The state of Georgia is home to more than 50 colleges and universities, including 30 schools under the University System of Georgia (USG), and 23 schools within the state's technical college system. With such a variety of programs and specialty training available, exploring postsecondary education options in Georgia can be overwhelming. To start, it's best to simplify the process and look at a few common measures. Prospective college students typically weigh a few important factors, including location, affordability and program length when comparing schools.
Our proprietary algorithm draws information directly from official federal education databases and then weighs the key performance indicators students value when they're examining colleges. For our state rankings, we account for the additional metric of student loan default percentages, as we understand how important it is for students to repay their debts upon graduation. We have applied our rigorous methodology to the latest education data to rank the best colleges in Georgia, including the top four-year and two-year schools.
Best Colleges in Georgia
Georgia's four-year institutions offer diverse programs spanning traditional, technical and liberal arts disciplines. The state is nationally recognized for its polytechnic programs and prestigious HBCU institutions. Popular study tracks, particularly at the flagship University of Georgia and other large universities, incorporate research, agriculture and business-based majors. Many schools operate multiple campus locations throughout the state.
Georgians who have completed a four-year degree program hold a distinct advantage over competitors in the workforce. Four-year degree-holders from schools in Georgia typically earn significantly more than high school graduates, with post-college salaries exceeding the national average. In Georgia, all public colleges and universities within the USG are at least partially supported by the state legislature and each student in the system is eligible for the HOPE Scholarship. If you're interested in attending school in the state, check out our list of top colleges in Georgia as part of your research.
|1||Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 86%||
One of the best colleges in Georgia—and the nation—the Georgia Institute of Technology is a research institution committed to advancing the frontiers of science and technology. Based in Atlanta, the school is a premier member of the University System of Georgia. Between Georgia Tech’s six colleges—Computing, Design, Engineering, Sciences, the Scheller College of Business, and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts—the school offers 26,000 students more than 30 degree programs. More than 15,000 students at Georgia Tech are undergraduates.
Georgia Tech is a nationally leading STEM school and confers more degrees in engineering to women than any other college in the nation. The institute’s industrial engineering, computer science, architecture, and business programs are nationally and internationally renowned. The school is also famed for innovative research and is widely recognized one of the largest research agencies in the South. When not in class, students enjoy more than 400 student organizations, 50 Greek options, and 17 NCAA Division I sports.
|2||University of Georgia Athens, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 85%||
Incorporated by an act of the Georgia General Assembly in 1785, the University of Georgia is the oldest state-chartered institution of higher learning in the United States. UGA has played a central role in education throughout the history of the state and today the school is a massive land and sea-grant research university, sprawling over almost 40,000 acres throughout 31 Georgia counties.
UGA’s main campus is in Athens, one of the nation's most famous college towns, where bands such as REM, the B52s, and Neutral Milk Hotel all got their start. The university’s 36,000 students are enrolled in 17 schools and colleges, and select from among 25 bachelor's degree programs in over 143 fields. Nearly 9,000 students are enrolled in graduate studies at UGA.
Not only is UGA considered one of the very best colleges in Georgia, it’s consistently ranked as one of the best public schools in the country. The university’s undergraduate business and journalism programs are nationally recognized. UGA is frequently noted for its affordability, and for the number of its students to win major scholarships and awards.
To date, the school has produced nine Rhodes Scholars, six Marshall Scholars, 51 Goldwater Scholars, 13 Truman Scholars, 13 Udall Scholars, and 112 Fulbright award winners since 1995. The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, the Georgia Museum of Art, and the Georgia Museum of Natural History are all housed in or around the UGA campus.
Students at UGA participate in more than 600 student organizations. Sixty-two sororities and fraternities operate around the school’s iconic, mansion-heavy campus.
|3||Emory University Atlanta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 91%||
Standing in Atlanta’s forested Druid Hills neighborhood, Emory University is among the oldest private colleges in Georgia. A doctoral research university, the school is famed for its healthcare system and medical curriculum.
Emory’s 15,000-member student body is nearly split between undergraduate and graduate students. Four schools and colleges—Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Oxford College, Goizueta Business School, and Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing—provide students with a variety of bachelor's degree options. Emory students benefit from a tight relationship with their professors (student to faculty ratio is an incredible 8:1), and freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus. Emory University’s acceptance rate is about 25%.
Emory partners with Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia to offer select five-year dual degrees. The school’s writing, psychiatry, business, history, and English programs are nationally ranked. Emory has produced many Rhodes and Fulbright scholars, and the school counts governors, senators, captains of industry, and celebrities among its alumni. President Jimmy Carter, for example, once taught at the school. Emory boasts one of the largest endowments in the country.
|4||Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 51%||
With nearly 27,000 students on three campuses, Georgia Southern University is the biggest institution of higher learning south of Atlanta. Despite its size, the University maintains a close-knit feel due to its 21:1 student to faculty ratio and peaceful settings. A land-grant, research university, Georgia Southern was founded in 1906 and today offers more than 141 fields of study.
Notable programs include the state's first undergraduate manufacturing engineering curriculum, and nationally ranked programs in writing, business, fashion design, parks and recreation, and nursing. Georgia Southern's online programs are also among the best in the state. The school's campuses have been cited as among the most eco-friendly in the country and features notable facilities such as the school's Center for Wildlife Education and its Botanic Gardens.
|5||Georgia State University Atlanta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 53%||
Based in downtown Atlanta, Georgia State University is a large urban research institution and part of the University System of Georgia colleges. GSU counts more than 32,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools. Students are provided with plentiful degree options at GSU including over 250 baccalaureate and graduate programs in more than 100 different fields, and the amenities of one of the nation’s largest cities. The school is one of the most diverse in the country: 63% of students are minorities and 30% are among the first generation in their families to attend college.
GSU makes active use of its urban location--internships at Fortune 500 companies are common--and its students regularly participate in world-class research. GSU organizes first-year students into “Freshman Learning Communities”, building community among like-minded learners. Student life centers around the school's NCAA Division 1 Sun Belt Conference sports programs, 29 fraternities and sororities, and the many events that occur throughout the year in Atlanta. Georgia State’s Rialto Center for the Arts, an 833-seat venue right downtown, also regularly attracts top national acts.
|6||Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 42%||
With over 36,000 students spread across two campuses in Metro Atlanta, Kennesaw State University is one of the biggest colleges in Georgia. Part of the University System of Georgia, the school is known for its entrepreneurial spirit, global worldview, diversity, and research. KSU has a big impact on its local economy, producing more than $1.3 billion in value for the region. Almost 90% of its students are undergraduates, 70% of which attend full time. More than 5,200 students live on KSU's campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta.
