Best Online Colleges in Georgia

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Georgia has taken strides to broaden its online educational resources in recent years. In 2005, the state launched the Georgia Virtual School, which provides virtual and remote courses to post-elementary students. The University System of Georgia, which includes 29 public schools, provides online and distance learning opportunities to college students. Several other initiatives, including GeorgiaONmyLINE, demonstrate the state’s commitment to helping students access a variety of educational opportunities online.

Currently, there are more than 300 online programs available in Georgia. Prospective students should visit GeorgiaONmyLINE to browse the extensive course and degree offerings available throughout the state. The service allows students to quickly and easily enroll in the program that best matches their educational and professional goals.

Despite a commitment to innovation in education and online learning, Georgia is also home to soaring tuition rates that outpace the national average. Between rising tuition costs and the availability of distance education programs, many students are looking into online degrees, where costs are generally lower.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Kennesaw State University 79.07 42% Kennesaw, GA

Kennesaw State has 13 academic colleges on two Atlanta campuses - Kennesaw and Marietta - and a recognized Carnegie doctoral institution for highly-engaged citizens. In the past five years, the university’s research budget has soared from $4.3 million to $51 million, opening new research opportunities for students and faculty. Kennesaw offers over 70 undergraduate and graduate degree, certificate, and endorsement programs, and 500+ online and hybrid courses through KSU distance learning.

KSU’s online graduate degree programs in Computer Information Technology and Business Administration have been ranked among the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Students have access to a comprehensive set of academic and support services, including KSU student success services, which offers phone or email consultations from certified advisors and mental health counselors. KSU is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus, which shares eLearning resources and the D2L Bright Space learning platform. The majority of online classes at Kennesaw State are 100% online, though a few may require a single on-campus visit.

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2 Toccoa Falls College 75.19 45% Toccoa Falls, GA

A leading Christian university and one of the best online colleges in Georgia, Toccoa Falls provides co-gender training and education for students wishing to enter the ministry or the workforce as a representative of Christian values and teachings. TFC continues to grow its online offerings, with 12 bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs currently offered online. Online programs include Counseling Psychology, Business Administration, and Ministry Leadership. Students have access to a dedicated online librarian who provides assistance in finding resources and checking out books. Online students complete four semesters of Service & Outreach during their distance studies, it’s a unique opportunity to engage with local community organizations or churches and represent Toccoa Falls’ values. Students within driving distance of campus are always invited to participate in athletics, student clubs and organizations, chapel services, and other special events on campus. TFC maintains an average 93 percent course completion rate by its students.

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3 University of Georgia 72.13 81% Athens, GA

UG, located in Athens, Georgia, is one of the best online colleges in Georgia and a top public research university offering online graduate degrees, two undergraduate degree programs, and an array of certificates and individual courses. The two undergraduate degree programs are in business and special education. UGA's eLearning Commons (eLC) serves as students' virtual classroom and live portal into events and news occurring at the university. Students have access to a dedicated online learning center for questions or issues related to their class or the eLC platform. UG accepts a variety of financial aid sources, including corporate and military assistance, and offers a free online financial education program to all graduate students. A distance learning librarian is available to help students navigate the college's eReserves and answer research related questions. In 2016, UG began offering its online students money-saving initiatives through the adoption of digital textbooks and other open educational resources.

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4 Columbus State University 71.48 34% Columbus, GA

Columbus State integrates its core values of excellence, engagement, creativity, servant leadership, inclusion, and sustainability into its entire university experience. As one of the top Georgia online colleges, CSU enrolls more than 8,200 students at its main-campus, RiverPark campus, and online. CSU Online provides access to a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certifications, and a longer list of partial and hybrid online courses.

CougarVIEW, CSU's online course system, is powered by Brightspace and offers access to a range of digital learning tools and resources including Blackboard Collaborate, Atomic Learning, and several other tools that contribute to a more engaging online experience. Blackboard Collaborate is software for web conferences and document sharing; Atomic Learning is an online professional development and learning resources database. CSU is a partner with the SREB electronic campus, expanding its reach to students throughout Georgia and other participating southern states. Students have access to convenient online exam proctoring through ProctorU.

