Best Online Colleges in Georgia 2021

| TBS Staff

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Georgia is home to 85 accredited colleges and universities, some of which deliver programs in online or hybrid formats.

Attending online colleges in Georgia allows students the flexibility to pursue the degrees that best suit their goals while still working full time, caring for a family, or managing other obligations.

The University of Georgia System (USG) is a major provider of online degrees in Georgia thanks to its flexible eCore and eMajor offerings. Through the partnership and collaboration among the 26 USG institutions, students can complete general education requirements completely online. Additional eMajor coursework prepares graduates for in-demand careers in fields like nursing, criminal justice, and information technology.

Our ranked list of the best online colleges in Georgia provides a comprehensive look at distance learning options in the Peach State. Read on to learn about degree availability, admission requirements, student support services, and common learning formats in Georgia's online colleges.

Featured Online Schools

#1 Middle Georgia State University Macon, GA
#2 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
#3 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA
#4 University of West Georgia Carrollton, GA
#5 Clayton State University Morrow, GA
#6 Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, GA
#7 Valdosta State University Valdosta, GA
#8 Columbus State University Columbus, GA
#9 Shorter University Rome, GA
#10 Toccoa Falls College Toccoa Falls, GA

The Best Online Colleges in Georgia

Middle Georgia State University View School Profile $ Macon, GA 18% 46% 52% Middle Georgia State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

After consolidation of three Georgia colleges in 2012, MGA officially changed its current name and mission statement in 2015. As a public university, MGA has five physical campus locations, including the main campus in Macon.

MGA offers several online programs for traditional and non-traditional applicants. Students pursuing associate, bachelor, or master's degrees can complete all coursework 100% online. Enrollment is open for terms in Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer of each year.

Georgia Southern University View School Profile $$$ Statesboro, GA 50% 53% 35% Georgia Southern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Located in Statesboro, Georgia Southern offers 141 degree programs available at three campuses and online. Over 26,000 students enroll every year.

It offers flexible online programs in business, education, and healthcare. Students may complete a bachelor or master's degree entirely online from anywhere. Students may also blend online and on-campus courses to complete a program.

Georgia Southern is waving the requirement of standardized test scores if applicants have a sufficiently high GPA. Students below a 2.6 GPA must also submit SAT test scores of 1030 or higher and ACR scores of 20 or higher.

Kennesaw State University View School Profile $$$ Kennesaw, GA 43% 49% 42% Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

KSU offers more than 150 degrees to over 41,000 students. As the second-largest university in the state, KSU provides an innovative learning environment in-person and online.

Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA with qualifying test scores, a 2.6 GPA without qualifying test scores. The admissions office prefers students to apply early to provide additional resources. However, KSU does offer rolling enrollment throughout the year and students can apply anytime.

University of West Georgia View School Profile $$$ Carrollton, GA 42% 59% 59% The University of West Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Since 1906, UWG has provided dynamic education to students from its main campus located in Carrollton. With several regional locations, this public university also offers an immersive online learning program.

Students can earn certain degrees entirely online, including Nursing and Sociology. Other programs, such as Real Estate and Finance, require some on-campus coursework.

2021 Applicants are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores. Incoming first-year students must have a high school GPA of 2.6 or higher.

Clayton State University View School Profile $$ Morrow, GA 30% 55% 54% Clayton State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

A public university located in Morrow, CSU opened its doors in 1969. As a relatively young school, CSU offers an innovative learning experience with a modern sensibility.

CSU offers several online programs that allow students the flexibility to complete courses at their own pace through its BrightSpace program. students participate in class discussions, submit assignments, take exams, and communicate with a dedicated faculty through the online service.

CSU accepts enrollment three times throughout the year and is waiving ACT/SAT requirements for 2021.

Savannah College of Art and Design View School Profile Savannah, GA 68% 43% 18% The Savannah College of Art and Design is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

Located in Savannah, SCAD offers more degrees and programs than any other art institute. Founded in 1978, this private college prepares talented students for professional creative careers.

