2022 Top Public Colleges and Universities in Georgia

Public colleges and universities are often the most affordable option for students pursuing higher education, but it’s not just affordability that makes these institutions attractive. Public institutions also rank highly among the best colleges and universities in many states, Georgia included.

Public colleges and universities receive state and federal funding. Although they generally have larger class sizes than private institutions, they also tend to offer a wide variety of academic programs, diverse student bodies, and prestigious research opportunities.

2022 Best Public Colleges and Universities in Georgia

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

Showing 30 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

    Atlanta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    90%

    Enrollment

    36,302

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12682

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $33794

    Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus educates students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing degree- or certificate-specific coursework. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The school supports enrollees with tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #2

    University of Georgia

    Athens, GA

    Graduation Rate

    87%

    Enrollment

    38,920

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12080

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31120

    From its campus in Athens, Georgia, University of Georgia educates college students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. This makes it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. University of Georgia has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #3

    Georgia Southern University

    Statesboro, GA

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    26,054

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6463

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17518

    Located in Statesboro, Georgia, Georgia Southern University operates as a public institution. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports a 50% graduation rate. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Prospective applicants can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. Georgia Southern University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #4

    South Georgia Technical College

    Americus, GA

    Graduation Rate

    63%

    Enrollment

    2,117

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3662

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6662

    From its campus in Americus, Georgia, South Georgia Technical College educates college students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their educational goals. Students strengthen their knowledge of the field by completing coursework. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school can pay for their educational costs with federal student aid programs. South Georgia Technical College has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #5

    Clayton State University

    Morrow, GA

    Graduation Rate

    30%

    Enrollment

    6,879

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5538

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16260

    Located in Morrow, Georgia, Clayton State University offers multiple programs as a public institution. The school offers accredited programs that prepare learners for the workforce. Learners benefit from the school's academic rigor and affordable tuition rate. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school offers both academic and technical programs. The school offers foundational courses, technical classes, and general education courses in multiple majors. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #6

    Georgia Northwestern Technical College

    Rome, GA

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    6,616

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3062

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5462

    A public institution located in Rome, Georgia, Georgia Northwestern Technical College enrolls learners in multiple programs. The school offers accredited programs that prepare learners for the workforce. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, enrollees complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #7

    Georgia College & State University

    Milledgeville, GA

    Graduation Rate

    64%

    Enrollment

    7,031

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9526

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $28710

    Located in Milledgeville, Georgia, Georgia College & State University offers multiple programs as a public institution. Graduates leave the school prepared for the workforce. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. The school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Based on their major, students take essential courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Georgia College & State University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #8

    Ogeechee Technical College

    Statesboro, GA

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    2,079

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3140

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5540

    From its campus in Statesboro, Georgia, Ogeechee Technical College grants college degrees as a public institution. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs. Ogeechee Technical College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #9

    Southern Crescent Technical College

    Griffin, GA

    Graduation Rate

    43%

    Enrollment

    5,246

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3126

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5526

    Southern Crescent Technical College, located in Griffin, Georgia, grants degrees and certificates as a public institution. Learners take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 43%. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling. Southern Crescent Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #10

    Kennesaw State University

    Kennesaw, GA

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    37,807

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6456

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17710

    Kennesaw State University, located in Kennesaw, Georgia, offers 181 programs for students. The institution's top-ranked programs offer students a challenging course of study. Information on the student-to-instructor ratio is unavailable. The amount of aid students receive on average is not currently known. The public school reports a 46% graduation rate. The institution understands that hands-on experience makes graduates more competitive in the job market. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Prospective students can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #11

    Georgia State University

    Atlanta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    35,041

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9286

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $24517

    Georgia State University, which operates a campus in Atlanta, Georgia, often ranks as a top school. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help students meet a variety of professional goals. Academic programs can take as little as a few months or as many as seven years to complete, depending on the degree or certificate type and the student's enrollment status. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide additional information on submitting an application. Students also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. Georgia State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #12

    Georgia Southwestern State University

    Americus, GA

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    2,950

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5500

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16222

    Georgia Southwestern State University, located in Americus, Georgia, offers 43 programs for students. The institution offers top-ranked programs that provide a rigorous course of study. The student-to-faculty ratio is unavailable. How much aid students receive on average is currently unknown. The school reports a 38% graduation rate for its programs. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #13

    University of North Georgia

    Dahlonega, GA

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    19,748

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4744

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13776

    Located in Dahlonega, Georgia, University of North Georgia grants college degrees as a public institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing the program's coursework. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to apply. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. University of North Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #14

    Oconee Fall Line Technical College

    Sandersville, GA

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    1,859

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3062

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5462

    Located in Sandersville, Georgia, Oconee Fall Line Technical College attracts students with their well-regarded programs. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help students reach a variety of career goals. Completing a program can take anywhere from a few months to seven years depending on degree or certificate type and whether the student chooses part-time or full-time enrollment. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The admissions department can help students complete the process. At the accredited institution, learners also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Oconee Fall Line Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #15

