Top Universities in South Carolina

By | April 20, 2019

For those interested in studying in South Carolina, we have a very useful list. We selected the best South Carolina institutions for prospective students. Please know that rankings are based on academic research, alumni reviews, graduation rates, as well as assessment from peer colleges. On the page, you will find major admissions stats such as acceptance rate, tuition fees, average SAT scores for each ranked college or university.

  • Visit AllCityCodes for all area codes in the state of South Carolina.
Rankings Schools
1 Clemson University (Clemson, SC)
Tuition: in-state: $12,674, out-of-state: $29,600
Total enrollment: 19,914
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 63.3%
Average freshman retention rate: 91%
6-year graduation rate: 80%
Classes with under 20 students: 51.6%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1140-1330
2 University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)
Tuition: N/A
Total enrollment: 30,721
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 63.1%
Average freshman retention rate: 87%
6-year graduation rate: 70%
Classes with under 20 students: 35.8%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1100-1290
3 South Carolina State University (Orangeburg, SC)
Tuition: N/A
Total enrollment: 4,326
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 95.8%
Average freshman retention rate: 65%
6-year graduation rate: 35%
Classes with under 20 students: 49.2%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 760-930


Top Universities in South Carolina

South Carolina Before Independence

In 1666, an expedition led by Captain Robert Sandford explored the coast of South Carolina. One of its participants, Dr. Henry Woodward, voluntarily stayed in the settlement of the Cusabo Indians, learning their language and trying to establish good neighborly relations. As the colony developed, Woodward became one of the main intermediaries between Europeans and the indigenous residents of these lands, he also organized expeditions in the seventies of the XVII century to explore the interior of South Carolina.

In 1670, English colonists, under the leadership of the first governor of Carolina, William Sale, founded the settlement of Charlestown, which has grown today into the second largest city in South Carolina, Charleston. The colony grew rapidly, with rice, tobacco, and cotton being grown in plantations along the coast; the forests of the hinterland provided timber, hides and furs. At the same time, due to geographical features (primarily due to the lack of convenient deep-water harbours), the northern regions of the province developed more slowly and by the end of the century began to distinguish between North and South Carolina. In fact, the two parts of the Carolinas were divided in 1712.

In 1715, a conflict broke out in the colony between British settlers and Indians, known as the Yamasee War. The Indian peoples who formed the basis of the army of colonists in the “Tuscarora War” (the armed conflict between the Europeans and the Indians of North Carolina in 1711-1715) saw the differences between the Carolinas and their weak points. They attacked the population centers of South Carolina and killed hundreds of settlers. The very existence of the colony was threatened, but the situation changed in 1716, when the Cherokee Indians went over to the side of the colonists. For two years, bloody battles took place in the province, thousands of people died, the “Yamashi War” ended only in 1717.

In 1729, the English government bought their rights from the heirs of the lords proprietors (only the descendants of George Carteret retained their lands) and the province became a royal colony. In 1733, the first settlers arrived in the last of the “thirteen colonies” – Georgia, which became a kind of buffer between South Carolina and Florida, then owned by Spain. The development of Georgia made South Carolina much safer, which influenced a sharp increase in population, both due to immigrants from Europe and thanks to immigrants from other colonies (mainly from Virginia and Pennsylvania ).). By the middle of the 18th century, South Carolina was a prosperous province, and Charleston, with a population of about 11,000, was the largest and richest city in the southeast. The port of Charleston became the fourth largest in the British colonies, behind only Boston, New York and Philadelphia.