The best community colleges in Atlanta offer excellent transfer opportunities and online degree options. With a range of post-secondary education options, Georiga offers a rich education. Community colleges in Atlanta have a lengthy list of opportunities for students, offering programs that range from certificates and associate degrees to fully online bachelor’s degrees.
To help you choose the best program for you, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to the most popular in-person degrees and the best online community colleges in Atlanta. The article also covers the best community colleges for nursing, paralegals, information technology, and healthcare management, as well as top career paths for community college graduates.
How Many Community Colleges Are in Atlanta?
There are two community colleges in Atlanta city. However, there are an additional 12 community colleges within a 50-mile radius of Atlanta. Prospective students who are looking to attend a community college in Atlanta can conveniently consider any of the schools within this 50-mile radius.
How Many Community College Districts Are in Atlanta?
There are 12 community college council districts in Atlanta. Community college districts are local educational agencies established according to the education code. The functions of a community college district are to provide instruction and services designed to meet the unique needs of the community and its students, including credited and uncredited programs.
What Is the Biggest Community College in Atlanta?
The largest community college in Atlanta is Georgia Perimeter College. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of over 17,000 students and offers more than 100 associate degree programs. The college is a sister college of Georgia State University and prepares students to transfer to the university to complete bachelor’s degrees.
What Are the Best Community Colleges in Atlanta?
|Ranking||Community College||Graduation Rate||Student-to-Faculty Ratio|
|1||Georgia Northwestern Technical College||46%||22:1|
|2||Interactive College of Technology – Chamblee||44%||23:1|
|3||Atlanta Technical College||44%||12:1|
|4||Atlanta Metropolitan State College||24%||20:1|
|5||Georgia Perimeter College||24%||20:1|
The Best Community Colleges in Atlanta: Explained
When searching for the best community colleges in Atlanta, Georgia, you should consider their graduation rates, average tuition, population, programmatic offerings, and mandatory requirements. This section will provide an overview of some of the best community colleges and programs in Atlanta.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College was established in 1964 and merged with Coosa Valley Technical College, which was established in 1962. Today, it is one of the largest community colleges in Georgia with six campuses in Floyd, Catoosa, Polk, Walker, Gordon, and Whitfield. It offers associate degrees and certificates in various fields.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College Overview
- Tuition: $100/credit
- Student Population: 6,608
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 95%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: No minimum requirement
Best Georgia Northwestern Technical College Programs
- Associate of Science in Nursing. This associate program gives students foundational knowledge in nursing to prepare them for a bachelor’s degree program in nursing. Students in this program will learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
- Associate of Applied Science in Website Development. Students will learn the concept, principles, and techniques needed for web development. Graduates of this program will be armed with knowledge in areas in humanities, fine art, mathematical modeling, quantitative reasoning, and algebra. It is available online and on-campus.
- Associate of Applied Science in Accounting. This program allows students to complete their accounting associate degree and transfer to continue earning their bachelor’s degrees. The 64-credit curriculum offers general education courses in areas like humanities, fine art, accounting, computerized accounting, and tax accounting. It is also available completely online and on-campus.
Interactive College of Technology - Chamblee is an innovative college dedicated to helping students find the right career path and learn at their own pace. It has a small student body and offers career-focused programs and externships in information technology, engineering, and health sciences. It focuses on using technology to solve technical problems.
Interactive College of Technology Overview
- Tuition: $387/credit
- Student Population: 730 (undergraduate students)
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 90%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 23:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.0
Best Interactive College of Technology Programs
- Medical Office Administration. This program trains future medical office administrators in medical billing and coding, customer relation, patient care, and scheduling appointments. It provides hands-on training to students on campus.
- Information Technology. This program provides either an Associate Degree or Diploma in Information Technology. It prepares students for a career in the in-demand field of IT.
- Business Administration. This program provides students with the skills they need to perform effectively in business professions. It trains students in marketing strategies, customer services relations, team management, and accounting.
- Human Resource Management. A business's most valuable resource is the people that make it work. This associate program trains students to effectively recruit, train, develop, and manage human resources.
- Business Information Systems. This program teaches students how to manage the technology and software used in businesses. It prepares them for entry-level careers in business information systems.
Atlanta Technical College is a two-year, public college in Atlanta, Georgia. Even with a 100 percent acceptance rate, it maintains small class sizes. Prospective students can enroll in programs in automotive technology, cosmetology, and information technology, and can take classes as part-time or full-time students. Atlanta Tech also offers dual enrollment programs and is home to several student organizations.
