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Best Online Colleges in Georgia

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 1/14/2022
2020 Best Online Colleges in Georgia Badge

Online colleges in Georgia give students a wide array of choices. Learners can opt for degree programs from some of the largest schools in the state, such as the University of Georgia and Georgia State University, as well as small specialty schools like the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Our ranked list of the best online colleges in Georgia includes annual tuition rates and alumni mid-career salaries to help prospective students weigh the initial degree expense against the potential return on investment. Following the list, we provide information on scholarships, costs, and career paths.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 University of Georgia $9,790 $86,700
# 2 #2 Georgia State University $8,948 $79,600
# 3 #3 Augusta University $6,892 $75,300
# 4 #4 Georgia Southern University $5,766 $74,400
# 5 #5 University of North Georgia $6,090 $72,400
# 6 #6 University of West Georgia $5,463 $72,000
# 7 #7 Albany State University $5,487 $70,000
# 8 #8 Mercer University $14,250 $70,800
# 9 #9 Columbus State University $6,510 $67,500
# 10 #10 Valdosta State University $6,060 $67,100
# 11 #11 Georgia Southwestern State University $5,970 $65,900
# 12 #12 Brenau University $19,530 $67,600
# 13 #13 Georgia Military College $7,110 $65,700
# 14 #14 Clayton State University $5,490 $65,200
# 15 #15 Savannah College of Art and Design $37,575 $68,200
# 16 #16 Savannah State University $5,286 $61,100
# 17 #17 LaGrange College $18,450 $61,900
# 18 #18 Middle Georgia State University $8,670 $58,800
# 19 #19 Toccoa Falls College $11,040 $57,100
# 20 #20 Reinhardt University $13,950 $57,200
# 21 #21 Dalton State College $3,204 $55,200
# 22 #22 Fort Valley State University $5,363 $54,000
# 23 #23 College of Coastal Georgia $3,204 $51,400
# 24 #24 Life University $12,126 $52,300
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges in Georgia Ranking Details

For each school, we conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the schools' online programs. Explore online degrees offered and accreditation information below.

#1 University of Georgia

  • Annual Tuition: $9,790
  • Median Salary: $86,700
  • Locations: Athens
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of Georgia offers online graduate and undergraduate degree programs and more than 10 certificates across several academic areas, including business and technology, education, financial planning, foods and nutrition, avian health and medicine, and pharmacy. Courses are accessed through the eLearning Commons online learning platform, which is available through the school’s myUGA web portal. Online courses, which are kept small to ensure a high level of quality, are academically rigorous to prepare graduates for future success. Distance learners have access to many support resources, including academic advising, a personal program advisor, tech support, access to the library, and more.

#2 Georgia State University

  • Annual Tuition: $8,948
  • Median Salary: $79,600
  • Locations: Atlanta
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Georgia State University has an extensive online catalog for students pursuing distance education. Programs are offered at every level- certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral- and in a wide variety of fields, including education, nursing, business, computer science, and criminal justice. Programs are delivered in a hybrid format and courses are accessed through the university’s iCollege learning management system. The university’s Panther Access to Web Services (PAWS) web portal allows distance learners to view grades, transcripts, and financial aid information, as well as register for classes and pay tuition. All distance learners have access to Portfolium, an online network that houses their work samples, skills, and activities that they can share with future employers.

#3 Augusta University

  • Annual Tuition: $6,892
  • Median Salary: $75,300
  • Locations: Augusta
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Augusta University’s online catalog includes certificates, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. Fields of study include dental hygiene, sociology, health information administration, nursing, and education. Courses are delivered through the Desire2Learn online learning platform. The university’s POUNCE web portal gives distance learners access to administrative information, including course schedules, grades, and transcripts. Additional student support resources include access to the Augusta University JagStore, health services, campus recreation, the school’s Wellness Center, and student clubs and organizations.

#4 Georgia Southern University

  • Annual Tuition: $5,766
  • Median Salary: $74,400
  • Locations: Statesboro
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Georgia Southern University offers more than 30 online graduate and undergraduate degree programs across several academic areas, including business, nursing, and education. Certificates are also offered online in a broad range of subjects, including cybercrime, strength and conditioning, enterprise resources planning, and instructional technology. Programs are offered in both fully online and hybrid formats to students all over the world. Courses are accessed through the university’s learning management system, Georgia Online Virtual Instruction Enterprise Wide (GoVIEW), which is powered by Desire2Learn. Student support resources include access to the GSU counseling center, the campus wireless network, advisement, health services, campus recreation, the university’s bookstores and libraries, and technical support.