KSU offers over 150 degrees to its many undergraduate students, graduate students, and doctoral candidates. The university’s programs in business and engineering are known at a national level. Its architecture, education, math, and science programs are also particularly well known, and many of the school’s degrees can be pursued through the school’s virtual campus, KSU Online. Campus facilities include the Bentley Rare Book Gallery, a world-class repository of Western literature; the Center for Election Systems, which monitors Georgia elections; and the Educational Technology Training Center, which attracts teachers from all across the state. KSU is an NCAA Division I school and boasts some 200 student organizations. The school encourages its students to study abroad through its Division of Global Affairs.
|7||Wesleyan College Macon, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
Founded in 1836, Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, is the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women and today remains one of the top women's colleges in the country. The first two sororities in the U.S. were established at Wesleyan - the Adelpheans (1851, now Alpha Delta Pi) and the Philomatheans (1852, now Phi Mu). In subsequent years, two more sororities were established on Wesleyan’s campus: Zeta Tau Alpha and Delta Delta Delta. Wesleyan is also home to the world’s first Alumnae Association (1859).
This private, liberal arts college serves around 700 students, offering the degrees of bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, and bachelor of science in nursing. Wesleyan also offers a self-designed major that allows students to create their own interdisciplinary course of study, eight pre-professional programs, and two graduate programs - Executive MBA and master’s of education in early childhood education.
|8||Clayton State University Morrow, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 32%||
Set on a 192-acre campus with a wealth of lakes, forests, and wildlife, Clayton State University's campus is noted for its park-like feel--even though it’s only 20 minutes from metropolitan Atlanta. Founded as a junior college in 1969, today CSU is a fully-fledged senior member of the University System of Georgia.
The school is known nationwide for the diversity of its 7,000-member student body. CSU's student median age is 29 and students choose from over 30 baccalaureate degree programs offered through the university’s four undergraduate schools (the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Health, and College of Information and Mathematical Sciences).
CSU has a solid history of commitment to technology. The school was first among public colleges in Georgia to issue incoming students of all majors laptops and remains a national pioneer in “ubiquitous computing.” CSU is one of few schools in the nation to feature adjacent state and federal archives, yielding great research opportunities for history and social science majors in particular. CSU also houses a well-regarded venue for chamber music, Spivey Hall. The school's mascots are Loch and Nessie, two brightly colored lake monsters.
|9||Georgia College and State University Milledgeville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Founded in 1889 as a teacher’s school for women, Georgia College and State University is today the state’s designated liberal arts university. Georgia College's main campus is in Milledgeville, a small city north of Atlanta, and features satellites in the central Georgia locations of Macon and Robins Air Force Base. The school’s 6,000 undergrads select from among 37 degree programs. Graduate students pursue an additional 25 programs. Education, business, and nursing are among the school's most popular majors. Georgia College's student to faculty ratio is 17:1 and classes average 24 in size.
Georgia College encourages the traditional, residential, liberal arts experience and boasts a notably high 86% retention rate. Almost half of the school’s undergraduate students volunteer at some point during their college careers. The school hosts more than 200 student organizations on campus. Greek life is a major presence: 25% of Georgia College participate in the school's Greek system.
The university is known among colleges in Georgia for its excellent tuition value. Widely celebrated writer and essayist Flannery O’Connor is an alumnus and her archives are maintained on campus. Bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon also attended Georgia College.
|10||Columbus State University Columbus, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 30%||
Columbus State University is a mid-size, regional, public university operating at two campuses in the city of Columbus. A member of the University System of Georgia, CSU's main campus occupies 132 acres in a suburban area, and features the school’s iconic, 70-foot Thomas Y. Whitley Clock Tower. In 2007, CSU opened its RiverPark Campus on the Chattahoochee River waterfront downtown. CSU also offers classes at Fort Benning, a nearby United States Army base.
CSU’s 8,200 students are enrolled in more than 90 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, and enjoy an 18:1 student faculty ratio. Business, education, nursing, English, and drama are among the school's most popular programs. CSU's theater education program is the only one of its kind among colleges in Georgia. The school is home to the Coca-Cola Science Space Center and its Omnisphere planetarium, the Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, and the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians.
|11||Covenant College Lookout Mountain, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
Affiliated with the evangelical wing of the Presbyterian Church, Covenant College sits perched on a mountain peak on the former grounds of a luxury resort hotel right by the Georgia-Tennessee border. The school offers a quiet, meditative environments: its nearest town is the tiny city of Lookout Mountain.
CC was founded in 1955 in Pasadena, California, and moved to the Peach State a decade later. Campus life on the school’s 400-acre grounds is steeped in the school’s Reformed theology. About 1,100 undergraduates attend CC a year, where they choose among 28 baccalaureate degrees. 76% of the school's undergraduates are from outside of Georgia. About a quarter of the student body was home schooled.
The most popular majors at CC reflect the school’s liberal arts approach: education, business, biology, psychology, English, and art. CC also offers a dual-degree in engineering. More than 90% of the faculty has a doctorate or terminal degree, and students get to know their professors well--the student to faculty ratio is a low 13:1.
Covenant competes in NCAA Division III athletics, and more than 75% of students participate in intramural sports. Like many Georgia colleges, the school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
|12||Piedmont College Demorest, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
Piedmont College is a small and private comprehensive liberal arts college affiliated with the Congregational Church. The school's green, 300-acre main campus is in Demorest, a small community in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. PC's second campus is located downtown in the vibrant, hilly college town of Athens.
The school’s 2,100 students are enrolled in 50 undergraduate degree programs and graduate programs in business, education, and nursing. PC offers a single doctoral program (in education). The school has a reputation for personalized attention: its student to faculty ratio is a low 14:1 and some classes are available in a hybrid online format.
Piedmont’s academics are divided among four schools: Arts and Sciences, Education, the Harry W. Walker School of Business, and the R.H. Daniel School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Together they demonstrate the college’s diverse strengths. The school is often considered one of the best colleges in Georgia for veterans and is particularly noted for its value. PC's acceptance rate hovers at around 50%.
|13||Toccoa Falls College Toccoa Falls, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 49%||
Named for a 186-foot waterfall on campus, Toccoa Falls is a small, private, and Christian liberal arts school in the tiny city of Toccoa, located in among the mountains of the Chattahoochee National Forest in north Georgia.
Affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, TFC was founded in 1907 as a Bible college. By the 1930s, the school had begun offering “general education” courses alongside its Christian offerings. Today, it provides a full 35 degrees (and 45 minors) to a student population of 1,200. Programs are divided among four schools: Christian Ministries, Arts and Sciences, Nursing, and Professional Studies.
