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Become Team
Become Team
November 18, 2020

There are 30 institutions of higher education in Georgia. Each has something unique to offer students, whether one is looking to attend a major Division 1 university in Atlanta, a private arts school in Savannah or one of the many community colleges dotted across the state. With so many options, prospective students may be worried about choosing the right Georgia college. This page provides the information needed to make a smart decision, from college rankings to planning resources to cost comparisons. Continue reading and begin researching colleges in Georgia.

Georgia's Best Colleges

We calculated our rankings of this year’s top Georgia colleges using criteria such as tuition cost, alumni earnings, grant and scholarship availability, student-to-teacher ratio and more. This list provides an unbiased, objective picture of which colleges in Georgia best prepare students to succeed after graduation. Prospective applicants can use these rankings as a starting place to begin narrowing down the field and an ongoing reference point when researching individual schools.

Rankings Methodology Minimum Qualifications
  • Located in Georgia
  • Public or private not-for-profit
  • Institutionally accredited
  • At least 10 total programs
Ranking Metrics
  • Median annual alumni earnings 10 years after entering the college
  • In-state tuition and fees for undergraduates
  • Student/teacher ratio
  • 6-year graduation rate
  • % of students receiving institutional financial aid (first-time, full-time undergrads)
  • Average amount of institutional aid awarded per student (first-time, full-time undergrads)
  • Availability of placement services upon completion
  • Availability of academic/career counseling services
  • Availability of employment services
  • 3-year student cohort loan default rate
Data Sources

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS): National Center for Education Statistics

Latest 'Final Release' data available as of Fall 2016 College Scorecard: U.S. Department of Education

2-Year Programs

Athens Technical College View School Profile $ 29% 99.83 $26,900 13:1 1% N/A 3 131 Yes Yes
Bainbridge State College View School Profile $ 6% 98.7 $24,200 19:1 14% N/A 0 47 Yes Yes
Augusta Technical College View School Profile $ 20% 98.29 $22,400 14:1 20% N/A 2 106 Yes Yes
Andrew College View School Profile $$ 22% 98.21 $26,400 15:1 100% 46% 0 37 No Yes
South Georgia Technical College View School Profile $ 32% 98.19 $23,300 14:1 3% N/A 0 105 Yes No
Atlanta Technical College View School Profile $ 24% 97.83 $21,900 16:1 33% N/A 5 122 Yes No
Albany Technical College View School Profile $ 41% 97.34 $22,000 18:1 2% N/A 9 142 Yes Yes
Gwinnett Technical College View School Profile $ 18% 97.05 $33,600 20:1 N/A N/A 0 150 Yes Yes
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College View School Profile $ 25% 96.67 $24,100 13:1 N/A N/A 6 142 Yes Yes
Lanier Technical College View School Profile $ 28% 96.33 $25,800 14:1 N/A N/A 8 126 Yes No
North Georgia Technical College View School Profile $ 30% 96.33 $21,200 17:1 1% N/A 0 88 Yes Yes
West Georgia Technical College View School Profile $ 17% 96.26 $27,800 17:1 N/A N/A 6 105 Yes No
Chattahoochee Technical College View School Profile $ 10% 96.16 $28,400 24:1 N/A N/A 6 142 Yes No
Georgia Northwestern Technical College View School Profile $ 19% 96 $25,700 19:1 N/A N/A 3 145 Yes Yes
Southern Regional Technical College View School Profile $ 32% 95.97 $25,200 12:1 N/A N/A 0 74 Yes Yes
Georgia Piedmont Technical College View School Profile $ 20% 95.94 $26,300 17:1 N/A N/A 13 109 Yes Yes
Savannah Technical College View School Profile $ 26% 95.92 $25,800 17:1 N/A N/A 0 117 Yes Yes
Columbus Technical College View School Profile $ 16% 95.72 $26,000 18:1 N/A N/A 7 98 Yes Yes
Oconee Fall Line Technical College View School Profile $ 37% 95.7 $22,800 11:1 N/A N/A 3 86 Yes No
Southeastern Technical College View School Profile $ 27% 95.59 $22,000 11:1 N/A N/A 5 82 Yes No
Ogeechee Technical College View School Profile $ 29% 95.37 $21,600 16:1 N/A N/A 4 132 Yes No
Southern Regional Technical College View School Profile $ 40% 94.65 $21,900 14:1 N/A N/A 1 85 Yes Yes
Coastal Pines Technical College View School Profile $ 43% 94.47 N/A 12:1 N/A N/A 3 88 Yes No
Georgia Perimeter College View School Profile $ 9% 90.97 $32,500 19:1 2% 51% 1 10 No Yes
Central Georgia Technical College View School Profile $ 31% 89.2 N/A 15:1 N/A N/A 14 166 Yes Yes
Georgia Military College View School Profile $ N/A 86 N/A 25:1 31% N/A 22 22 No No

