Cheapest Colleges in Georgia

Explore a list of the cheapest colleges in Georgia and learn about the cost of living and attending college in Georgia.
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Updated on September 18, 2023
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If you're searching for an affordable college education, you might want to consider attending college in Georgia. When looking at in-state tuition at public four-year schools, the Peach State came in as the 11th cheapest state, according to 2021 data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

In 2023, the Georgia Board of Regents voted not to raise tuition for almost all public colleges and universities in the state of Georgia. As the cost of college tuition has more than tripled since the 1960s, even a year's pause on tuition hikes can spell big relief for student budgets.

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Cheapest Colleges in Georgia

Here's a close look at the three cheapest colleges in Georgia based on the most recent NCES net price data. All schools are four-year nonprofit institutions.

1. Dalton State College

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $5,532
  • Acceptance Rate: Open admissions
  • Total Student Enrollment: 4,527

Located in northwest Georgia, Dalton State College offers affordable degrees in business, communication and humanities, education, health professions, social sciences and history, and STEM. The school also offers online options, including an accelerated online path to completing the core curriculum that typically makes up your first two years of college.

Nontraditional college students may be more likely to find a good fit at Dalton. In the 2022-2023 academic year, over half (52%) of the student body identified as first-generation college students. And almost one-fifth (17%) of students were over the age of 24.

2. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $7,260
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 3,647

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College is located in Tifton, Georgia, a rural community in South Georgia. ABAC's campus includes the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, which features a steam train, blacksmith shop, and grist mill, among other attractions.

The School of Agriculture and Natural Resources offers seven bachelor's degree programs in agricultural-related business, communication, education, and technology management, as well as environmental horticulture and natural resource management. The school is also known for its nursing program.

3. Savannah State University

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $9,452
  • Acceptance Rate: Open admissions
  • Total Student Enrollment: 2,945

Over 90% of students at Savannah State University receive financial aid or a scholarship. In 2022, the average amount of grant or scholarship aid awarded exceeded $12,000.

In addition to being one of the most affordable schools in Georgia, Savannah State University is also the oldest public historically Black college or university (HBCU) in the state. The school offers 30 bachelor's programs and five graduate programs. It has a student-to-faculty ratio of 21-to-1.

10 Most Affordable Colleges in Georgia

We've created a complete list of the 10 most affordable four-year nonprofit universities in Georgia. You can use the table below to compare data on student population, average net cost, acceptance rate, and number of applicants.

The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Schools with fewer than 500 undergraduates were not included in this list.

10 Cheapest Colleges in Georgia
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate Number of Applicants
Dalton State College 4,527 $5,532 100% N/A
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College 3,647 $7,260 67% 2,349
Savannah State University 2,945 $9,452 100% N/A
Clayton State University 5,847 $9,792 56% 2,255
Georgia Gwinnett College 11,030 $10,981 94% 5,626
University of North Georgia 18,029 $11,721 70% 11,920
College of Coastal Georgia 3,147 $12,117 98% 2,519
Georgia Southwestern State University 3,070 $12,186 73% 1,939
Valdosta State University 10,209 $12,836 89% 4,975
Columbus State University 7,479 $12,902 88% 3,870
Fort Valley State University 2,605 $13,016 43% 6,247
Source: NCES

What Is the Cost of College in Georgia?

The cost of college in Georgia ranges from as little as $3,000 per year on average for in-state students at public two-year schools to over $30,000 per year for tuition at private four-year schools.

You may be able to make college more affordable by applying for scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid.

Cost of College in Georgia in 2021
Institution Type Average Tuition & Required Fees
Public 4-Year (In-State) $7,525
Public 4-Year (Out-of-State) $23,430
Private 4-Year $30,380
Public 2-Year (In-State) $3,169
Public 2-Year (Out-of-State) $8,535
Source: NCES

What Is the Cost of Living in Georgia?

Another reason Georgia is a great choice for college-goers looking to cut costs is its below-average cost of living. Georgia ranks in the bottom third of all states for its general cost of living, according to 2023 data from the Council for Community and Economic Research, and its housing is particularly affordable compared to national levels.

Georgia metro areas like Savannah and Augusta also fall below many other similarly sized metro areas in the Southeast region and nationally.

This low cost of living extends to college tuition, too. As of 2021, the average annual tuition and fees for in-state students at a public four-year college was just $7,525 in Georgia compared to $9,375 nationally.

Frequently Asked Questions About Affordable Colleges in Georgia

Do I qualify for in-state tuition in Georgia?

You qualify for in-state tuition in Georgia if your parent or legal guardian has been a Georgia resident for the past 12 months.

If you're an independent student (not claimed as a dependent on your parents' tax return), then you qualify for in-state tuition if you lived in Georgia for at least 12 months preceding the start of the school year and you lived in or moved to Georgia for reasons other than attending college.

Can you get free tuition in Georgia?

Tuition is not generally free in Georgia; however, some students may be eligible for Georgia programs such as the HOPE Grant and the State of Georgia Post-Secondary Tuition Waiver that pay for some or all of a student's tuition at select colleges in the state.

Is it expensive to go to college in Georgia?

Compared to other states, it is not expensive to go to college in Georgia. As of 2021, tuition and fees at Georgia colleges cost less than in 39 other states.

Tuition at Georgia schools can run as little as $3,000 a year for in-state students at two-year public schools, and tuition at four-year schools costs about $2,000 less than the national average in 2021, according to NCES data.

Reviewed by R.J. Weiss on 8/15/2023 is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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