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Best Online Colleges in Georgia

Best Online Colleges in Georgia

Georgia is not only a great place to live but also a great place to earn an online degree. This round-up of the top online colleges in Georgia will help you find the right program and show you what to expect as an online student.

If you’re seeking a top-tier online college education, you needn’t look far. Community colleges and universities throughout Georgia offer flexible online degree programs for nearly every goal, interest, and lifestyle. Whether you’re just starting your college journey or want to advance in your current field, you’ll find accredited programs that meet high quality standards and state licensing requirements.

Attending online college in Georgia also lets you take advantage of in-state tuition and scholarships, which can be a considerable cost savings. Moreover, choosing a nearby program allows you to easily seek in-person support, engage in campus events, and even attend some classes in person.

Ready to get started? This comprehensive guide showcases Georgia’s best online colleges to help you find the program that fits your schedule, budget, and goals. We’ve also provided other valuable information, including financial aid opportunities and college planning resources for Georgia residents.

2023’s Best Online Colleges in Georgia

There’s no shortage of online colleges in Georgia to choose from. Unfortunately, that can also make it near impossible to know which are best and will fit your unique needs. But there’s no need to stress out, because we’ve done the hard work for you. The rankings below highlight the schools that do the best job of putting their students’ needs first. 

These top colleges stand out for their small class sizes, extensive student support services, affordable tuition, generous financial aid opportunities, and range of high-quality, accredited programs. Learn more about our top picks below, and see if one has what you’re looking for.

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    Base Methodology for OnlineColleges.me’s 2023 Online College Rankings

    1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

    To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

    • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

    2. Assign Weightings

    After creating the list of eligible schools, OnlineColleges.me data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

    Online Program Availability

    • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education. Because exact numbers change often and can be difficult to verify, we use a range-based scoring system: 0-5 online programs = 1 star; 6-10 = 2 stars; 11-15 = 3 stars; 16-20 = 4 stars; 21+ = 5 stars. In our design, laptop icons = stars.

    Affordability

    • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
    • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

    Support Services

    • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
    • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

    About Our Data

    OnlineColleges.me’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2022

  • Statesboro, Georgia
    Public $

    Georgia Southern University offers a wide variety of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. Its online programs in business, education, and healthcare are flexible and allow students to earn their degrees without ever traveling to campus. Students can also choose blended options that combine online and classroom work. Georgia Online Virtual Instruction Enterprise Wide (GoVIEW) is the USG’s collaborative Learning Management System and uses the Desire2Learn platform to deliver fully online course offerings. Students also receive IT services and virtual resources, access to the Academic Success Center Virtual Services Guide, academic support services, and more.

    Program Highlights:

    Bachelor of Arts, World Languages and Cultures Spanish Concentration

    • Credits: 124
    • Length: Varies
    • Cost: $182.13/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

    Special Education MEd Online Program

    • Credits: 36
    • Length: 1-2 years
    • Cost: $358/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

    Post-Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice

    • Credits: 77
    • Length: Varies
    • Cost: $389/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Atlanta, Georgia
    Public $$$

    Georgia Institute of Technology offers 13 online degree programs: 10 online Master of Science degrees and three hybrid professional master’s degrees. These options provide students with STEM and leadership capabilities for competitiveness in their fields. Students learn from world-class faculty in quality courses full of media-rich, digital learning tools and access to a variety of online tools. BuzzPort is Georgia Tech’s primary student portal designed for students to interact with services and campus colleagues, while Canvas gives access to classroom lectures, course syllabi, course content, assignments, and grades. 

    Program Highlights:

    Online Master of Science in Analytics

    • Credits: 36
    • Length: 24-72 months
    • Cost: $275/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

    Professional Master’s in Occupational Safety and Health

    • Credits: 30
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $1,100/credit
    • Mode: Blended
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

    Professional Master’s in Manufacturing Leadership

    • Credits: 30
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $1,092/credit
    • Mode: Blended
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Augusta, Georgia
    Public $$

    Augusta University Online launches in the fall of 2023. The program creates connected classrooms fostering active, experiential learning, makes education more achievable for working learners, and establishes access for Georgia students and beyond. The university begins its online instruction with one program, the online Master of Business Administration. This online MBA is an accelerated, asynchronous, cohort-based program with students completing ten courses in five consecutive semesters. Graduates can implement complex business concepts, use quantitative and qualitative tools to make sound business decisions, use innovative technology solutions, analyze global economics, and more. Admission requirements include a Bachelor’s degree, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and detailed work experience.

