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Georgia Highlands College is a public institution serving students in northwest Georgia, eastern Alabama, and southeastern Tennessee. It was established in 1970 and is a member of the University System of Georgia. Originally a two-year institution offering only associate degree programs, the college now offers a limited number of baccalaureate degrees. While the primary campus is located in Rome, Georgia, the college also supports campuses in Cartersville, Marietta, Dallas, and Douglasville.

Overview of Georgia Highlands College

Faculty and staff strive to provide educational opportunities for physical, intellectual, and cultural development of the college’s diverse student population. The school also utilizes various distance learning technologies and collaborative arrangements to promote academic success.

The institution’s top values include:

  • Access
  • Student Success
  • Integrity
  • Excellence
  • Freedom of Expression
  • Inclusiveness
  • Cooperation
  • Passion
  • Critical Thinking
  • Collaboration

The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC) to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Some programs, however, have been further accredited by other agencies. The Associate of Science in Nursing is approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing. It, as well as the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, are also accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Additionally, the dental hygiene program is accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation.

General Information

School Type Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Setting Rural: Fringe
Campus Housing No
Student Faculty Ratio 20:1
Graduation Rate 11%
Year Founded 1970

Student Enrollment

Total Students6,184


Undergraduate Student

Male 2,350
Female 3,834

Graduate Student

Male NA
Female NA

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Acceptance RateNA

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Enrollment NA

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Application Fee $30
High School GPA NA
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts NA
College Prep Courses NA
Recommendations NA
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) NA
Application Deadline November 1
Common Application Accepted NA

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Georgia Highlands College claims students will be unable to find a better education with a better value anywhere. It’s one of only two colleges in the state to be listed in the 2015 national database as the “best value” and “best return on investment”. The college charges less than $95 per credit hour for in-state tuition, which means it is possible to complete an associate degree for less than $8,000.

The total cost will still depend on multiple factors including student residency, degree type, and living situation. In-state students pay significantly less; tuition and fees for 15+ credit hours a semester costs $1,957, or an estimated $3,914 per year. Out-of-state students, on the other hand, are expected to pay $5,927 for 15+ credit hours, or an estimated $11,854 per year. It’s also important to note that these projections do not include books, supplies, room, or board while enrolled.

The college encourages incoming and current students to take advantage of various financial aid opportunities that can help finance their education including scholarships, grants, and loans. The Georgia Highlands College Foundation offers a number of scholarships each year. Application criteria varies, with some awards based on age, program of study, and country of residency, among others. Approximately 79% of students attending the college receive some form of financial aid.

Average net price 2017-2018
Net Price $6,610
Average Total Aid $4,755
Students Receiving Financial Aid 82%
Room & Board $8,372

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $3,344
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $9,696
  • Books and Supplies - $1,200
  • Room & Board - $8,372
  • Other - $7,424


Georgia Highlands College is dedicated to the success of its students. It strives to provide access to excellent educational opportunities through pre-baccalaureate associate degree transfer programs, career associate degree programs, and targeted baccalaureate degree programs. In an effort to ensure success after graduation, all offerings are designed to meet the economic development needs of the region.

Students can choose from over 40 different areas of study, including 10 that are fully online. Additionally, the college offers 12 continuing education courses offered on a variety of useful topics. These are designed to help students prepare for a new job, increase current occupational skills, enhance technology knowledge, learn a foreign language, or simply learn for fun.

The total student population is just under 6,200, with the majority attending classes part-time. The college also has over 120 full-time and 160+ part-time faculty members. The resulting student-to-faculty ratio is 21:1. Students often benefit from small classes, as they are more likely to build relationships with their professors and receive more one-on-one attention. While some of the general education courses will likely be large, this ratio allows for decent to small classroom sizes for most courses.

The retention rate for first-time students pursing associate degrees was 66% for full-time students and 59% for part-time students in a recent academic year. Retention rates are generally used to assess overall student satisfaction because they measure the number of individuals who chose to return to the college for a second year. For Georgia Highlands College, this means a small majority of full-time freshmen were likely pleased with their experience, as they chose to remain at the institution. Overall, the college’s one-year retention rates compare favorably with the average one-year retention rates among state colleges in the sector.

In the same year, the college’s three-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time students seeking associate degrees was just below 17%. This is higher than the average, which was just under 15%. Graduate rates are significant because they refer to the proportion of students who completed graduation requirements within the usual period of time.

Student Population Total

Student Population 6,184

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Health Professions and Related Programs 66 Total Graduates / 89%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 42 Graduates
Health/Health Care Administration/Management 16 Graduates
Dental Hygiene/Hygienist 8 Graduates
All Business Majors 8 Total Graduates / 11%
Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management 8 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 0

Outcome & Salary

In most cases, associate degree seekers can expect to graduate within about four years, while the average time to complete a bachelor’s degree is seven years. These time frames are slightly higher than the average for all state colleges in general. The college is, however, quite affordable and some students choose to pursue multiple degrees.

About 18% of enrolled students borrow money to attend classes at Georgia Highlands College. The average amount of debt acquired per year is $3,822, about $1,000 less than the average for other state colleges. Only 14% of students who entered loan repayment defaulted in recent years.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $41,900
College Grads Average Salary $47,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $60,800
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $470,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,078,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $26,440
10 Year Projected ROI $443,560
20 Year Projected ROI $1,051,560
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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