#5 University of North Georgia

  • Annual Tuition: $6,090
  • Median Salary: $72,400
  • Locations: Dahlonega
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of North Georgia offers a broad range of online programs; certificates, associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees are offered in a broad range of subjects, including interdisciplinary studies, nursing, healthcare services and informatics administration, international affairs, and criminal justice. At UNG, undergraduate core requirements are offered online through eCore, the University System of Georgia’s fully online core curriculum. Other online courses are offered through UNG Online and are accessed through the Desire2Learn online learning platform. Students are able to take fully online courses or combine online learning with on-campus courses. Student support resources include access to the IT service desk, student email, academic advising, career services, veteran and adult learner programs, counseling, and tutoring.

#6 University of West Georgia

  • Annual Tuition: $5,463
  • Median Salary: $72,000
  • Locations: Carrollton
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of West Georgia offers online graduate and undergraduate degree programs in a range of fields including nursing, organizational leadership, education, applied computer science, business administration, and sport management. Certificates are offered in subjects like geographic information systems, education, and media. Distance learners can also complete their core curriculum online through the University System of Georgia’s collaborative eCore program. Students with relevant learning experience may be able to earn credit for prior learning. Distance learners are offered a variety of resources, including access to the counseling center, career services, financial aid, and health services. They also have access to Student Information Technology Services (SITS), a free technical support resource that helps resolve software and/or hardware problems with students' personal computers.

#7 Albany State University

  • Annual Tuition: $5,487
  • Median Salary: $70,000
  • Locations: Albany
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Albany State University offers online certificates, associate, bachelor's, and master's degree programs across several academic areas, including nursing, health sciences, management information systems and technology, organizational leadership, business administration, education, and criminal justice. Courses are delivered through the university’s GeorgiaVIEW web portal. Online students, like on-campus students, have access to an online writing center, financial aid, 24/7 online tutoring services through Smarthinking, distance learning orientation sessions, the library, and bookstore. Additional online resources include links to study guides and reference materials provided by Study.org, Citation Machine, CQ Researcher, and ProCon.org.

#8 Mercer University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,250
  • Median Salary: $70,800
  • Locations: Macon
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Mercer University offers over 40 online certificate and degree programs across several fields of study, including education, communication, criminal justice and public safety leadership, business administration, health informatics, human services, nursing, and psychology. Programs are offered in both fully online and hybrid formats. Courses are delivered through the Canvas online learning platform and are taught by instructors who are experienced in distance learning. Student support resources include access to library services, academic advising and resources, counseling services, and tech support.

#9 Columbus State University

  • Annual Tuition: $6,510
  • Median Salary: $67,500
  • Locations: Columbus
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Columbus State University, the largest provider of distance education courses in Ohio, offers a wide variety of online certificates, graduate, and undergraduate degree programs. Fields of study include business, communication, computer science, cybersecurity, education, liberal arts, nursing, sociology, and public administration. Courses are delivered through the Blackboard online learning portal. Distance learners use Blackboard to view multimedia presentations, connect with their peers via message boards, and communicate with their instructors. Student support resources include access to an IT help desk, the campus bookstore, the university libraries, the Office of Student Affairs, a counseling center, the Office of Student Life, and tutoring and testing services.

#10 Valdosta State University

  • Annual Tuition: $6,060
  • Median Salary: $67,100
  • Locations: Valdosta
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Valdosta State University's online catalog includes certificates, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in many academic fields. Programs are offered in criminal justice, education, emergent media and communication, human capital performance, organizational leadership, and public administration, and many more subjects. VSU's unique SmartPath Core program offers distance learners the opportunity to complete core coursework for a bachelor’s degree in as little as three semesters. It also allows for seamless transfer into a VSU online or on-campus degree program. Mainstream programs are also offered online through VSU and the University System of Georgia partner institutions. VSU also offers a competency-based education option called YOUSucceed, which allows distance learners to advance as soon as they prove they’ve mastered course competencies. Prospective students can take an online assessment to determine if distance learning suits them.