All students at TFC receive ministry instruction, whether for careers in the clergy or for everyday life. TFC's average class size is a rare 13, and the school's student to faculty ratio is a close 15:1. Each degree-seeking student who is accepted is granted a scholarship, and undergraduates live on campus in single-sex dorms. Students enjoy more than 400 available activities in or near the campus.
|14||University of North Georgia Dahlonega, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 28%||
The University of North Georgia is one of the newest colleges in Georgia. The school was born in 2013 from the merger of two state schools, North Georgia College and State University and Gainesville State College.
UNG is home to about 18,000 students pursuing associate and bachelor’s degrees in over 100 subject areas at five campuses in the north Georgia region: Blue Ridge, Cumming, Oakwood, Oconee, and the school’s main campus in Dahlonega. Popular majors include biology, nursing, management, psychology, and marketing.
UNG is also one of six senior military schools in the nation, with 766 students enrolled as cadets. “Reveille” is played every morning at 7 AM and “Taps” rings out every evening at midnight. UNG’s Center for Global Engagement, the heart of the school’s busy study abroad program, is located in Dahlonega.
UNG's campuses are all nestled among the vast woods, rolling hills, and many rivers of north Georgia. Some are also located within the famous Blue Ridge Mountains, providing students with ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as the southernmost stretch of the Appalachian Trail.
|15||University of West Georgia Carrollton, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Founded in 1906, the University of West Georgia began operations as an agricultural and mechanical school. Today the Carrolton-based institution is a comprehensive research university that offers its student body of 13,000 over 86 fields of study, from baccalaureate to doctoral. Most of the students on the school’s rural, 645-acre campus are undergraduates (11,000) and they select programs from exactly half of those fields. Most UWG students are full time (72%) and hail from 44 states and 75 countries.
Popular majors include psychology, criminology, mass communications, biology, and early childhood education. UWG's psychology program is internationally recognized for its unique “humanistic” approach. UWG is also considered one of the best colleges in Georgia for online education.
The school's acceptance rate is 60% and student life revolves around more than 160 student organizations, including the school’s famous marching band, which performs nationwide. UWG's Advanced Academy allows high schoolers to enter college early through its dual degree program.
|16||Agnes Scott College Decatur, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 70%||
One of the so-called “Seven Sisters of the South”, Agnes Scott College is a private, women’s liberal arts college in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur. The school is known for its beautiful red-brick campus and its close-knit feel--about 940 women attend and they enjoy a tight relationship with their instructors. ASC's faculty ratio is 10:1 and its average class size is an intimate 15. ASC was founded by Presbyterians in 1889, and retains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church.
The school offers 34 undergraduate degrees, and partners with Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology to enhance some of its program offerings. While attending ASC, students may cross-register with Emory or Georgia Tech, and students are invited to attend social events on other campuses. All students participates in a liberal arts immersion course, and all members of the class of 2019 and beyond participate in a global experience through ASC’s innovative SUMMIT program.
|17||Berry College Mount Berry, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 66%||
Although it only enrolls around 2,100 students a year, Berry College is one of the biggest colleges in Georgia. In fact, the private, Mount Berry-based institution boasts the largest contiguous campus in the world: at more than 27,000 acres, BC has the biggest uninterrupted footprint of any university anywhere, a fact that has brought it no shortage of fame. Featuring winding streams, majestic waterfalls, and cozy outdoor fireplaces, the scenic hills of BC are cherished by students past and present.
BC is part of the nationwide, non-profit alliance of 130 liberal arts colleges known as the Annapolis Group, and it offers dozens of degree programs. Over 65% of students are from Georgia.
The school partners with fellow Georgia institutions Kennesaw State College and Emory University to offer dual-degree programs in engineering and nursing, and focuses on pre-professional programs, including pre-law, pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, pre-dentistry, pre-pharmacy, and pre-occupational therapy.
BC offers students one the nation’s premier work-experience programs, guaranteeing every student a paid, on-campus job (more than 90% of students work on the BC campus). The school’s distinctive campus i featured in several major motion pictures, including Sweet Home Alabama and Remember the Titans.
|18||Carver Bible College Atlanta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 53%||
Carver, a private, non-denominational Christian college based in Atlanta, ranks as one of the top Christian schools in Georgia. This small college enrolls around 150 students from many different Christian backgrounds, with an intimate 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio that ensures undergraduates receive individualized attention. The school offers undergraduate majors in Bible studies, psychology, and business. Carver also offers several unique minors, including Christian education, counseling, missions, pastoral ministry, systematic theology, women's ministry, and practical training and evangelism. Degree candidates at Carver come from the U.S. and abroad, and most are older than traditional college students. Many work full-time and complete their degree through part-time courses. Campus learners can take advantage of a variety of student organizations and programs, including work study scholarships, international student fellowships, student government, women's ministry, and long-term and short-term missionary trips. The Carver campus is also home to an extensive library and the 400-seat Talmage Payne Chapel.
|19||Middle Georgia State University Macon, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Middle Georgia State University (MGA) is an institute that certainly lives up to its name: the school consists of a constellation of five campuses spread throughout central Georgia.
MGA's main campus is located in the large city of Macon. The school's Cochran campus is home to small classes, Greek life, athletic facilities, and freshman housing. MGA's Dublin campus hosts core curriculum courses and select bachelor’s and associate’s degree programs. The school's aviation program is located in Eastman and provides students with education and training at the only four-year aviation school in the state. (The school administers a fleet of 20 planes and four helicopters.) Finally, MGA's Warner Robins campus hosts its IT department, business programs, and office of graduate studies.
All tallied, MGA offers 19 bachelor's programs, 13 associate degrees, two master's degrees, and dozens of certificate programs to a student population of nearly 8,000. Popular majors at the school include liberal arts, nursing, and business. MGA is unusual among Georgia colleges in that it operates a residential program for high-achieving high schoolers and an extensive program for adult learners. Students attend over 40 student clubs and organizations on campus, and MGA encourages experiential learning through its innovative Knowledge@Work program.
|20||Georgia Southwestern State University Americus, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 32%||
Having opened its doors as a mechanical and agricultural school in 1906, Georgia Southwestern State University has developed into a comprehensive regional university and is today a full member of the public University System of Georgia. From its home in Americus, 135 miles south of Atlanta, GSW offers more than 40 baccalaureate degrees, and a smattering of professional and technical programs, to a mix of 3,000 residential, commuter, and online students. At 24, the average student age at GSW is higher than many Georgia colleges.
GSW is known for its nursing programs, its specialist programs in education, and pre-professional studies in law, medicine, dentistry, and veterinary science. The school is also home to the only professional golf management program in the state of Georgia. GSW's campus extends 250 acres and includes buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places, hardwood and Southern pine woodlands, and an 18-hole golf course.