    Athens Technical College

    Athens, GA

    Graduation Rate

    44%

    Enrollment

    4,756

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2794

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4922

    Located in Athens, Georgia, Athens Technical College educates students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. Students complete coursework to prepare them for advanced roles. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs. Athens Technical College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #16

    Augusta University

    Augusta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    8,650

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8832

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $24210

    Located in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University grants degrees as a public institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. These policies make it easier to enroll. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Augusta University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #17

    University of West Georgia

    Carrollton, GA

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    13,238

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6395

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17450

    From its campus in Carrollton, Georgia, University of West Georgia awards degrees and certificates as a top school. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help learners meet their career goals. Completing a program can take anywhere from a few months to seven years depending on degree or certificate type and whether the student chooses part-time or full-time enrollment. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #18

    Atlanta Technical College

    Atlanta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    3,797

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3084

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5484

    From its campus in Atlanta, Georgia, Atlanta Technical College enrolls learners in 147 programs. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio is unknown. Information on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. The school reports a graduation rate of 39%. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements.

    #19

    Coastal Pines Technical College

    Waycross, GA

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    4,498

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2759

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4906

    Coastal Pines Technical College, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Waycross, Georgia. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Academic programs can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete, depending on degree or certificate type. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. Admission advisors can help applicants complete the process. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. Coastal Pines Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #20

    Valdosta State University

    Valdosta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    11,270

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6583

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17638

    A public institution, Valdosta State University educates students on its campus in Valdosta, Georgia. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. Students complete coursework to prepare them for advanced roles. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The school supports enrollees with tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Valdosta State University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #21

    Lanier Technical College

    Gainesville, GA

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    4,616

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3666

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6666

    From its Gainesville, Georgia campus, Lanier Technical College enrolls learners in 166 programs. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The student-to-teacher ratio is currently unknown. How much aid students receive on average is currently unknown. The public school reports a 39% graduation rate. Hands-on experience helps graduates stand out on the job market. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Applicants can reach out to the admission department to learn more about enrolling.

    #22

    Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

    Tifton, GA

    Graduation Rate

    26%

    Enrollment

    3,927

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3565

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10471

    A public institution, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College enrolls students from its campus in Tifton, Georgia. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The public school reports a graduation rate of 26%. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #23

    Columbus State University

    Columbus, GA

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    7,877

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6241

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17295

    Located in Columbus, Georgia, Columbus State University enrolls students as a public institution. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. At the accredited school, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The public institution reports a 38% graduation rate. The admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. Columbus State University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #24

    Southern Regional Technical College

    Thomasville, GA

    Graduation Rate

    32%

    Enrollment

    4,973

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3002

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5402

    Southern Regional Technical College, located in Thomasville, Georgia, welcomes students with 102 program options. The institution's many rigorous academic programs rank among the best in the nation. The average student-to-instructor ratio is currently unavailable. Information on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. The school reports a 32% graduation rate. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers stand out. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #25

    Georgia Highlands College

    Rome, GA

    Graduation Rate

    12%

    Enrollment

    6,168

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3344

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9696

    From its campus in Rome, Georgia, Georgia Highlands College awards degrees and certificates as a public institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs for students planning to enter the workforce or pursue further studies. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports a graduation rate of 12%. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements. Georgia Highlands College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #26

    Georgia State University-Perimeter College

    Atlanta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    18%

    Enrollment

    18,573

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3360

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9712

    A public institution located in Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia State University-Perimeter College educates students through multiple programs. Enrollees complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. The cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Georgia State University-Perimeter College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #27

    Southeastern Technical College

    Vidalia, GA

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    1,972

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3127

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5527

    Located in Georgia, Southeastern Technical College offers 87 programs for students. Students benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. Information on the average student-to-instructor ratio is unavailable. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. The school reports a graduation rate of 35%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates become more competitive in the job market. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs offer test-optional admission policies. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements.

    #28

    Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

    Valdosta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    4,669

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3152

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5552

    Located in Valdosta, Georgia, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares students for advancement in their field. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Learners at the accredited school can pay for their educational costs with federal student aid programs. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #29

    Central Georgia Technical College

    Warner Robins, GA

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    8,244

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3042

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5442

    Located in Warner Robins, Georgia, Central Georgia Technical College often ranks among the best schools. Students take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Academic and technical programs help learners reach their unique professional goals. Academic programs can take as little as a few months or as many as seven years to complete, depending on the degree or certificate type and the student's enrollment status. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department provides more information about the application process. Financial aid helps students cover the cost of their degree or certificate. Central Georgia Technical College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #30

    Dalton State College

    Dalton, GA

    Graduation Rate

    25%

    Enrollment

    4,964

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3683

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10589

    A public institution, Dalton State College grants degrees from its campus in Dalton, Georgia. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. Students prepare to contribute to their field by completing courses. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    Why Choose a Public College or University in Georgia?

    There are 26 public colleges and universities in Georgia, including popular flagships like the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. Students also flock to big public schools like Kennesaw State University and Georgia Institute of Technology‘s main campus.

