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2023 Best Online Community Colleges in Georgia

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 12/29/2022


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Georgia has two distinct community college systems — the Technical College System of Georgia and the University System of Georgia. Technical colleges are designed to train graduates to enter the workforce with associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas, while two-year schools in the university system allow students to complete general education requirements before transferring to four-year universities, including those offering online degrees in Georgia

Many technical college programs are available online, enabling students throughout the state and beyond to get a college education without leaving home. Most of them also have articulation agreements with universities in Georgia, such as the University of Georgia, Embry-Riddle University, and Middle Georgia State University, which helps technical college students transfer to a four-year school more easily. 

View our methodology for more details about our list or learn more about OnlineU.

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List Of Accredited Online Schools

Georgia Military College

  • Annual Tuition: $6,130
  • Locations: Milledgeville
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Georgia Military College (GMC) is a military-friendly public college that has been designated as a predominantly Black institution. The school offers 19 online associate degrees and five online bachelor's degrees. Associate degree seekers can choose to study pre-nursing, cybersecurity, business administration, criminal justice, and social work, among many other options. These degrees typically require 70-73 quarter hours, and the school's accelerated courses, delivered through the Moodle platform, allow students to earn their associate degree in one to two years.

GMC has an open admissions policy that accepts all applicants with a high school diploma or the equivalent. Online students can take advantage of services such as a dedicated veterans benefits office, online tutoring, and 24/7 online library access.

Central Georgia Technical College

  • Annual Tuition: $5,442
  • Locations: Macon (and 2 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC), a public college that has been designated as a predominantly Black institution, has a 41% graduation rate. In addition to a variety of diplomas and certificates, students can choose one of 13 online associate degree programs in subjects such as accounting, business management, marketing, cybersecurity, logistics, and web design. These associate degrees require the completion of 60-72 credit hours, which most full-time students complete in two years. CGTC uses the Blackboard learning platform for its online courses.

CGTC accepts nearly all applicants. Online students are eligible for federal and state financial aid, and they also have access to free online business skills training in time management, business etiquette, goal setting, and more.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College

  • Annual Tuition: $5,462
  • Locations: Rome (and 3 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC), a public college, has a strong online offering featuring 15 associate degrees and dozens of certificates and diplomas. Some of the online associate degrees include healthcare management, accounting, business management, criminal justice technology, and web design. Delivered through the Blackboard learning platform, GNTC online courses may be asynchronous, synchronous, or blended, meaning students must come to campus for some learning activities. Prospective students may want to take a self-assessment to help determine whether they're good candidates for online learning.

GNTC online students are eligible for all types of financial aid, including scholarships provided by the government or by the school itself. They also have access to student services such as career counseling and online tutoring.

Chattahoochee Technical College

  • Annual Tuition: $5,520
  • Locations: Marietta (and 2 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Through Chattahoochee Technical College, which is a public institution, students can earn one of several online associate degrees. Areas of study include business management, marketing management, business technology, accounting, supply chain management, criminal justice, early childhood education, and drafting. These associate degrees typically require the completion of 62-64 credit hours, and students access their online courses through the Blackboard learning management system (LMS).

Chattahoochee Tech accepts all applicants with a high school diploma or the equivalent. Online students are eligible for financial aid provided by the federal and state governments. They also have access to student services, such as academic advising and counseling.

Albany Technical College

  • Annual Tuition: $5,396
  • Locations: Albany
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

At Albany Technical College, students can select from 13 online associate degrees, as well as online certificates and diplomas. Some of the possible areas of study include business management, e-commerce, marketing management, operations management, and health information technology. This public college has a graduation rate of 40%, and most students complete their associate degree in 18-24 months. Albany Tech uses the Blackboard LMS to deliver its online courses.

All Albany Tech students can apply for financial aid, which may include federal and state support and eight additional scholarships funded by the college. Online students may also take advantage of support services such as the Academic Achievement Center and the Career Development Center.

