Colleges and Universities in Athens, GA

Athens, Georgia is home to several renowned institutes of higher education. As a college town, Athens offers students a vibrant cultural scene and community integrated with academic life.

Whether you’re looking at a large public university, a small liberal arts college, or a community college, Athens has options to match a wide range of educational needs and interests.

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia (UGA) is a public flagship research university located in Athens. With over 37,000 students, UGA is the state’s largest institution of higher education.


  • Founded in 1785, UGA is the birthplace of public higher education in America
  • Chartered by the Georgia General Assembly with the goal of creating an institution “on principles of the most liberal and extensive nature”
  • Originally located in north Georgia, the university moved to Athens in 1801
  • Has grown from an initial student body of about 100 to over 27,000 undergraduates today


  • 17 schools and colleges offering over 140 degree programs
  • Top ranked programs include journalism, education, ecology, genetics, public administration, and more
  • Highly ranked Terry College of Business
  • Commitment to undergraduate research opportunities
  • NCAA Division I athletics with the Georgia Bulldogs

Campus Life

  • Traditional campus covers 762 acres in downtown Athens
  • Many students live on North Campus which has residence halls and dining options
  • East Campus expansion opened in 2009
  • Active Greek system with sororities and fraternities centered on Milledge Ave
  • Over 750 student organizations to get involved with
  • Concerts and events at Sanford Stadium, Stegeman Coliseum, and Performing Arts Center

Admissions and Aid

As a public university, UGA offers relatively affordable tuition for Georgia residents along with extensive scholarship and financial aid opportunities.

  • Around 55% admission rate for freshman applicants
  • Mid 50% SAT range 1300-1460, ACT 29-33
  • In-state tuition and fees approximately $12,000 per year
  • Out-of-state tuition around $30,000 per year
  • Over $350 million in scholarships and financial aid awarded annually

Piedmont College

Piedmont College is a small private liberal arts college located just east of Athens in Demorest, GA.


  • Founded in 1897 by the General Council of the Congregational Churches of Georgia
  • Originally named Demorest Bible School
  • Renamed Piedmont College in 1944
  • Moved to the current 168-acre campus in Demorest in 1947


  • Around 25 majors and over 30 minors across humanities, sciences, business, education, nursing & more
  • Student to faculty ratio 10:1
  • Average class size 14 students
  • Emphasis on mentored undergraduate research
  • Study abroad programs available

Campus Life

  • Traditional residential campus with options including dorms, townhouses, and apartments
  • 15 varsity athletic teams compete in NCAA Division III
  • Fitness center, intramural sports, and outdoor recreation program
  • 20+ clubs and organizations

Admissions and Aid

With small average class sizes and lots of undergraduate focus, Piedmont provides a personalized liberal arts education environment.

  • Around 60% admission rate
  • Does not require SAT/ACT scores
  • Annual tuition $30,000 including fees
  • Over 98% of students receive financial aid

Athens Technical College

Athens Technical College (ATC) is a public community college and unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.


  • Founded in 1958 as Athens Area Vocational-Technical School
  • Renamed Athens Technical Institute in 1987
  • Became Athens Technical College in 2000
  • Has occupied current 120-acre main campus since 1973


  • Associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates awarded
  • Variety of technical programs focused on skilled trades & career preparation
  • Top programs nursing, medical assisting, business technology, IT, automotive, criminal justice, and more
  • Transition programs to assist transferring into 4-year bachelor degree tracks

Campus Life

  • Commuter campus, no residential facilities
  • Main campus in Athens plus satellite campuses in Greene, Walton, Oconee counties
  • Student clubs, organizations, honor societies
  • Intercollegiate athletic programs including basketball, baseball

Admissions and Aid

As a public community and technical college, ATC offers affordable tuition paired with flexibility to match student schedules and career goals.

  • Open enrollment admissions policy
  • Annual in-state tuition under $5,000
  • Financial aid including Pell Grants, HOPE scholarship, student loans

Small Private Liberal Arts Colleges

In addition to Piedmont College, Athens is within 30 miles of several other private liberal arts college options:

Emmanuel College

  • Methodist college in Franklin Springs, 15 miles from Athens
  • Enrollment around 1,000 students
  • Emphasis on service learning and faith based education

Truett McConnell University

  • Christian liberal arts university in Cleveland, 25 miles from Athens
  • Enrollment over 2,200 students
  • Known for music, business administration, biology/chemistry programs

Young Harris College

  • Methodist affiliated liberal arts college north of Athens in the mountains
  • Enrollment around 1,100 students
  • Stunning location and popular outdoor recreation programs

Choosing the Right College

With public flagship, private liberal arts, community college, and more options within 30 miles, prospective students have diverse choices for continuing education in Athens, GA. Key factors to consider include:

  • Size – Small, medium or large student population
  • Location – Downtown Athens or the surrounding countryside
  • Campus life – Residential, commuter, Greek system participation
  • Academics – Variety of majors, research opportunities, class sizes
  • Affordability – Tuition rates, financial aid availability

By weighing preferences in these areas against institutional strengths, students can best find the right college fit in the Athens area.

With nationally ranked academic programs, cultural resources, affordability choices, and of course SEC football Saturdays, educational opportunities abound in this classic Deep South college town.

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  • Head south on Prince Ave toward E Broad St/US-78 Trunk/GA-10 Loop. Continue to follow Prince Ave past GA-10 Loop/US-78 Trunk/N Lumpkin St. Turn left onto Smith St, then take the 1st right onto Roywood Dr. Make a slight left onto Prometheus Cir, then turn right. Turn left onto Smokey Rd/Woodstone Dr, then turn right to stay on Smokey Rd. Turn right onto Foundry St, then turn left at the 1st cross street onto Round Table Rd. The destination, 130 Round Table Rd, will be on the right.
  • rom the start point, take a left turn onto Franklin St. Turn left onto Dearing St, then continue onto Plaza Dr. Turn right onto Forest Hills Rd, then continue onto Smokey Rd. Turn right onto Foundry St, then turn left at the 1st cross street onto Round Table Rd. The destination, 130 Round Table Rd, will be on the right.
  • Take a left onto E Broad St/US-78 Trunk/GA-10 Loop and continue as it turns slightly right and becomes Gaines School Rd. Turn left onto Lexington Hwy/GA-10 Loop/GA-335/US-129/US-78, then take the 1st right onto Old Hull Rd. Take the 2nd left onto Smokey Rd, then turn right to stay on Smokey Rd. Turn right onto Foundry St, then turn left at the 1st cross street onto Round Table Rd. The final destination, 130 Round Table Rd, is on the right.