#11 Georgia Southwestern State University

  • Annual Tuition: $5,970
  • Median Salary: $65,900
  • Locations: Americus
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

In addition to online courses and certificates, Georgia Southwestern State University offers online graduate and undergraduate degrees. Programs are offered in four academic areas: criminal justice, business administration, computer and information technology, and nursing. Many of the online programs are offered in conjunction with partner schools in the University System of Georgia (USG). These programs allow distance learners to take classes from any of the USG system schools; credits are transferable within the USG system. Students may be able to earn credit for prior learning and have access to support resources like career services, the writing center, financial aid, library services, and enrollment counseling.

#12 Brenau University

  • Annual Tuition: $19,530
  • Median Salary: $67,600
  • Locations: Multiple Locations
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Brenau University offers more than 50 online graduate and undergraduate degree programs across several academic areas, including education, liberal studies, communication and media studies, accounting, business administration, finance, psychology, health care administration, fine arts, and organizational leadership. Certificates are also offered online in subjects such as cybersecurity management, human resource management, autism, and coaching. Brenau’s online programs offer distance learners the same level of quality as those found on campus. They are delivered through the Canvas learning management system and allow students to complete coursework on their own schedules. Classes are capped at 20 students to provide personalized instruction and foster a community of collaboration. Student support resources include career services, financial aid opportunities, online tutoring, and an online writing center.

#13 Georgia Military College

  • Annual Tuition: $7,110
  • Median Salary: $65,700
  • Locations: Milledgeville
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Georgia Military College offers online associate degrees across a broad spectrum of fields, including biology, business administration, communication, computer science, criminal justice, cybersecurity, education, general studies, information technology, paralegal studies, political science, pre-nursing, psychology, social work, and sociology. Bachelor of Applied Science degree programs are offered in business management, supervision and management, and supply chain management and logistics. These programs don’t require any on-campus attendance and allow students to fit their studies around their schedules. A dedicated staff is available to assist students throughout their academic program. Distance learners receive access to the library, financial aid, and academic resources.

#14 Clayton State University

  • Annual Tuition: $5,490
  • Median Salary: $65,200
  • Locations: Morrow
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Clayton State University offers a variety of online graduate and undergraduate degree programs across several academic areas, including administrative management, English, history, liberal studies, accounting, business administration, supply chain management, integrative studies, political science, psychology, and nursing. Online learners access course materials, turn in assignments, and communicate with their peers through the BrightSpace Desire2Learn learning management system. Programs are flexible and are designed for busy, non-traditional students. Distance learners receive the same support services as their on-campus peers: online tutoring, a writing studio, a personal advisor, financial aid, and a free copy of Microsoft Office are among the resources available.

#15 Savannah College of Art and Design

  • Annual Tuition: $37,575
  • Median Salary: $68,200
  • Locations: Savannah
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The online catalog at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) includes certificates, bachelor's, and master's degrees in many art and design fields. Distance learners may pursue a certificate in graphic design, or a degree in advertising, photography, fashion, illustration, motion media design, writing, and several other majors. Courses are accessed through SCAD eLearning and are available on a variety of devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. Distance learners begin their studies with an eLearning orientation session. Courses span 10 weeks and are taught in a collaborative environment that connects students with experienced faculty members. Students have access to tools such as Autodesk Maya, Unity 3D, Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Visual Studio, Lynda.com, and Microsoft Expression Studio. Financial aid and career services are also offered.

#16 Savannah State University

  • Annual Tuition: $5,286
  • Median Salary: $61,100
  • Locations: Savannah
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Savannah State University offers one online degree with additional online programs in the planning stages. Their bachelor’s in business administration is delivered through the school’s College of Business Administration (COBA); COBA has AACSB accreditation, which only 5% of the world’s business schools have received. Students can complete the degree while balancing other responsibilities and may be able to earn credits for previous work or life experience. As a member of the University System of Georgia, the eCore program is also available. eCore allows students to complete the core curriculum toward a bachelor’s degree online, and then transfer the credits into a program at a member institution. Distance learners receive a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 and have access to the campus computer lab, an email account, the library, and IT support.

#17 LaGrange College

  • Annual Tuition: $18,450
  • Median Salary: $61,900
  • Locations: Lagrange
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

LaGrange College offers online programs in several formats, including certificates, minors, degree completion, and full degree programs. Options are available in fields such as aging studies, business, nursing, sociology, strength and conditioning, philanthropy and development, and organizational leadership. Courses are delivered through the Blackboard Open online learning platform. Student support resources include access to the Panther Academic Center for Excellence (PACE), the LaGrange College Tutoring Center, the LaGrange College Writing Center, and an Ethos Portfolio that showcases a student’s coursework. Most classes are asynchronous so students who have day-time commitments are able to complete classwork at their own pace.

