The state of Georgia is celebrating record college enrollments in the 2018-19 academic year, thanks in part to the increasingly robust number of online programs in the Peach State. This is great news for students considering online colleges in Georgia, who may be seeking the flexibility and convenience that distance education offers.

Here's an overview of the online college options available in Georgia:

  • Of the 67 postsecondary institutions in Georgia that offer online programs, 44 are public schools and 23 are private.
  • 9 of the online colleges in Georgia are faith-based schools.
  • Online associate degree programs are offered at 52 Georgia colleges; online bachelor's degree programs can be completed at 43 of them; online master's degree programs are available at 37 schools.
  • The University System of Georgia offers 286 fully online programs that may culminate in a certificate, associate degree, bachelor's degree, or master's degree. Six of the schools that successfully placed on our ranking of the best online colleges in Georgia are members of this system, including our No.1 choice: the University of West Georgia.

By 2020, 65 percent of jobs in Georgia are expected to require the completion of at least some education after high school, according to Georgetown University. Yet as of 2018, only 45 percent of the state's youth continue their education after high school. Since the cost of college is a major roadblock for residents of the state, initiatives such HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) have been implemented. HOPE is a scholarship and grant program that rewards students pursuing degrees at eligible public and private universities in Georgia.

Another way Georgia aims to meet this projected demand is through the "College 2025" initiative. Key goals of this effort include developing more ways to help more students earn a college degree — by expanding the number of entry points for admission and developing or adopting new degree formats, for example. The state also collects information and resources to help students go back to school through the "Go Back. Move Ahead." collaboration.

In this guide, we've provided several rankings to help you see the best online colleges in Georgia, as well as the most affordable ones. You can find information on state-specific scholarships and grants in this page's Financial Aid section, as well as assessments of the best jobs for various Georgia metro areas down in our Careers section.

What Makes a Good Online College in Georgia?

To help students make an informed decision about their education, we have created multiple rankings of online colleges in Georgia. Every college displayed in our rankings has been accredited by at least one official governing body, such as the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges or the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Learn about why accreditation matters at our page "What is College Accreditation?" or at the Georgia Department of Education website. To read about the factors we use to rank schools, as well as why they are important, please see the "What Makes a Good Online College?" section of our "About Us" page.

Our rankings are based on a number of factors related to the online college experience, including but not limited to number of online programs, the percent of students who are awarded financial aid and the academic and career services offered.

Georgia_Badge

Best Online Colleges in Georgia for 2019-20

How can you tell which online college in Georgia might be best for you, especially if you don't live in the same city (or even the same state) as these institutes? The data we use and display in our rankings — gathered from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) — offers context to help you make the best decision for your future, including tuition costs, number of online programs offered, overall school culture, and support services for online students.

1

University of West Georgia

Tuition & Fees
$6,288
Distance Education Participation
59%
Number of Programs Offered
26
School Type
4-year

What is UWG like?

The University of West Georgia was founded in 1906 as a mechanical and agricultural school to serve residents of Carrollton and other cities throughout west Georgia. It has since grown to become the sixth-largest public university in the state. UWG is one of the few Georgia colleges to receive a Carnegie institutional classification as a prestigious R3 Doctoral Research University, placing it among the top online universities in Georgia.

What online programs are at UWG?

Online programs seem to be quite popular among UWG students — more than 10,000 students enrolled in distance-only degree programs in fall of 2016. In addition to online graduate and undergraduate degree programs, UWG offers several education specialist programs, a variety of certificate programs, and a reading endorsement program. Many of these programs feature hybrid delivery options, but some are available fully online, including bachelor's degree programs in criminology, sociology or organizational leadership, and master's level programs in early childhood education or nursing.

What online resources does UWG offer?

UWG's Distance and Distributed Education Center hires dedicated staff to help UWG students successfully navigate the online learning environment. Students can contact staff directly, view CourseDen tutorials about various aspects of the online college experience, or access various helpful tools such as Hoonuit tutorials, Banweb information management and Collaborate Ultra web conferencing.

 
2

Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Tuition & Fees
$2,924
Distance Education Participation
53%
Number of Programs Offered
45
School Type
2-year

What is GPTC like?

Georgia Piedmont Technical College's footprint has grown considerably since it first opened its doors in 1961 as a small regional vocational school. The college offers a wide range of technical education programs and is one of only two technical colleges in the state whose paralegal studies program is approved by the American Bar Association. According to GPTC's website, the college boasts an impressive 99.9 percent employment rate among its graduates.

What online programs are at GPTC?

