Georgia Southwestern is Ranked by U.S. News - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia Southwestern is Ranked by U.S. News

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) – For the next few weeks, students will be making their way to college campuses all over the country.

And one of those schools is Georgia Southwestern University. This year, a lot of those students will be freshmen.

According to Dr. Kendall Blanchard, the President of Georgia Southwestern said that it is: "by far the largest freshman class we've ever had."

While the parents of these young scholars may have had some nervous moments deciding where to send their children, one recent survey said that those who chose Georgia Southwestern did pretty well.

But it was a bit of a surprise to Dr. Blanchard.  He said, "I did not see the results until Steven shared them with me on Tuesday."

Those results had the school ranked 46th among top public regional universities in the South, according to U.S. News and World Report.

The magazine uses criteria such as graduation rates and freshmen retention and class sizes to compile the rankings.

Dr. Blanchard said, "we have a very intensive advisement program to make sure that no student falls through the cracks," to help with the retention.  Regarding class sizes: "we traditionally have small classes, which are advantageous when it comes to student learning," he said.

This is the first time since the survey has been done - and it started in 1990 - that Georgia Southwestern has made the list.

Now that Georgia Southwestern University has been chosen as one of the pillars of higher education in the South, the question is how to maintain that lofty status as thew university finds its way into the future.

While it's great to make the rankings this year, to stay there will be a difficult process. Because bringing elite students to campus in the future will be a challenge as schools compete for the top scholars.

And the rankings can be influential in where parents decide to send their children to in the Fall of 2011.

"I would think so. I can't imagine it not having an impact on weighing in as to whether to come to an institution," said Dr. Blanchard.

And officials here are hoping that with the new rankings all roads will lead to their campus in the coming years.

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