Online Colleges in Georgia 2021

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Businesses in many industries employ graduates of Georgia online colleges. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fields with the highest levels of employment in the state include office and administrative support, sales, and production.

Attending a school in the state can help students make connections with Georgia employers. However, learners who intend to relocate to Georgia after graduation often pursue online degrees from the state’s institutions. This guide explores the best colleges in Georgia for distance learners.

Advertisement 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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Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.


The best online colleges in Georgia offer a quality education at affordable prices. Our ranking of the top online colleges in Washington considers factors such as tuition costs, student-to-teacher ratios, and graduation rates. Availability of financial support, career counseling services, and job placement support also affect rankings. These factors contribute to the program’s overall accessibility and value.

See Our Rankings Methodology

Top 10 Online Colleges in Georgia

Rank School Location
1 Mercer University Macon, GA
2 University of Georgia Athens, GA
3 Piedmont College Demorest, GA
4 Columbus State University Columbus, GA
5 Shorter University Rome, GA
6 Georgia Southwestern State University Americus, GA
7 LaGrange College LaGrange, GA
8 Clayton State University Morrow, GA
9 Emory University Atlanta, GA
10 Brenau University Gainesville, GA


  • Do online credits cost more or less in Georgia?

    Many of the best colleges in Georgia charge the same tuition rate for all online learners, regardless of residency. This usually makes online programs more affordable than on-campus programs for out-of-state students.

  • What is the most affordable college in Georgia?

    Tuition rates vary by school, but state-funded colleges such as Gainesville State College and Macon State College offer some of the most affordable tuition rates in the state. Community colleges also provide affordable programs.

  • How long do you have to live in Georgia to get in-state tuition?

    Learners must live in Georgia for at least 12 months prior to enrollment to qualify for in-state tuition rates. Some schools require students to submit proof that they or their guardian paid Georgia’s income tax.

Best Online Colleges in Georgia 2021

  1. Mercer University

    Macon, GA



    Mercer offers more than a dozen entirely online bachelor's degrees, including programs in accounting, communication, and informatics. These 120-credit degrees feature a 36-39-credit general education component, and students can select a concentration or academic cognate in many programs. Some programs require students to complete an on-campus orientation.

    Mercer's career center provides online learners with a four-year career plan, resume and cover letter guides, and salary negotiation tips. Mercer students can also access resources through Handshake, an online platform that includes a job and internship board.

    Admission requirements include high school or GED transcripts. Prospective students do not need to submit recommendation letters or standardized test scores. Transfer applications must have a minimum 2.25 undergraduate GPA. Mercer charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all learners regardless of residency. Over 90% of Mercer undergraduates receive some form of financial aid.

  2. University of Georgia

    Athens, GA



    UGA offers prospective undergraduates a bachelor's degree online in special education. The two-year program admits transfer students who hold an associate degree. Required coursework includes the foundation of teaching reading, instruction of individuals with mild disabilities, and learning technologies. Additional requirements include three practica and student teaching, which prepare students to apply for a Georgia teaching license.

    UGA operates a career center that helps distance learners sign up for virtual counseling sessions, catch up on the latest career and job-searching trends, and research employers. The center also provides learners with interest assessments and a guide for creating academic portfolios.

    Admission requirements include undergraduate transcripts and a minimum 2.8 GPA. Applicants must pass both the GACE Program Admission Assessment and the GACE Educator Ethics Entry Assessment. UGA charges a flat, per-semester tuition rate that benefits full-time and accelerated students. Learners may qualify for one of seven scholarships.

  3. Piedmont College

    Demorest, GA



    Piedmont features a bachelor's degree online in leadership studies. The program includes an 18-credit core curriculum wherein learners hone management and technical writing skills. After completing the core, students personalize the major by selecting seven electives in areas such as criminology and governmental institutions.

    Piedmont helps learners craft a resume, develop interviewing skills, and determine which career paths align with the leadership studies curriculum. After taking an interest inventory, students can go over the results with a career counselor. Piedmont students can also sign up for SuccessLink, an online hub that features the latest job postings and informational videos.

    Piedmont accepts GED scores and the Common Application. Piedmont does not require standardized test scores for admission. All students pay the same per-credit tuition rate. Financial aid opportunities for online learners include federal grants and loans. Learners can apply for aid by submitting FAFSA results.

  4. Columbus State University

    Columbus, GA



    CSU's eight online bachelor's degrees include programs in information technology, nursing, and general sociology. CSU's distance learners use CougarVIEW to access asynchronous courses, and CSU provides online learning and troubleshooting guides for students unfamiliar with online education.

    CSU's career center offers students and alumni resume and interview assistance and one-on-one career advising. Learners can log in to Handshake to find job postings. The center also maintains a list of internship opportunities throughout Georgia.

