Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

Advertisement 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.

Find a program that’s right for you.

Accredited Degree Programs, Scholarships and Resources for Top Schools

Colleges and universities in South Carolina are at the forefront of career preparedness initiatives, providing cutting-edge partnerships with major corporations and tech companies that create direct employment pipelines for students after graduation. This is encouraging for aspiring college students interested in earning a college education in order to enhance career and salary potential. And with growing online learning opportunities in the state, these programs are more accessible to students nationwide than ever before. If you’re interested in earning an online degree, read on to learn more about the programs South Carolina has to offer, and get answers on common questions about tuition, transfer credits and college preparedness along the way.

Best Online Colleges in South Carolina 2020

Rank School Location
1 Clemson University Clemson, SC
2 University of South Carolina-Columbia Columbia, SC
3 North Greenville University Tigerville, SC
4 Citadel Military College of South Carolina Charleston, SC
5 Columbia International University Columbia, SC
6 Lander University Greenwood, SC
7 Anderson University Anderson, SC
8 Coastal Carolina University Conway, SC
9 Southern Wesleyan University Central, SC
10 Claflin University Orangeburg, SC
Advertisement 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.

Best Online Colleges in South Carolina 2020

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, while tuition prices at four-year institutions in South Carolina have increased since 2008, per-student funding has decreased. However, students attending online schools and colleges in South Carolina can take advantage of financial aid opportunities, tuition discounts for online students, and other resources to help pay for their education.

This guide covers important information for online schools and colleges in South Carolina, including programs and resources for adult learners, scholarship and grant opportunities, and the importance of accreditation.

2-Year Colleges

  1. Trident Technical College
    Location

    Charleston, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  2. Florence-Darlington Technical College
    Location

    Florence, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  3. Tri-County Technical College
    Location

    Pendleton, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  4. Piedmont Technical College
    Location

    Greenwood, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  5. Technical College of the Lowcountry
    Location

    Beaufort, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  6. Central Carolina community college
    Location

    Sanford, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  7. Midlands Technical College
    Location

    West Columbia, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

4-Year Colleges

  1. Clemson University
    Location

    Clemson, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Clemson University provides entirely-online graduate Clemson University provides entirely online graduate degree programs or blended programs that require students to participate in online meetings, hybrid classes, and/or independent study topics. Students can earn an online master's degree in public administration; teaching and learning; athletic leadership; biology, with a specialization in wildlife and fisheries biology; human resource development; industrial engineering; construction science management; parks, recreation, and tourism management; and youth development leadership. Clemson also offers 3 doctoral programs in health care genetics; parks, recreation and tourism management; and rhetorics, communication and information design, as well as a program for registered nurses to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing. Most degree programs are designed to be completed in 3 years or less.

  2. University of South Carolina-Columbia
    Location

    Columbia, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students who have 2 years of previous college credit can complete their degree online at University of South Carolina-Columbia. This college offers degree completion programs in elementary education, several areas of healthcare including health promotion and health informatics, information management and systems, criminal justice, organizational leadership, hospitality management, human services, special education and business administration with focuses in management or accounting. Current registered nurses can earn their bachelor's degree in nursing through an online, 12-month RN to BSN program. Graduate students can enroll in hybrid or online master's degree programs to earn a degree in statistics, education, a range of engineering specialties, library and information science, nursing or public health. These master's degrees are designed for completion by full-time students in 2-3 years.

  3. North Greenville University
    Location

    Tigerville, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Adult learners can enter online undergraduate degree programs at North Greenville University to earn their bachelor's degree. The college offers online bachelor's programs in business and leadership, Christian ministries, criminal justice, applied psychology, elementary education studies and general studies. Courses run for 8 weeks and incorporate Biblical principles into the curriculum. These degree programs are designed to be completed in 4 years. There is a scholarship available for online undergraduate students residing in South Carolina, and NGU provides need-based financial aid to online students.

