Dr. Steve Roberson, dean of undergraduate studies, was interviewed by The Business Journal regarding the recognition of UNCG as one of nineteen schools that performs well in the new federal ranking system implemented by President Obama’s administration.

According to a think tank study by the American Enterprise Institute, UNCG is one of 19 schools out of more than 1,700 four-year colleges around the country that performed well in the three areas the administration wants to base future aid distribution on: access, quality and affordability. With a rank of 19 out of 1,700 schools studied, UNCG is among few schools who measured up, with a net cost of $9,628, 44 percent of students receiving Pell Grants, and a 54 percent graduation rate, according to AEI.

UNC schools are used to flagship campuses such as UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C.State getting most of the attention in private rankings, but accessibility measures are important and are an advantage for UNCG when combined with affordability and success measures, Roberson is paraphrased as saying in the article.

The school also recently received recognition from the Education Trust for graduating a higher percentage of black students than white students, a rarity in U.S. higher education.

“Almost all our student support programs are color-blind, but there’s a sense on campus of being open and affirming” to underrepresented populations, Roberson said. “That makes us a destination for lots of students who are first-generation college students and who are economically disadvantaged but quite capable” of graduating successfully.

While there is no guarantee that the eventual federal funding rules will exactly mimic the AEI methodology, Roberson expects UNCG to benefit from whatever formula is settled on. Despite not knowing exactly how much student aid will be made available, any extra resources are important for the institution.

“Pell Grants are life and death for some of these students who are breaking the poverty cycle” by going to college, he said. “At a point when financial aid is retrenching, any extra dollars will really nourish the mission of this institution.”