More and more students attend postsecondary schools to gain specialized skills and hands-on training to prepare them for entry-level careers and advancement. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, undergraduate enrollment in the U.S. is expected to grow from 16.8 to 17.2 million students between 2017 and 2028. Individuals who possess college degrees benefit from more job opportunities and higher pay. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that those with an associate degree earn an average of $7,000 more in annual salary than those with only a high school diploma.
Top 10 Community Colleges in Georgia
- Coastal Pines Technical College - Waycross, GA
- South Georgia Technical College - Americus, GA
- Southern Regional Technical College - Thomasville, GA
- Wiregrass Georgia Technical College - Valdosta, GA
- Ogeechee Technical College - Statesboro, GA
- Southeastern Technical College - Vidalia, GA
- Georgia Northwestern Technical College - Rome, GA
- Oconee Fall Line Technical College - Sandersville, GA
- Atlanta Technical College - Atlanta, GA
- Lanier Technical College - Oakwood, GA
Due to the significant costs associated with college, not every student wants to earn their bachelor's degree immediately after high school. Community colleges offer convenient alternatives because they deliver flexible associate programs that allow candidates to pursue higher education while juggling professional or personal commitments. Two-year schools traditionally emphasize career placement, and many provide technical certificate and diploma programs for students who want to work in lucrative trade industries. Community colleges also generally offer lower tuition prices than four-year universities.
The sheer number of academic and occupational training programs available may be overwhelming as you research potential schools. To assist your search, this guide ranks the 20 best community colleges in Georgia. Each profile offers information on aspects like tuition, admission criteria, and student resources. You will also learn about programmatic offerings and online learning options. If a school piques your interest, contact the institution's admissions specialists for additional details. These counselors can help you both navigate the enrollment process and apply for scholarships and grants.
By attending a community college in Georgia, you stand to benefit from expanding work opportunities. As of July 2019, BLS data showed the Peach State's unemployment rate at 3.6%, well below the national average. The state also features ample career prospects for growing industries like business services, healthcare, and hospitality and tourism. Additionally, the state features an affordable cost of living; even in metropolitan areas like Atlanta, the living cost is lower than the national average.
2020 Best Community Colleges in Georgia
Coastal Pines Technical College
|Waycross, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 57%||
Located in Waycross, Coastal Pines Technical College focuses on lifelong learning and workforce development programs. CPTC operates multiple campuses and enrolls over 2,400 students. The college features an accessible admission process and offers dual enrollment for state high school students and approved homeschoolers. As one of the best community colleges in Georgia, CPTC features affordable tuition and financial aid opportunities, including private scholarships available through the school's foundation and the HOPE Career Grant.
The academic catalog at CPTC contains degree options in fields like business technology, criminal justice, healthcare science, and environmental horticulture. The school offers trade programs in air conditioning technology, welding and joining technology, and electrical line work. Learners can also earn an occupational certificate in cosmetology, with specializations in hair design and shampoo technology. To support students' diverse needs, the college operates a distance education platform that offers entirely remote classes. Distance learners can also earn one of five associate degrees online.
South Georgia Technical College
|Americus, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 57%||
South Georgia Technical College delivers more than 200 certificate, diploma, and associate programs. As the second-oldest community college in Georgia, SGTC provides accessible education to all students, with dedicated services for active military and veterans. Learners pay affordable tuition rates based on the type of program, not residency status. SGTC facilitates federal aid, state grants, and private awards, including the Zen Miller Scholarship for high-achieving students. Additionally, the college maintains compliance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which provides funding for low-income learners and individuals who have been laid off.
SGTC operates dual-enrollment and general education programs. The academic catalog also includes associate options in fields like accounting, computer support, sports and fitness management, and early childhood care and education. Students who want to earn occupational certificates choose from programs in aircraft structural technology, commercial wiring, and practical nursing. Learners can also develop entrepreneurial skills to help them open and manage small businesses. The college offers online classes through Blackboard.