Famous alumni include President Jimmy Carter and,named after the First Lady, the school opened its new Rosalynn Carter Health and Human Sciences Complex, a home for its nursing, psychology, and sociology departments, in 2012.
|21||Augusta University Augusta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 26%||
Until 2015, Augusta University was known as Georgia Regents University. Part of the University System of Georgia colleges, this public academic health center stands in the heart of the state’s second-largest city. The university places a heavy emphasis on medicine—its flagship medical school and nursing program are renowned nationwide--but offers 95 degrees across all disciplines. AU is home to the only dental school in Georgia (the aptly named Dental College of Georgia) and the Augusta University Medical Center, among various other facilities.
AU's student population of 8,500 includes about 5,000 undergrads. Of the 1,800 degrees the school conferred in 2016, about half were bachelor’s. In addition to Georgia’s largest nursing program and one of the nation’s oldest medical schools, AU hosts a nationally ranked business program. The university is one of the region’s largest employers with an annual economic impact of more than $1.2 billion. AU has satellite campuses in Athens, Rome, Albany, and Savannah.
|22||Spelman College Atlanta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 77%||
Founded in 1881, Spelman is one of the top historically black colleges in Georgia and one of the top women's college's in the country. Serving more than 2,100 students, this liberal arts school enrolls degree candidates from around the country and boasts one of the nation's top graduation rates. Spelman offers 31 undergraduate majors in the arts, sciences, education, and social sciences. The school offers degrees in women's studies, dance, documentary filmmaking, environmental studies, and international studies. Students can also select from a variety of academic minors, including African diaspora studies, food studies, public health, and Japan studies. Spelman's academic pedigree lends itself to a prestigious alumnae network that spans politics, academia, the arts, and entertainment. Some of the school's many notable graduates include composer and scholar Bernice Johnson Reagon, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker, and law professor Brenda V. Smith.
|23||Mercer University Macon, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 66%||
Established in 1833, Mercer is the oldest private university in Georgia and one of the oldest in the nation. A top-tier research institution, MU emphasizes “liberal learning”, its own hands-on approach to a well-rounded, liberal arts education. Particularly known for its medical school, MU's main campus stands in the large central Georgia city of Macon. The school serves students at additional, smaller campuses in Atlanta and Savannah. More than 8,600 students are enrolled in a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in MU's 12 schools and colleges, and many of the school's degrees may be pursued online.
Some of the more popular degrees at MU include nursing, elementary education, liberal arts, biology, and engineering. The university partners with Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex at Robins Air Force Base for its engineering programs. These programs are widely considered among the nation's best.
MU students also benefit from agreements with Piedmont Healthcare for nursing, pharmacy, research, and allied-health projects. Undergraduates can expect to receive hands-on training while benefiting from a variety of research opportunities at the school.
|24||Brenau University Gainesville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Based in Gainesville, Brenau is a comprehensive liberal arts-based college that enrolls around 3,500 students in graduate and undergraduate programs. Along with its main campus, the school operates several regional education centers around the state. Brenau offers degrees through its colleges of Business and Mass Communication, Education, Fine Arts and Humanities, and Health Sciences, along with the Sidney O. Smith Jr. Graduate School. The school is also home to a women's college for undergraduates. Campus learners can select from dozens of graduate and undergraduate degrees, including conflict resolution and legal studies, musical theater, interior design, and exercise science. As one of the top colleges in Georgia, Brenau has several accomplished alumni, including abstract artist Clyde Connell; Emmy Award-winning costume designer Katherine Jane Bryant; and Florence Reville Gibbs, the first Georgia congresswoman in the U.S. House of Representatives.
|25||Valdosta State University Valdosta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
Founded as a teacher’s college in 1906, Valdosta State University is today a comprehensive public university administering more than 100 major degree programs to more than 11,000 students. VSU derives its name from its host city, rural Valdosta, Georgia, just fifteen minutes from the Florida line. Part of the state’s university system, the school is well known among colleges in Georgia for its beautiful red-tile campus, tropical palm trees, scenic fountains, and expansive Front Lawn. Students from all 50 states and 60 countries attend the school, but Georgians account for almost 90% of the student body. About 25% live on campus.
VSU's most popular majors include psychology, communications, business, and nursing. The school is also known for its physical education curriculum. VSU encourages outreach among its students, whether by volunteering in town or studying abroad in more than 150 locations.
VSU offers an unusual number of undergraduate research opportunities and hosts the Valdosta Symphony orchestra, Peach State Summer Theater, the Governor’s Honors Program for gifted high schoolers, and the Camellia Trail, a winding walkway lined with camellias--a flowering shrub--for more than half a mile. VSU's Student Success Center offers peer tutoring, executive skills workshops, and tech support.
Best Community Colleges in Georgia
Georgia is home to several campuses under the banner of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), as well as many community colleges specializing in military and fine arts programs. These schools provide training to help students secure employment in the local workforce after graduation.
Higher education is valuable everywhere, but particularly so in Georgia, where the number of jobs requiring a degree exceeds the supply of college graduates. The state estimates that 61% of local jobs will require a degree by 2020. The TCSG prioritizes several intensive outreach initiatives designed to expand student opportunities and enrich the local economy, including the Quick Start workforce training program.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, graduates from top two-year schools in Georgia stand to earn a higher salary than adults without college experience. Georgia sponsors several initiatives to increase college enrollment and develop an educated workforce in the state. Georgia's Higher Education Completion Plan, for example, was born out of a partnership between the USG and the TCSG. The goal is to increase job opportunities for Georgians by facilitating greater access to college certificate and degree programs. If you're interested in a junior college program, check out our list of the best two-year schools in Georgia.
|1||Southern Regional Technical College Thomasville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 38%||
Southern Regional Technical College is one of the best community colleges in Georgia. The college offers 150 degree, diploma, and certificate programs through its several locations, including its primary campus in Thomasville.
SRTC offers transfer agreements within the University System of Georgia and several nearby universities, including Albany State University, Thomas University, and others. These agreements make the process of transferring to a four-year institution straightforward. SRTC's Student Success Center provides students with one-on-one advising and offers tutoring services to better prepare students of every level for success.
SRTC administers a variety of scholarships, including its foundation scholarship and scholarships designed to assist non-traditional students. SRTC's lending library provides core course textbooks for students who cannot afford them. Online courses and tutoring are both available for distance learners.
|2||Coastal Pines Technical College Waycross, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
With its main campus in the city of Waycross (just north of Georgia's famous Okefenokee Swamp), students at Coastal Pines Technical College enjoy partnerships throughout the University System of Georgia's extensive network of two- and four-year private colleges and universities. These connections make it simple for students to transfer to a bachelor’s programs.
