Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

ASO Staff WritersASO Rankings Team
Updated September 5, 2023
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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 $1,432, associate-trained workers earn $1,005, and employees with some college but no degree earn $935. 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.

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Best Online Colleges in SC

#1 Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

Lander University

  • Location-markerGreenwood, SC
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$10,700
  • Out-of-state$20,300
  • Retention Rate68%
  • Acceptance Rate43%
  • Students Enrolled3,226
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment45%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

North Greenville University

  • Location-markerTigerville, SC
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$21,120
  • Out-of-state$21,120
  • Retention Rate72%
  • Acceptance Rate63%
  • Students Enrolled2,426
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment16%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

Anderson University

  • Location-markerAnderson, SC
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$26,130
  • Out-of-state$26,130
  • Retention Rate80%
  • Acceptance Rate69%
  • Students Enrolled3,543
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment44%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

Southern Wesleyan University

  • Location-markerCentral, SC
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$24,926
  • Out-of-state$24,926
  • Retention Rate69%
  • Acceptance Rate35%
  • Students Enrolled1,430
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment65%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Online Schools and Colleges in South Carolina

University of South Carolina-Columbia

  • Location-markerColumbia, SC
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$12,288
  • Out-of-state$33,528
  • Retention Rate89%
  • Acceptance Rate69%
  • Students Enrolled35,364
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment32%
  • AccreditationYes

FAQs About Online Colleges in South Carolina

question-mark-circleIs 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.

question-mark-circleWhat 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.

question-mark-circleIs 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.

question-mark-circleHow 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.

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.

plusLegislative 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

plusNational 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

plusPalmetto 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

plusPalmetto 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)

plusSouth 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

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