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University of North Georgia ranked 16th public regional university in South

DAHLONEGA — The University of North Georgia was recently ranked one of the region’s best universities by U.S. News & World Report.

The 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranks UNG 16th among public regional universities in the South, according to a release from the university.

UNG, which has a campus off Pilgrim Mill Road near Ga. 400 at Exit 16 in Cumming, was ranked 19thlast year.

In a statement, UNG President Bonita Jacobs attributed the college’s standing to “a strong history of academic excellence, student success and economic value.

“UNG is a regional and national leader for academic excellence, engagement, educational opportunity and leadership development,” she said. “I am proud of what we have accomplished, and UNG's mission, vision and values are well-aligned for continued success."

The rankings factor in graduation and retention rates, peer assessments, class sizes, student-faculty ratios and alumni giving, among others.

The 2016 Best Colleges report also named UNG the best public regional university in the region for least amount of debt, with 49 percent of UNG students having borrowed money at some point and graduating debt-free.

This is the second time this year U.S. News named UNG to a regional excellence list. In February, it was ranked third most efficient regional university in the South in a report that compared spending and educational quality, according to the university.