AUGUSTA, Ga. – Georgia Regents University has been named an Engine of Opportunity school by the U.S. Department of Education for offering affordable education to low-income students and contributing to their mobility into the middle class. The rankings are part of the Education Department’s new online College Scorecard designed to help students, parents and their advisers make better college choices.
In Better Information for Better College Choice & Institutional Performance, a special report released with the data in September, the department identifies GRU as one of seven four-year colleges that offers a solid return on investment.
“We are proud to be named in such an elite group of our nation’s universities by the U.S. Department of Education,” said GRU President Dr. Brooks Keel. “We know that we deliver an exceptional value in higher education to our students. Being recognized as an Engine of Opportunity school reinforces our value as a higher education provider.”
By combining data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Student Loan Data System, and the Internal Revenue Service, the College Scorecard provides comparable information about college outcomes, including graduation rates, median income by six and ten years from the start of freshman year, and information about student loan repayment rates.
The Education Department will use the data as a tool to inform ongoing and new state efforts to implement accountability systems for higher education, in parallel with federal efforts to ensure colleges and universities spend taxpayer dollars wisely, on schools serving students well, the report said. The data also provide schools with stronger tools to benchmark against peer institutions, address their weaknesses and adopt better practices.
The department intends to help make higher education more accessible, affordable and valuable for all students, as college remains the greatest driver of socioeconomic mobility in America, according to the report.
The scorecard follows a 2013 pledge from President Obama to create genuine transparency about the costs and quality of some 7,000 institutions in higher education.
Other Engines of Opportunity schools named are State University of New York at Albany; University of California-Irvine; University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, North Carolina; Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Aurora University, Aurora, Illinois.