Best Online Colleges in South Carolina

What can you do with a college degree in South Carolina? Discover the state's fastest-growing job and the best online colleges in South Carolina.
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Updated on March 22, 2024
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Tucked next to the Atlantic Ocean, South Carolina is known for its warm weather, sandy beaches, and Southern hospitality. With colleges located in bustling cities like Charleston and Myrtle Beach, as well as smaller cities with ample Southern charm, South Carolina has something for any college student.

South Carolina pairs its rich history and culture with exciting opportunities for students and recent graduates. Many cities, like Columbia, offer a cost of living below the national average, which can save you out-of-pocket expenses as a college student.

Whether you live in South Carolina or not, you can also take advantage of the affordability and flexibility of earning an online degree at one of the best colleges in South Carolina.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Best Online Colleges in South Carolina

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. BestColleges.com 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. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such.

BestColleges.com 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.

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#1 Best Online Colleges in South Carolina

University of South Carolina

  • Columbia, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $410-$572
Out-of-State | $410-$572

Credits to Graduate: 120-128 (bachelor's)

The University of South Carolina's online degree programs include more than 50 options spanning eight colleges. You can choose to complete a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree.

Fully online undergraduate programs include integrated information technology and interdisciplinary studies in service management. You can also choose from an array of online graduate degree programs from the school's colleges of education, engineering and computing, hospitality, retail and sport management, information and communications, law, library and information science, music, nursing, and public health.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$12,288
Out-of-state
$33,528
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,734
Out-of-state
$29,760
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
87%
Acceptance Rate
62%
Students Enrolled
35,471
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Best Online Colleges in South Carolina

Anderson University

  • Anderson, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $410
Out-of-State | $410

Credits to Graduate: 120-135 (bachelor's)

Anderson University is a Baptist school located in the northwest region of the state. Its online degree programs include dozens of options at the certificate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. 

You can choose from online bachelor's degrees in areas like clinical psychology, communication and digital media, and healthcare management. Graduate-level options include Christian ministry, business, and cybersecurity.

Anderson University's online degrees aim to offer convenience and flexibility. The university prides itself on its academic excellence and Christ-centered environment. Famous alums include actors, athletes, and the current President of the South Carolina Senate, Thomas C. Alexander.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$27,480
Out-of-state
$27,480
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,616
Out-of-state
$10,616
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Low

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Low
Retention Rate
85%
Acceptance Rate
50%
Students Enrolled
4,008
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
61% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#3 Best Online Colleges in South Carolina

North Greenville University

  • Tigerville, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $395
Out-of-State | $395

Credits to Graduate: 128 (bachelor's)

North Greenville University offers eight online undergraduate programs, including options like general studies, business and leadership, criminal justice, Christian ministries, cybersecurity, applied psychology, and education. 

NGU also offers 13 graduate degrees that students can complete online. Graduate program costs vary depending on the department and degree track, with tuition ranging from $275-$525 per credit. Full-time learners can complete these programs in 12-24 months. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$22,470
Out-of-state
$22,470
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,880
Out-of-state
$11,880
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
68%
Acceptance Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
2,273
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

How We Rank Schools

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

Ranking Methodology Summary

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To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

10 Fast-Growing Jobs in South Carolina

The South Carolina job market has a variety of positions projected to grow in the coming years, many of which offer above-average salaries. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor projects that many South Carolina tech careers, including information security analyst and software quality assurance analyst, will grow by 8-10% from 2023-2025 and provide competitive pay.

Attending a South Carolina college can plug you into an alum network and help you connect with local industries in the state. And, if you live locally, you should consider pursuing an internship in one of these fields while still attending school.

10 Fast-Growing Jobs in South Carolina
Job Job Growth 2023-2025 Average Annual Wage 2022
Information Security Analyst 9.7% $102,270
Data Scientist 9.4% $100,550
Insurance Underwriter 8.8% $68,750
Operations Research Analyst 8.8% $83,830
Software Quality Assurance Analyst or Tester 8.7% $87,670
Veterinary Assistant or Laboratory Animal Caretaker 8.7% $32,450
Physician Assistant 8.6% $106,200
Medical and Health Services Manager 8.3% $114,970
Physical Therapist Assistants 7.8% $63,330
Software Developer 7.8% $105,360
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Cost of College in South Carolina

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the national average tuition and fees for a public four-year university was $9,596 for the 2021-2022 academic year. For that same year, the average cost of tuition and fees in South Carolina was $12,605 for an in-state resident.

Although the typical tuition and fees in South Carolina are above the national average, some colleges offer a flat, discounted rate for online tuition. Some schools also allow out-of-state distance learners to pay in-state rates. Additionally, online students often pay less in certain student fees since they're not on campus.

You can also save money on tuition by applying for grants and scholarships. Other ways to decrease out-of-pocket costs include setting up a budget and taking prerequisite classes at a community college.

Cost of College in South Carolina in 2021-2022
Institution Type Average Annual Tuition and Required Fees
Public 4-year (In-State) $12,605
Public 4-year (Out-of-State) $33,217
Private 4-year $27,840
Public 2-year (In-State) $4,991
Public 2-year (Out-of-State) $10,330
Source: NCES

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in South Carolina

Can you attend the University of South Carolina online?

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You can earn a bachelor's or graduate degree online from the University of South Carolina. The college offers dozens of online courses and degree programs that can be completed 100% online.

How much does it cost to go to college online in South Carolina?

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The cost of online college in South Carolina varies depending on the college. For instance, the cost of online undergraduate tuition at the University of South Carolina varies from $410-$572 per credit. Additionally, online programs at North Greenville University cost $395 per credit.

What is the cheapest online college in South Carolina?

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The cheapest online college in South Carolina depends on several factors, including your program, residency status, and enrollment status. However, Columbia College is one of the cheapest online colleges in South Carolina, charging $395 per credit for undergrad courses and $580 per credit for graduate-level classes.

Who qualifies for free college in South Carolina?

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Some universities in South Carolina offer free tuition programs to specific groups of students.

For example, the University of South Carolina covers tuition for in-state residents who graduated in the top 10% of their high school class and whose annual family income is below $80,000. USC also offers tuition waivers for students who are 60 years or older.

Trident Technical College also offers free tuition to South Carolina residents enrolled in certain programs.

How many online colleges are in South Carolina?

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South Carolina is home to over 50 colleges and universities. Thanks to the continued increase in the popularity of online learning, more than half of the colleges in South Carolina offer online degree programs at the undergraduate and/or graduate level.


Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges. Page last reviewed February 15th, 2024.

BestColleges.com 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.

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