James.qxp July August 2018 web - Page 10



How we compile our Rankings
In this year’s education issue James has researched more criteria in compiling
our school rankings system than ever before. As in the past we analyze U.S. News &
World Report among other national and regional ratings, but we also look at other
less-discussed metrics including completion rate and freshman retention rate. We
feel that those categories offer a better guide to Georgia’s students and parents as
they look to decide what schools are the best fit for them.
By looking at data provided by initiatives such as Complete College Georgia, we
feel that James can more accurately rate the state’s institutions of higher learning—
whether those be universities, liberal arts colleges, or technical colleges. As for the
technical colleges, we present our own rankings based on their own criteria.
The HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships have made nearly every public university
in Georgia a great value— but in our “Best Value” category we list just the top five
based on a combination of net price combined with relative quality of education.
This year we have put more emphasis on data collection that identifies strengths
as well as areas for improvement for the needs of regions and populations served by
Georgia’s colleges and universities.
Our rankings are also based on consultations with prominent education and
business leaders around the state— and we thank them for their input.
Phil Kent— on behalf of the staff

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