  4. Citadel Military College of South Carolina
    Location

    Charleston, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Citadel Military College of South Carolina offers military-focused online degrees to students in 38 states and worldwide. The Citadel has 3 online bachelor's degree completion programs in business administration, criminal justice and intelligence and security studies. Students can transfer at least 24 credits toward their degree through these programs. The Citadel also provides 6 fully-online master's degree programs in business administration, leadership, intelligence and security studies, interdisciplinary STEM education, international politics and military affairs, and social science. These graduate degrees can be completed in 2 years or less by full-time online students. Distance learning students pay the same rate per credit hour as in-state students attending The Citadel's online degree programs.

  5. Columbia International University
    Location

    Columbia, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Columbia International University offers a range of online master's degrees in religion, with concentrations in Bible exposition, chaplaincy, intercultural studies, divinity, ministry studies, Muslim studies, care and counseling, theological studies, and youth ministry leadership. Online students can also earn a bachelor's degree in business, or a master's in business administration or education. CIU provides one online doctoral degree program in educational leadership. Tuition rates vary depending on the course of study a student pursues, not on where they live while attending online degree programs. The college accepts international students into online programs, but some master's programs require interested applicants to provide a reference from a church leader.

  6. Lander University
    Location

    Greenwood, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Lander University provides 3 online graduate degree programs and 1 undergraduate degree program for registered nurses to earn their bachelor's degree in nursing. Earning a master's in nursing through Lander's online program qualifies students to sit for the Clinical Nurse Leader certification exam. Online students will earn their clinical hours through placement in their geographic area. Lander's online master's in education program offers 2 specializations in instructional technology and diverse learners. Graduate students can also earn an online master's in emergency management at this college. Some online programs accept transfer credit.

  7. Anderson University
    Location

    Anderson, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students earning an online degree through Anderson University can explore bachelor's degree programs in business, Christian studies, criminal justice, health care or liberal studies. Graduate students can earn an online master's in business administration, which offers concentrations in health care leadership, human resources, marketing and supply chain management. Anderson also has programs for both a master's and a doctoral degree in ministry. Graduate degrees can be completed in 2 years of full-time study, and online classes run for either 6 or 8 weeks.

  8. Coastal Carolina University
    Location

    Conway, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Coastal Carolina University offers online undergraduate degree programs in hospitality, resort and tourism management, and marketing. Students can also complete a bachelor's degree in health administration. Graduate degrees include a master's in business administration, information systems technology, instructional technology, literacy or special education. Many of these graduate programs can be completed in one year. CCU also provides an online doctoral degree in instructional technology for teachers who have already completed a master's degree in this field. Transfer credits are accepted in most degree programs, and most classes are primarily self-directed, though some instructors may require online attendance for specific events.

  9. Southern Wesleyan University
    Location

    Central, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Online courses at Southern Wesleyan University last 7 weeks and can be taken year-round. This Christian college offers 4 bachelor's degrees in nursing; human services; early childhood and family studies; and business administration with concentrations in accounting, general business, finance, human resource management, marketing, supply chain management and general management. Graduate students can earn an online degree in areas of education and business, and SWU provides one doctoral degree program in curriculum and assessment. Online students pay a set fee for classes whether they live in-state or out-of-state.

  10. Claflin University
    Location

    Orangeburg, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students at Claflin University have access to four bachelor's programs and three master's programs that can be completed entirely online. Current registered nurses can earn a bachelor's in nursing, or students can pursue undergraduate degrees in psychology, organization management or criminal justice. There is also a master's degree in criminal justice available at Claflin, as well as graduate degrees in business administration or curriculum and instruction. Undergraduate degrees can be completed in under 4 years of full-time study, and some master's degree programs take as little as 18 months to complete. International students are eligible to enroll in some online programs, as well. The college provides resources on financial aid that for students attending Claflin online including those from out of state.

View a City From South Carolina

Charleston

How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I’m Looking for in South Carolina?

