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

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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.

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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

    91%

    Enrollment

    39,771

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10258

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31370

    A public institution located in Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus grants degrees through multiple programs. The school grants accredited degrees that prepare learners for the workforce. The institution's affordable programs provide a rigorous course of study. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Current students receive an average aid award of $ 12031, making the average tuition cost after aid $ 17410. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #2

    University of Georgia

    Athens, GA

    Graduation Rate

    87%

    Enrollment

    39,147

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9790

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $28830

    Located in Athens, Georgia, University of Georgia is a public institution that offers multiple programs. Students earn an accredited degree that prepares them for careers and professional advancement. The institution offers an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $ 10765, making the average tuition cost after aid $ 16580. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. The school offers foundational courses, technical classes, and general education courses in multiple majors. University of Georgia holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #3

    Georgia Southern University

    Statesboro, GA

    Graduation Rate

    54%

    Enrollment

    26,949

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4371

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15425

    Located in Georgia, Georgia Southern University offers 244 programs for students. The institution's programs offer a rigorous course of study. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 22-to-1. The institution reports that 95% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 54% graduation rate for bachelor's programs. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school offers internships, research opportunities, and other forms of experiential learning. Prospective enrollees can expect an 91% admission rate. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores.

    #4

    South Georgia Technical College

    Americus, GA

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    1,814

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6000

    A public institution located in Americus, Georgia, South Georgia Technical College offers a variety of programs. Students 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 institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Students receive $9459 in aid on average, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $1972. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. South Georgia Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #5

    Clayton State University

    Morrow, GA

    Graduation Rate

    31%

    Enrollment

    7,052

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4064

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14786

    From its campus in Morrow, Georgia, Clayton State University awards degrees and certificates as a public institution. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. A total of 94% of students receive financial aid and 48% take out loans at the institution. Bachelor's students graduate from the school at a rate of 31%. The admission rate for prospective students is 69%. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. Clayton State University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #6

    Grady Health System Professional Schools

    Atlanta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    67

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6705

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6705

    Grady Health System Professional Schools offers 3 certificate programs from its Georgia campus. Programs deliver rigorous curricula that prepare learners for careers and further studies. Students prepare to succeed in professional roles. Experiential learning helps enrollees apply knowledge in real-world contexts. As an accredited institution, the school undergoes regular evaluations. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. As an accredited institution, the school's enrollees can receive federal financial aid. Prospective degree-seekers can learn about requirements through the school's website. The postsecondary institution is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

    #7

    Georgia Northwestern Technical College

    Rome, GA

    Graduation Rate

    49%

    Enrollment

    6,608

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4800

    Georgia Northwestern Technical College, located in Rome, Georgia, enrolls students as a public institution. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. A total of 96% of students receive financial aid and 7% take out loans at the institution. Bachelor's students graduate from the school at a rate of 49%. 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. Georgia Northwestern Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #8

    Georgia College & State University

    Milledgeville, GA

    Graduation Rate

    62%

    Enrollment

    6,873

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7508

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26688

    A public institution located in Milledgeville, Georgia, Georgia College & State University grants degrees through multiple programs. The school grants accredited degrees that prepare learners for the workforce. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $ 7799, making the average tuition cost after aid $ 20958. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. The school offers foundational courses, technical classes, and general education courses in multiple majors. Georgia College & State University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #9

    Ogeechee Technical College

    Statesboro, GA

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    2,153

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4800

    Located in Statesboro, Georgia, Ogeechee Technical College attracts students with their well-regarded programs. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help students meet their career goals. Enrollees earn their degree or certificate in as little time as a few months or as much time as seven years depending on program type and enrollment status. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. Admission advisors can help applicants complete the process. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Ogeechee Technical College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #10

    Southern Crescent Technical College

    Griffin, GA

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    5,232

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4800

    Located in Griffin, Georgia, Southern Crescent Technical College often ranks among the best schools. Students study with experts in many different fields. The school's academic and technical tracks help students meet diverse career goals. Check the program website for specifics on the degree- or certificate-completion timeline. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Students at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Southern Crescent Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #11

    Kennesaw State University

    Kennesaw, GA

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    41,181

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4450

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15704

    Kennesaw State University, located in Kennesaw, Georgia, offers 225 programs for degree-seekers. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 22-to-1. A total of 92% of students receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 47% graduation rate. Experiential learning opportunities help graduates on the job market. The school offers experiential learning in the form of internships, research opportunities, and practicums. Prospective learners can expect admission rates of 83%. Some students qualify for test-optional admissions.

    #12

    Georgia State University

    Atlanta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    53%

    Enrollment

    36,360

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7158

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $22389

    A public institution located in Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia State University grants degrees through multiple programs. Students earn an accredited degree that prepares them for the workforce. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The institution reports that students receive an average aid award of $ 9392, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $ 17750. 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 is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #13

    Georgia Southwestern State University

    Americus, GA

    Graduation Rate

    36%

    Enrollment

    3,162

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4064

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14786

    A public institution, Georgia Southwestern State University grants degrees from its campus in Americus, Georgia. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their career goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing degree- or certificate-specific coursework. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. This 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. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Georgia Southwestern State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #14

    University of North Georgia

    Dahlonega, GA

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    19,793

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3969

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14123

    From its Dahlonega, Georgia campus, University of North Georgia enrolls students in 104 programs. The institution's programs offer a rigorous course of study. The student-to-faculty ratio at the institution is 19-to-1. At the institution, 93% of the students receive some form of financial aid. The public institution reports a 39% graduation rate. Job seekers often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive job candidates. The school offers experiential learning in the form of internships, research opportunities, and practicums. Prospective enrollees can expect an 81% admission rate. Some students qualify for test-optional admissions.