#18 Middle Georgia State University

  • Annual Tuition: $8,670
  • Median Salary: $58,800
  • Locations: Macon
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Middle Georgia State University offers online graduate and undergraduate degree programs in fields such as information technology, nursing, health services administration, interdisciplinary studies, aviation science and management, business administration, criminal justice, psychology, political science, and financial technology. Certificates are also offered online in subjects like airline management, European Union studies, and gerontology. Courses are delivered through the Brightspace online learning platform. Distance learners are able to take part in experiential learning opportunities and also receive access to resources, including academic affairs, the campus bookstore, career and leadership development, counseling services, testing services, veteran services, accessibility services, and a writing center.

#19 Toccoa Falls College

  • Annual Tuition: $11,040
  • Median Salary: $57,100
  • Locations: Toccoa Falls
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Toccoa Falls College offers more than 10 online undergraduate programs across the academic areas of biblical studies, business administration, criminal justice, general studies, counseling psychology, ministry leadership, organizational leadership, sport management, cross-cultural studies, and youth ministries. Courses are accessed through the university’s MyTFC web portal. Online programs offer the same academic rigor as those delivered on campus. Distance learners are welcome on campus and have access to many of the same resources as their on-campus peers. Resources include career services, advising, library services, and tech support. All online classes have a required check-in activity at the start of the semester.

#20 Reinhardt University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,950
  • Median Salary: $57,200
  • Locations: Waleska
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Reinhardt University offers distance learners the opportunity to earn a fully online associate, bachelor's, or master's degree through their Adult and Online Programs. Courses are delivered through the Canvas learning management system; the asynchronous format allows busy students to complete coursework as their schedules allow. Fields of study include business administration, criminal justice, healthcare administration, organizational management and leadership, and nursing. Reinhardt is committed to providing distance learners with the tools they need to succeed; student success counselors, on-demand tutoring, and tech support are some of the resources available.

#21 Dalton State College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,204
  • Median Salary: $55,200
  • Locations: Dalton
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Dalton State College offers several opportunities for distance learners to pursue further education through three online programs: eLearning, eCore, and eMajor. The eLearning program allows students to take online courses strictly through DSU, while eLearning and eMajor are cooperative programs through the University System of Georgia. eCore enables students to complete their core curriculum online, while eMajor allows students to pursue a degree online. Fields of study include organizational leadership, nursing, and respiratory therapy. Students pursuing a degree through eMajor may be able to earn credits for prior learning. Online students have access to a Roadrunner student card, a student email account, the campus bookstore and library, academic assessments, a Math and Science Learning Center, a testing center, tutoring, and supplemental instruction.

#22 Fort Valley State University

  • Annual Tuition: $5,363
  • Median Salary: $54,000
  • Locations: Fort Valley
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Fort Valley State University offers online graduate and undergraduate degree programs in organizational leadership, criminal justice, political science, psychology, and rehabilitation counseling and case management. Online courses are accessed through the Desire2Learn online learning platform. Courses are also accessible through eCore (or electronic core-curriculum), which enables students in the University System of Georgia (USG) to complete the first two years of their collegiate education online. eCore courses are delivered entirely online and are designed, developed, taught, and supported by faculty and staff from USG. FSVU online students are provided with resources that include online advising and tech support. Distance learners can access grades, transcripts, and other administrative information through the MyFSVU web portal.

#23 College of Coastal Georgia

  • Annual Tuition: $3,204
  • Median Salary: $51,400
  • Locations: Brunswick
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

College of Coastal Georgia offers online undergraduate degree programs across four academic areas: workforce management and leadership, French language and literature, Spanish language and literature, and public management. The Office of eLearning delivers online courses through the BrightSpace learning management system. The flexible programs allow students to view and complete coursework at their convenience. Distance learners may also complete their core curriculum classes through eCore, a collaborative program offered through the University System of Georgia institutions. Support for distance learners includes career services, counseling services, disability services, financial aid, and tech support.

#24 Life University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,126
  • Median Salary: $52,300
  • Locations: Marietta
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Life University, a health sciences institution located in Marietta, offers online graduate and undergraduate degree programs across several academic areas. Associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs are offered in fields such as biology, psychology, health and wellness, and chiropractic. LIFE Online’s programs allow distance learners to earn their degrees while balancing work, life, and family responsibilities. Most online courses are taught by the same faculty that teach on campus. Students pay the same tuition rate, whether they are located in-state or out-of-state. Student resources include academic advising, access to the EagleNet student web portal and library, a student email account, and counseling and disability services.