    Program Highlights:

    Master of Business Administration

    • Credits: 30
    • Length: 5 semesters
    • Cost: $230-$783/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Columbus, Georgia
    Public $

    Columbus State University wants students to achieve a balance of education with work and family, and CSU Online helps simplify life through flexible and convenient online courses and degree programs. CSU Online offers 39 online programs with more always being added. Students fulfill degree requirements, enhance professional qualifications, or simply explore new interests. They learn from instructors skilled in online learning and collaborate with other students virtually through CougarVIEW. Some programs do require visits to campus visits. 

    Program Highlights:

    Master of Science in Applied Computer Science

    • Credits: 30
    • Length: Varies
    • Cost: $210-$817/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

    Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management

    • Credits: 30
    • Length: Varies
    • Cost: $210-$817/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

    Bachelor of Science in Political Science

    • Credits: 123
    • Length: Varies
    • Cost: $182.13-$642.73/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Dahlonega, Georgia
    Public $

    The University of North Georgia offers several fully online certificates and associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Undergraduate core requirements are offered online through eCore, the University System of Georgia’s fully online core curriculum, with other courses offered through UNG Online and eMajor. Students create schedules of strictly online courses, or they combine online and face-to-face courses to build a schedule that works for their personal and professional obligations. Online students experience flexible scheduling options, low tuition rates, easily transferable course credits from a regionally accredited university, and free eCore Textbooks. Courses can be synchronous or asynchronous, some with proctored exams, and are accompanied by tech and student support.

    Program Highlights:

    Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Intelligence PhD

    • Credits: 54
    • Length: Varies
    • Cost: $340.50/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

    Master of Arts in International Affairs

    • Credits: 36
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $340.50/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

    Master of Education with a major in Early Childhood Education

    • Credits: 39
    • Length: 6 semesters
    • Cost: $340.50/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Carrollton, Georgia
    Public $
  • Savannah, Georgia
    Public $
  • Macon, Georgia
    Private not-for-profit $$$$$
  • Athens, Georgia
    Public $$
  • Albany, Georgia
    Public $
  • Marietta, Georgia
    Private not-for-profit $$$
  • Fort Valley, Georgia
    Public $
  • Morrow, Georgia
    Public $
  • Milledgeville, Georgia
    Public $$
  • Atlanta, Georgia
    Public $$
  • Brunswick, Georgia
    Public $
  • Rome, Georgia
    Private not-for-profit $$$$$
  • Waleska, Georgia
    Private not-for-profit $$$$$
  • Toccoa Falls, Georgia
    Private not-for-profit $$$$$
  • Cleveland, Georgia
    Private not-for-profit $$$$$
  • Barnesville, Georgia
    Public $
  • Atlanta, Georgia
    Private not-for-profit $$$
  • Atlanta, Georgia
    Private not-for-profit $$$$
  • Atlanta, Georgia
    Private for-profit $$$
  • Decatur, Georgia
    Private for-profit $$$

Online Learning Methods in Georgia: Which is Right for You?

When choosing an online college, you want to make sure the program works with your schedule and learning style. When the logistics of a program are a good fit, you’ll be set up for success and able to put your energy toward learning. Georgia online colleges feature various learning options – fully online or hybrid/blended, asynchronous or synchronous, and part-time or full-time – that cater to your needs. Learn about each mode and discover schools that feature them below.

Fully Online vs. Hybrid/Blended

Georgia offers a variety of fully online and hybrid degree programs. Fully online programs, where all coursework and exams take place online, are convenient for busy students with many outside obligations or for those who live further away from campus. Hybrid programs, where online elements fully replace some in-person instruction, and blended programs, where online components work in conjunction with or supplement in-person instruction, are valuable for students pursuing hands-on careers like nursing or education. They also offer structure and community support to help keep you on track and engaged with your learning community. The programs highlighted below give you an idea of what each format looks like.