Southern Regional Technical College
|Thomasville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Based in Thomasville, Southern Regional Technical College is a multicampus school that features more than 155 certificate, diploma, and associate programs. Students who want to attend SRTC must satisfy testing requirements by submitting adequate ACT/SAT scores or by passing the ACCUPLACER exam. The college bases its low tuition prices on residency status. Learners can receive financial aid from numerous sources, including FAFSA awards, institutional scholarships, and state funding through programs like the HOPE Career Grant and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
As one of the top community colleges in Georgia, SRTC delivers career-focused certification options in fields like advanced CAD, emergency medical response, and medical billing. Students can also train to become industrial electricians by taking classes like AC circuit analysis and direct currents. For candidates who want to transfer into a bachelor's-completion program, SRTC offers flexible associate degrees in business management, social work, and veterinary technology. Students can also pursue two-year programs in criminal justice and cybersecurity.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
|Valdosta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 39%||
Established in 1963, Wiregrass Georgian Technical College prepares graduates for successful careers in an ever-changing economy. The school offers industry-relevant certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees at four campuses and 12 learning centers. In addition to affordable tuition and financial support, WGTC helps students cut costs through a generous transfer policy. Candidates can earn credits for portfolio items; professional certification/licensure; standardized test scores; prior college courses; and military, corporate, and apprenticeship training.
Like other community colleges in Georgia, WGTC offers online learning and dual-enrollment opportunities. Students whose main goal is job entry may earn certificates in high-demand industries likes patient care assisting, industrial electrician work, surgical technology, and culinary arts. The college also operates transferable associate programs, with options like computer programming, engineering technology, nursing, and website design. Additionally, WGTC hosts the Georgia Teacher Academy of Preparation and Pedagogy, an alternative teacher education and licensure program for individuals with college degrees in unrelated fields.
Ogeechee Technical College
|Statesboro, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
Ogeechee Technical College was founded in 1986 as part of the Technical College System of Georgia. Today, OTC offers career-relevant academic programming in areas like agribusiness, fish and wildlife management, and paramedicine technology. Students can also earn a pharmacy technology diploma, which trains them in areas like sterilizing and dispensing medications. Candidates round out their program by completing a practicum to cultivate hands-on experience.
OTC offers associate degrees in business technology, technical management, and criminal justice. Candidates who want to complete core requirements before declaring a major can enroll in the general studies track. Through the state's HOPE Career Grant, OTC offers tuition-free education in fields like commercial truck driving, welding and joining technology, and early childhood care and education. Students can prepare for construction careers by earning certificates in advanced carpentry and construction management. Like other community colleges in Georgia, OTC operates its online classes and academic programs through Blackboard.
Southeastern Technical College
|Vidalia, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Located in Vidalia, Southeastern Technical College opened its doors in 1963 with a class of 32 students. Today, the school delivers certificate, diploma, and associate programs in 27 areas. Students can also take advantage of online learning, including options with hybrid and fully remote classes. Additionally, STC offers general education programs, which include high school equivalent classes, GED test preparation courses, and workshops designed to help individuals transition into college.
Students who want to earn career-focused certificates and diplomas pick from program options like automotive engine repair, healthcare office assisting, and electrical construction. STC also offers six computer information systems certificates in areas like cybercrime specialist and website development. Additionally, learners can pursue CompTIA A+ certificate preparation, which enables them to earn the organization's entry-level professional certificate.
STC delivers associate programs like electronics technology, healthcare management, and accounting in addition to two nursing programs. The first is a traditional, two-year track leading to an associate of science. Alternatively, individuals with unrestricted LPN and EMT-P licenses can enroll in the bridge pathway to earn their associate degree in under 18 months.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College
|Rome, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
Georgia Northwestern Technical College supports the communities of northwest Georgia by offering affordable workforce development and academic programs. GNTC features an accessible admissions policy that only requires students to complete an online application and pass the placement exam (or submit adequate ACT/SAT results). Students pay affordable tuition rates based on residency status, with separate pricing for law enforcement and commercial truck driving programs. On top of federal loans and work-study awards, learners can apply for state grants and university scholarships.
