Which campus boasts Georgia’s smartest students based on test scores? Georgia Tech.

gatechWe can debate the value of a ranking that determines which colleges are the “smartest in America”  based on their student SAT and ACT scores, or we can celebrate how many Georgia campuses make the cut.

I vote for the latter on this lovely fall  morning. (I am being positive after spending an hour on this post and then having it disappear, never to be seen again. This is my second effort, and I hope it sticks.)

Business Insider asked Jonathan Wai, a Duke University Talent Identification Program researcher, to look at 1,339 schools. It created its list of the 600 smartest colleges as reflected by the students’ average scores on standardized tests.

The publication acknowledged the debate over using test scores as surrogates for intelligence, writing, “These tests are often criticized, but research shows that both the SAT and ACT are good measures of general cognitive ability; and the average scores that schools report to U.S. News gives a reasonable snapshot of the brainpower level of that school. We updated our ranking from last year by including all the schools in the national universityliberal arts collegeregional university, and regional college lists that reported SAT or ACT scores in the latest U.S. News ranking. “

At No. 38, Georgia Tech lands the highest ranking of any Georgia public or private institution, including Emory, which earn the 47th spot.

On the basis of its student scores, Tech outperforms many notable private campuses, including Davidson, Boston College, NYU and Smith. Tech also boasts higher student scores than several highly selective public campuses, including the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the University of California, Berkley.

While the University of Georgia does not break the top 100, it ranks a respectable 153rd, outperforming some esteemed schools around the country.

When Business Insider looked at scores at public colleges among the top 600, Georgia Tech ranks first in the nation for smartest students. UGA ranks 33rd. Georgia College & State University ranks 94th.

Here are the other Georgia colleges that landed among the top 600 and their rankings:

Berry College: 196

Mercer University: 241

Agnes Scott: 284

Georgia College & State University: 334

Georgia Southern University: 388

Southern Polytechnic State University: 474

Kennesaw State University: 524

Georgia State University: 591

Reader Comments 0

35 comments
Starik
Starik

Given Georgia's history and the state of it's politics it's encouraging that we have academically outstanding universities like Georgia Tech and Georgia, at least recently.  Football isn't everything. .

dontstereotypemeyo
dontstereotypemeyo

@JacketTime 


"and of course GT should run for it's own benefit you communist!"

Were Georgia Tech a private university like Emory or Clark Atlanta, then what you are saying would be true. But since Georgia Tech is a STATE UNIVERSITY it needs to be run for STATE BENEFIT. And the state needs a lot more engineers, computer scientists, programmers and IT workers at the undergraduate and master's degree levels. Not to train more workers for Silicon Valley and Research Triangle Park (and for Dubai). 


I understand that there are not a lot of top tier, cutting edge jobs in that area in this state. But if we had more talent, there would be more jobs. Georgia decided to kneecap us by only having one state research engineering school, and it really hurts that Emory doesn't have one also. Meanwhile, the competition (California, Texas, North Carolina, Florida) all have multiple research engineering schools as well as private ones. 


Consider Texas for example: 17 universities in that state offer doctorates in engineering. Between the UT system, the A&M system and private universities like SMU, Baylor, Rice and TCU it is no wonder that Texas has a 5.3% unemployment rate. Texas probably has as many kids in engineering school as Georgia has in trade school. (Even one of the HBCUs in Texas, Prairie View A&M, offers a Ph.D in electrical engineering.) Gee, could that be why a Georgia Tech grad has to go to Texas in order to get a CPU design job? It is hilarious ... Cobb County has an unemployment rate of of 7.4%. Meanwhile, Houston, which is "Atlanta" for Texas (Houston is less desirable than Dallas-Fort Worth or San Antonio), has an unemployment rate of 5.5%!


Yes, I said it. (Or rather, wrote it.) Georgia Tech is being run for its own benefit rather than Georgia's benefit and that needs to change. 


AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

@dontstereotypemeyo


And so a rationale for UGA launching their second-tier college of engineering to drain resources from Ma Tech....

dontstereotypemeyo
dontstereotypemeyo

@AlreadySheared


Did you see what I wrote? 
Texas = 17 universities with Ph.D programs

Georgia = 1 university with a Ph.D. program

Result: Georgia Tech grads have to go to Texas to get jobs


Also, there are 3 AAU universities in Texas with highly rated engineering programs: Texas-Austin, Texas A&M-College Station, and Rice. End the nonsense about "2nd tier engineering school draining research from Tech."

A better comparison: Florida. They have 6 very good engineering schools: UF, UCF, USF, Florida Tech, University of Miami, Embry-Riddle. They also have decent ones at FIU (which didn't even exist 40 years ago) and FAU (university founded in 1961). 

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@Buzz-Off, Georgia Tech has a large number of Georgia residents: According to the college, 56 percent of the students are from Georgia. It only has 12 percent international students.