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Overview of Online Colleges in Georgia

There were over half a million students enrolled in Georgia's higher education system in 2019, with almost 130,000 attending two-year colleges after high school. Georgia's online community colleges support the state's economy and workforce development by offering diplomas, certificates, technical skills development, and associate degree programs. Online community colleges may be an accessible way for students to balance multiple responsibilities, work within a tight budget, or live far from campus to further their education and expand employment opportunities. 

Eleven schools on our list belong to the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), which offers students over 600 academic programs at various levels across multiple disciplines. According to the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute (GBPI), approximately 71% of TCSG students are enrolled part-time, and around one-third live in rural communities. These students — who are mostly female — often pursue associate degrees in liberal arts, nursing, and business administration.

Online associate degree programs generally take full-time students two years to complete and longer for those attending part time. While program lengths may vary, students generally need to complete a minimum of 60 credit hours to graduate with an online associate degree.

See our complete list of the best online community colleges across the U.S.

Tuition and Funding for Georgia Community Colleges

Georgia has one of the least expensive community college systems in the country — it's one of the top 10 most affordable states for in-state residents pursuing a two-year education.  The annual tuition of community college is $2,990 for Georgia residents and $8,330 for non-residents, as compared to the national averages of $3,400 and $8,210, respectively. The GBPI's Higher Education Data Book cited above describes how almost $4 billion in proceeds from the state's lottery supports TCSG through scholarships, loans, grants, and funding for dual enrollment, which helps keep costs lower for students.

Georgia has one of the least expensive community college systems in the country.

Additionally, online students often pay less for college than their on-campus peers, and students in Georgia are no exception. Many schools reduce tuition rates for distance learners or eliminate fees in an effort to alleviate some of the financial burden students may face while funding their continuing education.

Georgia has two programs that offer free community college tuition. The Georgia Quick Start program is a partnership between TCSG and Georgia employers to provide free training for jobs in the manufacturing, aviation, automotive, healthcare, business operations, distribution, and food industries. The program trains individuals in the relevant skills that help prepare them for employment within participating organizations. Similarly, the Hope Career Grant provides free adult education to those pursuing careers in 17 high-demand fields, including nursing, criminal justice, computer technology, and early childhood education. Degrees are available online and credits may also transfer to bachelor degree programs within the university system of Georgia. Students could also pursue several other options that may help them pay for community college in Georgia:

Federal financial aid may be available to students who complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students may be eligible for grants, scholarships, and low-interest student loans. In fact, almost 40% of undergraduate college students in Georgia receive these loans.

Students can become Georgia residents to pay in-state tuition fees. To do so, they need to prove that they have established residency for 12 months immediately prior to the first day of classes.

Schools participating in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements charge discounted tuition rates for nonresident students enrolling in online programs that are unavailable in their home state.

The Georgia Student Finance Commission offers financial assistance through REACH Georgia, the Hero Scholarship, and several grants to help students pay for college

Careers After Online Community College in Georgia

Employment experts predict that by 2028, 10.9% of all Georgia jobs will require some postsecondary education, such as a certificate or associate degree. Online associate degrees from Georgia's community colleges can help prepare students for jobs anywhere in the country and diverse careers across a broad range of Georgia's growing industries, including the top growth sector that accounts for over one-fifth of all new jobs in the state: healthcare and social assistance. Other leading industry sectors include food service, professional and business services, and administrative and support services. Top jobs in these industries requiring only an associate degree include the following:

A robust job market with skilled workers contributed to Georgia's low unemployment rate of 2.6% as of December 2021, less than the 3.9% national average.

Along with opportunities for career development, Georgia may be considered an affordable place to live.The cost of living index measures how far income goes towards living expenses, such as housing, food, healthcare, and transportation. For example, one survey measures the U.S. cost of living index at 100, with Georgia's index at 93.4, meaning salary goes a bit farther in Georgia than it may in other places across the country. It also costs slightly less to live in Georgia than neighboring Florida and North Carolina, but the cost of living is a bit more than in Tennessee or Alabama.

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