Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

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

Best Online Schools

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.

Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
Save this list:
1 Trident Technical College Charleston, SC Tuition $4,461 # of Online Programs 14 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 11% Financial Aid 2% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
2 Florence-Darlington Technical College Florence, SC Tuition $4,272 # of Online Programs 7 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 8% Financial Aid 5% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
3 Tri-County Technical College Pendleton, SC Tuition $5,178 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 21% Financial Aid 10% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
4 Piedmont Technical College Greenwood, SC Tuition $4,668 # of Online Programs 6 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 18% Financial Aid 8% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
5 Technical College of the Lowcountry Beaufort, SC Tuition $4,680 # of Online Programs 10 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 10% Financial Aid 5% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
6 Central Carolina Technical College Sumter, SC Tuition $5,449 # of Online Programs 6 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 10% Financial Aid 5% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes
7 Midlands Technical College West Columbia, SC Tuition $4,800 # of Online Programs 4 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 9% Financial Aid - Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
Save this list:
1 Clemson University Clemson, SC Tuition $13,418 # of Online Programs 15 Acceptance Rate 51% Graduation Rate 83% Financial Aid 68% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

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 Columbia, SC Tuition $11,054 # of Online Programs 26 Acceptance Rate 68% Graduation Rate 74% Financial Aid 59% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

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 Tigerville, SC Tuition $17,594 # of Online Programs 12 Acceptance Rate 59% Graduation Rate 51% Financial Aid 99% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

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 The Citadel Charleston, SC Tuition $150 # of Online Programs 8 Acceptance Rate 82% Graduation Rate 71% Financial Aid 38% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

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 Columbia, SC Tuition $20,880 # of Online Programs 7 Acceptance Rate 36% Graduation Rate 67% Financial Aid 100% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

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 Greenwood, SC Tuition $10,700 # of Online Programs 3 Acceptance Rate 62% Graduation Rate 47% Financial Aid 48% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

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 Anderson, SC Tuition $23,470 # of Online Programs 22 Acceptance Rate 54% Graduation Rate 53% Financial Aid 100% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

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 Conway, SC Tuition $10,696 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate 61% Graduation Rate 47% Financial Aid 36% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

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 Central, SC Tuition $23,660 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate 55% Graduation Rate 51% Financial Aid 100% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

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 Orangeburg, SC Tuition $15,528 # of Online Programs 6 Acceptance Rate 42% Graduation Rate 50% Financial Aid 69% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

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.

11 University of South Carolina-Upstate Spartanburg, SC Tuition $10,710 # of Online Programs 6 Acceptance Rate 55% Graduation Rate 40% Financial Aid 19% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
12 Francis Marion University Florence, SC Tuition $9,880 # of Online Programs 4 Acceptance Rate 62% Graduation Rate 44% Financial Aid 26% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
13 Limestone College Gaffney, SC Tuition $23,900 # of Online Programs 19 Acceptance Rate 48% Graduation Rate 29% Financial Aid 97% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
14 Charleston Southern University Charleston, SC Tuition $24,100 # of Online Programs 12 Acceptance Rate 61% Graduation Rate 35% Financial Aid 98% Credit For Experience No Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes

View a City From South Carolina

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.

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.

Annual Full-Time Wage and Salary by Educational Attainment in the U.S.
Less Than a High School Diploma High School Diploma Associate Degree
$28,756 $37,960 $44,824
Bachelor's Degree Master's Degree Doctoral 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.

Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Public Colleges and Universities
In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition National Average
$12,579 $30,919

$9,037 (In-State)

$25,657 (Out-of-State)
Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Private Colleges and Universities
Tuition Out-of-State Tuition National Average
$24,931 N/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

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.

Search All Accredited Colleges and Universities in South Carolina

State
Degree Level
School Type
Environment