2023 Best Public Colleges in Georgia

2022-2023 Public Colleges of Distinction

Published: September 1, 2022

By: Colleges of Distinction Staff

Jump to: Georgia College | Georgia Southern University | Georgia State University | University of North Georgia | Frequently Asked Questions

Public colleges and universities are usually perceived to have larger class sizes, less attention, and less prestige than private colleges. Don’t let these labels fool you! Each institution offers a unique college experience, ranging from small liberal arts colleges to research institutions.

Rather than looking at college rankings to choose where you will study for the next four years, take a more immersive approach to your college search. Explore college campuses, sift through your top college majors, and find the college experience that you want.

Colleges of Distinction has hand-picked a selection of the best colleges in Georgia that cater to students’ interests to help you with your college search. Take a look below to see our list of 2022-2023 Colleges of Distinction to help you find the right college for you.

Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, GA Georgia's Public Liberal Arts University

Georgia College

Milledgeville, GA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

With over 46 undergraduate programs, 150+ student organizations, and 34 graduate programs to choose from, students are encouraged to participate in intellectual and culturally vibrant activities. As a historic teaching and nursing college, Georgia College & State University consistently ranks among the best programs for both teaching and nursing undergraduate and graduate programs. Combined with affordable tuition, Georgia College is a top pick for students looking for dedicated faculty and staff, diverse academic programs, and a supportive student environment.

Programs for students at Georgia College include online degree programs, dual enrollment, double majoring, student exchange programs, an honors program, internships, study abroad, a professional studies program, and summer classes. Georgia College can award certificates as well as bachelor’s, some master’s, and two doctorate degrees.

Faculty participate in an active community of research at Georgia College. Research labs include the Social Emotional Development Laboratory, Behavioral Neuroscience, Behavioral Pharmacology, Memory Lab, and more.

Acceptance rate 86%      •      Net price $20,958      •      SAT Range 1100-1245      •      Students submitting SAT scores 52%
Total Undergrad Population 6,873      •      Setting Town      •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 62%      •      Retention rate 82%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 16:1

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Georgia Southern University

Statesboro, GA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

Georgia Southern University is large enough to provide endless opportunities, but personal enough to feel like home, plus employers say our grads are ready from day one. With almost 27,000 students, approximately 141 different degree programs, three campuses built on a single vision of growing others, Georgia Southern University is moving ahead and ready for more. With historic brick streets or moss-dripping oak trees, our picturesque campuses may seem pristine, but there’s a lot of roll-up-your-sleeves work going on here. Research is focused on community impact. Teaching is focused on students. And students are focused on their future.

The Georgia Southern University Experiential Learning Program provides undergraduate and graduate students academically enhancing employment opportunities in a variety of industries and sectors through co-op, internship, and job shadowing opportunities. The Experiential Learning Program encourages relevant quality work experiences for all students who desire to enrich their academic program of study with planned, progressive, and monitored work experiences. These employment opportunities build upon strong instructional programs to ensure that students receive an outstanding education that prepares them intellectually, technically, culturally, ethically, and socially for the demands and opportunities of an increasingly changing world.

Acceptance rate 91%      •      Net price $15,463      •      SAT Range 993-1170      •      Students submitting SAT scores 67%
Total Undergrad Population 26,949      •      Setting Town      •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 54%      •      Retention rate 79%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 22:1

Click here for available majors

Georgia State University

Atlanta, GA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

Founded in 1913, Georgia State University is a leading public research institution in the heart of downtown Atlanta.

Georgia State is proud to provide a rich experience with award-winning faculty, hundreds of student organizations, myriad research opportunities, and one of the most diverse student bodies in the country. Students, faculty, and staff are all committed to cultivating a campus culture founded on mutual respect, ambition, hard work, and perseverance.

Freshman learning communities (FLC) are designed to help students acclimate to their new environment and experience the expectations of the academic and personal journey they are about to embark on. During their first semester, students participate in an FLC based on their academic interests and enjoy a support team, built-in study buddies, and the peace of mind that all the courses they take can apply to any major they choose. FLC’s are built around specific fields of interest: STEM, business, arts and humanities, policy studies, health, education, social sciences, and undeclared.

Acceptance rate 82%      •      Net price $17,750      •      SAT Range 1030-1260      •      Students submitting SAT scores 69%
Total Undergrad Population 36,360      •      Setting City: Large      •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 53%      •      Retention rate 81%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 27:1

Click here for available majors

University of North Georgia's main campus in Dahlonega, GA

University of North Georgia

Dahlonega, GA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

Founded in 1873, UNG has led generations of leaders across professions. The university’s strong culture of military personnel and inquiring academic minds is apparent across all five campuses. Offering both on-campus and online educational pathways, UNG has a bachelor’s, associate’s, graduate, or doctoral degree for anyone ready to become outstanding leaders for a diverse and global society.

Acceptance rate 81%      •      Net price $11,322      •      SAT Range 990-1180      •      Students submitting SAT scores 72%
Total Undergrad Population 19,793      •      Setting Town      •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 52%      •      Retention rate 78%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 19:1

Click here for available majors

What it’s like to attend public schools in Georgia and other FAQ:

What are average public tuition costs in Georgia (in-state, out-of-state)?

The average undergraduate tuition & fees for public colleges in Georgia are $5,056 for in-state students and $16,206 for out-of-state students.

Cheapest public degree program in Georgia

University North Georgia has an average net price of $11,322 making it the least expensive public institution in Georgia that made our list.

Easiest public degree program to get into in Georgia

Georgia Southern University has an acceptance rate of 91%, with an SAT range of 993-1170, making it the least exclusive public college on our list.

Public Degree program with lowest student debt in Georgia

University of North Georgia has a median total debt after graduation of $18,750. This is the typical debt for a student who completed their undergraduate degree.

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