Students can complete eLearning courses entirely online with 24/7 access and no required meeting times. SCAD requires a portfolio submission for all master program applicants, a portfolio is optional for undergraduate students.

Valdosta State University View School Profile $$ Valdosta, GA 42% 62% 51% Valdosta State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

VSU was established in 1906 and offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.

VSU's online degree asynchronous programs offer students flexibility and the convenience to complete courses from anywhere. Traditional and non-traditional students must submit high school transcripts. Students do not have to submit standardized test scores for 2021 enrollment. However, non-traditional students out of high school longer than five years may have to take the Accuplacer test.

Columbus State University View School Profile $$ Columbus, GA 37% 55% 45% Columbus State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

CSU joined the public University of Georgia System in 1958 to offer undergraduate and post-graduate studies. CSU boasts an 18-1 student-teacher ratio, and notes that smaller class sizes provide closer instruction and individual attention.

CSU offers some of the best online master's programs and bachelor's degrees to help students balance full-time jobs and family life while pursuing their education and career advancement.

Shorter University View School Profile Rome, GA 46% 62% 38% Shorter University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).

Shorter first opened in 1873 as the Cherokee Baptist Female College. After a name change, relocation, and a few decades, the institution allowed men to enroll at Shorter in 1948.

To enroll in one of its online bachelor's or associate degree programs, applicants must submit a high school transcript with a GPA average of at least 2.25 or higher, ACT score of 19, or an SAT score of 420 on each section or higher.

Toccoa Falls College View School Profile Toccoa Falls, GA 59% 42% 58% Toccoa Falls College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

A private Christian liberal arts school located in rural Toccoa, Georgia, TFC accommodates a low population of students to deliver a more attentive learning experience. Classes sizes are as small as a 15:1 ratio (student-teacher).

TFC offers a wide range of programs that students may pursue at their own pace. TFC designs its online associate and bachelor's degrees for non-traditional applicants who manage busy personal, family, and professional lives. Enrollment is available for spring, summer, and fall terms.

Mercer University View School Profile Macon, GA 66% 65% 23% Mercer University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

An independent university founded by Baptists in 1833, Mercer resides in Macon and is the oldest private college in the state. Over 9,000 students attend Mercer with more than twenty bachelor's degree options to pursue 100% online.

Mercer does not require standardized test scores but instead takes a more holistic approach by reviewing student's complete applications, including high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other submitted documents.

Thomas University View School Profile Thomasville, GA 20% 60% 100% Thomas University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Located in historic Thomasville, TU provides a private, non-profit education experience to approximately 1,000 students. Its smaller body of students offers a more personal experience on-campus and remotely.

TU's curriculum includes various online programs for students who seek higher education while managing careers and personal responsibilities. With a flexible syllabus and close instruction from a select faculty, students can earn an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree entirely online at TU.

Andrew College View School Profile Cuthbert, GA 15% 74% 73% Andrews College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

As a small, liberal arts school located in Cuthbert, Andrews offers a select student body of approximately 300 a unique learning experience in rural Georgia.

The 100% online curriculum at Andrews gives students a chance to achieve in higher education at their convenience. The university provides flexible programs for associate and bachelor's degrees and considers each applicant individually.

Andrews offers a range of programs including: Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Music (AM), Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, (BSBA), as well the Cancer Registry Management Certificate, and the Church Music Certificate.

Point University View School Profile West Point, GA 32% 46% 25% Point University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Located in West Point and founded in 1937, Point University's focus on its Christ-based education is paramount to the faithful vision and goals of the private college.

Point offers over 40 online programs for students to earn associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees and certifications in a wide variety of professional fields. Point welcomes adult learners and non-traditional students to participate in flexible and convenient programs to promote education and career advancement, especially among the Christian community.