Overview of Online Colleges in Georgia

Georgia was the first state in the nation to fund a public university, and today, Georgia boasts a total of 111 public and private colleges and technical schools. The University System of Georgia alone is made up of 26 public institutions that range from smaller state colleges to larger comprehensive and research universities. Nine of the state's universities are HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities), which include Albany State University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College, and 22 schools are technical colleges that provide vocational training. Most of these institutions are regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which assures students they're getting a quality education. Accreditation is also an important factor when qualifying for financial aid, transferring credits to another school, and applying to graduate school.

A significant number of these schools offer fully online programs, enabling Georgia's college students to earn online degrees at all levels in a broad array of subjects. Distance education has both advantages and disadvantages, however, so students should carefully consider these programs before enrolling.

Perhaps the biggest advantage is flexibility. Coursework for online classes can usually be completed at any time each week, but students have to manage their schedules effectively to stay on track with assignments.

A potential drawback, however, is the inability to connect with peers and faculty in person, which may require online students to put more effort into establishing relationships and building professional networks.

For college options in other locations, view OnlineU's best online college rankings by state or best online colleges by degree level.

Scholarship Options

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Scholarships: The CBCF offers eight scholarship programs for Black students in Georgia and other states. The programs have different eligibility criteria and award amounts ranging from $1,250-$20,000.

Greenhouse Scholars Program: Open only to high school students with a minimum 3.5 GPA in Georgia and four other states, the Greenhouse Scholars Program is a renewable award of up to $5,000 a year.

Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship Program: Each year, this program grants up to $2,000 to more than 10,000 Christian female students enrolled at select colleges in Georgia and eight other Southern states.

Watson-Brown Foundation Scholarships: High school and undergraduate college students who are residents of select counties in Georgia and South Carolina may be eligible for these annual scholarships of $3,000-$5,000.

Cost of Online Georgia Colleges


The median annual tuition fee for the colleges on our list is $6,701. We studied 846 schools across the country and found that the median annual tuition rate for online bachelor's degrees is $13,919.


Not only do online programs eliminate expenses associated with on-campus housing and transportation, they often feature lower tuition rates. Non-resident students in particular may benefit from choosing distance education, as many colleges charge online tuition rates that are lower than their out-of-state student tuition rates. Two examples of schools with affordable tuition rates are Dalton State College and the College of Coastal Georgia, which are tied at $3,204 on our list of the cheapest online colleges in Georgia.

Paths to Earning an Education for Free

Depending on their circumstances, some students may be able to go to college in Georgia for free, or at least tuition-free. For example, students enrolled in specific, high-demand majors, such as computer programming, may be eligible for HOPE grants that cover tuition costs. The state's dual enrollment program allows high school students to take up to 60 credit hours of college courses during their junior and senior years. Qualifying students do not pay for tuition, books, or additional fees. The state university system also allows residents over the age of 62 to attend college without paying tuition.

Check out our financial aid guide for online students. We also have student guides that list scholarship opportunities.

Careers in Georgia for Online Graduates

Georgia currently has a robust economy, ranking ninth in the nation by gross domestic product. Although the median annual household income is slightly lower than the national median — $58,700 as compared to $67,521 — the cost of living is also lower. Georgia's cost of living index is 93.4, below the national average of 100. Affordable housing, groceries, and healthcare contribute to this lower index rating. Helping to drive the state's economy are the 31% of adults age 25 and older who hold bachelor's degrees and the additional 8% who've earned associate degrees.



Amazon, Piedmont Healthcare, Wellstar Health System, and Emory Healthcare are among the organizations currently hiring, according to Burning Glass, a data analytics company.

College graduates are most likely to find jobs in the more populous cities, such as Atlanta and Savannah. Some of the largest employers include the U.S. military, Delta Airlines, Home Depot, UPS, and Coca-Cola. Amazon, Piedmont Healthcare, Wellstar Health System, and Emory Healthcare are among the organizations currently hiring, according to Burning Glass, a data analytics company. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that some of the most common professional occupations in the state are general and operations manager, accountant, and project manager, to name just a few. In the near future, the Georgia Department of Labor is projecting increasing demand for college-educated workers.

Interested in learning about employment outcomes for alumni of online programs? OnlineU studied ten popular online colleges across the country and found strong career results.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.

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