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies at Georgia Southern University (Hybrid/Blended)

Georgia Southern University hosts a slew of hybrid graduate programs to make the school an excellent fit for working professionals looking to advance their careers. The Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies is a great example of the benefits of blended education with specializations in social justice education and learning and development. Designed with working teachers in mind, much of the research and lecture-based coursework is asynchronous and online. Students then meet face-to-face on certain weekends across the semester. There is limited flexibility with your course load, though, and you must complete your degree within five years. A full-time, in-state student can expect to pay around $4,085 per semester, including tuition and fees. 

Cyber Forensics Technology at Georgia Piedmont Technical College (Fully Online)

Georgia Piedmont Technical College offers a vast range of 100% online degrees focused on skill-specific career goals. The school’s associate degree in Cyber Forensics Technology, for example, is a 62-credit program combining courses in criminal justice and computer science to ensure that graduates leave with the requisite skills to enter the rapidly growing field of cyber forensics. Students can pursue any of Georgia Piedmont’s degrees on a full-time or part-time basis. In-state students pay only $100 per credit instead of the $400 per credit for out-of-state learners. This means that a degree in Cyber Forensics would cost only $6,200 for Georgian residents. 

Asynchronous vs. Synchronous

Most online degree programs in Georgia are asynchronous. This structure allows you to schedule coursework around your other responsibilities. However, some students prefer more structure, making synchronous courses a great option. The responsibility to show up on time for class helps you stay on top of your work, plus you’ll have the opportunity to interact with classmates and instructors in real time. The schools featured below give more details on the ins and outs of asynchronous versus synchronous learning.

Management at Clayton State University (Asynchronous)

Clayton State University is known for its many asynchronous online programs. The school offers online degrees at every level, from associate to master’s, and even has dual degree programs. Flexibility is key at Clayton, and its online programs let you organize your studies around your schedule. In addition, the school employs the top-of-the-line online learning platform BrightSpace to facilitate interactions between you and your instructors and peers. Clayton also offers a host of online student services, including tutoring, advising, and a virtual writing center to ensure you get all the support you need. 

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at Georgia Gwinnett College (Synchronous)

While many schools offer a few synchronous online classes, Georgia Gwinnett College is one of the few schools in Georgia offering fully synchronous online degrees. Its popular information technology bachelor’s degree program exemplifies the benefits of synchronous online learning since you can get answers on the spot and continue your coursework without delay. Plus, synchronous learning offers opportunities for more meaningful interactions between students and their classmates. Though your courses may be online, Georgia Gwinnett still goes out of its way to make sure you feel supported through its network of connections that place students in internships and community collaborations. 

Part-Time vs. Full-Time

Most online colleges in Georgia allow you to study part-time or full-time and let you decide how much work to take on each semester. Studying full-time means you’ll complete your degree faster, and you’ll probably have more financial aid and scholarship options. However, a part-time program is often more realistic if you’re working full-time or have child-care responsibilities. Since many employers offer tuition reimbursement, pursuing your studies part-time while working can be a great way to finance your education. Two great program options are featured below to help you compare and contrast full-time and part-time programs.

Healthcare Services and Informatics Administration at the University of North Georgia (Part-time)

There are many degree opportunities you can pursue part-time online at the University of North Georgia. The school prides itself on providing a solid interdisciplinary base before transitioning students into total immersion in their fields. At the University of North Georgia, students take as many or as few credit hours as they want per semester, and they pay by the credit. The Healthcare Services & Informatics Administration bachelor’s program, for example, is a 120-credit-hour program that full-time students complete in four years. Part-time students set their own pace, and there is no time limit on finishing the degree. 

Master of Avian and Health Medicine at the University of Georgia (Full-time)

While most online programs in Georgia can be pursued full or part-time, some advanced degrees like the Master of Avian Health and Medicine at the University of Georgia require full-time enrollment. Students enter the program with a cohort that progresses all students at the same pace. This limits how often courses are offered, so part-time study is difficult. Because this program is 100% online, the University of Georgia, like many schools in the state, waives some fees to reduce overall cost. With these discounts, master’s students in the Avian Health program can expect to pay around $7,500 per semester for in-state tuition.

