Georgia continues to make gains in education. In this section, you will find information related to the various programs and fields of study regarding Georgia’s educational institutions. You will also find such data as graduation rates, enrollment numbers and degree composition by university, and how it relates and compares with the overall nation.
Georgia ranked fifth among the benchmark states and 27th overall in education (K-12) performance based on the American Legislative Exchange Council’s 2011 findings.
This same report also showed that we are dedicated to improving these numbers as Georgia ranked third among the benchmark states on education spending in regards to “cost per child.” This can further be seen by our steady increase in our schools’ yearly adequate progress as measured by the U.S. Department of Education, which ranked first among the benchmark states and is well above the national average. Likewise, the number of schools cited as needing improvement is still less than that of the overall nation.
However, Georgia’s fourth and eighth grade math scores were not strong, with both showing a higher percentage of below basic scoring than the national average. Unfortunately, this negative trend in math scoring can be seen at higher levels as well, as Georgia ranks below both the benchmark states and national average in math SAT scores. Though there has been some slight improvement on the years, Georgia’s student performance on the math portion of the SAT is still ranked near the bottom of the nation. Georgia students did score higher on Advanced Placement exams than the national average for 2011.
The HOPE scholarship program continues to be a driving force in Georgia’s post-secondary education landscape. The 2010-2011 academic year continued to see record numbers posted for HOPE scholarships, both in the number of recipients as well as the dollar amount of the awards.
Over the last academic year, tuition increases have been felt by all of the benchmark states. Though Georgia has experienced tuition increases of almost double the national average increase rate for public universities, our state still offers prospective students some of the lowest tuition costs in the country for both public and private schools.
Georgia public colleges and universities spent more than $1 billion on R&D in 2009. The leading academic R&D institutions in Georgia are still Georgia Tech, Emory University and the University of Georgia.
In 2009, Georgia Tech ranked fifth among benchmark universities in terms of overall R&D expenditures, but first in terms of engineering, computer science and math. In terms of R&D expenditure for life sciences, Emory University ranked fourth among the benchmark schools, while the University of Georgia ranked sixth. These fields of study tend to dominate the academic R&D expenditures within the state.
Georgia boasts 25 technical institutes and colleges, all of which have continued to experience significant enrollment growth over the past few years. According to the Technical College System of Georgia, a major factor for these increases is the large amounts of older students enrolling to train for new, in-demand careers.