By 2020, more than 65% of jobs in Georgia will require some form of postsecondary education. Attending online colleges in Georgia accredited regionally or nationally helps graduates compete on the job market and earn higher salaries. Students who select an in-state school save on tuition costs, build valuable connections, and benefit from name recognition. Our list of online colleges in Georgia highlights the best, most affordable institutions. We also explore the job outlook for Georgia graduates and scholarship opportunities for online students.
Higher Learning Initiatives in Georgia
The Center for 21st Century Universities at the Georgia Institute of Technology
Also known as C21U, the Center for 21st Century Universities is a “living laboratory” for new educational technology. The center’s goal is to conduct classroom experiments using new technology, online learning strategies, social networking, and other tools. The center also seeks to collaborate with other educators to identify the best strategies, platforms, and techniques for the future of education and online schools in Georgia. In further testament to its commitment to revolutionary educational methods, C21U has paired up with MOOC provider Coursera to provide free, high-quality classes to the public.
Georgia’s Online Learning Bill (SB 289)
In 2012, Georgia passed the Online Learning Bill. The initiative focuses on promoting virtual and digital learning to prepare high school students for an increasingly technological world. The bill requires all end-of-year core assessments to be completed online by the 2014-2015 school year. More immediately, students who enter ninth grade during the 2013-2014 school year must complete at least one online learning course prior to graduation.
Georgia Virtual School
The Georgia Virtual School was founded in 2005 to provide schools and students with alternative lessons to supplement traditional classroom learning. GVS offers teacher-led virtual classroom environments that are accredited by SACS and CASI. Courses are provided for free to middle school and high school students who are enrolled in the Georgia public school system. They are also available to non-residents for a fee. Students who are studying from home or looking to take advanced coursework stand to gain the most from the school’s services.
Popular Degree Programs in Georgia
According to Business Insider, business administration degrees are among the most popular in Georgia. Business administration graduates find careers in accounting, marketing, and human resources, and many increase their earning potential by completing an MBA. Georgia also reports a high number of elementary education majors compared to other regions, which aligns with the state’s growing demand for teachers.
- Business: Majors often specialize in a field like finance, accounting, operations management, or marketing. After graduation, business majors work as operations managers, accountants, financial managers, and business operations specialists. These positions offer above-average salaries for candidates with a bachelor’s degree.
- Education: Georgia has a high demand for educators in multiple teaching fields. For example, the Georgia Department of Labor projects that the state will add more than 4,500 new elementary teacher openings each year. Earning a degree in education is the first step toward earning a teaching license.
Paying for College in Georgia
For many prospective students, cost plays a large role in the college selection process. Georgia students benefit from the state’s strong grant aid system, which offers more funding per student than any other state except North Carolina. For example, Georgia provides service scholarships for students attending a Georgia military college online. Candidates who enroll in public institutions also save a significant amount on tuition, and many distance learners use scholarships to pay for their degree.
Georgia residents can take advantage of the state’s low public school tuition rates. Georgia’s public two-year and four-year institutions offer rates lower than the national average, saving students money. Online learners may also avoid commuting, parking, and transportation costs. Along with tuition, students should budget for books, technology fees, living costs, and other expenses.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2017-18
|Public Two Year||Public Four Year|
Source: College Board
Employment Outlook in Georgia
Georgia’s economy employs over 4 million workers. Professionals in the state earn annual mean wages close to the national average, while the unemployment rate remains below the national figure. According to the Georgia Department of Labor, many of the state’s fastest-growing careers require a bachelor’s degree. Openings for general and operations managers, for example, may add 9,000 new jobs each year in a position that offers average wages of more than $115,000 a year. College graduates are also unemployed less frequently than other workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
Accreditation for Colleges in Georgia
Selecting an accredited college is crucial to receiving a quality education. Accreditation benefits students in several ways: credits earned through regionally accredited online colleges in Georgia are more likely to transfer to other schools, and accredited degrees meet many licensing and certification requirements. Only students at accredited institutions qualify to participate in federal financial aid programs. During the accreditation process, an independent agency evaluates a school’s academic standards, student learning outcomes, graduation requirements, and faculty qualifications to ensure that students receive a high-quality education. Colleges that meet the standards earn accreditation, and maintain their status by undergoing regular reviews.
Regional and national accreditation agencies evaluate entire colleges and universities. In general, regional organizations review liberal arts and research institutions, while vocational programs typically receive national accreditation. Regional accreditation is generally viewed as the more prestigious designation. Regionally accredited online colleges in Georgia meet the same standards as their on-campus counterparts. In Georgia, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools grants regional accreditation. In addition to institutional regional and national accreditation, many online and traditional programs hold specialized accreditation. Departments and disciplines like business, education, social work, and counseling often demonstrate their academic rigor by seeking programmatic accreditation.
Scholarships for Georgia Online College Students
Scholarships can provide thousands of dollars toward educational costs, and do not need to be paid back. Online students in Georgia have a variety of scholarship opportunities, including several awards specifically for Georgia residents. To qualify, students may need to meet certain academic qualifications or pursue a particular major or degree.
- Zell Miller Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This state-sponsored scholarship funds high school graduates with a minimum 3.7 GPA. Recipients must attend an eligible Georgia institution, including online colleges in Georgia accredited regionally or nationally.