Choosing from the abundant online schools and colleges in South Carolina can feel overwhelming. To narrow their search, prospective learners can review the official state website for a list of South Carolina schools. Students can also use the following resource to search for accredited schools in South Carolina.Search All Accredited Schools in South Carolina

How Much More Do College Grads in South Carolina Make?

Across the country, professionals with a college degree typically earn higher salaries than professionals without a degree. In South Carolina, professionals earn more, on average, with each subsequent level of education. For example, South Carolinians with a bachelor’s degree make twice as much, on average, as professionals without a high school education. The following table highlights how much national salaries increase with each level of educational attainment.

Less Than a High School DiplomaHigh School DiplomaAssociate Degree
$28,756$37,960$44,824
Bachelor’s DegreeMaster’s DegreeDoctoral Degree
$62,296$74,568$94,900

Source: BLS

Paying for Online College in South Carolina: Tuition and Financial Aid

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, South Carolina tuition prices increased more than 28% since 2008, while per-student funding decreased more than 29% in the same timeframe. The following table compares the state’s average tuition prices for private and public schools to national averages.

In-State TuitionOut-of-State TuitionNational Average
$12,579$30,919$9,037 (In-State) $25,657 (Out-of-State)
TuitionOut-of-State TuitionNational Average
$24,931N/A$30,731

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Cost Considerations for Online Students in South Carolina

The above tables do not include education costs beyond tuition, such as travel and internet expenses. We cover several important cost considerations for online students below.

  • Distance Education Fees: Some programs require online students to pay distance education fees to cover the cost of online course administration.
  • Technology Fees: Online students typically need to pay for technology to support their studies, such as laptops and internet plans.
  • Travel: Some online programs include on-campus requirements, which may necessitate that students pay for airfare, room and board, and other travel expenses.
  • Textbooks and Other Materials: Online students may need to pay for textbooks and other learning materials to complete coursework.
  • In-State Tuition Discounts: Some programs allow all online students to pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency, while others provide tuition discounts for in-state students.

Qualifying for In-State Tuition in South Carolina

Qualifications for in-state tuition vary by school. Learners may need to live in South Carolina for a specified number of years, work with a state organization, or graduate from a South Carolina high school to qualify for in-state tuition. Additionally, some programs allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of where they live. Students should research the qualifications at each prospective school.

Paying for College in South Carolina: Scholarships and Financial Aid

South Carolina students benefit from a variety of financial aid opportunities, including loans, scholarships, and grants. Unlike loans, grants and scholarships do not require repayment. We cover several scholarships and grant opportunities for South Carolina students below.

Scholarships for South Carolina College Students


  • The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Presented by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, this scholarship awards academically talented state residents. Candidates must pursue a mathematics or science program.

    Amount: Up to $10,000

    Apply For Scholarship


  • LIFE Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: First-time college students who demonstrate academic proficiency and financial need qualify for this opportunity.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply For Scholarship


  • SC HOPE Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: Established under the SC Education Lottery Act, this program awards students based on their academic accomplishments. Eligible applicants must not qualify for the LIFE or Palmetto scholarship and must be in their freshman year of school.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply For Scholarship


  • SC•WINS Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Available to students pursuing an education from one of the state’s 16 technical colleges, this scholarship awards students who demonstrate financial need and possess a minimum 2.0 GPA.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply For Scholarship


  • Dayco Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: Administered by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, this scholarship awards employees and dependents of employees of Dayco Products, Inc. Applicants must be pursuing their first degree.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply For Scholarship


Grants for South Carolina College Students


  • SC Tuition Grants Program

    Who Can Apply: South Carolina students who plan to attend a full-time program in the state and demonstrate financial need qualify for this opportunity.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply For Grant


  • South Carolina Need-Based Grant

    Who Can Apply: South Carolina students who have applied for federal financial aid and demonstrate financial need qualify for this grant.

