Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

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Updated October 24, 2022

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Accredited Schools in South Carolina

Online education serves as a great equalizer. Online colleges put a degree within reach of more students who may otherwise find it difficult to earn one. Schools do not make any distinctions between their online and on-campus programs. The delivery mode varies, but the quality, admission criteria, and graduation requirements remain the same. Graduates of accredited online colleges in South Carolina reap the same professional benefits as their on-campus counterparts.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that bachelor's degree-holders earn more than workers without a four-year degree. Bachelor's graduates earn a median weekly salary of $1,248, associate-trained workers earn $887, and employees with some college but no degree earn $883. A bachelor's degree, whether earned at a South Carolina online college or onsite, grants holders improved earning capacity.

This guide describes other benefits of earning a bachelor's degree at South Carolina online colleges. We include information on scholarships and a list of some of the best online colleges in South Carolina.

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

FAQs About Online Colleges in South Carolina

Is it cheaper to get a degree online?

Many schools charge online enrollees lower tuition. However, even if online students pay the same tuition as on-campus learners, they save on room, board, and transportation.

What is the average cost for online college?

Online college costs vary greatly based on location, major, and other factors. By way of illustration, one online college in Florida charges $21,100, while onsite costs come to $42,768.

Is college free in South Carolina?

Currently, South Carolina does not offer free college for its residents. However, the state maintains several financial aid programs to help students pay for a college education.

How many colleges and universities are there in South Carolina?

South Carolina supports 33 public colleges and universities. Another 28 independent educational institutions offer additional academic options.

Best Online Colleges in South Carolina

#1 Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

Lander University

  • Greenwood, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

With high-quality online programs, Lander University is an ideal option for online learners. The public institution's four online programs provide flexible learning options for busy students based in any location. Online degree-seekers can complete coursework at their convenience, from anywhere, eliminating the need to live near campus.

Online enrollees often participate in class discussions through forums and chat. Gaining professional experience through opportunities such as internships can help individuals secure roles in their field after graduation. Academic advisors help learners choose courses that align with their professional goals, customizing the curriculum to their needs.

Many degree-seekers pursue external funding from sources such as nonprofits and professional associations to cover the cost of their degree. Institutional scholarships and fellowships feature eligibility requirements, which students can learn about from financial aid officers. Financial aid reduces the overall cost of earning a degree for 100% of the school's enrollees.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,700
Out-of-state
$20,300
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
43%
Students Enrolled
3,226
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

North Greenville University

  • Tigerville, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students who plan to attend school online can consider North Greenville University's remote academic programs. Along with 18 online programs, the private school delivers in-person classes at its campus in Tigerville. The institution provides online resources to support its 396 distance learners, including virtual library access and tutoring.

Online enrollees can network with peers and receive assistance from instructors through the virtual classroom environment. In addition to completing general education requirements, learners take advanced courses in their field. Academic advisors assist students in selecting electives based on their individual goals and interests. Options for gaining professional experience while enrolled include internships and research projects.

The financial aid office provides information about degree costs and funding options to help applicants create a budget. Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for federal grants, scholarships, or work-study programs.

Average Tuition
In-state
$21,120
Out-of-state
$21,120
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
2,426
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

Anderson University

  • Anderson, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Online learners at Anderson University participate in high-quality programs that provide important academic preparation. A leader in distance learning, the private institution offers 11 online programs reaching 1,545 students across the globe. Learners with personal or professional responsibilities can choose online programs that allow them to complete assignments according to their schedule.

Instructors provide distance learners with support and opportunities to participate in class discussions. Internship opportunities help participants improve their professional credentials. Academic advisors help degree candidates choose courses that align with their professional goals, customizing the curriculum to their needs.

Degree-seekers with financial need can apply for federal scholarships, grants, and loans. Students can consult financial aid officers for information about institutional and outside funding options. Of the school's enrollees, 100% receive financial aid, which can help make higher education more accessible.

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,130
Out-of-state
$26,130
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
3,543
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

Southern Wesleyan University

  • Central, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Southern Wesleyan University provides high-quality online programs, which meet the same standards as on-campus options. Degree-seekers can pursue in-person programs in Central or enroll in one of the private school's 10 online options. The institution enrolls 923 online learners, who complete rigorous coursework to earn their degree.

Online enrollees communicate with peers and professors in a virtual classroom environment. Learners complete general education requirements and advanced classes to prepare for roles in their field. Throughout their program, students consult with academic advisors before registering for classes. Experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, help enrollees practice working in a professional environment.

In addition to tuition, applicants should budget for fees and educational expenses, about which the financial aid office can provide information. Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for federal grants, scholarships, or work-study programs.

