South Carolina Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2014

AC Online: Ranking the Most Affordable Online Colleges in South Carolina

South Carolina is one of the best places for distance learners to pursue an online degree. An array of four-year, fully online schools in South Carolina boast unsurpassed education through their accredited programs. These programs frequently grant degrees and certifications that are indistinguishable from degrees earned by on-site students. The comparisons continue with similar curriculum, admissions requirements, and tuition assistance between online and on-campus programs. To get a better idea of all the opportunities available via online programs in South Carolina, we’ve listed all your options, beginning with the lowest tuition programs. The very best South Carolina online colleges can be found here.

Click here to see our methodology.

South Carolina State University

300 College St NE, Orangeburg, South Carolina 29117-0001

If you are looking for online colleges in South Carolina that specialize in theology, the Theological Seminary of Saint Charles Borromeo is a perfect choice. Allowing students to work comfortably from anywhere with an internet connection, an accredited degree in theology is easy to obtain through SCS


Lander University

320 Stanley Avenue, Greenwood, South Carolina 29649-2099

Lander University offers both classroom and online degree programs for current and prospective students at an affordable price. Lander University has been providing both educational and cultural opportunities since being founded in 1872. Lander is now a public, co-ed, state-assisted, four-year university with liberal arts and science programs, and professional programs in business, education and nursing.


University of South Carolina-Columbia

Columbia-Campus, Columbia, South Carolina 29208

The University of South Carolina at Columbia offers a collection of online degree programs at the bachelor's level, including programs in business, criminal justice, education, human services, organizational leadership, and RN-to-BSN. All distance learning programs are available to students with at least 60 credit hours and who possess the minimum required grade point average. The college's breadth of programs make it one of the top online colleges in South Carolina.


Clemson University

201 Sikes Hall, Clemson, South Carolina 29634

Clemson University's commitment to distance learning takes place at the graduate level. As one of the most notable traditional and online colleges in South Carolina, the university offers students online master's degrees in agriculture, the arts, engineering, and more. Clemson's BIOSC Online program, for example, is a master's program helps prepare graduates for K-12 science instruction.


North Greenville University

7801 N. Tigerville Road, Tigerville, South Carolina 29688-1892

When it comes to finding online colleges in South Carolina that offer students graduate degrees, North Greenville University is a great option to look at. With both MBA and MCM programs, students can further their careers in business or ministry, working over the internet with excellent teachers to move forward in their careers.


Columbia International University

7435 Monticello Rd, Columbia, South Carolina 29203-1513

Columbia International University has a variety of degree programs that are all online-only, allowing students from all over the world to get an accredited college education from one of the great online colleges in South Carolina. With award winning online courses and a faculty full of great teachers, CIU is a fantastic option to consider when looking at schools.


Limestone College

1115 College Drive, Gaffney, South Carolina 29340-3799

Limestone College offers many different degree programs to students enrolling in their extended campus, with five options at the associate level and nineteen at the bachelor’s level. This is one of the bigger offerings out of all the online colleges in South Carolina, so Limestone is a great school to look into.


Charleston Southern University

9200 University Blvd, Charleston, South Carolina 29406-9121

Out of the many online colleges in South Carolina, Charleston Southern University does not have the biggest list of degree programs available, but it does have a varied one. Students are able to choose from anything from nursing to organizational management or graphic design. All of these degrees are accredited and can help students seeking employment in the professional world.


Southern Wesleyan University

907 Wesleyan Drive, Central, South Carolina 29630-1020

If a student is looking for an online degree from a school that is focused on Christ as well as academics, one of the best online colleges in South Carolina that meets that criterion is Southern Wesleyan University. With a strong focus on their online school, SWU has produced a number of alumni who have worked primarily online.

Approach to Online Learning

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

At Southern Wesleyan, we understand the needs and commitments of working adults. We have been providing working adults with Christ-centered educational opportunities for more than 25 years. At SWU we offer fully online options for select degree programs. Online students will earn the same degree as they would in the onsite classroom. Courses are taught in a flexible virtual classroom experience, designed to be both engaging and challenging. Students have access to an incredible array of learning resources and can complete their online degrees on their own schedule. As a Christ-centered university, our programs offer a faith-based education that combines theory with practical, real-world applications.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

  • Transfer friendly policies
  • Devoted professors and student services coordinators
  • Flexibility via no set login times
  • Student friendly interface provides 24/7 access to course work
  • Established brick-and mortar campus for over 100 years
  • Non-profit institution that is regionally accredited

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

Dedicating tremendous time and resources to increase program offerings (content specific concentrations) and improve systems and processes.


Anderson University

316 Boulevard, Anderson, South Carolina 29621-4035

Anderson University offers current and prospective students the option to learn in classroom as well as via their online degree programs at an affordable price. Located in Anderson, South Carolina, Anderson University is a highly selective, well rounded university offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees on campus and online. Students have the option of choosing from over 35 majors across over 60 concentrations and minors, and is ranked as one of the best regional colleges in the South by both Princeton Review and U. S. News and World Report.