    #15

    Oconee Fall Line Technical College

    Sandersville, GA

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    1,835

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4800

    Oconee Fall Line Technical College, located in Sandersville, Georgia, enrolls students as a public institution. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The school's academic and technical programs prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. At the institution, 97% of students receive financial aid and 0% take out loans. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 52%. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #16

    Athens Technical College

    Athens, GA

    Graduation Rate

    37%

    Enrollment

    4,294

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4800

    From its campus in Athens, Georgia, Athens Technical College enrolls learners in 187 programs. Degree-seekers enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 13-to-1. The institution reports that approximately 90% of enrollees receive financial aid. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 37%. Students should explore how workplace experience makes them more competitive employee candidates. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Prospective students can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #17

    Augusta University

    Augusta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    8,920

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6892

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $22270

    From its campus in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University enrolls students as a public institution. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. A total of 93% of students receive financial aid and 46% take out loans at the institution. The school reports a 47% graduation rate. The admission rate is 83%. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. Augusta University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #18

    University of West Georgia

    Carrollton, GA

    Graduation Rate

    44%

    Enrollment

    13,419

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4371

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15426

    University of West Georgia, located in Carrollton, Georgia, welcomes students with 87 program options. The institution offers top-ranked programs that provide a rigorous course of study. According to the school, the student-to-faculty ratio stands at 19-to-1. The institution reports that 94% of students receive some form of financial aid. The public institution reports a graduation rate of 44%. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school incorporates internships, research opportunities, and service learning. The admission rate is 78% for hopeful students. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores.

    #19

    Atlanta Technical College

    Atlanta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    3,030

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4800

    From its Atlanta, Georgia campus, Atlanta Technical College offers 168 program options for students. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio at the institution is 12-to-1. At the institution, 92% of the students receive some form of financial aid. The public school reports a 39% graduation rate. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates on the job market. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Prospective applicants can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #20

    Coastal Pines Technical College

    Waycross, GA

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    3,606

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2147

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4294

    Coastal Pines Technical College grants degrees as a public institution from its location in Waycross, Georgia. Learners study with experts in many different fields. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that 97% of learners receive financial aid, while 0% take out loans. The institution reports a graduation rate of 46%. The admission rate is unknown at this time. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. Coastal Pines Technical College has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #21

    Valdosta State University

    Valdosta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    12,304

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4371

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15426

    From its campus in Valdosta, Georgia, Valdosta State University awards degrees as a top school. The college offers multiple degree-granting programs. Academic and technical programs help learners reach their unique professional goals. At the institution, students typically complete an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. This makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. Valdosta State University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #22

    Lanier Technical College

    Gainesville, GA

    Graduation Rate

    36%

    Enrollment

    5,045

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6000

    Lanier Technical College, a public organization located in Gainesville, Georgia, offers multiple programs. Enrollees complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Enrollees receive an average aid award of $5476, making the average tuition cost after aid $7024. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #23

    Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

    Tifton, GA

    Graduation Rate

    29%

    Enrollment

    3,990

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2563

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9469

    Located in Tifton, Georgia, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College enrolls students as a public institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The school's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #24

    Columbus State University

    Columbus, GA

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    8,372

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4371

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15425

    Columbus State University offers programs from its campus in Columbus, Georgia. The institution offers multiple degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Enrollees can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT scores. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. Admission advisors can provide additional information on submitting an application. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #25

    Southern Regional Technical College

    Thomasville, GA

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    4,154

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4800

    From its campus in Thomasville, Georgia, Southern Regional Technical College offers programs as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. A waiver makes it easier to apply. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Southern Regional Technical College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #26

    Georgia Highlands College

    Rome, GA

    Graduation Rate

    13%

    Enrollment

    5,680

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2280

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8632

    A public institution located in Rome, Georgia, Georgia Highlands College offers a variety of programs. Students leave the school with experience and credentials that prepare them for the workforce. The institution's affordable programs provide a rigorous course of study. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. The school's cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $5166, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $6624. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements depending on their program. Georgia Highlands College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #27

    Georgia State University-Perimeter College

    Atlanta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    22%

    Enrollment

    17,383

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2280

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8632

    Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia State University-Perimeter College attracts students with their well-regarded programs. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional goals. Depending on the degree or certificate type, enrollees can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years completing a program. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. Learners also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. Georgia State University-Perimeter College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #28

    Southeastern Technical College

    Vidalia, GA

    Graduation Rate

    33%

    Enrollment

    1,792

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4800

    From its campus in Vidalia, Georgia, Southeastern Technical College awards degrees and certificates as a top school. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. Academic and technical programs help students reach their 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. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. Admission advisors can help applicants complete the process. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Southeastern Technical College has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #29

    Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

    Valdosta, GA

    Graduation Rate

    49%

    Enrollment

    3,709

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4800

    Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, a public institution in Valdosta, Georgia, enrolls learners in multiple programs. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. Students complete courses and experiential learning opportunities to bolster their knowledge. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. This makes it easier to enroll. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #30

    Central Georgia Technical College

    Warner Robins, GA

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    8,140

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4800

    Located in Warner Robins, Georgia, Central Georgia Technical College awards degrees and certificates as a public institution. Students learn from experts in multiple 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. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. A total of 87% of students receive financial aid and 21% take out loans at the school. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 35%. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Applicants can reach out to the admission department to learn more about enrolling. Central Georgia Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    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

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

    Cons

    • X Circle
      Limited access to instructors can hinder a student’s ability to understand the material and implement feedback.
    • X Circle
      Large class sizes mean students face more competition to register for classes each semester and receive less face time with instructors.
    • X Circle
      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.

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    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.