Best Public Colleges in Georgia 2022

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Georgia provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

Best Public Colleges in Georgia 2022

Colleges and Universities in Georgia

Georgia has 70 colleges and universities, 38 of which are public institutions, and 36 of Georgia’s top colleges offer online degree programs. The University of Georgia, located in the city of Athens, is the largest, with over 35,000 students. Those attending Georgia State University and Georgia Southern University will enter into a friendly athletics rivalry. Tuition at Georgia State costs $9,000, and at Georgia Southern, $6,000. Of the 20 religiously affiliated schools, Emory University has both the highest tuition, just over $50,000, and student population, with over 13,000 in attendance. Whether you’re looking to earn your associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, Georgia schools offer plenty of options.

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Students can earn degrees in religious studies, business, social work, law, and computer science. Those looking to attend technical colleges can also choose from a handful of schools that offer two-year degrees in medicine, nursing, and education. Part of the University System of Georgia, Atlanta Metropolitan State college is the state’s most affordable college at $3,000, and its students can major in fields like mathematics, criminal justice, and philosophy.

The Blue Ridge Mountains, oak and hickory forests, and the Atlantic Coastal Plain all make their home in Georgia, but the state’s most notable landform is the Okefenokee Swamp, the largest such water-mass in North America. This diverse landscape in The Peach State provides Georgia’s college and graduate students with a beautiful backdrop for an education.

Georgia also offers a loan repayment program for qualifying graduates in the medical field through the Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce. Check out the best degree programs and top career paths this southern state has to offer.


What are Georgia’s Colleges & Universities?

Georgia’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 22 public universities in Georgia. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in Georgia, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

How do we determine Georgia's best public colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

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Best Public Colleges in Georgia 2022

  1. #3

    Georgia State University

    Atlanta , GA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/23

    What is Georgia State University known for?

    Georgia State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Physics
    • History
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #4

    Georgia Southern University

    Statesboro , GA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    24K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/22

    What is Georgia Southern University known for?

    Georgia Southern University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Earth Sciences
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #5

    Valdosta State University

    Valdosta , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    What is Valdosta State University known for?

    Valdosta State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Anthropology

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #6

    University of West Georgia

    Carrollton , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1000/20

    What is University of West Georgia known for?

    University of West Georgia’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Anthropology
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #7

    Savannah State University

    Savannah , GA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    46%

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    965/17

    What is Savannah State University known for?

    Savannah State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Business
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #8

    Albany State University

    Albany , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    815/16

    What is Albany State University known for?

    Albany State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #9

    Fort Valley State University

    Fort Valley , GA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    72%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    905/17

    What is Fort Valley State University known for?

    Fort Valley State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • History
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #10

    Dalton State College

    Dalton , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Dalton State College known for?

    Dalton State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • History
  9. #11

    Columbus State University

    Columbus , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    980/20

    What is Columbus State University known for?

    Columbus State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Earth Sciences
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  10. #12

    Georgia Gwinnett College

    Lawrenceville , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/18

    What is Georgia Gwinnett College known for?

    Georgia Gwinnett College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #13

    Georgia College & State University

    Milledgeville , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/25

    What is Georgia College & State University known for?

    Georgia College & State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/19

    What is Georgia Southwestern State University known for?

    Georgia Southwestern State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Sociology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #15

    Clayton State University

    Morrow , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    6K

    What is Clayton State University known for?

    Clayton State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    985/18

    What is Middle Georgia State University known for?

    Middle Georgia State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • History
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
  15. Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    13%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Georgia Highlands College known for?

    Georgia Highlands College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #18

    College of Coastal Georgia

    Brunswick , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/19

    What is College of Coastal Georgia known for?

    College of Coastal Georgia’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1025/19

    What is Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College known for?

    Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • History
    • Business
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #20

    East Georgia State College

    Swainsboro , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    14%

    Student body

    2K

    What is East Georgia State College known for?

    East Georgia State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • History
  19. #21

    Gordon State College

    Barnesville , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    16%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    930/17

    What is Gordon State College known for?

    Gordon State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Atlanta Metropolitan State College known for?

    Atlanta Metropolitan State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Medical
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Georgia’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Georgia Tech
  2. University of Georgia
  3. Georgia State University
  4. Georgia College & State University
  5. Georgia Southern University
  6. University of West Georgia
  7. Gordon State College

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