Georgia Gwinnett College remains the most ethnically diverse regional college in the south, according to a new ranking from U.S. News and World Report.

The magazine released its 2021 college and university rankings on Monday, and the top ranking in diversity for GGC marks the seventh consecutive year that it has held the No. 1 spot, according to officials at the school.

“GGC is proud to offer a vibrant environment where our diverse student body learns and grows within a campus community respectful of different ethnicities, cultures and beliefs,” GGC President Jann L. Joseph said. “Diversity defines a key strength of the Gwinnett community and Atlanta region.”

Georgia Gwinnett College is classified in a category of schools known as “southern regional colleges,” which is different the “national universities” category that includes schools such as the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Emory University.

U.S. News and World Report used data from the fall 2019 semester to determine the new rankings. At that time, GGC’s student body was 32% Black, 28% White, 24% Hispanic, 11% Asian and 4% multi-ethnic while Native-American and Pacific Islander students, as well as pupils listed as “Unknown,” each made up less than 1% of the school’s student population.

The overwhelming majority GGC students, 76% of them to be exact, were from Gwinnett County while the remainder of the student body hailed from 32 U.S. states and 120 countries, according to figures from the school.

At that time, GGC’s total enrollment was 12,831 students.

The No. 1 ranking in diversity was not only the high ranking GGC received. The college was listed as No. 4 among the most innovative southern regional colleges. That ranking looks at how innovative schools are at handling curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology and facilities.

There was also a No. 6 ranking among southern regional colleges in Georgia and No. 66 among all southern regional colleges in a 12-state region. It was, however, in the Top 20 for public regional colleges in the south and the school said the magazine also recognized GGC for social mobility, low student debt load at graduation and economic diversity.

“These rankings further confirm that GGC’s innovative teaching model is having an impact on the success of our students,” Joseph said. “Our integrated educational experience has been a part of the college since the beginning.”

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I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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