Atlanta Technical College Overview
- Tuition:: $100/credit hour (in-district); $200/credit hour (out of district)
- Student Population: 3,030
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 93%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.6 (for associate degree programs), 2.0 (for certificate and diploma programs)
Best Atlanta Technical College Programs
- Business. This program trains students to navigate finance and leadership positions. It offers programs in several fields, including accounting, marketing, business technology, and business management, awarding certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees.
- Cybersecurity and Computer Information Systems. This program leads to associate degrees and certificates in various areas of specializations such as cybersecurity, database administration, programming, and networking.
- Healthcare. With courses in science, math, engineering, and tech, students will learn how to protect communities through good health service preparatory studies. It offers specializations in several relevant fields.
- Industrial Technology. This program teaches practical skills required for operating and maintaining industrial systems technology.
- Arts and Sciences. This program provides students a breadth of knowledge across various arts and sciences disciplines, including social sciences, humanities, English, mathematics, and literature.
Atlanta Metropolitan State College is a public institution in the Atlanta metropolitan area of Georgia. The college offers associate degrees, bachelor's degrees, and non-degree certificates in various disciplines. It practices an open admission policy with guaranteed financial aid.
Atlanta Metropolitan State College Overview
- Tuition: $101.07/credit hour (in-district); $377.13/credit hour (out of district)
- Student Population: 1,704
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 100%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: No minimum requirement
Best Interactive College of Technology Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership - Office Technology. This 122-credit-hour program consists of courses in leadership, American Government, public finance, and human resource management. It takes four years to complete.
- Associate of Science in Computer Information Systems. This program is available as either an associate degree or a diploma in information technology. It prepares students for a career in the in-demand field of IT.
- Law Enforcement Leadership Certificate. This program provides an overview of key topics in law enforcement, including criminal justice administration, public policy, homeland security, and law enforcement liability.
- Associates of Arts in Digital Media and Entertainment. This program teaches students the tools and techniques they need for a successful digital media and entertainment career.
Georgia Perimeter College is a public community college that provides a gateway to higher education at Georgia State University. It offers flexible and affordable programs for associate degrees that allow second-year students to further their post-secondary education to the bachelor's and master's degree levels.
Georgia State University Perimeter College Overview
- Tuition:$95/credit hour (in-district); $359.67/credit hour (out of district)
- Student Population: 17,383
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 81%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: No minimum requirement
Best Georgia State University Perimeter College Programs
- Humanities. The Department of Humanities houses philosophy, religious studies, humanities, and speech communication programs. These programs produce critical thinkers who are focused on developing multicultural awareness.
- Fine Arts. The Department of Fine Arts is a multidisciplinary department that offers film, media, music, and theater programs.
- Mathematics. This program prepares students for transfer to higher institutions to continue their careers. Students in this program participate in national mathematics competitions.
- Business Administration. This two-year program develops students' technical skills to help them succeed in business and improve their leadership and communication skills.
- Computer Science and Engineering. This Regents Engineering Pathway Program is designed to catapult students into bachelor’s degree programs in engineering.
Best Online Community Colleges in Atlanta
- Atlanta Technical College. Atlanta Technical College provides virtual campus programs designed for busy professionals who want to get a quality education. Its online learning system is dedicated to offering 100 percent online programs.
- Atlanta Metropolitan State College. Atlanta Metropolitan State College offers over 180 programs online. There is no difference between its online and on-campus offerings. The courses are taught by the same teachers, so the quality of education is maintained.
- Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Georgia Piedmont Technical College offers several courses via hybrid or remote classes. A list of associate, diploma, and certificate programs accommodates part-time students in business, computer, media, and legal studies.
Best Online Associate Degrees
Other Atlanta Community College Rankings
The best Atlanta community colleges cannot be compressed into a single section of this article because every college has a unique strong point and areas where they excel. The following section will discuss other Atlanta community college rankings for transfer opportunities, best computer and information science programs, and bachelor’s degree offerings.
Best Community Colleges in Atlanta for Transfer
- Georgia State University Perimeter College. Located in Dunwoody, Georgia, this two-year institution offers transferable programs. Perimeter College also provides opportunities for students to complete the first two years of a baccalaureate degree and earn a technical certificate.