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5 University of West Georgia 71.11 37% Carrollton, GA

West Georgia's SACSCOC-accredited online and hybrid programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including certifications and specialist degrees. One of the best online colleges in Georgia, UWG was named the University System of Georgia's school of the year for 2015. UWG offers the highly-personalized eMajor—a bachelor's of science with a major in Organizational Leadership. This program is an ideal option for traditional and nontraditional students who seek an alternate degree route that conforms to their specific career objectives. The eMajor is customizable through choice of electives and the maximum earned credit is based on professional, military, and community experiences. Online tuition is offered at the same rate for all students, regardless of residency status. Students can tune into UWG's student-run WOLF Internet radio or stream live newscasts about events, sports, people and more through the student-run WUTV Weekly Newscast on YouTube.

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6 Georgia Southern University 70.46 50% Statesboro, GA

Located in Statesboro, Georgia, about an hour's distance from historic Savannah, Georgia Southern is one of the top Georgia online colleges. GSU is Georgia's largest university, with over 20,000 students from all 50 states and 86 countries. The school offers online graduate degrees and certificates through four of its colleges, and three undergraduate degree programs, including a BS in Information Technology and an RN-BSN degree. GSU is a member of the SREB electronic campus, which offers out-of-state degrees at in-state rates for participating state members in the southern U.S. GoVIEW is the university's collaborative learning platform, powered by D2L. Its extensive list of online graduate education degrees have been recognized as among the top 75 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. GSU students have access to live chat with a librarian and an extensive set of research databases. GSU is recognized as a leading research university by the Carnegie Institute and is home to many innovative research centers and laboratories, including the Center for Educational Leadership.

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7 Brenau University 66.11 45% Gainesville, GA

Brenau's online courses are structured in an accelerated 7-week format and taught by certified online faculty who are required to complete a 4-week online teaching certification course. Students have the opportunity to evaluate each course at its conclusion; all student comments and suggestions are reviewed by the corresponding dean and academic chair. Brenau offers 16 undergraduate and graduate degrees online, including an associate's-level degree in Liberal Studies and a new bachelor's degree in Psychology. Undergraduate degrees include Organizational Leadership, Early Childhood Education, and Accounting. Courses are accessed through the Canvas learning platform. Online classes have an enrollment cap of 20 students, optimizing online relationships between peers and the instructor. An Online Student center provides students with access to library, email, and bookstore resources. One of the best online colleges in Georgia, Brenau is a liberal arts school with a women's only college in Gainesville, Georgia.

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8 Clayton State University 64.63 28% Morrow, GA

Clayton State is a top-ranked Georgia online colleges, offering flexible and in-demand bachelor's and master's degree programs designed specifically for non-traditional adult students. Through the BrightSpace learning management system, students communicate with instructors and access course activities. Modern support services include online tutoring through The Center for Academic Success and writing assistance through the online Writer's Studio. Clayton offers reduced eTuition rates for its fully online students in most programs and a variety of scholarships for online, in-state students. Depending on the course, online classes may follow the traditional 16-week semester length or be offered in an accelerated 8-week format. Students can stay informed about Clayton and other local events through the university's multiple student-run media channels, including The Bent Tree newspaper, internet radio, and live streaming TV station. Clayton, a senior member of the University System of Georgia, rose from a junior college to a state college to a university in less than 50 years.