    Amount: Up to $2,500/year

    Apply For Grant


  • SC Lottery Tuition Assistance Program

    Who Can Apply: Established under the SC Educational Lottery Act, this program provides financial assistance to South Carolina students enrolled in a two-year public or independent institution.

    Amount: $1,140/term

    Apply For Grant


  • South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program

    Who Can Apply: Available to members of the South Carolina Army and Air National Guard, this program offers higher education funding incentives in return for service.

    Amount: Up to $9,000/year

    Apply For Grant


  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

    Who Can Apply: This grant program awards students who demonstrates the greatest levels of financial need.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply For Grant


Financial Aid for Online Schools

The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in South Carolina

Accreditation indicates that a school meets high standards with respect to student learning outcomes, faculty qualifications, and academic rigor. Attending an accredited school expands employment, education, and financial aid opportunities.

Regional and National Accreditation

Schools may receive regional or national accreditation. National accreditation typically applies to for-profit, vocational and technical schools, while regional accreditation applies to nonprofit, degree-granting institutions. Regional accreditation is generally considered the more prestigious of the two. Various regional accrediting bodies accredit schools based on where the school is located. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits South Carolina schools.

Subject-Specific Accreditation

Certain programs within a school may also receive accreditation, such as nursing, social work, and business programs. Some professions, such as nursing, require students to hold a degree from an accredited program to qualify for licensure. Students should research the accreditation requirements of their prospective career paths.

How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited

Most programs and schools feature accreditation information on their websites. Students can also verify any program or school’s accreditation status through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the Department of Education.

Online College and Adult Education in South Carolina

The following sections include information on programs and resources for adult online learners in South Carolina.

By the Numbers: Adult Education in South Carolina

More than 55% of adults over the age of 25 possess at least some college education.

In South Carolina, 27% of adults possess a bachelor’s degree or higher.

In South Carolina, the number of out-of-state enrollments has increased by 126% between 1993 and 2016.

Source: Fact Finder

Adult Education Programs for South Carolina Students

  • High School Equivalency Testing: This resource allows students to search for a GED program and testing center near them. Visitors can also find information on the GED test and requirements.
  • SC CAN GO: SC CAN GO is a marketing and advertising campaign that helps students prepare for college. The program includes a large network of organizations, counselors, and institutions working to improve college readiness and enrollments.
  • SC GEAR UP: This initiative promotes higher education in the state. The grant program offers parents and students from low-income families access to education resources and support.

Online College Resources for South Carolina Students

Prospective and current online students in South Carolina can take advantage of many resources to support their studies. The following resources offer information on online programs, financial aid, and educational initiatives in South Carolina.

  • State of South Carolina – Higher Education: This resource offers information on South Carolina schools, financial aid opportunities, and student programs.
  • South Carolina Student Loan: This resource includes information on various student loans in the state in addition to refinancing and repayment guidance.
  • Tuition Repayment Program: This resource offers information on South Carolina’s Tuition Repayment Program. Visitors can learn about available refunds and discounts and retrieve application and fee schedule forms.
  • South Carolina Department of Education: Students can learn about the state’s various educational initiatives through this site. They can also access information on South Carolina’s policies, programs, and schools.
  • Adult Education and GED resources: Hosted by South Carolina ETV, this site provides information on South Carolina’s adult education initiatives, including specific courses and programs designed to help adult learners.

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.


See All Posts
Colleges That Don’t Require the SAT or ACT

Colleges That Don’t Require the SAT or ACT

December 17, 2020   |   Staff Writers

A list of test-optional schools that don't use standardized test scores for admission into their bachelor's degree programs.

How to Find a College That Doesn’t Require the GED or High School Diploma

How to Find a College That Doesn’t Require the GED or High School Diploma

December 11, 2020   |   Staff Writers

Even if you don’t have a diploma or your GED, there are still alternatives available if you’re interested in pursuing a college education.

Advertisement 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.

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.