GNTC offers fully online associate programs powered by Blackboard. Students pick from degrees in fields like accounting, business healthcare technology, and website design and development. Candidates can also earn an associate of logistics and supply chain management, which prepares them for careers in manufacturing, import/export, and pharmaceutical sales. For individuals interested in trade and technical careers, GNTC delivers certificates in aviation maintenance technology, computerized accounting, and patient care assisting.
Oconee Fall Line Technical College
|Sandersville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 34%||
Based in Sandersville, Oconee Fall Line Technical College supports the workforce development of east central Georgia through affordable academic and career training programs. OFTC offers low tuition and generous financial support, which includes scholarships for students pursuing careers in mining and agriculture. Learners also benefit from one-on-one academic advising and dedicated career services.
OFTC offers numerous certificates and diplomas in fields like tax preparation and early childhood program administration. Students can also earn career-focused credentials in radiologic technology, with focus options for imaging science, magnetic resonance imaging, and computed tomography. Furthermore, the college operates eight diesel equipment technology programs, including an associate degree track.
Additional associate programs include healthcare management, cybersecurity, nursing, and accounting. OFTC also offers a two-year curriculum guarantee: if graduates find that their program did not adequately prepare them for standard industry employment, the college will provide retraining at no instructional cost.
Atlanta Technical College
|Atlanta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
Established in 1945 as a vocational school, Atlanta Technical College enrolls 4,800 students each semester in certificate, diploma, associate, and continuing education programs. Prospective learners submit academic transcripts and standardized test results (SAT, ACT, ASSET, or COMPASS). ATC provides affordable tuition prices based on residency status. The college delivers financial aid in the forms of federal funding, tuition reimbursement, and veterans benefits. Students can also apply for private awards like the AGL Resources Scholarship for trade careers.
ATC operates transferable associate degrees in accounting, bioscience technology, forensics, and supply chain management. Students can also earn an associate of computer information systems, with specialized options like databases and cybersecurity. Learners can supplement their training by earning technical certificates in JAVA programming, Linux/Unix administration, and Microsoft network administration.
Additional certificate programs include electrical systems technology, pharmacy assisting, and welding and joining technology. To help working professionals, ATC offers weekend and weeknight programs. Students can also pursue their college education online.
Lanier Technical College
|Oakwood, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 32%||
Lanier Technical College educates more than 5,200 students every semester. The school focuses on workforce development and offers career-technical education, customized industry training, and education programs. LTC delivers online education through Blackboard. Distance learners can take individual classes or pursue entire credentials remotely. Options for the latter include associate programs in business management, fire science technology, and emergency management. Candidates can also earn an online interdisciplinary studies degree, which allows them to customize their curriculum according to individual goals.
The catalog features campus-based programs in areas like dental hygiene, horticulture, and paramedicine. LTC is one of the few community colleges in Georgia to offer an associate in wireless engineering technology. The program covers topics like antenna theory and mobile site equipment applications. Candidates also develop computer programming and scripting skills. Students pay an affordable tuition rate regardless of where they reside and may be eligible for federal aid, state funding, or LTC foundational scholarships.
Savannah Technical College
|Savannah, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 32%||
With campuses in Chatham, Liberty, and Effingham counties, Savannah Technical College serves over 4,500 students. The school focuses on market-driven career education and provides low tuition prices based on residency status. Students at STC can receive federal and state financial aid, as well as institutional funding. Award opportunities include the Brenda L. Rucker Champion Scholarship for African Americans interested in aviation and the Career Advancement Program Scholarship for returning students.
The school delivers associate-level training in areas like construction management; early childhood care and education; and hotel, restaurant, and tourism management. STC stands out from other community colleges in Georgia by offering an associate degree in historic preservation and restoration. The 71-credit program consists of classes like architectural print reading and project and small business management. Candidates also delve into material science with emphasis on mansory, plaster, and stained glass. STC provides technical certificate programs for industries like aviation technology and precision manufacturing.