    Some of CSU's online degrees do not admit out-of-state applicants. CSU accepts both high school and GED transcripts. Applicants also submit ACT or SAT scores. The university does not use a GPA cutoff for transfer credit. CSU provides Georgia residents with a significant tuition discount.

  5. Shorter University

    Rome, GA



    Shorter offers online bachelor's degrees for aspiring business, criminal justice, and human services professionals. Some degrees include both a BA and a BS option, and students can take all general education courses entirely online. Distance learners must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to remain in good academic standing.

    Shorter's career center provides learners with essential support services, including a career assessment and 30-60-minute one-on-one counseling sessions. Students can also log in to Hawk Ready, a resource that offers resume critiques, a job board, and career-path exploration guides.

    Admission requirements include high school or GED transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. All applicants also submit FAFSA results. Shorter charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all undergraduates. Georgia residents may qualify for the HOPE Scholarship, which awards financial aid over four years.

  6. Georgia Southwestern State University

    Americus, GA



    GSW offers three online bachelor's degrees: criminal justice; management, accounting, and human resources; and an RN-to-BSN. GSW's criminal justice degree offers electives in areas such as criminal justice administration, family violence, and police problems and practices. Each program delivers all coursework asynchronously.

    GSW's career center helps learners use Hurricane Career Path software to identify career-development tools and connect with potential employers. GSW also offers access to career counselors, self-assessments, and an alumni association.

    GSW accepts both GED and HiSET scores, and applicants who do not submit ACT or SAT scores take the ACCUPLACER exam to determine initial English and math placements. In addition to transfer credit, incoming learners can earn credit by completing a prior learning assessment. Students living in states that border Georgia pay in-state tuition.

  7. LaGrange College

    LaGrange, GA



    LaGrange offers online bachelor's degrees in three fields: business administration, nursing, and sociology. Each degree delivers all coursework asynchronously. The nursing degree is accredited by both the Georgia Board of Nursing and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

    LaGrange's career center offers online students resume critiques, mock interviews, and personality assessments. Other resources on the center's website include a salary calculator, a private job board, and etiquette training courses.

    Admission requirements vary by program. Nursing applicants must have a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA and a valid nursing license. All online programs charge the same per-credit tuition rate.

  8. Clayton State University

    Morrow, GA



    CSU's online programs include many unique options, including degrees in health and fitness management, film production, and performing arts. All programs deliver coursework asynchronously through the Brightspace platform. CSU supports distance learners through resources like peer tutoring.

    CSU provides students with salary and career guides, interest inventories, and multiple career-preparation videos that cover topics such as interview preparation and resume writing. The university also offers a mentorship program.

    CSU admits new learners in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Admission requirements include high school or GED transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. CSU uses a standardized test score cutoff. The university provides a significant tuition discount to in-state learners. Incoming students can apply for both institutional and departmental scholarships.

  9. Emory University

    Atlanta, GA



    Emory features one of the best online bachelor's degrees in medical imaging. The program's 128-credit curriculum includes coursework in imaging equipment, business, communication, and advanced clinical procedures.

    Emory's career center helps students connect with employers, set professional goals, and research industry trends. Learners can download a resume guide and receive a resume critique. Emory provides additional resources through Handshake.

    Prospective students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. Emory also requires ACT or SAT scores, a personal essay, and three recommendation letters. The university charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all learners. Students can apply for federal grants, institutional scholarships, and external aid exclusive to learners majoring in a medical area.

  10. Brenau University

    Gainesville, GA



    Brenau's online programs include 11 bachelor's degrees in areas such as organizational leadership, finance, and healthcare administration. Courses in each program last seven weeks. All programs deliver coursework asynchronously, and learners can build professional relationships through discussion boards and group projects.

    Brenau provides career services such as individualized counseling, mock interviews, and an updated list of internship opportunities throughout Georgia. Students can also review common career myths and realities and explore Brenau's exclusive job board.

    First-year admission requirements include a minimum 2.75 high school GPA. Transfer applicants should have a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA. Homeschooled prospective students can also apply, but must complete an internship. Brenau does not charge out-of-state tuition, and more than 85% of learners receive some type of financial aid.

Why Choose Georgia for Online Higher Education?

Many industries in the state are experiencing labor shortages. Graduates of Georgia online colleges often find opportunities in education and health services, professional and business services, information technology, government, and finance. Individuals considering a career in one of these areas often benefit from the professional connections of Georgia professors.

The section below highlights five common majors for online bachelor’s students in Georgia.

Common Online Bachelor’s Programs in Georgia

While Georgia online colleges offer a variety of bachelor’s degrees, some majors lead to increased opportunities for graduates. The following majors correlate with common professions for Georgia graduates. Curricula and requirements vary by program, so learners should contact their prospective institution for details.