4-Year Programs

Emory University View School Profile $$$$ 90% 99.8 $59,000 8:1 49% 27% 0 118 Yes No
Mercer University View School Profile $$$$ 63% 98.8 $46,600 13:1 99% 67% 5 97 Yes Yes
University of Georgia View School Profile $$ 81% 97.74 $46,500 18:1 20% 56% 6 231 Yes No
Brenau University View School Profile $$$ 45% 97.72 $42,600 11:1 98% 76% 17 63 Yes Yes
Spelman College View School Profile $$$ 73% 97.5 $46,400 10:1 45% 54% 0 28 Yes No
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus View School Profile $$ 79% 97.39 $74,000 18:1 32% 33% 7 75 Yes No
Shorter University View School Profile $$$ 47% 97.13 $43,000 12:1 97% 69% 6 42 Yes No
Agnes Scott College View School Profile $$$$ 64% 97.07 $39,400 10:1 100% 68% 0 34 Yes No
Piedmont College View School Profile $$$ 52% 96.53 $38,800 11:1 100% 58% 0 40 No Yes
LaGrange College View School Profile $$$$ 43% 96.2 $38,100 10:1 100% 55% 0 36 Yes No
Morehouse College View School Profile $$$ 55% 96.07 $40,900 12:1 57% 84% 0 27 Yes No
Covenant College View School Profile $$$$ 61% 95.67 $39,800 14:1 95% 97% 0 39 Yes No
Oglethorpe University View School Profile $$$$ 55% 95.61 $43,900 14:1 98% 78% 0 28 Yes No
Berry College View School Profile $$$$ 62% 95.52 $37,700 12:1 100% 61% 0 40 Yes No
Wesleyan College View School Profile $$ 48% 94.78 $37,100 13:1 100% N/A 0 35 Yes No
Columbus State University View School Profile $ 34% 93.81 $36,100 17:1 13% 55% 15 66 Yes Yes
Kennesaw State University View School Profile $ 42% 93.66 $41,300 21:1 4% 53% 18 79 Yes No
Georgia College and State University View School Profile $$ 57% 93.49 $38,500 18:1 8% 76% 7 63 Yes Yes
Georgia Southern University View School Profile $ 50% 93.45 $39,300 21:1 8% 63% 17 98 No Yes
Georgia State University View School Profile $$ 51% 93.3 $41,500 21:1 3% 59% 0 130 Yes No
Albany State University View School Profile $ 39% 93.05 $32,700 16:1 11% 47% 7 45 Yes Yes
Reinhardt University View School Profile $$ 28% 92.94 $35,400 12:1 72% 90% 2 38 Yes Yes
Savannah College of Art and Design View School Profile $$$$ 65% 92.8 $35,400 19:1 94% 67% 16 72 Yes No