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9 University of North Georgia 64.07 53% Dahlonega, GA

North Georgia offers a variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees and certificates online. UNG's enrollment has grown by over 3,000 students in four years, with 97 percent of its students at the undergraduate level. UNG, one of the best online colleges in Georgia, is the result of a 2012 merger between the North Georgia College & State University (founded in 1873) and Gainesville State College (founded in 1964). UNG is recognized as one of only six federally-recognized senior military institutions, and is designated as a Carnegie research school and a State Leadership Institution by the University System of Georgia. UNG's eLearning system is supported by BrightSpace. The academic resources center offers access to advising and financial aid resources, online tutoring and library services, proctored exam resources, and more. UNG also trains and makes available Online Student Ambassadors, who serve as mentors for new UNG online students.

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10 Valdosta State University 61.67 41% Valdosta, GA

Valdosta State, one of the top online colleges in Georgia, is located about 15 minutes north of the Florida state line. The university's “Blazer Creed” of civility, integrity, and citizenship is realized through encouragement of spirited debate and free exchange of ideas. VSU offers a wide variety of online and hybrid undergraduate and graduate degrees. Some are offered through the University System of Georgia collaborative Georgia ONmyLINE system. Courses are accessed through GoVIEW, the university's eLearning platform, which is powered by D2L and shared by schools in the University System of Georgia. Learning tools include Blackboard Collaborate for web conferencing with peers and instructors. VSU offers the SmartPath Core program, which allows students to complete a mapped-out, self-paced degree or certificate plan, and complete one course at a time, with the potential to finish a program in as little as three semesters. A reduced eTuition rate is offered to fully-online students.

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11 Albany State University 60.37 39% Albany, GA

Albany State, which merged with Darton State College in 2015, offers a wide variety of online certificates, associate's degrees, and "Advising Pathways"; all prepare students to continue a four-year degree program at another university. As one of the best online colleges in Georgia, Albany State offers the eMajor program, which is a bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership that can be customized to meet the needs of working professionals, military personnel, and transfer students through transfer and prior learning credit based on previous experience.

Online courses are offered in 8- or 16-week terms. Exams requiring proctoring can either be completed online with proctoring software or in a proctored location close to the student's residence. Dedicated online support specialists are available for each program of study. Peer and instructor interaction takes place in group wikis, blogs, video conferencing, and through other educational tools. Students have access to a range of academic resources, including GALILEO -- the GeorgiA LIbrary LEarning Online -- and Smarthinking tutoring services.

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12 Thomas University 60.09 14% Thomasville, GA

Thomas is a non-profit, four-year university located in historic Thomasville, Georgia, a rural community about 35 miles north of the Georgia-Florida border. As one of the top Georgia online colleges, TU is primarily a commuter campus, with a diverse student body that consists of professionals from a variety of backgrounds. TU offers a diverse handful of online bachelor's and master's degrees, from Rehabilitation Studies to Business Administration. TU Transitioned from a religious to a nonsectarian institution in 1979. The school has over 1,100 students enrolled at the undergraduate and graduate levels and is known for its small class sizes (a 10:1 ratio) and close student-instructor relationships. TU offers a range of general and major-specific scholarships to qualifying students. Students have access to a fully online e-Bookstore, with digital, print, and rentals available through the Blackboard Learn-powered store. Online courses are delivered through the Blackboard Learn system, with access to Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing software and online proctoring available through ProctorU.

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13 Mercer University 58.80 63% Macon, GA

The online programs at Mercer University blend courses designed for professional adults with engaging 21st century web learning tools like WebEx conferencing and Blackboard learn tools. Ranked as one of the best online colleges in Georgia, Mercer offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including education and engineering. Hybrid programs that combine online learning with in-person classes are also available. Students can sign up for web-based information sessions, for both undergraduate and graduate programs, online. Newly students can work with the university registrar to transfer as many credits as possible from previous college coursework toward their degree requirements. Mercer maintains a close alliance with the military and is a federally-designated "Principles of Excellence" institution, providing priority assistance to active military members and veterans. A Baptist-based university since its founding in 1833, Mercer now enrolls more than 8,600 students at its academic locations in Macon, Atlanta, Savannah, and Columbus, Georgia.

