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10 Best Colleges in South Carolina

What’s Covered:

 

From the beaches of the Lowcountry to the southern charm of Greenville, South Carolina is a place where a university education meets welcoming hospitality, great food, and gorgeous natural scenery. The ten top colleges and universities in particular make the Palmetto State stand out‚ÄĒkeep scrolling south to learn more!

 

Our Ranking Methodology

 

This list of South Carolina’s 10 best colleges was made with a focus on school quality, outcomes, and return on investment (ROI). We also factored in data ranging from retention rate, selectivity, endowment per student, student-faculty ratio, median earnings, and cost of attendance, in addition to many other criteria. You can also see CollegeVine’s rankings of thousands of schools across the country. 

 

10 Best Colleges in South Carolina

 

1. Clemson University

 

Location: Clemson, SC

Acceptance Rate: 47% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1240-1400

Middle 50% ACT: 29-30

Undergrad Enrollment: 19,600

 

As the most well-renowned university in South Carolina, Clemson pairs a friendly campus culture with top-notch educational resources, research, and athletics. Clemson excels at the sciences, offering top-tier degree programs and opportunities for research in fields like agriculture, forestry, education, and social sciences, among others. Campus life at Clemson is lively‚ÄĒa strong school spirit permeates the school and encourages active participation in campus affairs. The Clemson Tigers play in the Atlantic Coast Conference and have won three national championship titles for football in the past 40 years.

 

Learn more about Clemson University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

2. Furman University

 

Location: Greenville, SC

Acceptance Rate: 61% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1260-1400

Middle 50% ACT: 30-33

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,700

 

Furman University is a liberal arts school that fosters the growth of the whole person‚ÄĒintellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. A Furman education is based on the Furman Advantage, an individualized approach to teaching that incorporates real-world experiences with self-discovery. The hands-on approach to education, with 92% of students participating in research or internships, pays off for Furman students who have a 94% placement rate in jobs or graduate school within six months of graduation. Campus culture at Furman combines the vibrancy of Greenville with intellectual openness and southern hospitality.

 

Learn more about Furman University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

3. University of South Carolina | USC

 

Location: Columbia, SC

Acceptance Rate: 63% 

Middle 50% SAT (SC residents/nonresidents): 1110-1300/1250-1380

Middle 50% ACT (SC residents/nonresidents): 23-30/28-32

Undergrad Enrollment: 30,889

 

South Carolina‚Äôs capital city is home to the state‚Äôs top public university. USC‚ÄĒnot to be confused with the University of Southern California‚ÄĒhas hundreds of degree programs for students to choose from, in addition to well-regarded professional schools and cutting-edge STEM research. USC‚Äôs breadth of academic programs is matched by its vast selection of student clubs, Learning Engagements to explore outside the classroom, and opportunities to cheer on the Gamecocks.

 

Learn more about the University of South Carolina and what it takes to get accepted.

 

4. Wofford College

 

Location: Spartanburg, SC

Acceptance Rate: 64% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1190-1350

Middle 50% ACT: 26-30

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,600

 

Wofford College provides a wide array of strong liberal arts degree programs. From chemistry to government to theater, there are dozens of majors, minors, and concentrations for students to pick from. A small 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio, a tight-knit community, and excellent study abroad programs are just some of the benefits of a Wofford education. Wofford is guided by their strategic vision of JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion). Students embrace the pillars of JEDI in their engagement with the Wofford community, whether it’s in Greek life or religious life. 

 

Learn more about Wofford College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

5. Columbia International University

 

Location: Columbia, SC

Acceptance Rate: 33% 

Middle 50% SAT: 940-1150

Middle 50% ACT: 17-24

Undergrad Enrollment: 500

 

Equipping students with a Christian education is the mission of Columbia International University. Small class sizes, a Christ-centered community of many denominations, and academic programs tailored to help students work in church ministry and related fields are all core elements of the CIU experience. CIU provides a campus environment which encourages personal and spiritual growth, but also offers world-class online programs as well.

 

Learn more about Columbia International University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

6. Presbyterian College

 

Location: Clinton, SC

Acceptance Rate: 69% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1030-1260

Middle 50% ACT: 20-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,000

 

At the foundation of a Presbyterian College education are two values: honor and ethics. These values that every student is encouraged to live by are based on the teachings of the Christian faith. PC’s close campus community is engaging, enriching, and rooted in tradition. Its diverse array of degree programs is complemented by the creativity of its students and the surrounding artistic community of Clinton.

 

Learn more about Presbyterian College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

7. Bob Jones University

 

Location: Greenville, SC

Acceptance Rate: 69% 

Middle 50% SAT: 990-1230

Middle 50% ACT: 21-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,600

 

Bob Jones University is a Christian liberal arts university with a mission to help students grow as Christlike servant leaders. Well-known among Evangelical Christians, BJU offers ministry-related programs as well as degrees in a variety of other subjects such as Business Administration, Culinary Arts, Health Sciences, and Nursing. Its campus community is supportive and it fully leverages the churches, downtown, and natural scenery of the surrounding Greenville area.

 

Learn more about Bob Jones University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

8. College of Charleston

 

Location: Charleston, SC

Acceptance Rate: 79% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1140-1310

Middle 50% ACT: 25-30

Undergrad Enrollment: 9,800

 

Historic southern architecture and palmettos trees form the backdrop of one of South Carolina‚Äôs oldest colleges. The College of Charleston is an innovative liberal arts college that was founded in 1770‚ÄĒmaking it the 13th oldest college in the country. Its academics inspire students to be curious and have integrity, while its campus life helps students move outside their comfort zones. The College is tapped into Charleston‚Äôs youthful exuberance and its fast-growing IT, aerospace, and healthcare sectors.

 

Learn more about the College of Charleston and what it takes to get accepted.

 

9. Anderson University

 

Location: Anderson, SC

Acceptance Rate: 62% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1000-1160

Middle 50% ACT: 20-26

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,800

 

Anderson University is an institution of Christian higher education that provides its students with a rigorous and engaging college experience. Its 50 major degree programs and transformative campus life educate the whole person, inspiring growth in knowledge, personal health, and faith. Anderson also provides a warm, God-honoring atmosphere while being one of the most affordable colleges in the country. 

 

Learn more about Anderson University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

10. North Greenville University

 

Location: Tigerville, SC

Acceptance Rate: 60% 

Middle 50% SAT: 870-1240

Middle 50% ACT: 19-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,300

 

Christ-centered degree programs at North Greenville University empower students to lead their lives with faith. NGU offers a transformative environment and stands apart with its unique honors college, early college classes for high school students, and strong support for first-generation students. Between classes and campus activities, students can enjoy epic adventures in the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding state and national parks.

 

Learn more about North Greenville University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

 

Curious about your chances of admission to one of South Carolina’s top schools? CollegeVine is here to help. Our free chancing engine uses data about your holistic application profile to predict your likelihood of acceptance at hundreds of colleges and universities across the country. Though all of these schools are selective, your personal chances may be higher or lower depending on your profile. 

 

Our chancing engine can also help you build a balanced school list with safety, target, and reach schools. Sign up for a free CollegeVine account today to see how it works!


Short Bio
The college applications process is all about responding to one question: who are you? I am passionate about helping students craft a creative answer. I have been helping students gain admission to the T25 schools of their dreams since 2018. Soon after graduating from Georgetown University with a B.A. in History and minors in French and Russian, I made college advising my career. I currently mentor students through one-on-one consulting sessions, blog posts, and admissions livestreams, in addition to tutoring in humanities subjects. When I am not advising, you can probably find me taking a road trip or reading a novel in Russian.