The Best Online Colleges in South Carolina

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Updated June 5, 2023

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South Carolina offers many options for online learners, including degree-completion programs, specialized certificates, and associate, bachelor's, and graduate degrees.

With a vibrant history and enthusiastic sporting community, South Carolina is home to both public universities and small liberal arts colleges. The Citadel — a publicly funded military college in Charleston, South Carolina — enrolls about 4,000 students annually, while the University of South Carolina System offers programs at 19 campuses across the state.

Choosing from the best online colleges in South Carolina requires careful consideration of your career goals and personal aspirations, along with each school's cost and scheduling flexibility. Online undergraduate degrees can prepare students for careers like healthcare, business, and information technology. University of South Carolina (UofSC), for example, provides online degree-completion programs in nearly 20 disciplines, plus a fully online RN-to-BSN program.

Featured Online Schools

The Best Online Colleges in South Carolina

#1 The Best Online Colleges in South Carolina

North Greenville University

  • Tigerville, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

North Greenville University is a fantastic choice for online learners. The private institution offers 18 online programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school has a strong reputation for its academics and substantial experience in online education.

Online learners can receive assistance from career and academic service associates located at the school's physical campus in Tigerville, South Carolina. Academic advisors and virtual job fairs help set degree-seekers up for long term success. Hands-on experience through the school's internship programs also benefits many students. Program graduates are awarded a bachelor's degree with full accreditation upon completing all requirements.

Anyone interested in learning more about available online programs and how to apply should contact the school directly.

North Greenville University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 396

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Online Master's Programs: 11

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 30%

Admission Rate: 63%

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$21,120
Out-of-state
$21,120
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,800
Out-of-state
$10,800
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

#2 The Best Online Colleges in South Carolina

Lander University

  • Greenwood, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Lander University's online degree offerings rank highly among similar programs. Remote students at both the undergraduate and graduate level have four options through this public institution. The school has a proven track record in online education and a reputation for strong academics, making it a popular choice for distance learners.

Online learners can benefit from the academic advisors and career services professionals at the Greenwood, South Carolina, campus. Degree-seekers can get help planning their academic and professional futures with offerings such as academic advising and virtual career fairs. Internships are available to help students gain hands-on experience. Upon completing their program, graduates receive an accredited degree.

Anyone with additional questions is encouraged to reach out to the school directly.

Lander University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 1,442

Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Online Master's Programs: 3

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 12%

Admission Rate: 43%

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$10,700
Out-of-state
$20,300
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,856
Out-of-state
$16,844
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

#3 The Best Online Colleges in South Carolina

Southern Wesleyan University

  • Central, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

For many online degree-seekers, Southern Wesleyan University is an attractive choice. The 10 online programs offered by this private institution consist of both undergraduate and graduate offerings. The school has experience facilitating online classes and a reputation for strong academics, attracting many remote students.

Online learners benefit from support from academic and career services offices at the school's Central, South Carolina, campus. Degree-seekers benefit from virtual job fairs and other career-planning services, as well as academic advising. The internship programs that the school offers help many students prepare for their future careers. Graduates of the program obtain a bachelor's degree with full accreditation.

Reach out to the school with any questions about what programs are available online and how to apply to them.

Southern Wesleyan University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 923

Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Online Master's Programs: 4

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 27%

Admission Rate: 35%

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$24,926
Out-of-state
$24,926
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,170
Out-of-state
$10,170
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

#4 The Best Online Colleges in South Carolina

Limestone College

  • Gaffney, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Limestone College is a leader in online education. The private institution makes 12 of its degrees available online, with offerings at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school has experience facilitating online classes and a reputation for strong academics, attracting many remote students.

Online learners not located near the Gaffney, South Carolina, campus can still take advantage of academic and career advising services. Degree-seekers benefit from virtual job fairs other career-planning services, as well as academic advising. The internship programs that the school offers help many students prepare for their future careers. An accredited degree is awarded to graduates upon completing their program.

For more information on how to apply and what programs are available online, contact the school directly.

Limestone College at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 768

Online Bachelor's Programs: 9

Online Master's Programs: 1

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 27%

Admission Rate: 51%

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$25,200
Out-of-state
$25,200
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$12,350
Out-of-state
$12,350
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
2,206
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 The Best Online Colleges in South Carolina

Medical University of South Carolina

  • Charleston, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Medical University of South Carolina is one of the best options available to online degree-seekers. Remote enrollees at this public college can choose from eight online programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Distance learners benefit from the school's track record in online education and its strong academic reputation.

From its Charleston, South Carolina, campus, the school supports online learners with academic and career services. Programs such as academic advising and virtual job fairs help degree-seekers achieve their professional goals. The internship programs that the school offers help many students prepare for their future careers. The academic programs grant graduates an accredited degree upon completion.

Representatives at the school can provide additional information about application and program specifics.

