Earning a college degree leads to better opportunities for graduates compared to opportunities available to those without a college degree. The quality education available at the cheapest colleges in Georgia demonstrates that pursuing a college education does not have to be an expensive endeavor.
The Cheapest Colleges in Georgia
The quality of a college education is not based on which school that a student attends, including when choosing to earn a degree at one of the cheapest colleges in Georgia. It is basically a myth that attending a high-priced, well-known college leads to an increased likelihood of getting a good job after graduation.
The results of a Gallup Poll taken a few years ago showed that employers value the knowledge and applied skills of an applicant as far more important in hiring decisions than where the person went to college. A dismal nine percent of business leaders ranked where the applicant went to college as ‘very important,’ while 84 percent of the business leaders ranked knowledge as ‘very important,’ and 79 percent answered that applied skills were ‘very important’ in their hiring decisions.
How are Earnings Affected by Attending Affordable Colleges?
Attending one of the cheapest colleges in Georgia does not decrease the chance of a graduate getting a good job and does not affect other opportunities such as career advancement or earnings. The benefits of earning a college degree, including from the least expensive schools in Georgia, are not limited to immediately after the graduate earns the degree.
Choosing a degree type from the Georgia Higher Learning and Earnings dashboard shows the long-term benefits of earning that degree when considering the earnings over time. One example is earning an associate’s degree. The site shows that one year after graduating with an associate’s degree from a college in Georgia, the median earnings are $35,173. The Georgia graduate that earned an associate’s degree can expect to have median earnings of $48,604 in ten years. Similarly, the person earning a bachelor’s degree at a Georgia college has median earnings of $37,225 one year after graduating, and $60,233 after 10 years. There is no difference in whether the graduate earned their degree from an expensive school or an affordable Georgia college.
Ranking the Cheapest Colleges in Georgia
We researched colleges and universities in Georgia to come up with this list of some of the cheapest schools in Georgia. The listed tuition is the cost of in-state tuition, obtained directly from the school. We noted any tie among the schools. The accreditation information also comes directly from each school’s website.
1. Lanier Technical College
Topping our list of the cheapest colleges in Georgia is Lanier Technical College because you cannot get any lower tuition than programs offered at no cost through the Hope Career Grant. Although the college does offer many programs that have tuition costs, there are 16 programs of study with the possibility of free tuition.
Choose a program with free tuition from options such as automotive technology, certified engineer assistant, construction technology, computer technology or design and media production. Some other options include practical nursing, diesel equipment technology, and precision manufacturing.
Other programs, which do require tuition payment, includes building, electrical and manufacturing programs, healthcare and nursing, public safety, and personal and public service technologies.
- Tuition: $0-100 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ADA, CAAHEP, NAACLS, CAPTE, JRCERT, Georgia Real Estate Commission, Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses
2. South Georgia State College
South Georgia State College ranks highly among the cheapest colleges in Georgia. The school proves that the low cost of tuition does not affect the opportunities available to students or the quality of education. The college, which opened its doors in 2013, offers nearly two dozen associate degree programs and seven bachelor degree programs, and hopes to offer additional baccalaureate programs in the near future.
The college provides innovative teaching and learning experiences, access to unique ecological sites, and a mission to create and maintain a globally-focused and supportive learning environment.
- Tuition: $95 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACEN
3. (Tie) Georgia Highlands College
Georgia Highlands College offers some of the best values available, and ties as one of the top-ranked cheapest colleges in Georgia. Students choosing this school save money while receiving a high-quality college education.
The college has more than 30 programs of study, included 10 that are offered in an online format. Some students complete their associate’s degree at the school and start work immediately while others continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree at Georgia Highlands College. Choose your program of study from options such as business administration, dental hygiene, nursing, computer science, film production or graphic design.
- Tuition: $95 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACEN, Commission on Dental Accreditation
4. Georgia Northwestern Technical College
The Georgia Northwestern Technical College focuses on providing skills training and education that benefits the community and the students pursuing academic programs that helps guide them to their future success. The school offers technical and academic instruction through the traditional classroom and online learning environments. Students choose their program from more than 200 degrees, certificate, or diploma options in areas such as industrial technologies, business or health technologies, nursing and allied health options or public service technologies.
- Tuition: $100 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACEN, ADA, CAAHEP, CoARC, FAA
5. Atlanta Metropolitan State College
Atlanta Metropolitan State College invites you to ‘‘bring your brilliance.” The college is a newer school, having opened its doors in 1974. The school offers certificates, associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. The Atlantic Metropolitan State College, one of the cheapest colleges in Georgia, offers academic programs on campus as well as the opportunity to complete some courses or degree programs in an online format.
Choose your academic program from the School of Business and Information Technology, the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, or the School of Science Health Professions. Examples of degree programs includes the Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems and the Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media and Entertainment.