- Atlanta Metropolitan State College. This is a coeducational liberal arts college in the Atlanta metropolitan area of Georgia, United States. The school offers associate and bachelor’s degrees for recent high school students.
- Chattahoochee Technical College. The mission of Chattahoochee Technical College is to provide high-quality education and training that leads to sustainable employment and lifelong learning.
Best Community Colleges for Computer and Information Systems in Atlanta
- Atlanta Metropolitan State College. This program provides either an associate degree or a Certificate in Information Technology to prepare students for careers in the in-demand field of IT. Graduates of this program will be ready to advance their careers in higher institutions.
- Atlanta Technical College. This program offers associate degrees and certificates in various specializations such as cyber security, database administration, programming, and networking.
- Georgia State University Perimeter College. Graduates of the computer science and engineering program can easily get into bachelor’s degree programs in engineering through the Regents Engineering Pathway Program.
Best Georgia Community Colleges That Offer Bachelor’s Degrees
- Georgia Highlands College. This college is one of the few community colleges that offer bachelor’s-related degrees in Atlanta. It offers bachelor’s degrees in nursing, health sciences, and business administration.
- The Art Institute of Atlanta. The Art Institute of Atlanta offers degrees, such as a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts Management, Bachelor of Arts in Audio Production, Bachelor of Fine Art in Fashion Design, and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design.
- Atlanta Metropolitan State College. Atlanta Metropolitan State College is a public, coeducational liberal arts institution in the Atlanta metropolitan area of Georgia. The school offers associate and bachelor’s degrees in various majors.
Best Associate Degrees
Best Community College Programs in Atlanta
The best community college programs in Atlanta have excellent faculty. Professors are passionate about teaching and helping students achieve their goals. Colleges offer a variety of degree and certificate programs to prepare students for their careers. Some of the best community college programs include nursing, information technology, paralegal studies, and business.
An Associate Degree in Nursing from Atlanta Technical College, Perimeter College, or Chattahoochee Technical College, will teach you how to become a nurse. You will learn about the duties of a medical assistant, how to interact with patients and medical practices.
Information Technology is a fast-growing field that requires in-demand skills. Aspiring students can obtain an associate’s degree in information technology at Chattahoochee Technical College, Gwinnett Technical College, Atlanta Technical College, or Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
Paralegals and legal assistants are in high demand in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the demand for these professions will grow by 12 percent from 2016 to 2026. You can get a paralegal degree from community colleges like Southern Cresent Technical College and Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
Many community colleges in Atlanta offer associate degrees and certificates in various business and business-related programs. These colleges include Atlanta Technical College, Chattahoochee Technical College, Gwinnett Technical College, and Interactive College of Technology.
Computer and Information Systems
Students can obtain an Associate Degree in Computer and Information Systems at Atlanta Technical College and the Interactive College of Technology. Computer and Information Systems employees are highly paid in Georgia.
Atlanta Community College Admission Requirements
The admission requirements to attend a community college in Atlanta, Georgia, are an application fee, high school transcript, 2.0 GPA, standardized tests, and language proficiency tests for non-native English speakers.
Atlanta Community College GPA Requirements
Most community colleges in Atlanta require candidates to have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and students are expected to submit a high school transcript that proves they meet this requirement. However, this requirement varies by school. The minimum required GPA can be as high as 2.6 in some schools, while others have no minimum requirement.
For example, Atlantic Metropolitan Technical College, Gwinnett Technical College, and Interactive College of Technology require a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered for admission, while Atlantic Technical College requires a 2.6 GPA for associate degree programs, and Georgia State University Perimeter College has no minimum requirement.
Residency Requirements for Community Colleges in Atlanta
In the state of Georgia, to be considered a resident, a student must have resided in Atlanta for at least 12 consecutive months. Students will be asked to show proof of residency. Non-resident students are usually charged higher rates for tuition. For example, Atlanta Technical College charges double the tuition rate of residents for non-residents. However, some exemptions or tuition waivers may be made with factors like military and employment status.
Atlanta Community College Age Requirements
For most community colleges in Atlanta, you need to be at least 16 years old to be eligible for admission. However, this depends on the school, and some schools require students to be at least 18 years old before they apply. You should check the minimum requirement for each program before you apply.
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Georgia Community College Admission Requirements: A Summary
- High school transcript
- Application fee
- Standardized test scores
- 2.0 GPA
- At least 16-18 years old
Why Study in Atlanta?