Newberry College

2100 College St, Newberry, South Carolina 29108

Newberry College is a private institution that features small class sizes to focus on one-on-one interactions with students. The school is accredited and offers a decent number of degree programs through their online school, making Newberry an excellent option when looking at online colleges in South Carolina.


Coker College

300 E College Ave, Hartsville, South Carolina 29550

With affordable tuition and a good variety of courses offered, Coker College should not be ignored when looking at online colleges in South Carolina. Coker has been rated “one of America’s best colleges,” and their online program is no different. Every course is fully-accredited and can help students achieve an undergraduate degree.


Converse College

580 E Main St, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29302-0006

The South Carolina school at Converse College offers four online degree programs which can all be completed without setting a foot on campus. There are many busy students out there who don’t have time to drive to and from school every day, so it’s great for them to take advantage of one of the fully online colleges in South Carolina.

Finding an Affordable Higher Education in South Carolina

The beautiful state of South Carolina has a deep and interesting history and a wonderful populace that knows well the value of getting a good education and getting ahead in life. Those who are in the state realize that getting a degree is one of the most important things when it comes to finding better employment, so they emphasize this with students who are getting out of high school. 83.6% of the residents of the state have high school diplomas, and 24.3 percent have bachelor’s degrees or higher. Additionally, 8.4% of the residents even have advanced degree. Many of those in the state go to traditional schools for their education. However, more and more are looking at the affordable online schools in South Carolina for their degrees. Going to school on the web could be a great move for you as well.

Pursuing a Degree in South Carolina

South Carolina has a number of institutions for higher learning, and many of them are the traditional brick and mortar type schools. This type of school and learning experience could be right for some students, but in today’s busy world, more and more are turning to other options, and they are looking for better ways of schooling. Affordable online schools in South Carolina could be a better choice for some. When it comes to the traditional schools, you will find 28 two-year or more schools, and 49 four-year or more schools in the state. Those who choose the distance learning option will be able to earn their degrees in many subjects, and can get an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and even a doctorate.

Benefits of Choosing Online Classes in South Carolina

When one is looking at the options for schooling in South Carolina, you will find that even though there are plenty of traditional schools, quite a few students are looking at the benefits that online learning can offer. When you choose affordable online colleges, and you are working with a good school, it is possible to get a quality degree that can help you get a better job. Online schooling also happens to be more convenient since you will be able to take the classes on your own time. This is very nice on those days where getting to a traditional class would be impossible. You are also going to find that the number of options you have with this type of schooling is nice as well. You are going to be able to study early childhood education, art, business, computer science, criminal justice, and more.

Saving Money with Online Education

What is one of the main things that are keeping students away from college today? Since distance is no longer a factor, it all comes down to money. Many students believe that they are not going to be able to afford the cost of college. When they look at the cost of traditional schools, this can certainly seem to be the case. In South Carolina, the cost of a traditional two-year public school is $3,834, and the cost of a four-year public school is $10,698. This is too much for some. Affordable South Carolina online colleges are starting to help though, and they could be right for you.

If you are considering going to college, or returning to college to get an advanced degree, take the time to start looking at the different options you have when it comes to online classes. Distance learning can help you attain the degree that you need to excel in your career. Start earning a quality degree today.

Previous Rankings
AC Online: Ranking the Highest ROI Colleges in South Carolina
AC Online: Ranking the Highest ROI Colleges in South Carolina

When it comes to costs and outcomes, not all educations hold the same weight. The school you attend can influence how much you earn in the future. Here we’ve highlighted the top colleges in South Carolina with low net costs (tuition + fees), and whose graduates enjoy the highest lifetime earnings when compared to non-degree holders. Statistics come from PayScale, the National Center for Education Statistics, the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System, and the Carnegie Foundation. See how South Carolina schools rank:

Click here to see our methodology.
South Carolina Colleges Analyzed: 111
South Carolina Colleges Ranked: 16
# College Name City ROI Tuition Type Photo
1 Clemson University Clemson $872,700 $11,524 Public (In-State)
2 Presbyterian College Clinton $590,500 $28,680 Private not-for-profit
3 Furman University Greenville $530,000 $39,200 Private not-for-profit
4 University of South Carolina - Main Campus Columbia $440,700 $9,768 Public (In-State)
5 College of Charleston Charleston $335,300 $70 Public (In-State)
6 Lander University Greenwood $306,100 $8,724 Public (In-State)
7 Winthrop University Rock Hill $295,900 $12,656 Public (In-State)
8 Southern Wesleyan University (SWU) Central $281,900 $19,950 Private not-for-profit
9 Wofford College - Spartanburg, SC Spartanburg $279,600 $32,070 Private not-for-profit
10 Limestone College Gaffney $268,800 $20,000 Private not-for-profit
11 Coastal Carolina University Conway $261,100 $9,680 Public (In-State)
12 South Carolina State University Orangeburg $222,600 $8,688 Public (In-State)
13 Newbury College-Brookline Newberry $215,000 $21,500 Private not-for-profit Newbury-College
14 Charleston Southern University (CSU) Charleston $197,700 $20,600 Private not-for-profit
15 Columbia College - Columbia, SC Columbia $77,440 $24,600 Private not-for-profit
16 Francis Marion University Florence $17,670 $8,467 Public (In-State)