Online courses at GPTC are offered year-round, divided into spring, summer and fall terms. In addition to the school's in-house degree programs — available in subjects such as business, electronics, healthcare and legal studies — GPTC is a member of the statewide Technical College System of Georgia. Through this system, students have access to over 600 technical certificate, diploma and associate degree programs, as well as the dozens of online programs offered through Georgia Virtual Technical Connection.

What online resources does GPTC offer?

GPTC offers a wealth of resources to help students succeed, including technical support for distance learners, academic advising, access to GALILEO, the Georgia Library Learning Online, and tutoring in English, math and other subjects at no additional cost. GPTC also has transfer agreements in place with over 25 four-year colleges for students who wish to continue their education to the baccalaureate level.

 
3

Kennesaw State University

Tuition & Fees
$6,347
Distance Education Participation
42%
Number of Programs Offered
46
School Type
4-year

What is KSU like?

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest college in Georgia, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. It also holds the honor of being a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), a distinction that fewer than 6 percent of U.S. schools can boast. The instructors who teach the university's online bachelor's programs have completed additional training in online delivery, helping them to deliver the same quality of education to distance learners as the on-campus students receive.

What online programs are at KSU?

The university offers over 500 individual courses and dozens of online degree, certificate and endorsement programs. Students are able to pursue their studies in industrial engineering, business management, logistics, nursing, social sciences and much more. All online courses at Kennesaw State University are delivered through the Brightspace by D2L learning management system.

What online resources does KSU offer?

As a member of the University System of Georgia, KSU offers eCore online courses for undergraduate students, helping to make core coursework accessible and affordable. The universities technical support team is available to help distance learners with technical issues, and KSU also has dedicated staff for online tutoring, academic support and student counseling.

 
4

Georgia College & State University

Tuition & Fees
$9,346
Distance Education Participation
25%
Number of Programs Offered
22
School Type
4-year

What is GCSU like?

Georgia College, the state's designated public liberal arts university, is among the oldest postsecondary institutions in the state. It was founded in 1889 as a women's college but became a coeducational college in 1967. The university holds to a strong tradition of critical thinking, leadership, community improvement and volunteerism, striving to make the world a better place through their degree programs as well as through the compassionate work of the GCSU GIVE Center.

What online programs are at GCSU?

Online programs at GCSU are divided into traditional semesters, and are classified into fully-online or partially-online formats. The school's online programs are overwhelmingly offered at the master's level, with a handful of specialist programs, doctoral programs and graduate certificate programs available as well. Regardless of program level, most of the online options are education- and teaching-focused, though there are some alternatives such as public administration, music therapy or logistics and supply chain management.

What online resources does GCSU offer?

GCSU offers a diverse range of support services to help distance learners. These include access to the GC Writing Center — which has been helping students become better writers since 1997 — and online tutoring through the campus learning center, which offers academic support in math, physics and science. The university also complies with the statewide transfer agreement for the Technical College System of Georgia, facilitating easy credit transfer for undergraduate students.

 
5

Georgia Southwestern State University

Tuition & Fees
$5,381
Distance Education Participation
61%
Number of Programs Offered
14
School Type
4-year

What is GSW like?

Last year our choice for No.9 on the list of best online colleges in Georgia, and this year No.5, Georgia Southwestern State University was founded in 1906. Since then, it has grown from a tiny agricultural and mechanical school into a full-fledged member of the University System of Georgia. The most famous alumnus of this public, four-year university is former President Jimmy Carter.

What online programs are at GSW?

Across its various colleges, GSW offers a handful of different online degree programs in subjects such as accounting, human resource management and computer information systems. However, as a member of the University System of Georgia, GSW also offers both eCore and eMajor programs to its students, allowing them to take core classes or pursue online degrees through any of the 10 affiliate institutions in the USG system. Examples include business administration, cybersecurity, criminal justice, financial technology and nursing.

What online resources does GSW offer?

GSW offers many different resources through the combined libraries of the University System of Georgia. Among them are GIL-Find (an index for GSW's library materials,) GALILEO (a collection of databases made accessible by libraries across the system) and the subscriptions of GSW's James Earl Carter Library (including JSTOR, ARTstor and various e-journals). Distance learners can also take advantage of online tutoring or access to GSW's online writing center.

 
6

Brenau University

Tuition & Fees
$29,050
Distance Education Participation
60%
Number of Programs Offered
41
School Type
4-year

What is Brenau University like?

Historic Brenau University, founded in 1878, is widely regarded as one of the best colleges in Georgia. The university is a coeducational nonprofit institution, but it also features a highly regarded Women's College that accounts for about one-quarter of enrollment at Brenau University.