You should study in Atlanta because Atlanta is home to many great community colleges and three reputable universities, including Georgia Institute of Technology which is ranked 38th best national university by US News & World Report. Besides its educational opportunities, Atlanta offers a low cost of living, a wealth of job opportunities, accessible healthcare, and security.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Atlanta was among the 12 largest metropolitan areas in the nation in February 2022. This means that studying in Atlanta will not leave you short of a job. Due to the low unemployment rate and high availability of job opportunities, it will be easy to get a part-time job as a student and a full-time job after graduating.
In 2019, an organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, known as Georgia Watch, advocated for healthcare access for all Georgians, including low-income, uninsured, and underinsured people. It also included rural dwellers and non-English speakers.
Atlanta is known as a good place to live, work, and retire, offering dwellers lots of stability. Your safety can be assured as a student in Atlanta and your chances of experiencing crime are much lower than the national average.
Atlanta Employment Outlook for Community College Students
Atlanta is home to a number of community colleges that offer industry training at an affordable cost or serve as an accessible pathway for college transition to four-year institutions. Though these schools may not have the prestige of some of the larger universities in the city, they provide students with a solid foundation for their higher education.
Many community colleges partner with nearby universities to make the transfer process from a two-year school to a bachelor’s degree smoother. If you are thinking about attending college in Atlanta, consider one of its community colleges.
5 In-Demand Atlanta Jobs
The top five in-demand Atlanta jobs are in healthcare, technology, law, and business. Examples of professions include nurse practitioners, physician assistants, administrative assistants, and computer programmers.
A legal assistant is responsible for providing administrative and legal support in a law firm. Responsibilities include preparing legal documents, maintaining files, conducting research, and answering phones. A legal assistant may also be involved in trial preparation.
The human resource specialist is responsible for all aspects of HR within a company. This includes staffing, recruiting, onboarding, benefits administration, and employee relations.
Nurses provide hands-on care to patients, often in challenging circumstances. Nurses must have a strong understanding of human anatomy and physiology to be able to administer medication and treatments. They also play an important role in educating patients about their conditions and helping them to make informed decisions about their health.
A computer support specialist provides technical assistance to computer users. They offer specialist support for hardware and software systems. Computer support specialists typically work in offices, but some may work remotely.
A network and computer systems administrator is a professional who is responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of an organization's computer networks and systems. They ensure that all systems are running smoothly and users have access to the applications and data they need.
What Community Colleges in Atlanta Have Dorms?
No community colleges in Atlanta have dorms. In fact, most community colleges in the United States do not provide housing for students because community colleges are designed to serve a community. Most students live within the community and commute from their homes.
What Community Colleges Offer Winter Intersession in Atlanta?
No community college offers winter intersession in Atlanta. Winter intersession courses fall between the fall and spring seasons and are offered to help students obtain their degrees much faster.
What Community Colleges in Atlanta Have Summer Classes?
Some community colleges in Atlanta have summer classes. Offered during the summer season, summer classes are intensive courses that help to reduce the time it takes to obtain a degree. Some community colleges in Atlanta that offer summer classes are listed below.
Atlanta Community Colleges With Summer Classes
- Georgia State University – Perimeter College
- Georgia Piedmont Technical College
- Herzing University Atlanta
How to Apply to Community College in Atlanta
You can apply to community colleges in Atlanta by completing the application process, which is usually available online on the school’s website. You will be asked to provide some required information and submit documents that prove you meet the admission criteria.
Atlanta Community College Application Steps
- Complete the online application
- Meet a counselor
- Provide the required documents and information
- Create a funding plan
- Check your admission status
Cost of Community Colleges in Atlanta,
The cost of community colleges in Atlanta ranges from $10,000 to $16,000 per year. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the annual tuition and required fees for first-time, full-time undergraduate students in two-year schools are $15,736. Yearly tuition will vary by institution, program, location, and housing.
Are Community Colleges Ever Free in Atlanta?
No, there are no free community colleges in Atlanta. However, free tuition is available for select programs. A financial aid program called HOPE exists for programs in fields that have too many job openings. HOPE grant programs are available in health science, computer programming, automotive technology, industrial maintenance, and practical nursing.
Which Community Colleges Are Free in Atlanta?
Although there are no free community colleges in Atlanta, there are free programs. Atlanta Technical College is offering a tuition-free 2022 fall semester and some HOPE Grant programs.
