Committed to Access
The University of Georgia’s commitment to economic diversity in its student body has been recognized once again by The New York Times, which ranks UGA 10th among the nation’s top public universities in its latest College Access Index.
The College Access Index ranks universities based on the share of incoming first-year students who receive federal Pell Grants based on their financial need, the graduation rate of those students and the average cost of attendance for low- and middle-income students. In recognition of the fact that student outcomes are a critical factor in evaluating universities, only institutions with a five-year graduation rate of 75 percent or higher are included in the ranking.
UGA’s top 10 ranking puts it in the company of some of the nation’s most distinguished public universities, including several institutions in the University of California system, the University of Florida, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Texas A&M University. Among both public and private universities, UGA is ranked 27th while Georgia Tech is ranked 64th and Emory is ranked 76th.
As President Morehead noted, UGA has made tremendous strides in expanding need-based aid for our students, and gifts from alumni, foundations and other supporters will enable us to do even more. Need-based aid is a central pillar of the Commit to Georgia comprehensive capital campaign, and the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation has made a transformational $30 million gift to support this key priority.
Through the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program, which President Morehead announced in his 2017 State of the University address, the UGA Foundation will match any gift to establish an endowed need-based scholarship in the amount of $50,000, $75,000 or $100,000. The initiative is expected to create 400 to 600 new annual scholarships, and more than 90 have been created to date.
Our commitment to access and excellence in higher education benefits our campus and our nation as a whole. Diverse perspectives and life experiences enrich the campus learning environment, and our more than 300,000 living alumni can tell you that a University of Georgia education can dramatically lift an individual’s career trajectory. Increasing the number of college-educated individuals lifts our state and nation by ensuring that our population has the skills and knowledge to compete in the global economy.
There’s not a single ranking system that can adequately capture the breadth and complexity of a major research university, but the consistently high rankings UGA earns across a number of ranking systems speaks volumes about our extraordinary value and quality. In addition to our top 10 New York Times ranking, UGA is ranked 18th among public universities in the latest U.S. News and World Report ranking and 10th in the Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of best values among public colleges and universities.
Excellence and access are hallmarks of a University of Georgia education, and we are committed to building on our momentum for the benefit of students, our state and our world.