Best Private Colleges in South Carolina 2023

Best Private Colleges in South Carolina 2023

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in South Carolina.

Colleges and Universities in South Carolina

The 31 public schools range in tuition from $5,000 to $17,000. The largest institution, the University of South Carolina (U of SC), is right in the middle, totaling $11,000 for fees. Located in Columbia, U of SC has over 30,000 students in attendance and offers over 300 degree options. Aside from the technical and community colleges in the state, there are four universities under $10,000. At $17,000, the Medical University of South Carolina is the most expensive public school in the state.

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In addition, over 25 private schools, 17 with religious affiliations, offer academic settings with small student populations, none exceeding 3,500. Though it is the most expensive at $50,000, Furman University boasts an 84% graduation rate. With Methodist connections, Wofford College charges a tuition of $44,000, and it bears noting that the campus is situated on a national arboretum. The University of South Carolina School of Law is one of the nation’s oldest law schools and the state’s only nonprofit law school. Graduates of the school have the opportunity to receive financial assistance from the Public Interest Law Loan Forgiveness Fund if they are employed in the field of public interest law.

Along the 60-mile stretch of beaches in South Carolina is iconic Myrtle Beach, home to one of the world’s tallest Ferris wheels. Cypress swamps, military museums, and tea gardens add to the southern charm of this state. And with over 50 higher education institutions, students have plenty of options for where to earn their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree.

Check out the top programs available, and earn your degree in The Palmetto State.


What are South Carolina’s Colleges & Universities?

South Carolina’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 21 private universities in South Carolina. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in South Carolina, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

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Best Private Colleges in South Carolina

  1. #3

    Bob Jones University

    Greenville , SC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    3K

    Bob Jones University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Professional Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Marketing
    • Exercise And Sport Science
    • Liberal Arts
    • Marketing
    • Social Science
    • Exercise And Sport Science
    • Liberal Arts
    • Social Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    4K

    Anderson University, South Carolina’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BOLS in Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Organizational Leadership
    Degree Concentrations
    • Human Resource Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Homeland Security And Emergency Services
    Degree Concentrations
    • Emergency Services Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Christian Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BIS in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #10

    Newberry College

    Newberry , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    995/18

    Newberry College’s Online Degrees

    BA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Respiratory Therapy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #11

    North Greenville University

    Tigerville , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    North Greenville University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Cybersecurity
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #12

    Claflin University

    Orangeburg , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    940/17

    Claflin University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Organizational Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    Charleston Southern University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Hospitality And Tourism Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Resources
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Computer And Information Sciences
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BT in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Professional Studies
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Healthcare Administration
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/21

    Southern Wesleyan University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Early Childhood And Family Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Early Childhood And Family Studies Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #15

    Morris College

    Sumter , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Morris College known for?

    Morris College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  9. Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    46%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/20

    Columbia International University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #17

    Limestone University

    Gaffney , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/22

    Limestone University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accounting
    • Economics
    • Finance
    • General
    • Law
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Resource Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Resources Training And Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Computer Science
    Degree Concentrations
    • Computer And Information Systems Security
    • Information Technology
    • Programming
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminal Justice
    Degree Concentrations
    • Law
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Social Work
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Healthcare Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. #18

    Voorhees University

    Denmark , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Voorhees University known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

    Voorhees University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Organizational Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sports Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Computer Science/Cybersecurity
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Emergency Management And Homeland Security
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 122
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Child Development
    • Required Credits: 128-129
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in English
    • Required Credits: 121
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Mass Communications
    • Required Credits: 122
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sociology
    • Required Credits: 122
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Health
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 123
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  12. #19

    Clinton College

    Rock Hill , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Clinton College known for?

    Clinton College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  13. #20

    Columbia College

    Columbia , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    935/18

    Columbia College ’s Online Degrees

    BA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Business Administration
    • Business Analytics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Computer And Information Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Disaster And Emergency Management
    Degree Concentrations
    • Fire Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Forensic Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Speech Language Pathology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Community And Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Services
    Degree Concentrations
    • Counseling
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Healthcare Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Healthcare Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  14. #21

    Coker University

    Hartsville , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/18

    Coker University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sociology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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South Carolina’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Bob Jones University
  2. Erskine College
  3. Furman University
  4. Coker University
  5. Newberry College
  6. Wofford College
  7. Columbia College
  8. Converse University
  9. Southern Wesleyan University
  10. Claflin University
  11. Presbyterian College
  12. Columbia International University
  13. Anderson University, South Carolina
  14. North Greenville University

Check out our directory of private colleges throughout the U.S. for a look at the top private schools in every state.