Armstrong Atlantic State University View School Profile $ 31% 92.68 $39,400 17:1 4% 68% 3 47 No Yes
Clayton State University View School Profile $ 28% 92.68 $38,500 18:1 8% 42% 3 38 Yes No
Thomas University View School Profile $$ 14% 92.62 $37,400 10:1 86% 60% 10 25 Yes Yes
Georgia Southwestern State University View School Profile $ 29% 92.6 $36,400 16:1 32% 70% 2 28 Yes Yes
Valdosta State University View School Profile $ 41% 92.54 $38,000 19:1 4% 54% 5 78 No Yes
Emmanuel College View School Profile $$ 39% 91.96 $32,900 12:1 93% 49% 0 24 No No
Clark Atlanta University View School Profile $$$ 39% 91.83 $33,700 17:1 58% 85% 0 53 Yes No
Brewton-Parker College View School Profile $$ 21% 91.78 $34,700 14:1 97% N/A 0 33 No Yes
Young Harris College View School Profile $$$$ N/A 91.55 $34,100 11:1 100% 50% 0 21 Yes No
University of West Georgia View School Profile $ 37% 91.17 $36,900 21:1 7% 49% 6 72 Yes No
Life University View School Profile $$ 41% 91.04 $32,200 12:1 37% 57% 0 12 Yes No
Toccoa Falls College View School Profile $$ 45% 90.92 $26,400 15:1 93% 37% 4 27 Yes No
University of North Georgia View School Profile $ 53% 90.84 N/A 21:1 6% 69% 4 52 Yes Yes
Georgia Regents University View School Profile $$ 27% 90.82 N/A 13:1 9% 77% 10 62 No No
Paine College View School Profile $$ 22% 90.38 $25,900 12:1 43% 22% 0 24 Yes Yes
Savannah State University View School Profile $ 32% 90.26 $30,800 20:1 10% 78% 0 28 Yes Yes
Fort Valley State University View School Profile $ 29% 90.19 $28,900 17:1 8% 24% 6 47 Yes No
Truett-McConnell College View School Profile $$ 9% 89.91 $32,400 14:1 97% 96% 4 14 Yes No
Georgia Christian University View School Profile $ N/A 89.27 N/A 6:1 8% N/A 0 10 No No
Point University View School Profile $$ 37% 89.22 $28,800 20:1 99% 52% 0 18 No No
College of Coastal Georgia View School Profile $ N/A 88.11 $28,000 18:1 7% 92% 1 10 Yes Yes
Middle Georgia State University View School Profile $ 20% 88.1 N/A 21:1 17% 60% 1 17 Yes Yes
Dalton State College View School Profile $ 15% 87.73 $30,400 29:1 3% N/A 1 16 Yes Yes
Georgia Gwinnett College View School Profile $ N/A 86 N/A 19:1 3% N/A 0 12 No No

