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
|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|
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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.
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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 Diploma||High School Diploma||Associate Degree|
|Bachelor’s Degree||Master’s Degree||Doctoral Degree|
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 Tuition||Out-of-State Tuition||National Average|
|$12,579||$30,919||$9,037 (In-State) $25,657 (Out-of-State)|
|Tuition||Out-of-State Tuition||National Average|
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
Who Can Apply: First-time college students who demonstrate academic proficiency and financial need qualify for this opportunity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
Who Can Apply: This grant program awards students who demonstrates the greatest levels of financial need.
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.
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.
Find out if your online school is accredited, and learn about the importance of accreditation.
A list of test-optional schools that don't use standardized test scores for admission into their bachelor's degree programs.
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