Brenau University View School Profile Gainesville, GA 43% 72% 60% Brenau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1878 and headquartered in Gainsville, Brenau University has campuses located in Georgia and Florida. It has over 3,500 enrolled students. Brenau offers options in several fields to pursue undergraduate, graduate, or non-degree programs.

Brenau's online programs cover many high-demand fields, including business, education, healthcare, psychology, design, and communication. Students can earn all degrees entirely online at their convenience.

Online Colleges in Georgia Ranking Guidelines

We selected the online schools in Georgia based on the quality of their programs, types of courses and degrees offered, and faculty strengths, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation, including a strong reputation for online degree programs.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Employment in Georgia

An affordable cost of living, excellent entertainment options, and a temperate climate make Georgia one of the most attractive destinations in the South. The pro-business state also offers a low corporate tax rate and the nation's highest-performing workforce training program.

Understanding local and statewide job markets can help prospective college students select an online bachelor's degree with excellent job prospects. College graduates can use the same information to make important career decisions, like seeking employment in a growing industry rather than one in decline.

Evaluating employment data is especially important in uncertain times. According to data from the Georgia LaborMarket Explorer, the state's major industries when measured by employment include healthcare and social assistance; manufacturing; education; government; and professional, scientific, and technical services. Measuring by economic impact, Georgia's major industries include agribusiness, aerospace, arts, and tourism.

In the tables below, you can find additional employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) detailing Georgia's highest-paying careers and occupations with the highest projected growth between 2016 and 2026.

Highest Paying Careers
Career Salary Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)
Obstetricians and Gynecologists $233,390 15.2%
Physicians and Surgeons $236,530 11.4%
Psychiatrists $246,500 11.3%
Anesthesiologists $221,380 15.5%
Chief Executives $218,590 -3.9%
Source: BLS, ProjectionsCentral
Fastest Growing Careers
Career Salary Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)
CPhysician Assistants $101,460 37.4%
Rotary Drill Operators $47,620 24.6%
Film and Video Editors $65,060 17%
Costume Attendants $43,090 10.6%
Bus Drivers $27,350 9%
Source: BLS, ProjectionsCentral

Associate and Graduate Degrees

The best online schools in Georgia offer more than just bachelor's degrees. Distance learners looking for the quickest path to entry-level employment can pursue online associate degrees through Georgia's top institutions. Professionals looking to advance their career prospects even further may choose to earn an online master's degree.

Common associate majors offered online include business, criminal justice, and general studies. These programs prepare students to start their own small businesses, pursue entry-level careers, or transfer to bachelor's programs.

The most common online master's degrees pursued by graduate students in Georgia are education, nursing, and business administration degrees. These programs provide the training required for advanced licensure and employment opportunities.

Online associate and graduate degrees provide the same rigorous education as their on-campus counterparts, using web-based courses designed by the same professors who teach students on site. Some online programs may require limited in-person attendance or an in-person internship.

Like online bachelor's degrees, online associate and graduate programs offer schedule flexibility, making them ideal for working students. Many programs also use asynchronous delivery, which allows students to log in and complete weekly coursework requirements at their convenience. Students interact with peers and professors through discussion boards, email, telephone, or video conferencing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Online College Cheaper in Georgia?

According to data from the CollegeBoard, Georgia offered the 13th most affordable rates in the country for public, in-state tuition in 2019-2020.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Degree in Georgia?

Students attending online school in GA can choose between part- and full-time enrollment, allowing for bachelor's completion in approximately 2-3 years. Some schools also offer accelerated programs.

What Is the Most Popular Degree in Georgia?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 20% of all bachelor's degrees awarded in Georgia in 2016-2017 were in business.

Does an Online Degree Have the Same Value as an On-Campus Degree?

Yes. Accredited degrees from Georgia's online schools offer the same coursework taught by the same faculty as their on-campus counterparts.

Is Georgia a Good State For Higher Education?

Yes. On average, Georgia offers greater student diversity and lower tuition costs than most U.S. states.

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