- Tuition: $101.07 per credit hour
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), ACBSP
6. Dalton State College
Some of the Dalton State College core values include providing opportunity and access for all, excellence in teaching and learning, and a culture of accountability. The mission statement of the school references providing students with the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge that are necessary to attain affordable degrees.
The affordability of attending Dalton State College is one feature that is important to many students, along with the ‘top value’ education, meaning that students do not sacrifice quality for the affordability. The school provides the same types of programs and opportunities as many higher-priced colleges and believes that students thrive under the challenge afforded them at the college, which offers a student-centered approach to education. Many students that earn an associate’s degree continue at the school, earning a bachelor’s degree.
- Tuition: $106.80 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB, ACEN
7. (Tie) College of Coastal Georgia
Pursue your undergraduate degree at the College of Coastal Georgia, and gain the benefits of an affordable, interactive education at a school situated amongst the Golden Isles. Earn a bachelors degree in American Studies, Business Administration, Biological Sciences, Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, Mathematics, or Health Informatics. Other bachelor’s degree programs include Psychology, Nursing, and Public Affairs.
The school advocates for scholarship and community engagement, promoting student progression and a timely graduation, and preparing students for participating in a global, technological society.
- Tuition: $106.80 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACEN, CAEP, American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission, Joint Review Committee for Education in Radiologic Technology
8. (Tie) Gordon State College
Gordon State College has three campus locations and the opportunity to pursue your degree online. The college boasts state-of-the-art classrooms and the latest technology to help students through their studies. The faculty and staff at Gordan State College put forth considerable effort to provide support and encouragement for every student throughout their time enrolled at the school.
There are 16 associate degree programs offered, with several pathways to earning baccalaureate degrees, and 11 bachelor degree programs offered at the school.
- Tuition: $106.80-$159 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACEN, NCATE
9. Middle Georgia State University
Middle Georgia State University is one of the cheaper colleges in the State of Georgia, and offers programs at six campus locations, along with the option of completing courses online. Students can complete online courses in eight-week terms. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
One outstanding feature of the school is that it offers the only aviation program at a public university in the State of Georgia. The school of aviation offers flight instruction at two campus locations, and has a partnership with Delta Airlines and Robbins Air Force Base.
Other popular programs include information technology, business administration, criminal justice and education.
- Tuition: $113.67 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI), Georgia Professional Standards Commission, National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), CoARC, ACEN
10. Georgia Gwinnett College
Geogia Gwinnett College features one of the lowest tuition rates in Georgia, and yet the school offers more than 45 programs of study, including the opportunity to study abroad. Students choose to earn their degree in fields such as STEM, cinema and media arts, criminal justice, nursing or education.
Georgia Gwinnett College demonstrates its commitment to students in many ways including through Mentoring Milestones, which are a pattern of activity and goals that are pursued in a particular order to build skills and relationships, and provides access to peers, faculty members and professional opportunity.
- Tuition: $133.93 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB, CCNE, NCATE
11. Fort Valley State University
Fort Valley State University has been educating students as one of the cheapest colleges in Georgia since 1895. Students have the opportunity to engage in ‘world-changing’ research as early as their freshman year at the university. Some research at the school potentially involves environmental sustainability, food safety, socio-economic disparities, brain science and other ‘complex global challenges.’
The school makes the statement that it works hard to keep the tuition among the lowest in the U.S., receiving national recognition for value. Fort Valley State University also takes pride for other efforts, such as preparing minorities and women for STEM careers, and offering the only four-year veterinary technology degree in Georgia.
- Tuition: $159-$169.33 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, AVMA, NAEYC, ABET, NCATE, Council on Social Work Education
12. Clayton State University
The Clayton State University mission of empowering students through rich experiences that engage their critical-thinking skills and preparing students for their chosen careers helps the school meet the goal of making students dreams a reality. The affordable Morrow, Georgia university offers eight graduate programs and 35 undergraduate degree programs and makes a college education more affordable for Georgia’s citizens.
The school currently has an enrollment of more than 7,000 students from 34 states and 32 different countries. Award-winning faculty members guide students through learning in the classroom, as well as hands-on experiential learning opportunities. Students enrolled in online degree programs receive the same personalized attention as students pursuing their degree in the on-campus setting.
- Tuition: $169.33 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCATE, ABA, National Association of Schools of Music, CCNE, ADA, AACSB
13. Georgia Southwestern State University
Georgia Southwestern State University, situated on 250 acres of lush land in Americus, Georgia, focuses on providing an elevated educational experience for students from all walks of life, even as one of the cheapest colleges in Georgia. The university explains that students understand that a quality education does not have to mean experiencing years of debt after earning a college degree.
Students pursue their degree through one of the 40 options, chosen from the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing, the College of Education, or the College of Business and Computing. Students also benefit from a rolling admissions policy.