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14 Middle Georgia State University 56.85 20% Macon, GA

Middle Georgia State maintains multiple locations in central Georgia, including Macon and Eastman, with each campus offering specific facilities and programs. The school ranks high amongst Georgia online colleges. As Georgia's newest university, opened in July 2015, Middle Georgia offers distance learning programs that include bachelor's-, associate's-, and master's-level degrees. Adult and non-traditional learners can take advantage of specially-designed Adult Learner Pathways programs in aviation, IT, healthcare, and more. Students earn prior learning credit for professional, military, volunteer, and other related experiences, and customize a degree path that aligns with specific career objectives.

Course materials and activities are accessed through the Brightspace learning management system, with 24/7 support online. All programs are accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Online student resources include online study skills and workshop tutorials, as well as e-Advising services.

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15 Armstrong State University 55.46 31% Savannah, GA

Armstrong State University offers a select set of online undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates, and was the only Georgia university to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report for its online criminal justice program in 2017. Armstrong, located just south of historic Savannah, was founded in 1935 and is now part of the University System of Georgia. In addition to ranking as one of the best Georgia online colleges, Armstrong has been recognized as a 2017 Gold-Level Military Friendly School Award recipient for a small public school by Victory Media.

As part of a community initiative to encourage adult residents to return to school and earn their associate's degree, Armstrong engages in an ongoing relationship with the nonprofit Savannah Graduates organization. Virtual classrooms are accessible through the Desire2Learn management system and Blackboard Collaborate conferencing software. In addition to a live online orientation, Armstrong offers a year-long series of online monthly student success events as part of its Online First Year Experience.

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16 Shorter University 52.96 47% Rome, GA

Shorter University is one of the best online colleges in Georgia, offering online degree programs for adult students at various stages in their professional life, including those looking to change their careers or to advance in their current industry. The online degree department has two goals -- to enroll those who have a desire to further their education but also to grow spiritually through the Christian faith. Online courses are structured in an accelerated 8-week format. Shorter University Online has formal initiatives in place as a partner with local businesses that brings its SACSCOC-accredited online degree programs to local employees. Distance learners have access to an online bookstore and library services. Shorter is a private, liberal arts college, founded in the Baptist tradition and located in Rome, Georgia. The school was a women's college until the 1950s, and gained university status in 2010.

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17 Point University 52.59 37% West Point, GA

Point's online associate's and bachelor's degree offerings have propelled the school to the top of the rankings list for online colleges in Georgia. Curriculum is taught with a Christian-based global perspective. Students are prepared to become professionals in their chosen major and serve their community. All Point degrees include at least a minor in Biblical Studies. Most degree paths, with the exception of an associate's in general studies, can be completed as either an associate's or a bachelor's degree. Students can choose fully asynchronous programs or opt for an in-seat, hybrid program, which combines asynchronous online courses with live class meetings on Tuesday or Thursday evenings. Online students have access to counseling services, the Educational Resource Center, Spiritual Formation Opportunities, and more. Point is a private, liberal arts institution, with a main campus in West Point, Georgia, and five additional state-based locations, including Atlanta and Savannah. Point University's programs are SACSCOC-accredited.

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18 LaGrange College 45.28 43% Lagrange, GA

Founded in 1831, LaGrange is the oldest private college in Georgia, and is also one of the best online colleges in Georgia. Its main campus is located about an hour southwest of Atlanta. Average class size is just 12 students, with a total enrollment of over 1,000 students representing 21 states and 5 countries. LaGrange offers a fully online Master's degree in Strength and Conditioning, with some online courses available for the Master's in Philanthropy and Development. For undergraduate studies, the school has an RN-BSN degree. Online coursework is available for certificates in Aging Studies and Business Essentials. Students complete online exams at a proctored location near to their residence and have virtual access to online library resources, a career center job board, online interview training, and counseling center services. Students can buy and sell books through LaGrange's online book store.

