In only seven years, Georgia Gwinnett College has risen from obscurity to the fifth highest-ranked Southern public regional college, according to results released today by U.S. News & World Report magazine. “We are particularly excited that the score placing us so high was academic peer assessment, which represents GGC’s academic standing,” said Dr. Lois C. Richardson, acting senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and provost. “This is unheard of for an access institution, and an achievement of which our faculty, staff and students, as well as the University System of Georgia, can be very proud.” Criteria used by the magazine to calculate college rankings include academic peer assessment, freshman retention rate, graduation rate, percentage of classes under 20 and over 50 seats, student/faculty ratio, SAT/ ACT percentile data, freshmen’s high school rankings, acceptance rate and alumni giving rate. In addition to peer assessment, GGC scored highly in its freshmen retention of 71 percent, an area where it is comparable to Georgia’s state universities, surpassing other Georgia state colleges. It also scored favorably for its small classes and student/faculty ratio. “It is remarkable that Georgia Gwinnett has achieved such impressive rankings in only seven years,” said Dr. Stas Preczewski, interim president. “It is a testament to our innovative model for higher education and reflects our employees’ proven dedication to improving student success.” The high rankings follow on the designation of Georgia Gwinnett as a College of Distinction. More information is available at www.collegesofdistinction.com. In addition, GGC has been named to the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com. Full ranking information is available online at www.usnews.com/colleges. The 2014 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges edition will soon be available in hard copy.