- Tuition: $169.33-$194 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP, CCNE
14. (Tie) Savannah State University
The Savannah State University, founded in 1890, is the oldest institution of higher learning in Savannah. The university fosters engaged learning, personal growth, and the nurturing of a diverse student body. Offering more than 30 undergraduate majors and five graduate majors, Savannah State University offers the approximately 3,700 students the opportunity to choose their preferred educational pathway. Choose an affordable college education through the College of Business Administration, the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, or the College of Sciences and Technology and pursue the opportunity to achieve excellence in your chosen field. The school offers both on-campus and online classes.
- Tuition: $169.33 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ABET, AACSB, CSWE, NASPAA, American Chemical Society
15. University of West Georgia
The University of West Georgia encourages prospective students to ‘Go West’ where students that attend the university become a member of the community. The school indicates that the student body and faculty are a strong community of problem-solvers, knowledge seekers and action takers. The University of West Georgia seeks to continually evolve to continue to meet the task of being relevant to students in an ever-changing world and economy. Go West and attend the college that offers 87 programs of study and where, in addition to offering affordable tuition, there is a plan for the university to emerge as the student’s first choice for their college education.
- Tuition: $182.13 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CCNE, AACSB, CACREP
16. Valdosta State University
Valdosta State University believes that a college education should be accessible for all individuals, and therefore makes our list of one of the most affordable colleges in Georgia.
Every student has the opportunity to engage in meaningful hands-on experiential learning from day one of their undergraduate classes, with the university asking, ‘Why wait for graduate school?’ The affordable tuition does not affect the quality of education, whether you earn an associate’s degree, bachelor’s master’s or doctoral degree at Valdosta State University. Choose your degree program from options that includes accounting, aviation, business administration, art and design, STEM, human services, or a variety of academic programs at the graduate level. Students have the option of attending classes in the traditional classroom, or enrolling in an online program. Some students choose to accept the opportunity to study abroad.
- Tuition: $182.13 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, NASAD, NASAM, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, ABET, AACSB, CAEP, CCNE, CAAHEP
17. Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University students have an exceptional array of benefits, ranging from being one of the cheapest colleges in Georgia to being a university with strong global ties and being recognized as a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution. The university also offers more than 165 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees, with more than 41,000 students choosing to earn their degree at the school. There are several top majors at the school, ranging from education, nursing, and management, to computer science, psychology, and communication.
- Tuition: $185.40 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ABET, NCATE, AACSB, IACET, CCNE
18. University of North Georgia
The University of North Georgia is one of the largest public universities in Georgia, and is designated as a State leadership Institution, and as The Military College of Georgia. The school offers more than 100 certificate and degree programs, ranging from undergraduate certificates and degrees to master’s and doctoral graduate programs of study. Choose your program of study from STEM, business, education, social sciences, health, or humanities programs.
The university is regularly recognized as one of the best value colleges in the nation, based on affordability and academic excellence. It is also one of only six senior military colleges in the United States.
- Tuition: $186.53 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ABET, ACEN, ABA, AACSB, CAEP, GaPSC, NASAD
19. Augusta University
Augusta University reveals that it is considered ‘Georgia’s health/sciences/medical college’ by the Board of Regents, which makes the university proud of its distinction. Known as a comprehensive research university, the Augusta University tuition and other costs are still kept low enough for it to rank as one of the most affordable schools in the state.
There are locations across Georgia, allowing students to pursue the academic program of their choice in a close-knit environment, and yet as part of a larger campus, with the Medical College of Georgia being the eighth largest medical school in the country.
Students choose their pathway to the future through 90 undergraduate and 80 graduate degree program options.
- Tuition: $229.73 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACOTE, CAAHEP, CAHIIM, CODA, JRCERT, NAACLS, CACREP, GaPSC, CCNE, MPCAC, AACSB, LCME, CSWE, NASAD, ABET
20. Georgia State University
Georgia State University, an urban public research facility located in Atlanta, provides a pathway to success for students that choose an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree at the university. The school actually has the greatest variety of programs of any college in the State of Georgia, offering more than 250 degree programs in 100 different fields of study.
Georgia State University prepares graduates for their professional pursuits, encourages them to become leaders and students of lifelong learning.
- Tuition: $298.27 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, NASPAA, CSWE, APA, CACREP, ASHA, ACEND, ACEN, CCNE, CEPH, ABA, AACSB, CAHME, NASM
We searched for the cheapest colleges in Georgia and narrowed our list as we also limited our list to properly accredited schools and programs. The tuition rate is for the cost of one credit hour of study at the resident rate. Students should note that the cost of tuition sometimes changes, as do other points, such as available programs, and accrediting bodies.
Do you need help finding the right cheapest college in Georgia that meets your needs? We can help you, based on your selected program.
Do you have issues with your school’s listing? Please contact us if you would like to update the information for your school.