    Georgia enrolled nearly 341,000 students across its public colleges and universities in fall 2021. Enrollment increased at research universities across Georgia’s public university system in 2021. The best public schools in Georgia offer benefits for students, including sprawling campuses, various extracurriculars, and federal financial aid packages.

    Georgia also participates in the Academic Common Market under the Southern Regional Education Board. This partnership enables students attending public four-year colleges in Georgia to matriculate in programs at other institutions in participating southern states. Students can also enjoy in-state tuition rates for qualifying Georgia programs.

    Many students pursue the traditional college experience by enrolling in a public college or university. While private colleges may suit learners seeking out an unusual major or more insulated environment, public institutions in Georgia provide comprehensive academic programs, competitive athletics, and various social clubs and community activities.

    Pros and Cons of Attending a Public College or University in Georgia

    Pros

    • State-run public four-year colleges in Georgia receive federal funding, which means maximum federal financial aid for students.
    • Public colleges and universities tend to offer more diverse academic programs than private colleges.
    • Large public colleges can provide more student-engagement and employment opportunities, including Greek life and work-study jobs on campus.

    Cons

    • Limited access to instructors can hinder a student’s ability to understand the material and implement feedback.
    • Large class sizes mean students face more competition to register for classes each semester and receive less face time with instructors.
    • Large campuses can be challenging to navigate, and student housing may be hard to come by.

    Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Georgia

    The primary difference between nonprofit and for-profit colleges and universities is that nonprofits receive federal and state funding and therefore do not rely on self-generated income to operate, while for-profits do. Nonprofits can afford to charge lower tuition and extend federal financial aid opportunities to their students. For-profit schools require donations, endowments, and grants to operate.

    Most public four-year colleges in Georgia are nonprofit. All of Georgia’s 17 for-profit colleges are private. Private schools typically charge higher tuition rates than public nonprofit colleges and universities. Private school students may qualify for non-federal financial aid such as merit scholarships. However, many of these students also resort to loans to offset high tuition costs, resulting in more student debt.

    How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Public College or University in Georgia?

    The average cost of attending a public four-year college in Georgia was $18,554 in 2019-2020, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This figure includes $7,457 in required in-state tuition and fees and $11,097 for room and board. Out-of-state students attending a public four-year institution in Georgia spent $23,167 in tuition and fees that year.

    By comparison, attending a four-year private institution in Georgia cost $42,802 in 2019-2020. This amount exceeds the cost of Georgia’s most expensive public university, Georgia Tech, with annual tuition of $29,498 for state residents in 2022-2023. Georgia’s least expensive public institution is Central Georgia Technical College, which charges as little as $100 per credit in select programs as of 2021-2022.

    Students should consider how other factors such as residency status, online or in-person enrollment, and financial aid requirements might affect the cost of attendance.

    Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

    Frequently Asked Questions About Public Colleges and Universities in Georgia

    How many public colleges and universities are there in Georgia?

    The public university system in Georgia has 26 schools. This count includes four comprehensive universities, four research universities, nine state colleges, and nine state universities.

    Georgia is known for its diverse programs, especially popular majors like technology, agriculture, and the liberal arts. Big public schools like the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State University offer the most comprehensive and diverse programs.

    What is the most expensive public college or university in Georgia?

    The most expensive public institution in Georgia is Georgia Tech. The school charges undergraduate tuition of $29,498 for Georgia residents for the 2022-2023 academic year. Out-of-state students can pay upwards of $50,000 per year.

    Other expensive public colleges and universities include the University of Georgia ($27,946) and Georgia State University ($12,076) as of March 2022.Public four-year institutions may offer generous federal financial aid packages, which students can pair with merit-based scholarships and grants. Students who reside in Georgia can also benefit from in-state tuition.

    What is the least expensive public college or university in Georgia?

    Central Georgia Technical College is the least expensive public college or university in Georgia, charging only $100 per credit for some programs. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College also offers more affordable tuition, charging in-state students $4,206 per year as of March 2022.

    Most public colleges and universities require undergraduate students to submit the FAFSA as part of the admissions process. The FAFSA determines a student’s financial aid eligibility. Students can also pursue additional savings by enrolling in online programs, renting textbooks, and applying for merit scholarships.

    What is the biggest public college or university in Georgia?

    Georgia State University enrolls more than 52,000 students, making it the largest public university in the state. Kennesaw State University enrolls the second-largest number of students, at nearly 43,000. Georgia Tech is the state’s third-largest public institution, with an enrollment of nearly 40,000 students. Public colleges and universities in Georgia saw minor declines in enrollment for fall 2021 but fared well compared to other states.

    Is a public college or university right for me?

    Many factors affect a student’s decision to attend a public college or university. While many students look to public schools to provide a traditional college experience, others may prefer the smaller environment of a private program. Public colleges and universities can offer federal financial aid and in-state tuition rates not available at most private schools.

    Attending a public school can also benefit students seeking a variety of diverse academic programs and enrollment options. Additionally, public colleges and universities in Georgia offer bustling campuses with many student engagement opportunities through social clubs, team sports, and student leadership.