What online programs are at Brenau University?

Brenau began offering online degree programs in 1998, and as of 2019 nearly one-third of all Brenau students pursue online degrees. The university offers nearly 40 distance education programs, including online associate degree programs in education and liberal arts, and online bachelor's degree programs in business, education, marketing and finance. Courses are taught using the Canvas learning system, and are delivered in accelerated 7-week sessions.

What online resources does Brenau University offer?

This premier Georgia postsecondary institution makes career, academic and student support services available for distance learners. It also awards scholarships to undergraduate applicants to the Women's College based on academic merit, as well as achievement grants to certain students who don't quite meet the rigorous standards for merit scholarships.

 
7

Albany Technical College

Tuition & Fees
$2,712
Distance Education Participation
68%
Number of Programs Offered
25
School Type
2-year

What is Albany Tech like?

Albany Technical College was founded as a small technical school with an enrollment of just 175 students in 1961. The two-year public college, a member of the Technical College of Georgia System, has since grown to serve more than 3,000 students in seven Georgia counties, as well as online students across the country. Albany Tech's associate degree programs create pathways to seven four-year universities, located across Georgia and even in neighboring Tennessee.

What online programs are at Albany Tech?

Between online Associate of Applied Science programs, diploma programs and technical certificate of credit programs, Albany Tech has many options for its students. Courses are delivered with the Blackboard content management system, and can be pursued in fields such as:

  • Accounting
  • Business management
  • Hotel, restaurant and tourism management
  • Health information technology

What online resources does Albany Tech offer?

This technical college supports its distance learners through both its Academic Achievement Center and its Career Development Center. The Academic Achievement Center is staffed with instructional aides, peer tutors and work study students, and the Career Development Center offers guidance on employment and life skills.

 
8

Georgia Northwestern Technical College

Tuition & Fees
$2,798
Distance Education Participation
55%
Number of Programs Offered
31
School Type
2-year

What is GNTC like?

Georgia Northwestern Technical College serves the needs of students in nine northwest Georgia counties and beyond through its rich online course offerings. GNTC is a member of the Technical College System of Georgia, and students can take online classes at any member institution through Georgia Virtual Technical Connection. Technical instruction at GNTC is taught by real-world professionals, helping students make a seamless transition from the classroom to the workplace.

What online programs are at GNTC?

GNTC offers various fully online associate degree, diploma and certificate programs, with many subjects to choose from: business technology, business management, logistics and supply chain management, web design and development and accounting, to name a few. The college uses the Blackboard content management system to connect students to their instructors, and courses are delivered in several formats, including fully online, hybrid and web-enhanced.

What online resources does GNTC offer?

GNTC is committed to helping distance learners succeed through its student help center, office of career services, tutoring lab, and proctored online testing centers. The university also has articulation agreements with nine four-year colleges and universities, creating a smoother transition so GNTC graduates can further their education and earn bachelor's degrees.

 
9

University of Georgia

Tuition & Fees
$11,830
Distance Education Participation
12%
Number of Programs Offered
27
School Type
4-year

What is UGA like?

The University of Georgia is heralded as the birthplace of public education in the U.S. The university was the country's first state-supported university when it was founded in 1785. UGA has been designated as a Sea Grant College for its continued excellence in marine research and education, and its library is ranked as one of the country's best, with more than 5.2 million volumes. Furthermore, it has risen in our study of the best online schools in Georgia, from No.10 last year to No.9 this year.

What online programs are at UGA?

All online programs at UGA are delivered through the e-Learning Commons content management system, and class sizes are capped to help students benefit from smaller class sizes. Program options include online bachelor's degree programs in business administration and special education, and online master's programs in educational psychology and community nutrition, among many others.

What online resources does UGA offer?

UGA realizes that digital education is the classroom of the future. The university's dedicated Office of Online Learning hosts many different resources for online students, including academic advising and financial advising for grad students, online career assessments and much more. Remote tutoring is also available via the college's Division of Academic Enhancement.

 
10

Columbus State University

Tuition & Fees
$6,134
Distance Education Participation
45%
Number of Programs Offered
19
School Type
4-year

What is CSU like?

Founded in 1958 as Columbus College, Columbus State University is part of the University System of Georgia. The university has a reputation of actively engaging with its community, in particular through interactions with nearby educational outreach centers and public displays of visual and performing arts. The school also works to create a tightly-knit online community for its thousands of online students with the help of its online portal, CSU Online.

What online programs are at CSU?

CSU Online courses are taught via the CougarView online learning environment and make up many different online degree programs at the university. Several of the university's degree programs have multiple tracks, giving students various specialization options. For example, the online BBA in general business has a regular track and an international business track, while the online MSN in nursing has four different tracks: regular, informatics, leadership and nurse educator.