Medical University of South Carolina at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 871

Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Online Master's Programs: 3

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 17%

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$15,622
Out-of-state
$23,340
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$16,333
Out-of-state
$23,423
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,971
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Online Colleges

Online Colleges in South Carolina Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Employment in South Carolina

Top industries in South Carolina include agribusiness, manufacturing, and aerospace technology, which each offering entry-level and middle-level positions. South Carolina has a relatively low unemployment rate; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), unemployment in October 2020 reached just over 4% — down significantly from earlier in the year.

The highest-paying careers in the state are managerial and executive roles, which require advanced degrees. Chief executives, computer and information systems managers, and agricultural and engineering managers rank among the highest-paid roles.

The cost of living in South Carolina is below the national average. Housing is the largest expense, although it also sits comfortably below the average for housing across the United States.

Below are a few of the highest-paying roles employing more than 1,000 individuals in South Carolina. Salary information applies specifically to South Carolina, while job growth data pertains to the United States as a whole.

Highest-Paying Careers
Career Annual Mean Salary (2019) Projected Job Growth (2019-2029) Education Required
Family Medicine Physicians $229,710 4% Doctoral degree
Chief Executives $179,530 4% Bachelor's degree
Dentists, General $177,480 3% Doctoral degree
Nurse Anesthetists $165,940 45% Master's degree
Architectural and Engineering Managers $132,510 3% Bachelor's degree
Computer and Information Systems Managers $125,110 10% Bachelor's degree
Financial Managers $125,060 15% Bachelor's degree
Source: BLS

The following data reflects the highest-paying roles employing more than 15,000 professionals in South Carolina. Salary figures apply specifically to South Carolina, while job growth data refers to the United States as a whole.

Most Common Careers in South Carolina
Career Annual Mean Salary (2019) Projected Job Growth (2019-2029) Education Required
General and Operations Managers $102,240 4% Bachelor's degree
Accountants and Auditors $67,740 4% Bachelor's degree
Registered Nurses $64,840 7% Bachelor's degree
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education $53,450 4% Bachelor's degree
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General $37,630 4% High school diploma
First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers $33,870 6% High school diploma
Source: BLS

Online Associate and Graduate Degrees

COVID-19 has changed online education, opening up distance learning to new fields of study. As a result, colleges and universities have increased support for online learners, providing innovative resources and media to accommodate student needs.

Junior and community colleges in South Carolina offer online associate degrees. Many associate programs, like the associate in arts at Spartanburg Community College, help graduates transition to degree-completion programs at four-year institutions in the state.

Two-year schools in South Carolina offer associate degrees in areas like criminal justice technology, management, and robotics production. Online degrees offer convenience and flexibility, making them ideal for students who have other commitments like work or family.

For more advanced students, earning an online master's or doctoral degree is also an option. For example, Columbia College offers a master's degree in criminal justice online, and Clemson University offers online master's programs in parks, recreation, and tourism management and construction science management. UofSC offers several engineering degrees online, including programs in robotics.

Coursework for online programs usually matches on-campus degrees, with some limitations for laboratory and practical requirements. On-campus students can converse directly with classmates and instructors in person, while technology enables similar exchanges with online learners.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is College Free in South Carolina?

College in South Carolina is not usually free, with some exceptions. Senior citizens may receive tuition waivers at state colleges and universities, and children of veterans may also receive free tuition. Some schools, like Central Carolina Technical College, offer scholarship programs that cover the first two years of college tuition.

How Many Historically Black Colleges and Universities Are in South Carolina?

Nine institutions hold HBCU status in South Carolina. Private HBCUs include Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, Morris College, Voorhees College, and Clinton College. Friendship Junior College and Harbison Junior College are also HBCUs, along with South Carolina State University.

Is University of South Carolina an HBCU?

UofSC is not an HBCU. Founded in 1805, UofSC is a public research institution with its main campus in Columbia and seven additional campuses around the state.

Does University of South Carolina Have Online Degrees?

UofSc offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees online. Bachelor's degree options include programs in nursing, with additional degree-completion opportunities in nearly 20 disciplines. UofSC also offers online graduate certificates, doctorates, and specialist degrees.

Can You Get a Good Job With an Online Degree?

Yes, online students have the same job opportunities as traditional students, so long as they attend an accredited institution. Distance education also allows learners with full-time positions to complete coursework while maintaining employment.

Can You Go to College Completely Online?

Many schools offer undergraduate and graduate degrees completely online with no on-campus requirements. Depending on the program, students may need to participate in laboratory or practical requirements in face-to-face settings.

Is South Carolina a Veteran-Friendly State?

South Carolina is a veteran-friendly state, offering free tuition for children of war veterans. Individuals must attend state-supported colleges or universities to qualify. Additional benefits for veterans include tax deductions and exemptions, employment preference, and reduced fees at state facilities.

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