West Georgia Technical College
|Waco, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 32%||
West Georgia Technical College fosters the economic development of the city of Waco and its surrounding communities by developing a skilled workforce in collaboration with businesses and industry leaders. The school features flexible course schedules and an accessible admissions process. Prospective students need to furnish a high school diploma or an equivalent and demonstrate postsecondary readiness through standardized testing. Learners can access a variety of financial aid opportunities including the HOPE Grant, which provides funding to students pursuing trade careers.
WGTC operates five transfer programs with institutions within the University System of Georgia. Students pick from associate degrees in nursing, general business, criminal justice, and interdisciplinary studies. They can also enroll in a psychology program, which prepares them for careers as mental health counselors, human service coordinators, and scientific researchers. This community college in Georgia provides certificates and diplomas for technical occupations like commercial truck driving and medical coding. Students can also train in precision manufacturing and maintenance by enrolling in a program that offers specializations like industrial instrumentation and mechatronic systems.
Albany Technical College
|Albany, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 37%||
Albany Technical College enrolls over 5,000 students and predominantly serves a seven-county area in southwest Georgia. Learners pick from academic and career training programs in seven areas, including public safety, logistics and operations, and healthcare. They can also earn certificates centered on construction and manufacturing, with options for building maintenance, masonry, and automotive technology. Furthermore, ATC delivers an associate of interdisciplinary studies program especially for dual-enrollment high school students.
As one of the best community colleges in Georgia, ATC offers 30 fully online programs through Blackboard. Options include an associate of cybersecurity and a diploma in hotel, restaurant, and tourism management. The college also features two fire officer certificates. Alternatively, students can take individual remote classes for a hybrid learning experience.
ATC students benefit from comprehensive career resources that consist of job fairs, career assessment services, and internship opportunities. Working professionals can pursue continuing education through the Center for Business Solutions, such as a 13-week Lean Six Sigma Green Belt program.
Athens Technical College
|Athens, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
Founded in 1958 as a small vocational school, Athens Technical College now serves over 4,000 students. The school supports learners of all backgrounds, including students who want to take classes at ATC to transfer to their home institution. High school juniors and seniors can access dual-enrollment opportunities if they possess a minimum 2.0 GPA. ATC also delivers distance education through Blackboard, with options for individual courses and full programs.
Students may earn technical certificates in expanding industries like physical therapy, automotive collision repair, and practical nursing. Candidates can also obtain a certificate in interior design that prepares them for careers with wholesalers and consulting firms. Additional programs include precision machining and manufacturing. Here, students can train in specialized areas like grinder control, CNC machine tools, and lathe and mill operations. For individuals interested in transfer-oriented programs, ATC offers associate degrees in veterinary technology, bioscience, and paralegal studies.
Augusta Technical College
|Augusta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 39%||
Augusta Technical College bolsters the economic and community development of its five-county service area through accessible educational programming. The college enrolls 4,400 students every semester and boasts a 16-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Augusta Tech bases its affordable tuition prices on residency status, and students can access generous state grants and institutional scholarships. Over 95% of graduates secure employment or pursue advanced academics in their field.
Augusta Tech offers programs in five broad areas that include allied health sciences and nursing. Students can earn technical certificates in magnetic resonance imaging, personal training, and healthcare assisting, as well as associate degrees in areas like pharmacy technology and respiratory care. Learners can also earn associate credentials that prepare them to work as registered nurses.
Augusta Tech delivers comprehensive agribusiness training. In addition to a general associate degree, students can pursue specialized credentials in agribusiness management and policy. The college also provides law enforcement training and continuing education.
Georgia Piedmont Technical College
|Clarkston, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 40%||
Located in Clarkston, Georgia Piedmont Technical College is one of the oldest and most respected postsecondary institutions in the state. The school operates a holistic admissions process that considers a candidate's academic history and potential. Students pay low tuition rates based on residency and citizenship status. Through the HOPE Career Grant, GPTC offers tuition-free education that enables students to earn credentials in areas like health information management coding and early childhood exceptionalities.
Students can obtain associate degrees in 18-24 months in areas such as human resource management, criminal justice technology, and computer programming. Learners may craft their own degree plan by enrolling in the interdisciplinary studies program. The college also delivers associate training for prospective clinical laboratory technicians and opticians.