What online resources does CSU offer?

Students can enjoy access to the Simon Schwob Memorial library, where they can ask a librarian for assistance with research projects and find full-text journal articles that can be mailed or faxed directly to them. CSU also offers online tutoring services in both asynchronous and synchronous formats. In addition, students may request resume and interview assistance from the Center for Career Development.

Affordable Online Colleges in Georgia for 2019-20

Georgia presents a rich offering of online colleges and programs for students from all backgrounds. The list below describes a few of Georgia's more affordable schools for students who are looking for a college experience that won't break the bank.

The tuition costs of online colleges listed below are sourced from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

 

Financial Aid Resources in Georgia

Georgia is home to dozens of college and universities, most of whom are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Peach State supports its students in their pursuit of higher education through the HOPE Scholarship program and various grants and loans.

Read on for information on financial aid options available to students in Georgia.

What Grants and Scholarships are Available in Georgia?

Take a look at some of the financial aid available to Georgia students using our tables below. To learn more about how to apply for grants and scholarships, as well as details on different types of financial aid, read the Ultimate Guide to Grants and the Ultimate Guide to Scholarships.

Student Loans in Georgia

When funding your higher education, scholarships and grants should be your first option since you don't need to pay that money back. However if you need additional funds to pay your tuition beyond what you earned from grants and scholarships, you can also take out student loans.

Before you can qualify for a Student Access Loan, you must apply for and exhaust all other federal and state financial aid. To qualify for federal financial aid, you'll need to fill out a FAFSA with information on you and your family's financial situation.

Here are two loan programs available specifically to students in Georgia.

SAL is a need-based, low-interest student loan program for students in Georgia. It's administered by the Georgia Student Financial Commission.

 

  • Application deadline: Not specified
  • Award amount: Up to $8,000
Under this program, recipients receive loan forgiveness. They agree to work in an engineering related field in the State of Georgia after graduation with a grace period of one year immediately after graduation. Each calendar year worked at a Georgia work site equates to $3,500 awarded, with a maximum of six years.

 

  • Application deadline: Not specified
  • Award amount: Up to $17,500 over ten semesters

If you want to learn more about student loans, read the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Georgia

  • The Georgia Student Finance Commission provides free financial aid consultations and administers scholarships, grants and service-cancellable loan programs.
  • GAftures provides free online resources to help Georgia students and families plan for college.

Costs for Out-of-State Students in Georgia

Non-resident students have to pay a higher out-of-state tuition rate at Georgia colleges and universities, but that doesn't stop them from enrolling in these institutions. The University of Georgia, for example, has enrolled nearly 7,000 international and out-of-state students annually in recent years. Even smaller regional institutions such as Southern Georgia University pull in a significant number of non-resident students.

To avoid out-of-state tuition, you could move to Georgia 12 months before enrolling in classes, or you could receive reduced tuition through one of the following means:

  • Academic Common Market: This program allows students in 15 participating states to receive in-state tuition rates for programs not offered by their home state.
  • Out-of-State Tuition Differential Waivers: These waivers allow students in bordering states to pay in-state tuition rates at institutions within The University of Georgia System.
  • Military members: Out-of-state tuition is waived for active duty military members, spouses of military members and dependents of military members stationed in Georgia.

What's more, there may be scholarships available to offset non-resident rates, and some schools allow their employees and families to pay in-state tuition even if they haven't lived in Georgia for 12 months.

Talk to your school's admissions office to learn more about their policies for out-of-state students. You may also find the following links helpful.

 

Best Careers In Georgia

There's no easy answer to the question of "What are the best jobs in Georgia?" since the answer is going to be different for each person. However, being able to compare factors such as average salaries, state employment and projected growth for hot jobs and top industries in the Peach State can help you to find the answer to that question on your own. In this section, we've analyzed the best jobs and industries in Georgia to help students decide what subjects to pursue during college and what careers to aim for after college.

EmploymentEmployment GrowthMedian High School SalaryMedian Bachelor's Salary
4,504,56011.7%$27,587$51,068

Top Georgia Industries

*Industry rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.

