GAINESVILLE — Brenau University ranked in the top 50, at No. 49, and the University of North Georgia ranked No. 55 in a list of the best colleges in the South.
That list was released this week as part of U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 edition of Best Colleges.
The list includes 132 universities in 12 states and ranks schools based on graduation and retention rates, peer assessments, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving.
“It is gratifying to be recognized among the top tier of many fine colleges and universities in Georgia and throughout the South,” Brenau spokesman David Morrison said.
“Especially as we transform some of our academic operations to make Brenau education more available to a wider array of people on campuses and online.”
The private university’s women’s college was founded in 1878 and the school has several campuses in Georgia and offers online courses.
Bonita Jacobs, president of the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, which also has a campus in Cumming, touted her school’s ranking.
“We are so proud of our student success rates and academic excellence, which continue to earn the University of North Georgia high marks among our peer institutions,” she said in a news release.
“Our achievements are a reflection of the university’s outstanding students and a world-class faculty and staff that contribute to an excellent academic reputation and confirm the supportive and challenging educational environment UNG provides.”
The ranking is based on data from fall 2012. Factors considered also include data from the previous two to four years. The University of North Georgia formed in January 2013 from the consolidation of North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega and Gainesville State College.
Nearby Piedmont College in Demorest was also ranked on the list, at No. 51.
“Piedmont is the smallest college in the state to offer a doctoral program, and U.S. News includes us with the much larger institutions, some of which have 10 or 20 times the enrollment that we have,” said Piedmont President James Mellichamp in a news release.
“While we should pause to congratulate ourselves on this giant leap forward, we should also remember that we have many exciting opportunities in front of us that will further enhance the reputation of Piedmont as a prominent regional liberal arts institution.”
Elon University in Elon, N.C., ranked No. 1 in the South.