Scholarships for Community Colleges in Atlanta
Although there are no free colleges in Atlanta, scholarships are available to students who meet certain criteria. These include the Pell Grant, STEM funding, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta Scholarships, Georgia Students Finance Commission Scholarships, and federal grants.
How to Get a Scholarship for Community Colleges in Atlanta
- Complete the FAFSA registration
- Search for scholarships
- Discuss scholarship opportunities with counselors and academic advisors
Atlanta Community College Scholarships List
- Zell Miller Scholarship | Amount: $298.27/credit (Bachelor’s) and $95/credit (Associate). Georgia Lottery funds this Scholarship for Education. It covers 100 percent of tuition for degree-seeking undergraduate students.
- REACH Scholarship | Amount: $2,500/ year. This scholarship is available to undergraduate students. Students are expected to maintain a GPA of 2.0 every semester.
- HOPE Grant | Amount: $500/term. Hope Grants are available to students who enroll in programs that are under-enrolled. With certain programs, students can get up to $3,500 per program.
Other Atlanta Community College Financial Aid Options
Atlanta community colleges offer a variety of financial aid programs to help students pay for their education. Financial aid can come in the form of grants, loans, and scholarships. The first step for students interested in applying for financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
The United States Department of Education offers grants to colleges and universities in Atlanta, Georgia. The Federal Pell Grant is a need-based grant for undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. An example of a federal grant is The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).
There are a variety of state grants available in Atlanta, GA, that can help residents pay for college, go back to school, start a business, or cover other important expenses. To get a state grant, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as residency status and income level.
Student loans are a popular avenue for those seeking funding for education. Some organizations exist specifically to help borrowers in the Atlanta area. These organizations can provide information about the different types of loans available, help students apply for loans, and provide counseling and advice on managing student debt.
The Pell Grant is a federally funded grant for undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. The Pell Grant is awarded based on financial need and can be used for tuition, room and board, and other school expenses.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a federally funded grant for undergraduate students with exceptional financial needs. The FSEOG is awarded based on a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and program cost.
Private Loans for Community College
Private loans for community colleges can be a great way to finance your education. They typically have lower interest rates and offer more flexible repayment options than federal loans. However, it’s important to shop around for the best deal and compare interest rates and terms before applying.
The HOPE Grant is a scholarship and grant program available to students in the Atlanta area. Recipients of the HOPE Grant must be enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The grant is open to students of all ages and there are no restrictions on the field of study.
The Best Financial Aid for Your Situation
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What Are the Financial Aid Requirements for Community Colleges in Atlanta?
To qualify for financial aid in community colleges in Atlanta, a student must hold a high school diploma, be currently enrolled in an eligible program, and be registered with the selective service system. The typical financial aid requirements for community college students are listed below.
Atlanta Financial Aid Requirements: Overview
- Must be a high school graduate
- Must be a US citizen and Atlanta resident
- Must be enrolled in an eligible program
- Must be registered with the Selective Service System
- Must have a valid social security number
Should You Attend Community College in Atlanta?
Yes, you should attend community college in Atlanta, especially if you are an Atlanta resident. Community college programs are a great way to complete a diploma program at a lower average cost, get vocational training, complete an adult education program, or prepare for a four-year college major.
Some reasons to attend community college include accessibility, a wide range of academic offerings, a high acceptance rate, affordable tuition, and transfer opportunities through partner programs.
Atlanta Community College Rankings: Methodology
Our ranking of Atlanta community colleges is based on graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, affordability, and quality of education. Our statistics are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
Best Accelerated Degrees
Best Atlanta Community Colleges FAQ
The main funding sources for Atlanta community colleges are state and local governments. The state government provides the institutions with a portion of their operating budget, while the local government provides the schools with tax revenue and other funds. Colleges generate additional income from tuition and fees and other sources, such as grants and donations.
There are many scholarships available for Atlanta community college students. The best scholarship choice for a student depends on that student’s circumstances and qualifications. Some common scholarships available to Atlanta community college students include scholarships based on academic merit, financial need, or special talents or interests.
It typically takes two years to complete an associate degree program at an Atlanta community college. However, the length of your degree may vary depending on your program and the number of credits you transfer in.
There are many great programs at Atlanta community colleges and the best program for you is one that aligns with your interests and career goals. While some programs focus on professional development and job training, others are academic programs that prepare students for advanced degrees. Some popular programs include business, information technology, healthcare, and engineering.
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