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19 Dalton State College 44.26 15% Dalton, GA

Dalton State is located in northwest Georgia, and was originally founded in 1963 by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Dalton State strives to create an inclusive, student-centric, and service-oriented learning environment, both on-campus and online. Students enrolled in Dalton State's eLearning program access courses online through the GeorgiaView learning system. As part of the University System of Georgia and one of the top Georgia online colleges, Dalton State also offers access to the eMajor, a collaborative undergraduate online degree that allows students to earn credits for prior learning and accelerate their degree completion time. Online services include access to a Learning Express Library, which provides tutorials on improving content-specific and academic skills (like study and time management), and GALILEO, a comprehensive library database that is part of the University System of Georgia. The majority of Dalton State's 5,000+ student population live in Georgia and are enrolled full-time.

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20 Truett-McConnell College 43.52 9% Cleveland, GA

Located in the Blue Ridge mountains is one of the best online colleges in Georgia -- Truett-McConnell, a liberal arts college offering a biblically-centered education. All degrees require completion of a Great Commission minor, a program that aligns with the school's Christian-centric values. In 2016, Truett-McConnell officially became a university and opened a new campus location in Alpharetta. Truett-McConnell launched its online programs in 2010, with a select number of its 27 undergraduate degree programs and a Master's in Theology. The online classroom is hosted through Brightspace software, with a number of user-friendly online tutorials for its integrated learning tools.

Distance learners can access online library research and resources, purchase textbooks, watch live sports events -- including men's and women's basketball -- and more. All four-year programs are accredited by SACSCOC. Truett enrolls an average of 100 students each semester in its online programs, with an average online class size of 10 students. All online students are offered reduced tuition rates.

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21 Beulah Heights University 42.04 19% Atlanta, GA

Beulah Heights makes the top-ranking list of Georgia online colleges, offering online Christian Education programs that include an associate's and master's in Religious and Leadership Studies. A new online bachelor's in religious or leadership studies is being offered for the first time in the fall of 2017. Asynchronous courses run a standard 15-week term, and students access the live virtual classroom through Beulah's E360 educational platform. Students have access to the Blackbaud portal for all communication with instructors, online library resources, one-on-one assistance through the writing center, and more. Beulah Heights places ethical leadership and ministry at the core of its mission. Beulah was founded in 1918 as a Bible Institute in the Christian-Protestant tradition and is based in Atlanta. All Beulah programs are accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS). Beulah will prepare students for ministerial advancement.

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22 College of Coastal Georgia 41.67 14% Brunswick, GA

Located in Brunswick, Georgia, Coastal Georgia offers a selection of online bachelor of arts and science degrees, all of which are accredited by SACSCOC.Students access Coastal Georgia's online and hybrid courses through Brightspace and utilize other online learning tools like Respondus for assessments, Blackboard Collaborate for web conferencing, and Turnitin for assistance in keeping papers plagiarism-free. Students have access to campus-wide services like Focus 2, an online career and education planning tool that allows students to create a personalized career portfolio online.

Coastal Georgia's eLearning staff are provided with professional development and consultations to help ensure courses are engaging. This initiative has helped the school gain its status as one of the best online colleges in Georgia. All bachelor's degrees incorporate a service-learning aspect, allowing students the opportunity to engage with their community off-campus. Students can stay connected to university and local happenings through The Crow's Nest, an online student-run newspaper.

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23 Reinhardt University 39.81 28% Waleska, GA

Reinhardt University offers three online bachelor's program options: business administration, criminal justice, and health care administration. Students can chat online with college representatives at anytime to get answers about specific programs or university policies. Programs are designed for working professionals who are looking to earn their degree and advance in their current career. Reinhardt is one of the only online colleges in Georgia to offer courses through the user-friendly Moodle learning platform.

Reinhardt, a private, co-educational university, founded in the Methodist tradition, has a main campus in Atlanta and an adult education center in Alpharetta. Online resources include a library and bookstore, and all course materials are digitally-based as eBooks. Students have the option of transferring qualifying academic credits and earning professional experience credit toward their degree requirements. All programs can be completed in 18 months or less. All courses are asynchronous, and students have access to a 24/7 live help desk for all tech-related issues.