Reviewing Accreditation for Online Colleges in Georgia

No matter which online college in Georgia you choose, make sure it is accredited. Accreditation by the appropriate regional or national body ensures you’re receiving a quality education resulting in a diploma future employers find credible. The best colleges in Georgia are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), though some vocational and theological programs are overseen by national accreditation organizations that offer the same assurance of quality. Make sure the program you are interested in lists an accreditation on its website. You can also check accreditation at the US Department of Education. There are also program-level accreditations for many programs, so it’s worth looking into what these are in your field and seeking out a program with this certification. This guide to accreditation can help further demystify accreditation for you. 

What Your Online Degree in Georgia Might Cost

The average cost of college in Georgia ranges from $18,554 and $43,626, so determining your cost ahead of time can be a challenge. A significant upside of pursuing your degree online in Georgia is a lower overall cost since online tuition doesn’t usually include facilities fees, housing, etc. Plus, you won’t pay for commuting, on-site housing, or meal plans. The cost of your education depends on many factors, though, including the type of degree, whether a school is public or private, and whether you study full-time or part-time. A significant advantage to pursuing an online college degree in Georgia is that even though you’re not on campus, you still qualify for in-state tuition as a Georgia resident. Combining lower tuition with financial aid and scholarships makes it possible to earn a top-quality degree at a reasonable price. 

School NameOn-Campus
In-State
On-Campus
Out-of-State
Online
In-State
Online
Out-of-State
Dalton State College$ 4,246/year$12,668/year$4,246/year$4,246/year
Georgia College$8,974/year$28,154/year$9,243/year$27,089
/year
Columbus State University$7,334/year$21,134/year$6,285/year$21,134/year
University of Western Georgia$7,614/year$21,432/year$5,584/year$19,401/year
Fort Valley State University$6,408/year$19,810/year$6,510/year$6,510/year

* Costs include tuition and required fees of undergraduate programs.

Securing Financial Aid as a Georgia Online Student

Georgia is committed to providing its residents with access to higher education, so plenty of options are available to offset your degree’s cost. Financial aid is offered by the state and individual schools, and you can search for financial aid opportunities specific to your program as well. While many financial aid programs are need-based, many are also targeted at students from particular counties, veterans, first-generation college students, and other groups. This guide to financial aid is a great place to start your research. 

A host of scholarships are also available in Georgia through schools, non-profits, and private organizations targeting specific majors, certain types of students, high-performing students, and students with financial need. The Georgia Student Finance Commission, for example, has some tremendous Georgia-specific resources, including a catalog of a slew of grants for Georgians. The Hope & Zell Miller Scholarships, for instance, is awarded based on financial need, while the Georgia College Completion Grant assists students who have completed most of their studies. For those considering a career in the military, there is the North Georgia ROTC Grant. This scholarships guide can also get you started tracking down scholarships.

Rapidly Growing Careers for Georgia College Grads

If you’re not sure what career or degree you want to pursue, looking at the fastest-growing college-level careers in Georgia provides a good starting point. The fastest-growing careers for Georgia are listed below to give you an idea of what to expect in terms of job growth and earnings after you earn your degree. 

CareerJob Growth (2020-2030)Annual Mean Wage (2021)
Nurse Practitioner78.6%$109,560
Occupational Therapy Assistant63.9%$66,740
Physical Therapy Assistant58.4%$59,510
Sound Engineering Technicians45.8%$81,370
Film and Video Editors41.6%$58,560
Archivist40%$57,070
Epidemiologist39.4%$60,210
Computer Numerically Controlled Tool Programmers38.7%$41,390
Ophthalmic Medical Technician37.6%$38,030
Physician Assistant37.4%$108,290

Sources: Bureau of Labor StatisticsProjections Central

Additional Resources for Online College Students in Georgia

Complete College Georgia

Run by the University System of Georgia, this site offers up-to-date news on the University of Georgia schools’ plans and programs. 

Georgia on My Line

This site catalogs online degrees from every school in the University System of Georgia. It’s an easy way to see your options by degree or location. 

National Scholarships Office at Georgia College

This page gives great advice on putting together robust scholarship applications. It also links to different scholarship databases to help you find funding opportunities. 

Affordable Learning Georgia

Affordable Learning Georgia helps students save on textbooks and other learning materials by providing grants, offering open-source educational resources, and advocating for the use of inexpensive or free textbooks in classrooms. 

Georgia Student Finance Commission

The Georgia Student Finance Commission increases access to higher education through advocacy, scholarships, grants, and loans and targets all types of students.