GPTC provides diverse diplomas and technical certificates. Candidates can pursue training in areas like legal administration, pipe welding, and basic law enforcement. The school also delivers quick-track options for commercial truck driving.
Gwinnett Technical College
|Lawrenceville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
Based in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett Technical College serves approximately 9,000 students across nearly 140 certificate, diploma, and associate programs. High school students can get a head start on their college education by dual enrolling in either campus-based or online programs. GTC offers dedicated support to veterans, who can earn college credits for their military experience and enjoy access to distinct scholarships and grants.
Students can pursue training in six broad areas of study, including public and professional services. Options include automotive technology, criminal justice, and heavy diesel technology. GTC also hosts the Mercedes-Benz College Automotive Program, which facilitates internship opportunities and allows students to earn an associate degree.
Additional programming includes options in commercial construction management, culinary arts, game development, and nursing. Learners can also enroll in a certificate program for clinical research, taking classes like applied statistics, technical communication, and regulatory procedures. Graduates are prepared to occupy entry-level positions within major hospitals and contract research organizations.
Central Georgia Technical College
|Warner Robins, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 30%||
Central Georgia Technical College is headquartered in Warner Robins but serves a diverse student population over an 11-county area. The school provides academic programs, workforce development training, continuing education, and dual-enrollment options. CGTC also helps learners obtain their GED through flexible classes and test preparation services. Additionally, the college offers accelerated training opportunities that enable candidates to earn their GED and a technical certificate in under two semesters.
The school's catalog includes programs in fields like banking and finance, barbering, criminal justice, and dental hygiene. CGTC also offers an aircraft structural technology diploma, wherein coursework includes blueprint reading, aerospace quality management, and aircraft metallurgy. Additionally, students develop transferable skills in applied mathematics and interpersonal communication.
CGTC features three general studies options that allow students to complete their core requirements before pursuing specialized training at a four-year institution. Alternatively, they can earn an associate of applied science in interdisciplinary studies, crafting an individual degree plan to support career objectives. The school also offers an associate-completion track for candidates who already have a technical diploma or certificate.
Chattahoochee Technical College
|Marietta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 26%||
Chattahoochee Technical College enrolls 10,500 students across eight campuses. The school also offers online education opportunities powered by Blackboard. Distance learners can earn full credentials remotely or they can take individual classes to create a flexible hybrid experience. Through its Economic Development Division, CTC offers noncredit skill training classes to help working professionals advance their careers. CTC is one of the few community colleges in Georgia to facilitate study abroad, enabling students to travel for education and cultural enrichment.
The majority of programs at CTC center on business and technical studies. Students can earn associate degrees in logistics and supply chain management, environmental technology, and early childhood care and education. They may also pursue cybersecurity training and specialize in either Cisco, Microsoft, or Unix/Linux operations. Additional certificate options are available in fields like television production technology, carpentry, and commercial truck driving.
CTC's health sciences programs include emergency medical services and healthcare management. Students can also train to become practical nurses and nursing assistants.
Georgia Perimeter College
|Decatur, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 13%||
Perimeter College offers 30 flexible academic programs for students who want to ease their way into higher education. As part of Georgia State University, Perimeter focuses on transfer pathways that enable learners to earn an affordable associate degree before pursuing baccalaureate credentials at GSU or another four-year institution. Program options include business administration, kinesiology, and engineering. Students may also earn a political science associate degree, which prepares them to occupy public service and legal positions.
Additional programs cover the spectrum of the humanities, fine arts, and life sciences. Learners can pursue an associate in homeland security, which trains them to respond to natural disasters and terrorist activities. The school also delivers nursing programs for working LPNs and candidates without relevant work experience. Like other community colleges in Georgia, Perimeter provides online learning opportunities through Blackboard.
Students pay affordable tuition rates based on residency status and program type. Available financial aid opportunities include awards specifically for engineering and allied health degree candidates. Learners with at least a 3.5 GPA and adequate test scores can enroll in the honors program, which comes with benefits like distinct scholarships, priority enrollment, and one-on-one advising.