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24 Atlanta Metropolitan State College 39.63 11% Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Metropolitan is one of the best emerging Georgia online colleges and is a member of the University System of Georgia. Atlanta Metropolitan currently offers two fully online programs: an associate in general education and a business administration degree. Many courses are available online for students interested in completing a hybrid degree. Courses are accessible through the Brightspace platform and are taught by the same faculty as on campus. Distance learning resources include access to the comprehensive GALILEO online library with ask-a-librarian chat services, and free Smarthinking tutoring services and academic advising.

About 75% of Atlanta Metropolitan students are first-generation college students, an average that AMSC takes pride in as it strives to "Connect the College to the Community." All programs are accredited by SACSCOC. Students may be eligible to earn credit toward their degree based on prior professional or military experience.

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25 Savannah State University 39.44 32% Savannah, GA

Students can earn a bachelor's in business administration online through Savannah State University. Through the University System of Georgia's eCore program, accessible through Savannah State, students can complete the first two years of their program online. Online learning takes place via the Brightspace learning platform, with some courses making use of real-time web conferencing software. All courses include some interaction with peers and instructors through email, online discussion forums, peer reviews, and small group work. As one of the top online colleges in Georgia, SSU offers both 100 percent online and hybrid-style courses. Online academic resources include library services, an online writing lab, and disability services. SSU is the oldest historically black college in the state and the longest-running institution in the historic city of Savannah. SSU honors its African American legacy, while enrolling a diverse student body of almost 5,000 students.

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More About Online Colleges in Georgia

The largest state in the Southeast, there are dozens of colleges and universities spread across Georgia. On-the-whole, tuition and fees at Georgia colleges and universities have risen by 74.2% over the last five years, while funds allocated for postsecondary education in the state have dropped by more than 5% during that time. In response, students pursuing higher education degrees in Georgia have increasingly looked online, where tuition and associated costs are much lower.

Browse our list of the best online colleges in Georgia for more insight into distance learning programs in this state.

NCES Report

As of fall 2012, NCES reports indicate that 9.6% (53,428) of students enrolled in Title IV institutions in Georgia studied in exclusively online programs.

  • 2.8% of students at four-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 12.6% of students at two-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 71.1% of online students lived in Georgia
  • 27.4% lived elsewhere in the United States

Georgia’s USG network provides broad access to online learning resources for distance learners at every level of higher education. Through USG’s Georgia on My Line consortium, online students may pursue college-level courses and programs at all colleges and universities in the system. GAfutures.org provides comprehensive web-based resources for all aspects of the higher learning process for college-bound students and adult learners, from selecting a school and securing financial aid to researching a career in Georgia. Many two-year and four-year schools in the state now offer fully online delivery options.

Best Online Colleges in Georgia of 2016
Rank School Location
1 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
2 University of Georgia Athens, GA
3 Toccoa Falls College Toccoa Falls, GA
4 University of West Georgia Newnan, GA
5 Georgia College & State University Milledgeville, GA
6 Clayton State University Morrow, GA
7 Columbus State University Columbus, GA
8 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA
9 Brenau University Gainesville, GA
10 Albany State University Albany, GA
11 Middle Georgia State College Macon, GA
12 Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, GA
13 Valdosta State University Valdosta, GA
14 Mercer University Macon, GA
15 Shorter University Rome, GA
16 Augusta University Augusta, GA
17 Reinhardt University Waleska, GA
18 Thomas University Thomasville, GA
19 Armstrong Atlantic State University Savannah, GA
20 University of North Georgia GA
21 Beulah Heights University Atlanta, GA
22 Fort Valley State University Fort Valley, GA
23 Point University West Point, GA
24 Truett-McConnell College Cleveland, GA
25 Savannah State University Savannah, GA