South Carolina Colleges and Schools

South Carolina offers college-bound students many higher education options from which to choose:

  • 13 public, four-year universities
  • 20 public, two-year colleges
  • 23 private, nonprofit schools
  • Almost two dozen for-profit schools

Most two-year public universities in South Carolina are technical schools and the South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS) is the state's largest higher education system. The majority of private, two-year colleges are beauty and barbering vocational schools.

Twenty-one of the private colleges in South Carolina offer four-year degree programs. Almost all of them belong to the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) system.

South Carolina Colleges: A Few Highlights

The University of South Carolina (USC) is one of only 32 public universities in the U.S. to earn the Carnegie Foundation's top rankings in research and community engagement. It is also highly ranked by publications such as Kiplinger's, Inc. and U.S. News & World Report.

Perhaps the best-known private university in the state is Clemson University, which boasts impressive rankings and a rich history. Founded as a military school in 1896, Clemson is today known for its science and engineering programs.

Education Initiatives in South Carolina

South Carolina participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), which sets national standards for distance education, making it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in other states.

And, through the state's dual enrollment program, high school students can take college courses for college credit, while meeting high school graduation requirements.

South Carolina's membership in the Academic Common Market, administered by the Southern Regional Education Board, allows eligible residents to pay in-state tuition for specific programs offered in other states.

For more information, visit the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.


  • South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, Accessed April 2018,
  • National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator, Accessed April 2018,
  •, Accessed April 2018,
  • Clemson University, Accessed April 2018,
  • University of South Carolina, Accessed April 2018,

Education Institutes in South Carolina
Total Number of Educational Institutes
Total Enrollment in all institutes
Number of Public Educational Institutes
Number of Private For-Profit Institutes
Number of Private Non-Profit Institutes
Graduation Rate
Total Graduates With Bachelors Degree
On Campus and Online Programs in South Carolina
Number of Institutes Offering on-campus programs
Number of Institutes Offering on-line programs
Number of Institutes Offering both
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Colleges and Universities in South Carolina
SchoolCityTotal EnrollmentInstitution LevelAvg. In-State Tuition & FeesNumber of Programs Offered
University of South Carolina-ColumbiaColumbia34,731Four or more years$11,862293
Clemson UniversityClemson24,387Four or more years$15,116237
Trident Technical CollegeCharleston13,271At least 2 but less than 4 years$4,860104
Greenville Technical CollegeGreenville11,745At least 2 but less than 4 years$4,80684
College of CharlestonCharleston10,863Four or more years$12,42291
Coastal Carolina UniversityConway10,663Four or more years$11,20076
Midlands Technical CollegeWest Columbia10,625At least 2 but less than 4 years$5,22279
Horry-Georgetown Technical CollegeConway7,079At least 2 but less than 4 years$5,04473
Winthrop UniversityRock Hill6,073Four or more years$15,22081
Tri-County Technical CollegePendleton6,069At least 2 but less than 4 years$5,46848
University of South Carolina-UpstateSpartanburg5,990Four or more years$11,52043
Florence-Darlington Technical CollegeFlorence5,439At least 2 but less than 4 years$4,53460
Spartanburg Community CollegeSpartanburg4,635At least 2 but less than 4 years$5,55059
Piedmont Technical CollegeGreenwood4,596At least 2 but less than 4 years$4,98559
York Technical CollegeRock Hill4,538At least 2 but less than 4 years$4,81768