Find and Compare Colleges in Georgia

While tuition and fees are a primary concern for many students, there are other factors to consider when researching Georgia colleges. Some students may be concerned with class size or acceptance rate, while others are concerned with location and specific degree programs. This search tool allows students to narrow their options and compare results according to the features that are most important to them.

Planning Programs for Aspiring Georgia College Students

Not all Georgia students plan or are able to attend college. There are many reasons for this, including language barriers, lack of higher education in the family, and socio-economic obstacles. Many organizations and programs exist in Georgia to help at-risk and poor students find entry into college, which will likely improve their career prospects and earning potential.

College Access Challenge Grant

This grant combines $12 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education with $6 million in matching state funds. The grant targets students underrepresented in postsecondary education, and adults at risk of not finishing college. The goal of the grant is to increase the number of these students prepared for, informed about and motivated for postsecondary education.

Empowered Youth Programs

Empowered Youth Programs is an academic enrichment program for students in Clarke and surrounding counties. The program was started by Dr. Deryl Bailey at the University of Georgia, and initially targeted African American youth grades 9 to 12. Now, the focus includes young women, too. It provides group counseling and developmental support for kids, with the vision that everyone should have access to a college education.

GA College 411

GA College 411 is an online portal offering numerous resources for students preparing for college. It walks its members through a timeline and checklist for college prep, has a search function for looking at programs and majors, and a detailed list of schools.

REACH Georgia

The Realizing Education Can Happen program is a need-based scholarship and mentorship program that encourages middle-school-aged students to pursue their educational goals. The program provides students with academic, social and financial support to attend college, graduate and enter the workforce.

Determining Georgia College Costs

There are many factors that affect the cost of college in Georgia, but the two main things are residency and financial aid. These two factors can greatly influence the overall bill of a degree program, as well as credit cost. Students considering colleges in Georgia can use the charts below to compare schools' average tuition rates with financial aid availability, both statewide and nationally.

Source: CollegeBoard

Source: IPEDS

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a postsecondary institution.

* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Georgia Colleges With Lowest Net Price

How much does school in Georgia cost compared to schools around the country? We've calculated the net cost - tuition cost minus gift financial aid - of Georgia colleges compared them with other schools nationwide. These are the top six most affordable schools in the state.

Georgia College Net Price vs. National Average

Average Annual Net Price
GEORGIA $15,541
$18,073

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Georgia Colleges for Best Post-Grad Earnings

Students ultimately determine how much they make after graduation; how well they apply themselves in their programs, which interests they pursue and how well they use their network contribute. Nonetheless, some schools consistently turn out graduates that make more than others. Here are the six colleges in Georgia that have the highest-paid alumni ten years down the road. One can also compare Georgia's top-earners' salaries with the national average.

Georgia Alumni Salaries vs. National Average

Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After Entering College
GEORGIA $37,396
$42,759

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Best Georgia Colleges for Minimal Student Loan Debt

No one wants to graduate college and begin a career with a mountain of student loan debt. There are many federal and private grants and scholarships available to students. Often schools and academic departments have their own financial aid programs that award scholarships to applicants. This gift aid helps reduce the amount of loans needed to pay for college. Here are the six schools in Georgia that graduate students with the least amount of student loan debt.

Georgia College Grad Debt Vs. National Average

Median Federal Student
Loan Debt After Graduation
GEORGIA $22,908
$23,145

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

A Look at Georgia's Cost of Living

Tuition and books are not the only costs that contribute to a college: students must consider housing, groceries, transportation and health care when calculating a budget. Fortunately, Georgia's cost-of-living is about two percent below than the national average. Check out the illustration below to see specific numbers for categories like utilities, food and gas in Georgia's biggest cities.

area composite index housing groceries utilities transportation health care misc.
Statewide Average 91% 77% 100% 93% 95% 98% 98%
Albany 90% 71% 103% 94% 99% 101% 95%
Atlanta 100% 96% 104% 95% 104% 102% 101%
Columbus 90% 75% 101% 66% 89% 113% 102%
Marietta 93% 85% 100% 93% 90% 101% 98%
Savannah 91% 68% 96% 109% 97% 98% 99%

Source: The Council for Community and Economic Research

Accreditation at Georgia Colleges

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional accrediting body for Georgia institutions of higher education. The SACSCC is responsible for holding Georgia colleges and universities to educational and instructional standards laid out by state, regional and national expectations. Without an accrediting body, there is no guarantee that a degree or certification program meets any kind of standard or curriculum requirement. While the SACSCC certifies many schools in Georgia, some individual degree programs are certified by industry-specific accrediting bodies. For example:

Popular Cities to Attend College in Georgia

Atlanta

As the capital and largest city in the state, Atlanta is home to 16 colleges and universities. Economic industries of impact for the city include logistics - it's home to one of the busiest airports in the world -business and professional services, and media operations. It offers all of the perks of a large city, but students can find quieter settings nestled on Atlanta college and university campuses.

