Georgia Highlands College received another accolade last week.The five-campus college was ranked second on Schools.com’s 2016 list of Top 5 Best Community Colleges in Georgia for its affordable tuition cost and transfer rate to four-year schools. “Taking second place in the top five for its transfer rate to four-year schools and capturing the No. 2 ranking in the USG for cost of tuition, fees and supplies was Georgia Highlands College, a medium-sized campus located in the southern foothills of the Appalachian Mountains,” the website said. “Just 18 percent of GHC students were enrolled in distance education in 2014, but the college offers classes on weekends and evenings and expanded its geographical reach with additional instructional sites in Cartersville, Marietta, Dallas and Douglasville to accommodate those who live at a distance from the main campus.”Schools.com, a leading resource for career-minded students, also recognized the study-abroad programs that GHC makes available to its students.“Students at GHC have the option of taking trips outside the country to learn, sightsee and participate in cultural activities designed to expand their perspective,” it said. “Study abroad options in 2016 include three trips of varying length to a University of Georgia campus in Costa Rica and a summer trip to the Kennesaw State University campus in Montepulciano, Italy.”“It is an honor to be recognized in the ‘Best Of’ State Colleges across Georgia by Schools.com as the No. 2 state institution out of 12 state colleges,” said Dr. Todd Jones, vice president for student affairs. “GHC continues to impact the lives of students throughout northwest Georgia, and earning this recognition from Schools.com helps confirm that we continue to make a difference in the communities we serve."Because Georgia has two separate community college systems — the 20-school Technical College System of Georgia, which focuses on graduating students with technical, business and industry training, and the 12-school University System of Georgia, which concentrates on preparing students to transfer to four-year university programs — the website ranked the systems separately since they have different objectives.Topping the list of best USG community colleges is Georgia Perimeter College, followed GHC, Bainbridge State College, Darton State College and Atlanta Metropolitan State College.Jones said GHC ranks high when compared to other state community colleges because of its “excellent academic offerings, affordable tuition — a two-year degree is less than $8,000 — flexible class scheduling, unique student opportunities, five convenient locations across northwest Georgia and ability to help meet our students educational goals.”“We greatly appreciate the recognition, as it highlights the fact that there are still institutions in higher education that provide a high-quality education that families can afford,” he said. “As more families learn that you can complete two years of college for less than $8,000 before transferring to a larger college or university, we believe our enrollment and graduation rates will continue to climb.”USG colleges were ranked by Schools.com on the percentage of students enrolled in distance education, cost of attendance, student-to-faculty ratio. graduation rate, transfers to USG institutions and flexibility.To read the full article or to learn more about School.com’s ranking system, visit www.schools.com/articles/top-community-colleges-in-georgia.