Graduates of business programs can open small businesses and pursue leadership positions with large corporations. Business programs cover topics such as finance, marketing, and supply and demand. Many colleges allow students to specialize in a certain area of business.

Computer science refers to the study of algorithmic processes and computing machines. Bachelor’s students in this field learn how to solve practical technological problems and design new technology. Graduates of computer science programs often work as software developers or information technology specialists.

Individuals who are passionate about empowering others and sharing knowledge often succeed in the education field. Education programs prepare students to teach a certain age group or subject. For example, learners can specialize in music education or elementary education. Most states require public school teachers to complete a student-teaching experience and obtain licensure.

Individuals earning a finance degree study economic principles and learn how to manage money for clients and businesses. Finance curricula explore topics such as short-term and long-term investing, financial forecasting, and strategic planning. Graduates often work as financial managers, entrepreneurs, and certified public accountants.

Bachelor’s-level nursing programs require both coursework and hands-on learning through clinical rotations. Students learn about anatomy, the impact of medicine on the human body, and bedside care methods. Many nursing programs are competitive, so aspiring nurses should consider applying to multiple schools.

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Cost of Attending an Online College in Georgia

The exact cost of attending college in Georgia varies by school. Fortunately, some of the best colleges in Georgia offer reduced tuition rates for online learners. At some schools, all online students pay in-state tuition rates, regardless of residency. Institutions may also waive campus fees for distance learners.

Additionally, choosing one of Georgia’s online colleges can lead to savings on housing and transportation. The table below compares the average undergraduate tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students in Georgia. Learners should contact their prospective school’s financial aid department before applying. Many colleges and universities offer academic scholarship packages for incoming freshmen.

Average Undergraduate Tuition in Georgia
Public Four-Year College Private Four-Year College Public Two-Year College
In-State $7,319 $28,839 $2,901
Out-of-State $22,751 N/A $8,038

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Career and Salary Outlook for Students in Georgia

When choosing a major, students should consider each profession’s earning potential and job growth. Learners should also choose a field that matches their interests and personal strengths. The list below features common careers for graduates of Georgia online colleges.

  • Computer and Information Systems Managers

    These professionals oversee their organization’s computer-related tasks. In addition to technological skills, computer and information system managers need leadership and strategic-thinking skills. Most of these managers work 40 hours per week, but they occasionally complete overtime to handle unplanned computer issues.

  • Financial Managers

    Financial managers oversee a team of financial professionals. These managers contribute to big-picture financial decisions to ensure the health of an organization, and they direct investment activities and create short-term and long-term financial plans. While some employers hire financial managers with a bachelor’s degree, many companies require at least a master’s degree to work in this leadership role.

  • Sales Managers

    Sales managers delegate tasks and collaborate with associates. These leaders plan discount campaigns, assign sales territories, and motivate employees to meet sales quotas. Most sales managers work as sales associates before securing this leadership position within a company.

  • Marketing Managers

    Marketing managers often work for advertising agencies and corporations. These individuals work with a team of graphic designers, copywriters, and photographers to create impactful campaigns that motive target audiences to purchase products or services. Marketing managers also negotiate advertising contracts and present ideas to clients.

  • Human Resource Managers

    Human resources managers work to attract and maintain company talent. These professionals book training sessions for employees, manage benefits packages, and help maintain safe work environments. These managers also handle conflict-resolution efforts and facilitate seminars on topics such as diversity and sexual-harassment prevention.

Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2018-2028)
Computer and Information Systems Managers $146,360 10%
Financial Managers $129,890 15%
Sales Manager $126,640 4%
Marketing Managers $126,640 4%
Human Resource Managers $116,720 6%

Source: BLS

Georgia Scholarships and Grants

Although many of Georgia’s online colleges offer affordable tuition rats, learners can further reduce the cost of earning a degree by applying for scholarships. Applicants for scholarships and grants must typically submit essays, recommendation letters, and official transcripts. The list below features a few of the scholarships available to online students attending the best colleges in Georgia.

Bachus & Schanker, LLC, Scholarship

Who Can Apply: High school students with at least a 3.0 GPA can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must submit an 800-word essay about how the Seventh Amendment affects their life.
Amount: $2,000

Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant

Who Can Apply: This grant supports Georgia students attending private colleges in the state. Applicants must hold U.S. citizenship and status as a Georgia resident. Recipients must attend a qualifying college or university.
Amount: Varies

Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Women attending school in a Southern state, such as Georgia, can apply for this scholarship. Applicants studying education, particularly health education, receive preference. Candidates must demonstrate financial need.
Amount: Varies

“No Essay” College Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship from Niche requires no essay, minimum GPA, or recommendation letters. Niche chooses scholarship recipients through a random drawing each month. Individuals can apply monthly.
Amount: $2,000

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