College Name School Type Annual Net Price Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

AtlantaEmory University Private not-for-profit $21,681 $39,400
The largest private school in the state, Emory is home to nearly 15,000 students. It has four undergraduate schools with hundreds of degree programs, and seven graduate schools, including those for law, medicine, nursing and theology. Admission is competitive: The College of Arts and Sciences admitted only 25 percent of applicants to the 2020 class. It does, though, have a large international student base composed of 3,800 international students from 100 countries.
AtlantaGeorgia State University Public $19,866 $41,800
GSU offers 250 degree programs through eight colleges to, as of fall 2015, 32,000 undergraduate students. There are many impressive points within the colleges at GSU, including its nursing program, which is one of the few in the country to offer a nursing PhD. Also worth noting is that GSU offers the largest respiratory therapy program in the state, and the first physical therapy program. Graduates of this PT program achieved a 100 percent pass-rate on the licensure exam, 7 percent above than the national average.
AtlantaGeorgia Institute of Technology Public $11,053 $74,000
Georgia Tech has a long tradition of excellence in technology fields and holds many state and national rankings. GT awards more engineering degrees to women than any other school in the nation, and is one of the top colleges graduating underrepresented minorities in engineering, architecture, and computer science. Many of its programs - including industrial, aerospace and civil engineering - rank among the top five undergraduate programs in the country.
Savannah

Savannah is Georgia's oldest city and its third-largest metropolitan area, with nearly 380,000 people. Its industries include manufacturing, military and tourism. Its port is one of the most important along the Atlantic coast. It served important roles in the Civil War, the 1996 Olympics and the civil rights movement. The city has ten universities and a number of technical schools for students to explore. Three are highlighted below.

College Name School Type Annual Net Price Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

SavannahArmstrong Atlantic State University Public $14,795 $39,400
Armstrong has four colleges in education, health professionals, liberal arts, and science and technology. Through these colleges, the university offers more than 100 degree programs of which students can take advantage. Seven thousand students are enrolled each year. In the fall of 2015, women made up 67 percent of the school's enrollments, and 87 percent of the state's female student population. The student body also represents 68 other countries. More than 85 percent of its students received some form of financial aid.
SavannahSavannah State University Public $26,861 $48,200
Savannah State University is the oldest public historically black college in the state. It offers 30 bachelor's degrees and six graduate programs. Total enrollment is less than 5,000 but it is a NCAA Division I athletic school and with more than 75 clubs. Important to note is the fact that 90 percent of its students are on some form of scholarship or financial aid. The university's mission is to ?develop members of a global society through high-quality instruction, scholarship, research, service, and community involvement.?
SavannahSavannah Technical College Public $16,523 $42,100
Savannah Technical College is the city's community college. The school offers nearly 150 programs, ranging from aviation technology and public service to health sciences and business. Each semester more than 4,500 students enroll to take classes, whether full-time or part-time. The mission of the college is to provide world-class education, skills training and lifelong learning opportunities through the delivery of degrees, certificates and adult education.

Source: College Scorecard

More Information on Georgia Colleges

Students may need a little more information before deciding which Georgia colleges and universities suit them best. Each school has a wealth of information for prospective applicants, but here are some additional helpful resources.

Georgia Higher Education Alliance

This member-based, non-profit organization is a consortium of Georgia colleges and universities that provide degree programs that support the state's working adult students. Regardless of the desired education outcome, be it a certificate or a four-year degree, GAHEA matches students with the appropriate institutional program to meet their needs.

Georgia Inclusive Postsecondary Education Consortium

The GAIPEC is committed to ensuring that all Georgia students have access to college regardless of intellectual or development disability. The organization is based in the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University.

Georgia Student Finance Commission

The GSFC helps students achieve their educational goals through scholarships and financial aid, and advocates for affordable higher education.

University System of Georgia

Find contact information for all Georgia colleges and universities. The University also has resources for faculty, parents and prospective students.

Become Team
Become Team
Contributing Writer