Beyond the school's Waycross location, CPTT serves students in the rural communities of Alma, Baxley, Camden, Golden Isles, Hazlehurst, and Jesup. CPTT's facilities include a greenhouse, a nursery, an automotive paint booth, a line worker skills field, a cosmetology salon, and more.
Associate degree programs at CPTC require between 60 to 93 credits to complete. This can be done in less than two years. The college offers significant student support, including customized workshops for single parents, previous homemakers, the economically disadvantaged, and English as a second language or disabled students. CPTT offers counseling and tutoring services to students at no additional cost.
|3||South Georgia Technical College Americus, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 52%||
The history of South Georgia Technical College in Americus, Georgia reaches back back before World War I. For example, SGTC's grounds are where Charles Lindbergh learned to fly and Lindbergh went on to become the first pilot to fly non-stop from New York to Paris. Today, the college continues to make aviation history through several programs in flight maintenance and avionics. Including its aviation-related courses, SGTC offers more than 200 associate degrees, diplomas, and technical certificates, with corporate partnerships with John Deere and Georgia Power. The school ranks in the top five colleges worldwide graduating students with degrees in heavy equipment technology.
SGTC is one of the best community colleges in Georgia because it offers the complete college experience: on-campus housing, a full-service cafeteria, men’s and women’s basketball, intramural sports, and several clubs. Student organizations include Veterans’ Club, National Technical Honor Society, Phi Beta Lambda, and others. The college highlights particularly successful students through its Student of Excellence program and by way of its participation in the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership.
|4||Georgia Perimeter College Decatur, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 11%||
Perimeter College is part of Georgia State University and offers more than 30 pathways toward associate degrees in the arts or sciences, including programs ranging from American Sign Language to homeland security.
The school is one of the most flexible community colleges in Georgia, and its students attend classes at five campuses throughout the Atlanta area—or entirely online. GPC's diverse student population of 21,000 hail from around 150 countries. More than half attend school part-time while supporting families and 29% are the first in their families to attend college.
Each campus provides facilities for recreation and physical fitness, whether at GPC's gymnasium, lap pool, tennis courts, fitness studio, or game room. The school's group exercise classes, intramural sports, and outdoor hiking or rock climbing adventures all display how Georgia Perimeter prioritizes physical and mental health for its students. More than 100 student organizations engage students on each campus, including the school's Business and Economics Club, student government, and Feminati Club.
|5||Georgia Military College Milledgeville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 22%||
Georgia Military College is one of the only two-year colleges in Georgia to emphasize military training and one of only five extant military junior colleges nationwide. Admitted students become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army in only two years. While the school offers early commissioning and ROTC programs, military service is not required for Georgia Military College enrollment. Additionally, GMC employs an open enrollment system, allowing students quick admittance without the hurdle of test score requirements.
After completing one of 24 associate degrees, GMC students may take advantage of the college’s transfer agreements with 43 four-year institutions. In fact, many institutions provide guaranteed admission to GMC graduates.
GMC enrolls 13,800 students per year and charges no out-of-state tuition, yielding a diverse student population hailing from 39 states and 12 nations. The school's on-campus environment is inclusive and active, with several successful intercollegiate sports teams. For example, the school's esteemed co-ed rifle team won the National Rifle Association annual national championships every year from 2013 to 2015.
|6||Lanier Technical College Oakwood, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 32%||
Lanier Technical College's primary campus is located in Oakwood, Georgia, a town in northeastern Georgia founded along the shores of the school's namesake, Lake Lanier.
The school's on-campus organizations and events include its student government, Scrub Club, college picnics, and wellness fairs. These groups and activities promote community and provide entertainment and interaction for students. LTC's career resource library helps students nearing graduation by providing job referrals and career planning resources. Career fairs and on-campus job interviews with employers also help students find their dream job.
Due to its many academic programs and excellent facilities, LTC ranks among the best two-year colleges in Georgia. Whether your interest lies in interiors, surgical technology, design and media production, or something else entirely, LTC likely has a program for you.
|7||Athens Technical College Athens, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 28%||
Headquartered in the famous college town of Athens, Athens Technical College also serves students in the northeast Georgia at three other satellites campuses in the small towns of Elberton, Monroe, and Greensboro. Its combination of services and excellent location makes it one of the best community colleges in Georgia. ATC's facilities feature a variety of veterinary technology, computer, ambulance, and radiography labs, along with a dental clinic, cosmetology salon, and collision repair paint booth. At ATC, 10,000 students are enrolled in more than 130 programs of study per year.
ATC makes receiving scholarships and financial assistance easy and 73% of ATC students receive financial aid. Activities and events include culinary championships, food bank service, Dental Assisting Club and the Association of Social Work Assistants. The college maintains a partnership with the University of Georgia, the state's flagship institution, which allows students to participate in outdoor recreation with nearby UGA students.
|8||Georgia Piedmont Technical College Clarkston, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 42%||
Georgia Piedmont Technical College is one of the best community colleges in Georgia. With two campuses and five centers conveniently located for its students, the school has no shortage of facilities. GPTC boasts a 99% job placement rate for program graduates and the school's career management system app helps job seekers look for opportunities on-the-go.
Popular programs at GPTC include air conditioning technology, clinic laboratory technology, and banking and finance. The school provides advisement sheets to help students plan out their courses and estimate tuition costs.
Criminal Justice Club, Distinguished Gentleman’s Club, Ladies in Action, and several other clubs meet on-campus to involve and engage students. Single parents and students with other special circumstances can take advantage of GPTC's lending library to avoid the price of costly textbooks.
|9||Savannah Technical College Savannah, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 34%||
Based in the internationally famous city of Savannah, Savannah Technical College also serves students at three satellite campuses and at Fort Stewart Army Education Center. At Fort Stewart, students gain the education they need in a state-of-the-art EMS lab and auditorium, and take part in several programs, including accounting, and networking specialization. Assistance, specialty programs, and scholarships are all available to help veterans transition from service into school.
All campuses considered, nearly 150 instructional options are offered by STC. Day, evening, and online courses are designed to make school convenient for any schedule. More than 80% of students receive some type of financial aid and the school's programs are very affordable.
As an example of what makes STC one of the best community colleges in Georgia, students required to take a college placement tests at the school may enroll in ‘boot camps’ on campus to help maximize their success. The school's many on-campus organizations and groups include its Peace Officer Academy, Medical Assisting Club, and Junior Chefs Association.
|10||Oconee Fall Line Technical College Sandersville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 34%||
Its north campus in Sandersville and its south campus in Dublin, Oconee Fall Line Technical College offers students programs including cosmetology, machine tool technology, respiratory care, and others. OFTC offers both online and hybrid courses, allowing students to advance their degrees at their convenience.