Size of undergraduate student body:13,515
Percent out-of-state:32%
Percent international:12%
Female to Male ratio:30:70

Now, UGA has far more in-state students: 

Demographics of students entering UGA in 2014 from university website:

  • 60% female
  • 411 African-American
  • 27% non-Caucasian
  • 86% Georgia residents
  • 3.8 - 4.09 mid-50% GPA
  • 3.9 average GPA
  • 1800-2060 mid-50% SAT
  • 620 average Writing SAT
  • 28-32 mid-50% ACT
  • 30 average ACT

Buzz-Off
Buzz-Off

Thanks Maureen......great information. I didn't know UGa's average GPA was 3.9 and I'm amazed that a little over half of GT students are GA residents. I would have guessed it was closer to 20-30%. Thanks again, Buzz

Starik
Starik

@MaureenDowney @Buzz-Off These are interesting statistics.  411 African-American of 13,515; that's 3.0 percent.  I expect that at least 1/4 of the 411 are athletes and special admissions. The state is 31.4% African-American.  A number of the 411 are likely African-African. Is there an elephant in the corner of the room that nobody sees?

Buzz-Off
Buzz-Off

Paul and super,

Truth hurts that the vast majority of your students aren't from Georgia or the USA. I'm a realist....not a xenophobe.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@Buzz-Off 

No, you are a liar who doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.  Read what the writer of this article just posted to you, and then go back to the cesspool where you can wallow in the slime with all your fellow mutts.

Buzz-Off
Buzz-Off

You're a nice guy super. Good to see you are spewing the same venom on GT sites as you do on the UGa sites. I'm still laughing about your comment yesterday that the Todd Gurley situation doesn't have anymore to do with UGa than it has to do with GT. Say WHAT!!!

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@Buzz-Off All I was saying was that it was more general information ABOUT Georgia than one of the usual Georgia blogs.  Just like this one is not a Tech blog, but definitely has information about Tech

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@Buzz-Off 

Hey, I owe you an apology.  I was actually confusing you with one of the more arrogant and ignorant mutts who was arguing with me yesterday.  What none of them ever understood was that I wasn't bashing either Georgia or Gurley; I was bashing the NCAA for their inconsistency and public HS education in this country for allowing a kid to graduate HS when he, for the most part, can't even read.  Didn't mean to jump on you earlier about the % of in-state students; I wasn't thinking clearly at the time.  You probably took a few swats at me too, but not like the one I was thinking of at the time.

Buzz-Off
Buzz-Off

But according to the National Enquirer, UGa finished 17th in students who speak English as their first language, Mercer was 54th, North Georgia College and State University 68th, Georgia State University 234th, Emory 277th and Georgia Tech 582nd.

dontstereotypemeyo
dontstereotypemeyo

Hmmm ... too few Tech students are actually from Georgia. And too few of them stick around when they leave. Other than the research money that they bring in, Georgia Tech is being run to its own benefit more so than Georgia's benefit. They need to change that, and a good way to do that would be to force them to double their enrollment. The best way for them to double their enrollment? Have them open a second campus in south Georgia. This is not unprecedented: Florida State University has two campuses (one in Tallahassee and one in Pensacola) and they are just one example. 


STEM workers is the #2 need for the Georgia economy, and Georgia Tech primarily trains STEM workers for other states (and countries).

JacketTime
JacketTime

@dontstereotypemeyo We go where the jobs are... I'd being living in Georgia if my industry was there. We go where the $$ goes.

Doubling enrollment won't make anything better either and of course GT should run for it's own benefit you communist!

RationalThoughts67
RationalThoughts67

@dontstereotypemeyo Clearly, this is an area where you have little knowledge.  Doubling the enrollment will not double the number of engineering jobs that are available in the area.  The graduates go where the jobs are. 

Maybe you should write a letter to Nathan Deal about our high employment rate.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

Although I am somewhat surprised that Emory wasn't a little higher, overall, that's a no-brainer

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

Tech students are the brightest in the state?   Here's my shocked face.

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

Looks like GCSU is listed twice - 94th, and then 334.  One of those I assume is a mistake?

redweather
redweather

@dcdcdc Two different rankings.  GCSU ranks 94 in the top 600 public colleges, 334 when considering public and private.

bobbyross1990
bobbyross1990

Very proud. Keep up the good work Institute. 

straker
straker

Were Tech's scholarship football and basketball student's scores included in the scoring?

dontstereotypemeyo
dontstereotypemeyo

And gee, merging SPSU with KSU was SUCH A GREAT IDEA right ... ugh.


Amazing to see Georgia State so far down the list (although State relies much more on high school grades and junior college transfers than SAT scores). And with the massive expansion of that school when they open their new branch campus at (soon to be demolished) Turner Field, that won't help matters.


Oh yeah, before anyone goes there, Georgia Tech does not use racial preferences or consider race in admissions in any way. They never have and they never will.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@dontstereotypemeyo Uh, they do consider diversity to enlarge the students exposure to students from different countries and states! Got that from a presentation by tech's registrars office!

Buzz-Off
Buzz-Off

Yes indeed, like from the Kingdom of ISIL......

liberal4life
liberal4life

@dontstereotypemeyo 

I wonder how KSU and SPSU would compare if they compared only students in comparable fields.  I doubt SPSU has a psychology major or journalism major.  Given KSU is a comprehensive university, the difference between 474th and 524th seems to be rather small.