The discussion of how to handle online and distance education in South Carolina began in 1998. Then, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education approved the principles that would lead postsecondary education into the digital age. Since then, the state has implemented digital learning for its 7-12 grade students, and several of South Carolina’s universities and colleges offer online education opportunities. The University of South Carolina, for example, provides a number of undergraduate and graduate degrees online in fields like engineering, public health and education.
Tuition costs in South Carolina have steadily increased in recent years. Two-year public schools experienced a 31% increase in tuition between 2004 and 2014, while tuition increased 37.6% at four-year schools. This inflation is partially due to a 41.6% decrease in the state’s higher education budget between 2008 and 2014, the third highest funding cut in the nation. Despite rising tuition costs in South Carolina, enrollment at public institutions has continued to increase. Overall, enrollment at both two- and four-year schools increased 28% between 2002 and 2012, which surpassed the 19% average nationwide. South Carolina has one of the higher state graduation rates at 61.5% and boasts a 78% first year student retention rate.
To find more information on South Carolina’s best online degree programs, consult our school database below. Access to scholarships and financial assistance programs are listed in the Higher Education Initiatives section, which includes the Future Scholar plan for students and their families to set money aside early for college expenses in years to come.