Top IndustriesEmploymentProjected GrowthAverage Salary
Air transportation1,756,95013%$66,160
Lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets (except copyrighted works)1,331,52011%$73,482
Telecommunications2,044,18011%$67,080
Pipeline transportation1,344,54013%$71,711
Broadcasting (except Internet)1,621,32011%$67,684
Rail transportation1,862,85011%$64,391
Postal service1,268,18011%$67,154
Monetary authorities-central bank978,21011%$76,578
Couriers and messengers1,201,32011%$64,154
Publishing industries (except Internet)2,110,71010%$63,342

Although the Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport is the largest airport in Georgia, there are a number of other airports in the Peach State, including the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, Augusta Regional Airport, and Columbus Metropolitan Airport. All of these airports use air transportation professionals to keep their operations running smoothly, creating many opportunities in this field. In fact, transporting all kinds of things is prominent across Georgia, from people (air and rail) to objects (pipeline and postal service) and even to information (broadcasting and couriers).

Unfortunately, the Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport and other airports in the state are experiencing delays due to a worker shortage. Middle Georgia State University has worked to promote air transportation careers by partnering with Delta Air Line jets to launch a Propel Collegiate Pilot Career Path. The Propel Collegiate Pilot Career Path allows juniors and seniors in the School of Aviation to choose a career path with Delta.

Technology professionals are also in demand to fill hot jobs in Georgia, in particular those in telecommunications. Organizations such as the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) are working to encourage students throughout the state to pursue careers in technology. TAG hosts careers fairs and regular meetings in Athens, Columbus, Greater Augusta Middle Georgia, and Savannah to discuss the ever-evolving tech landscape in the state.

However, what jobs are in high demand in Georgia as a state may not be identical to what jobs are in high demand in your specific part of Georgia. Let's take a closer look at the state by examining the job market at three different metro areas.

Best Jobs in Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metro Area

Total Population
5,700,990
Median salary for high school grads
$28,771
Median salary with a bachelor's degree
$53,401
% of the population enrolled in college or grad school
25.1%
Median rent
$1,053

Atlanta has no shortage of Fortune 500 companies. The city is home to The Home Depot, Coca-Cola Company, United Parcel Service (UPS), and a number of other large corporations who provide the need for many of the high demand jobs in Atlanta, including sales managers, marketing managers and financial managers.

Software developers are also experiencing job growth in Atlanta because of the various tech startups that have recently hit the area. A few examples of these startups include AcuityComplete, which offers remote bookkeeping services for entrepreneurs, and AppZoro, a custom development studio for mobile apps.

Best CareersMinimum EducationAverage SalaryEmployment
Sales ManagersBachelor's degree$145,82011,640
Software Developers, ApplicationsBachelor's degree$106,45027,030
Marketing ManagersBachelor's degree$146,1506,800
Financial ManagersBachelor's degree$153,96013,960
Computer and Information Systems ManagersBachelor's degree$147,15012,010

*Career rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.

Best Jobs in Augusta-Richmond County

Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metro Area

Total Population
589,519
Median salary for high school grads
$25,901
Median salary with a bachelor's degree
$50,032
% of the population enrolled in college or grad school
24.8%
Median rent
$809

Trinity Hospital of Augusta, University Hospital, and the Children's Hospital of Georgia are a few of the many hospitals situated in Augusta. These hospitals create a great need for family and general practitioners as well as registered nurses, making these positions some of the most high demand jobs in Augusta. Civil and mechanical engineers are also important in the area, as companies such as WK Dickson, NuScale Power, and Edgewater Technical Associates continue to grow.

Best CareersMinimum EducationAverage SalaryEmployment
Family and General PractitionersDoctoral or professional degree$116,750570
Civil EngineersBachelor's degree$103,9101,030
Mechanical EngineersBachelor's degree$117,160770
Medical and Health Services ManagersBachelor's degree$103,300760
Registered NursesBachelor's degree$69,0006,960

*Career rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.

Best Jobs in Savannah

Savannah, GA Metro Area

Total Population
377,476
Median salary for high school grads
$29,443
Median salary with a bachelor's degree
$46,662
% of the population enrolled in college or grad school
33.1%
Median rent
$997

The most in demand jobs in Savannah are surprisingly diverse, due to a spread of different facilities and industries in the city. The Savannah/Hilton Head Airport facilitates a need for commercial pilots, while St. Joseph's Hospital, the Savannah Rehab and Nursing Center, and other Savannah medical facilities need nurse practitioners in order to provide care for their patients. General and operation managers also have many opportunities to seek out employment in Savannah through various corporations such as Wayfair and the Oglethorpe Mall.

Best CareersMinimum EducationAverage SalaryEmployment
Commercial PilotsHigh school diploma or equivalent$126,330400
General and Operations ManagersBachelor's degree$103,0402,890
Industrial EngineersBachelor's degree$92,510560
Nurse PractitionersMaster's degree$101,190220
Industrial Production ManagersBachelor's degree$111,050320

*Career rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.

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