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The University of Georgia was ranked 15th in the U.S. News & World Report for 2021. (File/Staff)

The University of Georgia was ranked 15th among the nation’s top public universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2021, climbing up one spot from 16th last year. The university has been in the top 20 for the past five years, according to UGA Today.

UGA is one of two universities from Georgia to make the top 20 list, along with the Georgia Institute of Technology, which tied for eighth with two California schools, according to the release. UGA and the University of Florida, ranked sixth, are the only two universities from the SEC to be in the top 20.

The No. 15 spot is shared by UGA and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. UGA is ranked above Ohio State University and Purdue University, which are tied at No. 17. The University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas at Austin outrank UGA tied for 13th, according to the release. Other universities that outrank UGA include the University of Virginia at fourth place and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at fifth place.

The ranking is determined by a combination of factors, including peer assessment ratings by professors, provosts and deans of admissions, retention rates, selectivity, graduation rates and academic quality of the freshman class. 

UGA’s ranking also increased due to its increase in graduation rate, class sizes and academic success of last year’s freshman class, according to the release. UGA’s six-year graduation rate increased from 86% in 2018 to 87% for 2019. The ranking also increased due to the fact that almost half of all classes at UGA are less than 20 people, and the class of 2023’s academic performance.

UGA was also ranked top 25 in individual categories, including undergraduate business programs and best colleges for veterans, according to the release. The Terry College of Business’s insurance and risk management program ranked first in the country.

Alumni support also contributes to the rankings: 13% of UGA alumni donated in the final year of the Commit to Georgia comprehensive campaign. The contributions totaled $1.45 billion, according to the release. 

“The consistency of our national ranking is a testament to the commitment of our talented faculty, staff and students; to the generosity and support of our loyal alumni and friends; and to the effectiveness of our vision and strategy to reach new heights of academic excellence,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead in the release.

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