The school's name refers to the Georgia Fall Line, geological boundary that divides the state almost in half. The north portion of the state is referred to as the Georgia Piedmont, whereas the southern portion of the state is its Coastal Plain. Georgia's Piedmont was once composed of tremendous mountains, whereas millions of years ago the Fall Line was the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.
A member of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), OFTC offers the TCSG guarantee: if an alumni’s employer finds that a graduate is deficient in certain skills, the college will retrain him or her at no additional cost within two years of graduation.
Student government, Skills USA, and the school's Student Practical Nurses Association are a few on-campus organizations in which OFTC students participate. OFTC's BRIDGE club (Broadening and Redefining Individuality, Diversity, Goodwill, and Excellence) promotes community, and civic and personal responsibility while helping students stay in school.
|11||Southeastern Technical College Vidalia, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 42%||
Future students considering two-year colleges in Georgia shouldn't overlook Southeastern Technical College. Based in rural Vidalia (a city famous for its distinctive sweet onions) and serving students at an additional satellite campus in the community of Swainsboro, STC offers students more than 80 academic programs from which to choose. Some STC courses are available entirely online.
STC goes the extra mile in assisting its students: the college’s JobLink software provide students with information about available jobs in the area and allows students to post their resume for employers to review. The school's partnerships with regional industries also increases a student's chance of employment in their chosen field.
The school traces its origins to two academic institutions that preceded it: during the summer of 2009, Swainsboro Technical College and Southeastern Technical College merged to form a new school while retaining the name Southeastern Technical College.
|12||Ogeechee Technical College Statesboro, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Its main campus located in the city of Statesboro, Ogeechee Technical College is a tight-knit college with an annual student population of nearly 4,000. Its beautiful campus is particularly known for the iconic arch of the Joseph E. Kennedy building.
OTC's academic programs include forensic science technology, sonography, commercial truck driving, and many others. The school is among Georgia community colleges that boast built-in articulation agreements with nearby four-year colleges and universities. This allows students to continue their degree elsewhere without the headache of credit transfer problems.
OTC makes both online and in-person tutoring available to students. Appointments are encouraged for on-campus tutoring. Other student services include career, library, and financial aid services, along with new student orientation. The school also hosts a variety of community-building events, like career fairs, spring fling, interviewing workshops, and clubs like SkillsUSA. Other student organizations range from OTC's GPS and Mapping Society to its Health Information Technology Club.
|13||Andrew College Cuthbert, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 19%||
Established in 1854, Andrew College is one of the oldest schools in the state and today it ranks among the best community colleges in Georgia. The school has a storied history: for example, its charter is the second oldest in the United States to allow a school to award degrees to women, and the school was temporarily closed during the Civil War to serve as a hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers.
Now the college offers an exciting and intimate environment for over 350 students and features an average class size of just 13. In this rare environment, classmates get to know one another by default and professors call students by their first names.
AC is located in southwest Georgia. The school is institutionally connected to the United Methodist Church. More than 90% of students live in on-campus residence halls. Seven competitive athletic teams, plenty of intramurals, clubs and activities, and performing arts programs all bring students together to form the school's intimate community. More than 40 areas of study are available to students.
|14||West Georgia Technical College Waco, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 22%||
Headquartered in Waco, Georgia, West Georgia Technical College's philosophy is built on four pillars: integrity, professionalism, student success, and academic excellence. Its academic programs are housed in WGTC's schools of business, health sciences, nursing, and trade/technology. The school's information systems program recently accepted 20 refurbished servers from Google Inc., providing students hands-on networking experience. WGTC offers a mobile app for class registration, to view schedules and grades, and to check account balances.
WGTC is unique among community colleges in Georgia primarily due to its annual art exhibition, which gathers and critiques submission from students, faculty, and staff. Winners are displayed in a traveling exhibit that rotates between each of the five campuses.
WGTC students also enjoy the school's active athletic program. Enrollment at the school continues to grow, seeing an increase of 6% (6,500 students) from 2016. WGTC's Weeks of Welcome kick off during the first week of school at all WGTC locations, ringing in the new semester with snacks, service opportunities, and t-shirts for students.
|15||Atlanta Technical College Atlanta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 39%||
Atlanta Technical College places a heavy emphasis on career preparation and boasts a rate of 97% student job placement after graduation. ATC graduates often go on to work in government agencies, hotel chains, airlines, car companies, law firms, local hospitals, and dental offices. ACT's Student Success Center is located on campus and provides academic advising resources, workshops, and a study hall to help students succeed in their courses while preparing for future careers. ATC offers several programs in fields such as forensics, marketing, entrepreneurship, and aviation maintenance technology.
Total annual enrollment at ATC is 3,700 and 62% of students study part-time. Student demographics break down in even proportions for nearly all age groups. To help students with busy day lives, online and evening courses are available in a variety of formats. ATC is among two-year colleges in Georgia to offer articulation agreements with nearby institutions to make transferring to a four-year program easier.
|16||Chattahoochee Technical College Marietta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 13%||
Named after the rushing river that flanks northwest Atlanta, Chattahoochee Technical College offers eight locations in six counties northwest of the city. Its 70 academic programs feature flexible day, night, evening, and weekend courses available in online or hybrid formats. Programs include health sciences (such as medical assisting), computer information systems (like cybersecurity), and technical studies (such as welding).
Students who require assistance in writing, reading, numerical skills, or algebra enroll in Learning Support courses to sharpen their skills. These courses are delivered in a modular format, allowing students to complete only the portions they need.
CTC offers a well-rounded education, an active campus community, and vibrant athletic events. The school is among two-year colleges in Georgia to offer service distance learning opportunities and CTC's study abroad and student exchange programs also offer students the chance to experience exciting new surroundings.
|17||Georgia Northwestern Technical College Rome, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 25%||
Georgia Northwestern Technical College serves students at six locations throughout northwest Georgia, making it the largest educational institution in the region. The school offers students more than 200 programs, including fire science, marketing management, and pharmacy technology. GNTC stands out from other Georgia community colleges for its emphasis on workforce development, and the school serves as one of the largest health care education providers in the state. According to GNTC, 87% of graduates go on to work in their field of study or continue their education.
