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The 8 HBCUs in South Carolina: Which is Right for You?

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There are a number of noteworthy Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States — 107 in total. According to the Department of Education, this designation describes accredited institutions established before 1964 with the mission to educate Black Americans. Today, students of different backgrounds, races, and ethnicities attend HBCUs, seeking out diverse institutions with strong curricula, thoughtful missions, and competitive opportunities.


South Carolina is home to eight HBCUs. Are these schools for you? Here’s a rundown of each college’s personality, selectivity, and more.


The 8 HBCUs in South Carolina Arkansas


1. Allen University

Location: Columbia

Acceptance Rate: 61%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 600


A Christian liberal arts university, Allen University was founded by ministers of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1870. The school seeks to “prepare leaders who are skilled in communication, critical thinking, and who possess high moral character.”


Today, Allen offers undergraduate programs across the Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the Division of Business, Education and Social Sciences, the Division of Arts and Humanities, and the Dickerson-Green Theological Seminary. Dickerson-Green also offers two master’s degrees.


2. Benedict College


Location: Columbia

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,100


Offering programs in areas like STEM, Cyber Security, Mass Communication, Sport Management, Business Administration, Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, and Education, Benedict College seeks to “develop superior cultural and professional competencies for a diverse student body”


The college has received recognition from Washington Monthly for boosting social mobility and ACE/ Fidelity Investments Awards for Institutional Transformation. It was also named HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest.


3. Claflin University


Location: Orangeburg

Acceptance Rate: 56%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,000


Claflin has the distinction of being the first institution of higher learning in South Carolina to welcome students regardless of race. Today, the university continues to seek future leaders with passion, integrity, and a willingness to work hard and be “visionaries.”


Currently, Claflin offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees across the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Business, and School of Education.

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4. Clinton College


Location: Rock Hill

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Undergraduate Enrollment: <200


A Christian college, Clinton offers both associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, early childhood development, liberal arts, religious studies, natural sciences, and biology. The college seeks to nurture students’ academic achievement, moral and spiritual growth, leadership development, and citizenship in a global society.


Clinton was one of several colleges established by African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church during the period of Reconstruction and continues its affiliation with the Church today.


5. Denmark Technical College


Location: Denmark

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 489


Denmark offers 25 two year programs, along with four one-year programs in administrative support, barbering, cosmetology, and practical nursing. The college was established in 1947 and opened its doors in 1948 with the purpose of educating Black citizens in different trades.


Denmark primarily serves Bamberg, Barnwell, and Allendale Counties, although it does educate students across the state. 


6. Morris College


Location: Sumter

Acceptance Rate: 79%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 600


Founded in 1908 by the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina, Morris College continues to seek to educate a culturally and geographically diverse student body. Morris offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts and sciences, along with certificates and associate degrees in career-based professional fields.


The school emphasizes teacher education, while also offering programs in an array of specialties and preparation in important career and life skills.


7. South Carolina State University


Location: Orangeburg

Acceptance Rate: 53%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,400


The only public HBCU in South Carolina, SCSU was founded in 1890 as a land-grant institution. Today, the university has numerous claims to fame. For example, it offers the only Bachelor of Science Program in South Carolina and at an HBCU. It also boasts the only Master of Science degree in transportation and the only Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in agribusiness in the state. 


These are only some of the top programs at SC State. The university is also a top producer of Black graduates with bachelor’s degrees in biology, education, business, engineering technology, computer science/mathematics, and English language/literature. 


8. Voorhees College


Location: Denmark

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 400


Voorhees College is an Episcopal Church-affiliated liberal arts college with an illustrious history. Aimed at coupling professional education with comprehensive general education, as well as developing students both intellectually and spiritually, Voorhees currently offers degree in accounting, biology, business administration, criminal justice, computer science, sociology, English, health and recreation, mathematics, mass communication, and organizational management.


Additionally, the college has a training program in cybersecurity education and has a special partnership with the National Nuclear Security Administration.


What are your chances of acceptance?


Some HBCUs are highly competitive, but your personal chances of admission vary according to your unique profile. Find out your odds of getting into these and other schools with CollegeVine’s free chancing engine, which uses your specific qualifications to predict your chances of admission. Plus, you’ll receive free tips on how to improve your profile.



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Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.