: UGA; and No. 135: Mercer.

Best in the South: In the South, three Georgia colleges make the top 25. Emory University, Georgia Tech and University of Georgia all made the Forbes ranking of the South's top colleges.

Emory University ranked No. 10, Georgia Tech came in at No. 12 and UGA at No. 15.

The region-specific list of top 25 schools in the South is part of a larger Forbes ranking of 2016's best colleges and universities in the country.

Best in Georgia: Emory University, Georgia Tech and UGA are the three best colleges in Georgia, according to the 2015 Niche Rankings.

Niche.com, a "reviews and insights" website, examined academics, student surveys, campus quality, loan default, athletics, diversity and more using data on more than 1,000 colleges and universities.