Annual student enrollment at GNTC is 7,800 and 66% of students attend class part-time. With GNTC's expanding numbers has come a need for more space. The school expects to soon complete a $23 million, 80,000 square foot campus addition in Whitfield County. This addition will yield significant resources for students, including conference rooms, offices, a library and student center, and other services. At GNTC, Student life, intramurals, athletics, clubs, and activities all help students grow their personal leadership skills and friendships.
|18||Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Valdosta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 28%||
Valdosta, Georgia is home to Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. Named after either the region from which it hails (the Wiregrass Region) or the plant after which the region is named, wiregrass (aristida stricta), WGTC offers its students over 100 programs.
34 of these programs qualify for specialized grants, such as the state's Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant, and some grants cover all tuition and fees. Programs at WGTC include hotel, restaurant, and tourism management; gaming development; nursing; and horticulture.
WGTC stands out among Georgia community colleges for its Live Work programs, programs that allow students to learn in hands-on laboratory environments. WGTC's automotive collision repair, dental, esthetics, and design media services labs all provide services to students and the public, while training WGTC students in practical trades.
WGTC offers free, round-the-clock online tutoring through a third-party website. The school also offers online degrees for business management and website design. WGTC employs prior learning assessments to award college credit for military training, student portfolios, corporate training, professional certification, and other experience or exams.
|19||Albany Technical College Albany, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 39%||
Located in the southwestern Georgia city of Albany, Albany Technical College offers online and on-campus STEM programs in fields such as law enforcement technology, drafting, and carpentry.
ATC is the only technical college in Georgia with a courtroom simulation lab. The school's approach to student career advancement also makes ATC unique among Georgia community colleges and ATC is the only technical college in Georgia to provide students with a full service Career Development Center on campus. Every ATC graduate leaves with a professional portfolio and, according to the school, its in-field job placement rate exceeds 92%.
ATC has a strong partnership with Marine Depot Maintenance Command. The school recently opened its Hope Center to provide free classes, transportation, and testing to help students earn their GED and better prepare for future employment. ATC offers a Fresh Start program for academic forgiveness. Georgia native Phillip Phillips, 2012 winner of American Idol, graduated from ATC in 2010.
|20||North Georgia Technical College Clarkesville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 30%||
North Georgia Technical College offers students a chance to advance their education through formal approaches to air conditioning systems, welding, culinary arts, pharmacy technology, or other programs.
What really makes NGTC stand out among Georgia community colleges is its student support. For example, the school provides students with free tutoring assistance in English, math, and science at the school's Student Success Centers (available on a first come, first served basis). Student services also support NGTC students through career development and planning, the job interview process, and various other employment services.
NGTC's campuses are located in Blairsville, Toccoa, and Clarkesville. The school's Toccoa campus, referred to as the Currahee campus, showcases an innovative 45,000 square foot facility. All three campuses offer tours from August through April.
Student life at NGTC is vibrant. For example, student activities include karaoke night, amusement park trips, disc golf, jazz, and ski trips. Intramurals, along with a swimming pool, weight room, and game room entertain students and promote community. The school's Clarkesville campus offers on-campus student housing.
|21||Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
Located in the city of Warner Robins, Central Georgia Technical College is particularly noted among community colleges in Georgia for its integration of video conferencing technology in boths its online and on-site offerings.
CGTC offers 190 degree, diploma, and certificate programs on subjects as diverse as computer programming, logistics management, cabinet making, metrology, and emergency management. Academic and student support centers help students secure financial aid, complete all admission steps, and find free tutoring and workshops.
Basketball and cross country, in addition to cheer, dance, and pep band, make CGTC an excellent campus for athletics. More than 9,000 students study at the college annually. In 2013, CGTC established its Office of Global Admissions, providing students with the option of studying abroad in nations like Scotland and Columbia. As part of the program, CGTC hosts international students hailing from five different countries.
|22||Augusta Technical College Augusta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
Its primary campus located in the sprawling city of Augusta, Augusta Technical College is a fine example among community colleges in Georgia that feature strong and active community. For example, AGT student organizations include the Alumni Association, Delta Epsilon Chi, Institute of Management Accountants, Association of Surgical Technologists, and several others.
AGT offers guided pathways at each of its four campuses, outlining a clear road to degrees in fire science, computer programming, marketing management, and many others. The college provides veterans with strong support: several staff members are dedicated to coordinating military tuition benefits for veteran students. AGT students are eligible for an array of scholarships and third-party community organizations also help students with financial need pay for their education.
|23||Gwinnett Technical College Lawrenceville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 28%||
Located just northeast of Atlanta, Gwinnett Technical College is noted among community colleges in Georgia for its programs in photography, game development, and a wide variety of health sciences topics. The school enrolls 10,000 students annually, among which 4,600 study full time.
The school celebrates, safeguards, and promotes its forested landscape: GTC maintains a tree advisory committee, tree care plan, dedicated annual expenditures, and an Arbor Day observance service project. For nine years in a row, the Arbor Day Foundation has praised GTC's wooded campus for its commitment to urban forest management.
GTC offers hundreds of online courses, making it easier for students to learn around busy schedules. On-campus organizations include GEARHEADZ for automotive or welding students, Women in Technology, and the school's Student Ambassadors organization.
|24||Southern Crescent Technical College Griffin, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 23%||
With significant expansions within the past few years, Southern Crescent Technical College easily earns its place on any list of rapidly growing Georgia community colleges.
For example, SCTG recently developed a center in Henry County and, in collaboration with the Georgia Film Academy (GFA), the school now offers an innovative certificate for on-set production assistantship. SCTG was one of the first in the state to offer a certificate in collaboration with GFA and the certificate is a product of curriculum reviewed by industry professionals who understand the skills the red-hot Georgia film industry demands.
Other programs offered by the school include website design, accounting, and orthopaedic technology, and SCTG's child development program offers students on-campus child care education while serving the community.
Academic excellence, student success, and integrity are the pillars of the school's values, and these values shine throughout SCTG's approach. From haunted houses to art shows, the school offers plenty of events to engage students on campus.
|25||Columbus Technical College Columbus, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 26%||
Columbus is Georgia's second largest city. It's also home to Columbus Technical College, where 71% of the school's student body are local residents.
CTC's program completion job placement rate stands at an impressive 97%, with nearly all graduates finding a job in their field of study. Size-wise, at 5,000 students enrolled, the school ranks among the state's mid-sized two-year colleges. CTC's on-campus CARE Center helps enrolled students and graduates with selecting career paths, graduating on time, and advancing their career.
80% of CTC's students receive Georgia's HOPE scholarship. The school's Math Support Lab helps students improve their math skills and prepare for the ACCUPLACER placement test, an exam required for competitive programs. CTC offers programs in popular fields like esthetics, industrial systems, and dental assisting.
CTC has received notable attention for its veteran-friendly policies for four years in a row, no doubt influenced by its close proximity to Fort Benning, a major United States Army base.