Amount: up to $4,776
- GFB Foundation for Agriculture Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Georgia Farm Bureau grants this award to state residents majoring in agriculture or related fields. Applicants should have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
- Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellowship
Who Can Apply: This stipend funds STEM graduates pursuing a master’s in education. Recipients must teach at a Georgia school for three years.
Amount: $10,000 stipend per year
- APIASF/United Health Foundation Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Georgia residents of Asian or Pacific Islander heritage who are earning a healthcare degree may receive three years of funding.
Amount: $5,000 per year
- Georgia Mining Foundation Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Students attending online colleges in Georgia accredited regionally or nationally must meet minimum standardized test scores. Applicants should provide transcripts, an essay, proof of financial need, and a letter of recommendation.
- Charles Harbin III Memorial Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This award is open to Georgia high school seniors with a minimum 2.75 GPA who are first-time college students.
- AWS Atlanta District Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Georgia students pursuing a degree in any welding-related major may apply.
Amount: up to $2,500
- Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This award is open to female undergraduates at participating Georgia colleges or universities who identify as Christians. The Foundation prefers applicants pursuing a medical or nursing degree.
- Ty Cobb Educational Foundation Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Applicants must be attending a nationally or regionally accredited online college in Georgia. Candidates should maintain at least a “B” average.
- Watson-Brown Foundation Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Students who live in a Georgia county near the Savannah River may apply by providing transcripts and letters of recommendation.
Resources for Students in Georgia
- University System of Georgia: Representing all 26 colleges and universities in the public university system, this site provides resources for prospective students, including information regarding online college courses in Georgia. Visitors may explore web-based degree offerings, learn more about applying to online programs, or fulfill general education requirements online through the eCore program.
- Technical College System of Georgia: This site offers information on Georgia’s 22 public technical colleges, including online course offerings from the Georgia Virtual Technical Connection. Students can also learn about 17 tuition-free programs available through the technical schools and transfer agreements with the state’s public four-year colleges.
- Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission: Prospective and current students can learn about Georgia private colleges from the Commission, which regulates private institutions. The site’s student resources include a transcript request form and college performance data.
- Georgia Student Finance Commission: This organization maintains the state’s financial aid programs and provides Georgia students with millions of dollars in funding. The HOPE grant alone has provided over $10 billion in aid since 1993. The Commission also administers the Zell Miller scholarship, offers student loans, and provides financial aid consulting for college students.
- Team Georgia Careers: Georgia’s career website serves as an information aggregator for state government positions. Run by the Georgia Department of Administrative Services, the site lets job seekers search for opportunities and apply online. Applicants may also search for employment opportunities according to interest.
Online Schools in Georgia
Armstrong State University
- Graduation Rate: 31%
- Average Net Price: $15,222
Albany State University
- Graduation Rate: 39%
- Average Net Price: $14,555
Beulah Heights University
- Graduation Rate: 19%
- Average Net Price: $13,102
- Graduation Rate: 45%
- Average Net Price: $17,684
College of Coastal Georgia
- Graduation Rate: 14%
- Average Net Price: $12,089
Clayton State University
- Graduation Rate: 28%
- Average Net Price: $13,130
Columbus State University
- Graduation Rate: 34%
- Average Net Price: $12,134
- Graduation Rate: 90%
- Average Net Price: $26,399
Fort Valley State University
Fort Valley, GA
- Graduation Rate: 29%
- Average Net Price: $16,992
Georgia Southern University
- Graduation Rate: 50%
- Average Net Price: $16,717
Georgia Southwestern State University
- Graduation Rate: 29%
- Average Net Price: $13,056
Georgia Highlands College
- Graduation Rate: N/A
- Average Net Price: $7,451
Kennesaw State University
- Graduation Rate: 42%
- Average Net Price: $16,583
Luther Rice College & Seminary
- Graduation Rate: 25%
- Average Net Price: $15,229
- Graduation Rate: 63%
- Average Net Price: $20,361
West Point, GA
- Graduation Rate: 37%
- Average Net Price: $14,369
- Graduation Rate: 28%
- Average Net Price: $14,750
Savannah College of Art and Design
- Graduation Rate: 65%
- Average Net Price: $36,830
- Graduation Rate: 47%
- Average Net Price: $19,490
Toccoa Falls College
Toccoa Falls, GA
- Graduation Rate: 45%
- Average Net Price: $18,313
- Graduation Rate: 14%
- Average Net Price: $20,231
Truett McConnell University
- Graduation Rate: 9%
- Average Net Price: $17,887
University of Georgia
- Graduation Rate: 81%
- Average Net Price: $12,244
University of North Georgia
- Graduation Rate: 53%
- Average Net Price: $10,400
Valdosta State University
- Graduation Rate: 41%
- Average Net Price: $14,864
University of West Georgia
- Graduation Rate: 37%
- Average Net Price: $15,386
Middle Georgia State University
- Graduation Rate: 20%
- Average Net Price: $10,784
- Graduation Rate: 43%
- Average Net Price: $21,964
Dalton State College
- Graduation Rate: 15%
- Average Net Price: $7,556
Atlanta Metropolitan State College
- Graduation Rate: 11%
- Average Net Price: $12,706
Savannah State University
- Graduation Rate: 32%
- Average Net Price: $12,261