Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Find Schools Near

2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina

44 Colleges
$44,841 Avg Salary*
47% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

With all of the options you have for higher education today, it can be tough to choose which direction to take. College Factual was founded, in part, to help students make the decision as to what would be the best school for them. Our Top South Carolina Colleges ranking is part of that endeavor.

After analyzing 44 schools in South Carolina, we came up with our list of those that offered the highest quality education. To come up with this ranking, we look at more than 20 factors that are all objective measurements. These factors include freshman retention, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and post graduate earnings, among other things.

Find out more about our ranking methodology.

Customizing Your List

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location and field of study as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors such as those of importance to veterans and returning adults or those who value diversity and value for your money.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. We encourage you to try it out and pit your favorite colleges and universities head to head!

Top Colleges in South Carolina

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Clemson University

Clemson, South Carolina

Clemson University tops this year’s ranking as the best school in South Carolina for overall quality. Clemson University is a large public school located in Clemson, South Carolina that handed out 7,601 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.7%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Clemson is $63,857 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#2

University of South Carolina - Columbia

Columbia, South Carolina

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of South Carolina - Columbia. It ranked #2 on our 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina list. UofSC is located in Columbia, South Carolina and has a large student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 10,191 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

With a freshman retention rate of 90%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from UofSC go into careers with an average salary of $54,109 during the early years of their career.

Full University of South Carolina - Columbia Report

#3

Columbia International University

Columbia, South Carolina

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Columbia International University helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in South Carolina. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Columbia, South Carolina, and it awarded 456 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The low student loan default rate of 4.3% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from CIU go into careers with an average salary of $36,834 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#4

Furman University

Greenville, South Carolina

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Furman University. The school came in at #4 in South Carolina on this year’s overall quality ranking. Located in Greenville, South Carolina, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 882 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.2%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $58,343 during the early years of their career..

Full Furman University Report

#5

Citadel Military College of South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Citadel Military College of South Carolina helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in South Carolina. This small public school is located in Charleston, South Carolina, and it awarded 1,074 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 87%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $67,770 during the early years of their career..

Read More…

#6

Wofford College

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Wofford College came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking. Wofford is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It awarded 493 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 89%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $67,530 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on Wofford College

#7

College of Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina

College of Charleston landed the #7 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking. College of Charleston is a fairly large public school located in Charleston, South Carolina that handed out 2,417 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The low student loan default rate of 4.1% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from C of C is $49,534 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on College of Charleston

#8

Trident Technical College

Charleston, South Carolina

Trident Technical College did quite well in the 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking, coming in at #8. Trident Technical College is a public institution located in Charleston, South Carolina. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 2,180 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Trident Technical College go into careers with an average salary of $35,114 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Trident Technical College

#9

Anderson University South Carolina

Anderson, South Carolina

Anderson University South Carolina landed the #9 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking. Anderson University South Carolina is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Anderson, South Carolina. It awarded 959 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 4.5%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Anderson University South Carolina make an average of $39,593 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Anderson University South Carolina

#10

Coastal Carolina University

Conway, South Carolina

Coastal Carolina University did quite well in the 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking, coming in at #10. Coastal Carolina University is a fairly large public school located in Conway, South Carolina that handed out 2,203 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Coastal Carolina University go into careers with an average salary of $44,305 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#11

Winthrop University

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Winthrop University did quite well in the 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking, coming in at #11. Winthrop is a medium-sized public school situated in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It awarded 1,368 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Winthrop is $41,504 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#12

Greenville Technical College

Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville Technical College did quite well in the 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking, coming in at #12. GTC is located in Greenville, South Carolina and has a medium-sized student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 2,011 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from GTC go into careers with an average salary of $35,205 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#13

Presbyterian College

Clinton, South Carolina

Presbyterian College ranked #13 on this year’s Best Colleges in South Carolina list. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Clinton, South Carolina, and it awarded 227 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.9%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from PC make an average of $49,050 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Presbyterian College

#14

Bob Jones University

Greenville, South Carolina

Bob Jones University did quite well in the 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking, coming in at #14. Located in Greenville, South Carolina, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 626 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The low student loan default rate of 1.6% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $40,853 during the early years of their career..

Read More…

#15

Columbia College

Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia College landed the #15 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking. Columbia College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Columbia, South Carolina that handed out 463 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College South Carolina make an average of $36,585 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Columbia College

#16

Southern Wesleyan University

Central, South Carolina

Southern Wesleyan University came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking. Southern Wesleyan University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Central, South Carolina that handed out 394 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $41,792 during the early years of their career..

Full Southern Wesleyan University Report

#17

North Greenville University

Tigerville, South Carolina

North Greenville University ranked #17 on this year’s Best Colleges in South Carolina list. North Greenville is a private not-for-profit institution located in Tigerville, South Carolina. The school has a small population, and it awarded 509 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $40,031 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on North Greenville University

#18

University of South Carolina - Upstate

Spartanburg, South Carolina

University of South Carolina - Upstate landed the #18 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking. University of South Carolina - Upstate is a medium-sized public school located in Spartanburg, South Carolina that handed out 1,248 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, graduates from USC Upstate make an average of $42,949 a year.

Read More…

#19

Converse College

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Converse College ranked #19 on this year’s Best Colleges in South Carolina list. Converse is a private not-for-profit institution located in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The school has a small population, and it awarded 374 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Converse go into careers with an average salary of $38,109 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Converse College

#20

Limestone College

Gaffney, South Carolina

Limestone College ranked #20 on this year’s Best Colleges in South Carolina list. Limestone College is a private not-for-profit institution located in Gaffney, South Carolina. The school has a small population, and it awarded 473 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Limestone College is $39,684 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#21

Charleston Southern University

Charleston, South Carolina

With a ranking of #21, Charleston Southern University did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina list. CSU is located in Charleston, South Carolina and has a small student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 724 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from CSU make an average of $42,048 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Charleston Southern University Report

#22

Spartanburg Methodist College

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Spartanburg Methodist College landed the #22 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking. SMC is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It awarded 263 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from SMC make an average of $37,871 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Spartanburg Methodist College Report

#23

Midlands Technical College

West Columbia, South Carolina

Midlands Technical College landed the #23 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking. Located in West Columbia, South Carolina, the medium-sized public school awarded 1,802 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from MTC make an average of $33,780 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Midlands Technical College

#24

Francis Marion University

Florence, South Carolina

With a ranking of #24, Francis Marion University did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in South Carolina list. Francis Marion University is located in Florence, South Carolina and has a small student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 788 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Francis Marion University make an average of $39,838 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Francis Marion University Report

#25

University of South Carolina - Aiken

Aiken, South Carolina

University of South Carolina - Aiken came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in South Carolina ranking. Located in Aiken, South Carolina, the small public school handed out 716 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UofSC Aiken make an average of $44,741 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on University of South Carolina - Aiken

View Best Colleges Nationwide >

All Majors and Fields of Study >

More Rankings >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Schools Near You