Living in Georgia
If you're thinking about applying to one of the best colleges in Georgia, continuing reading to learn more about living in the Peach State.
From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the coastal plains, Georgia boasts a rich history as diverse as its terrain, from its founding as one of the original 13 colonies to the “empire of the south” it is today. The eighth-most populous state, Georgia has historically been home to a large concentration of African-American residents. As of 2011 nearly 60% of newborns in the state were non-white.
As of 2009, Georgia had the thirty-eighth highest per-capita income in the U.S. Residents earn an average personal income of $34,893 a year, more than in most southern states. Over 84.7% of Georgians age 25 and older have at least a high school diploma, which is slightly below the national average. Georgia's largest universities are located in city centers, including Athens and the capital city, Atlanta.
Below, we've highlighted two of the larger regions in Georgia:
- North Central Georgia
- Major Cities: Atlanta, Athens, Marietta
- Attractions: MLK, Jr. National Historic Site, Georgia Aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park
- Cost of Living: Atlanta's Numbeo Cost of Living
- Popular Schools: Georgia State University, Spelman College, Atlanta Technical College
- Central Georgia
- Major Cities: Macon, Augusta, Columbus
- Attractions: Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, The Cannonball House, Rotary Park
- Popular Schools: Central Georgia Technical College, Troy University, Georgia Military College
Establishing residency allows students access to in-state tuition at public colleges in Georgia. Students 18 or older must show proof of residency; minors must live with a parent or legal guardian with state residency to qualify.
- For Minors:
If a student is a minor when applying to college, they must rely on their parents or guardians to claim residence in the state. To prove they live in Georgia, a minor must demonstrate that their parents or guardians live in the state. If the parents are divorced, the student must reside with a parent who lives in Georgia. Minors must begin living with their parent in Georgia before turning 18 and prove their intention to continue living with that parent until the school year begins.
- For Adults:
Adults 18 and older must meet specific criteria to claim residence:
- You must physically reside in Georgia for at least one year prior to declaring residence.
- You must prove intent to make Georgia your home.
- You need to prove your financial independence.
Additional Resources for Georgia College Students
Higher Education News
Official State Links
- Georgia Higher Education Alliance
- Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education
- Georgia Department of Education
- Best Colleges in Georgia of 2017
Rank School Location 1 Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus Atlanta, GA 2 University of Georgia Athens, GA 3 Emory University Atlanta, GA 4 University of North Georgia Dahlonega, GA 5 Georgia College and State University Milledgeville, GA 6 Toccoa Falls College Toccoa Falls, GA 7 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA 8 Georgia State University Atlanta, GA 9 Columbus State University Columbus, GA 10 Piedmont College Demorest, GA 11 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA 12 University of West Georgia Carrollton, GA 13 Young Harris College Young Harris, GA 14 Valdosta State University Valdosta, GA 15 Covenant College Lookout Mountain, GA 16 Clayton State University Morrow, GA 17 Berry College Mount Berry, GA 18 Augusta University Augusta, GA 19 Agnes Scott College Decatur, GA 20 Gordon State College Barnesville, GA 21 Mercer University Macon, GA 22 Georgia Southwestern State University Americus, GA 23 Middle Georgia State University Macon, GA 24 Armstrong State University Savannah, GA 25 Point University West Point, GA Community Colleges 1 South Georgia Technical College Americus, GA 2 Southern Regional Technical College Thomasville, GA 3 Oconee Fall Line Technical College Sandersville, GA 4 North Georgia Technical College Clarkesville, GA 5 Southeastern Technical College Vidalia, GA 6 Coastal Pines Technical College Waycross, GA 7 Albany Technical College Albany, GA 8 Athens Technical College Athens, GA 9 Lanier Technical College Oakwood, GA 10 Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins, GA 11 Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Valdosta, GA 12 Georgia Military College Milledgeville, GA 13 Georgia Perimeter College Decatur, GA 14 Ogeechee Technical College Statesboro, GA 15 Savannah Technical College Savannah, GA 16 Chattahoochee Technical College Marietta, GA 17 Augusta Technical College Augusta, GA 18 Southern Crescent Technical College Griffin, GA 19 Andrew College Cuthbert, GA 20 Atlanta Technical College Atlanta, GA 21 Gwinnett Technical College Lawrenceville, GA 22 Georgia Northwestern Technical College Rome, GA 23 Georgia Piedmont Technical College Clarkston, GA 24 Columbus Technical College Columbus, GA 25 West Georgia Technical College Waco, GA
- Best Colleges in Georgia of 2016
Rank School Location 1 Georgia Tech Atlanta, GA 2 University of Georgia Athens, GA 3 Emory University Atlanta, GA 4 Georgia College & State University Milledgeville, GA 5 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA 6 Wesleyan College Macon, GA 7 Georgia State University Atlanta, GA 8 Agnes Scott College Decatur, GA 9 Spelman College Atlanta, GA 10 Berry College Mount Berry, GA 11 University of West Georgia Newnan, GA 12 Clayton State University Morrow, GA 13 Piedmont College Demorest, GA 14 Covenant College Lookout Mountain, GA 15 Augusta University Augusta, GA 16 Mercer University Macon, GA 17 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA 18 Young Harris College Young Harris, GA 19 Middle Georgia State College Macon, GA 20 Columbus State University Columbus, GA 21 Albany State University Albany, GA 22 Oglethorpe University Atlanta, GA 23 Valdosta State University Valdosta, GA 24 Reinhart University Waleska, GA 25 Emmanuel College Boston, WA 26 Georgia Southwestern State University Americus, GA Best Community Colleges 1 Southeastern Technical College Vidalia, GA 2 Southwest Georgia Technical College Thomasville, GA 3 Oconee Fall Line Technical College Sandersville, GA 4 Lanier Technical College Oakwood, GA 5 Southern Regional Technical College Moultrie, GA 6 South Georgia Technical College Americus GA 7 College of Coastal Georgia Brunswick, GA 8 North Georgia Technical College Clarkesville, GA 9 Ogeechee Technical College Statesboro, GA 10 Albany Technical College Albany, GA 11 Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Valdosta, GA 12 Andrew College Cuthburt, GA 13 Darton State College Albany, GA 14 Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Tifton, GA 15 Athens Technical College Athens, GA 16 Golden State College Barnesville, GA 17 Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins, GA 18 Georgia Highlands College Rome, GA 19 Dalton State College Dalton, GA 20 Augusta Technical College Augusta, GA 21 Georgia Northwestern Technical College Rome, GA 22 West Georgia Technical College Waco, GA 23 Savannah Technical College Savannah, GA 24 Bainbridge State College Bainbridge, GA 25 Atlanta Technical College Atlanta, GA