Average Tuition
In-state
$24,926
Out-of-state
$24,926
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
35%
Students Enrolled
1,430
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

University of South Carolina-Columbia

  • Columbia, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

While attending University of South Carolina-Columbia, students can choose from online programs across several fields. Along with educating enrollees at its Columbia-based campus, the school offers 50 distance programs for its 11,313 online enrollees. Online programs offer flexible scheduling options, which can be ideal for working professionals and other busy learners.

Degree candidates benefit from an online learning community, which can lead to professional connections. Along with completing independent research, many learners pursue internships to gain professional experience, which employers often prefer or require. Career counselors help enrollees identify the best professional path for them and prepare to find and secure jobs after graduation. Career workshops allow students to develop their professional network and explore their career options.

Applicants who need help understanding various funding options can receive help from the institution's dedicated financial aid counselors. Along with need-based aid, enrollees can apply for scholarships based on academic merit. Based on the school's reported information, 95% of the student body receives financial aid of some type.

Average Tuition
In-state
$12,288
Out-of-state
$33,528
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
35,364
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

What Are the Goals of an Online Degree?

Several U.S. institutions offer programs online without sacrificing the quality and rigor of their academic offerings. Online students graduate with the same skills and breadth of knowledge as their on-campus peers.

Students can earn a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in areas including nursing and education. Online colleges prepare students to meet workforce demands in challenging STEM fields as well. Online education makes a college degree attainable for students facing various financial and time constraints.

Why Get an Online Degree?

South Carolina online colleges offer flexibility and convenience with features such as rolling admission policies and multiple start dates. Below, we describe the benefits of pursuing an education at online colleges in South Carolina.

  1. 1

    Enhance Professional Options

    Employers typically prefer to promote bachelor's degree-holders to management and leadership positions. Few differentiate between graduates of an online or on-campus program.

  2. 2

    Minimize Career Interruption

    Working students can more easily balance online program demands and professional responsibilities, especially with asynchronous courses.

  3. 3

    Enter Workforce Earlier

    Many online programs follow accelerated delivery schedules, such as eight-week terms instead of the typical 16-week semester. Students often graduate and start working sooner than on-campus enrollees.

  4. 4

    Pursue Specialized Field of Study

    Students interested in a professional program not available in their home state can enroll online at an out-of-state institution offering their preferred specialization area.

  5. 5

    Work Security

    The BLS reports that bachelor's degree-holders enjoy a lower unemployment rate than associate graduates and workers with some college but no degree. The different groups experience rates of 2.2%, 2.7%, and 3.3%, respectively.

What Are the Requirements for an Online School?

Traditional students applying to online programs typically submit the same requirements as applicants for onsite programs. These include SAT or ACT scores, transcripts, and recommendation letters. Some programs require minimum GPA levels, which online applicants must also meet. Nontraditional applicants often need to complete required coursework and have a relevant work history.

Graduation requirements differ among majors, but remain the same for online and on-campus candidates. Programs with an internship or practicum component often permit online students to fulfill the requirement locally.

Scholarships for Online Students

Online students can often apply to many of the scholarship programs that colleges offer to on-campus enrollees. They can also explore other financial assistance programs. Professional associations, state and federal government agencies, and private nonprofit organizations affiliated with their study area may administer them.

Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: South Carolina high school graduates pursuing an eligible program at an accredited two- or four-year in-state institution qualify for the LIFE program. Recipients must maintain full-time status throughout the scholarship program while enrolled in their initial associate, bachelor's, or professional degree.

Amount: Up to $4,700

National Guard College Assistance Program

Who Can Apply: Members of the South Carolina Army and Air National Guard can apply. The program welcomes applications from full-time or part-time students pursuing a two- or four-year program at an eligible South Carolina institution. Recipients must demonstrate financial need and meet their school's standards of satisfactory academic progress to maintain eligibility.

Amount: $4,500 per year for the Army National Guard; $9,000 per year for the Air National Guard

Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: The program targets South Carolina high school graduates with excellent academic standing planning to attend an in-state institution. Although primarily merit-based, the program considers an applicant's financial need in the final determination. Recipients must continue to meet scholarship requirements to qualify for continued funding for up to eight consecutive semesters.

Amount: Up to $6,700 for freshman year and up to $7,600 for sophomore, junior, and senior years

Palmetto Fellows Enhancement Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education administers this scholarship program for Palmetto Fellows majoring in an approved math or science field. Candidates must show satisfactory completion of 14 math and science credits by the end of their freshman year before applying.

Amount: Up to $10,000 (beginning sophomore year)

South Carolina Need-Based Grant Program

Who Can Apply: The South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission administers this program through the financial aid office of participating public institutions. Schools determine eligibility and applicable amounts from applicants' FAFSA information. Students planning to attend an independent South Carolina institution can apply directly to the commission.

Amount: $2,500 for full-time students; $1,250 for part-time enrollees

Recommended Reading

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AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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