Conway, South Carolina (SC) Colleges and Universities

While there are only three schools in Conway, there are additional schools located within a 50-mile radius. Read about the top schools in several categories, including most program variety and lowest net price, to find the school for you.

School Ranking Overview

Nearly all of the traditional colleges in and around Conway are public institutions; both 2-year and 4-year options are available in the area. Read ahead to see how these traditional schools fare when compared to one another in specific categories. The top three are ranked according to each of these four benchmarks:

  • Most Program Variety
  • Lowest Net Price
  • Highest Graduation Rate
  • Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Most Program Variety

For students who have not yet decided on an area of focus for their studies, program variety may be an important consideration when choosing which school to attend. The following three institutions offer the most program options among traditional public schools in the Conway area.

1 - Horry-Georgetown Technical College

Horry-Georgetown Technical College is a public school located within the Conway city limits. It offers approximately 66 programs to about 7,500 students each year. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that in 2011-2012, the college awarded 611 certificates and 867 associate's degrees. Students at Horry-Georgetown Technical College can pursue programs in departments including information technology and digital arts, business technology and the culinary arts. The most popular areas of study for 2011-2012 included the health professions, family and consumer sciences, the liberal arts, business and marketing, according to NCES. The school also offers over 150 online courses, which might interest students seeking flexible class schedules.

2 - Florence-Darlington Technical College

Located in Florence, this 2-year school serves more than 6,000 students annually and offers around 60 programs. NCES reports that students at Florence-Darlington Technical College earned 311 certificates and 534 associate's degrees in 2011-2012. Popular options during this year included registered nursing, liberal arts and human services associate's degree programs. Welding, child care assisting, practical nursing, cosmetology and nail technology were among the most popular certificate programs. The school has a number of noteworthy facilities including an advanced welding and cutting center and a health science campus located downtown.

3 - Coastal Carolina University

Coastal Carolina University is a 4-year public school located in Conway. The university offers about 53 programs, including undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as a postbaccalaureate certificate in fraud examination. NCES notes that Coastal Carolina University issued 1,399 bachelor's degrees and 181 master's degrees in 2011-2012. No certificates were awarded during this academic year. According to U.S. News & World Report, the most popular majors for students who graduated in 2011 were business administration and management, marketing, speech communication, marine biology and psychology. The university also offers some unique undergraduate programs in areas including national security studies and PGA golf management.

Lowest Net Price

A school's average net price is another important factor for prospective students to consider, since this figure could give them a good idea of how much their education might cost. NCES calculates the average net price by subtracting the amount of financial aid beginning undergraduate students receive, on average, from the total cost of tuition, fees, room, board and other miscellaneous expenses. The Conway area's public schools had some of the lowest net prices; all cost under $13,000 during the 2010-2011 academic year, per NCES figures. The three most affordable options among the area's traditional public schools are profiled below.

1 - Florence-Darlington Technical College

At $4,406, Florence-Darlington Technical College boasts the lowest net price among schools in the Conway area. This affordable price tag might be due to the fact that 93% of beginning undergraduate students at this school received some form of financial aid in 2010-2011, according to NCES. Most of these students - 93% - were awarded scholarships or grants for an average amount of $5,262. NCES also reports that tuition and fees at Florence-Darlington Technical College were $3,766 for in-district students, $4,028 for in-state students and $5,862 for out-of-state students for 2012-2013.

2 - Horry-Georgetown Technical College

Horry-Georgetown Technical College had a net price of $6,236 in 2010-2011. As many as 90% of beginning undergraduate students at the college received some form of financial aid during this year, according to NCES. Ninety percent of students receiving aid were awarded grants or scholarships for an average award of $4,581, while 47% took out student loans. They borrowed $5,604, on average. Tuition and fees for the 2012-2013 academic year were $3,530 for in-district students, $4,444 for in-state students and $6,094 for out-of-state students, per NCES figures.

3 - Williamsburg Technical College

In 2010-2011, the net price to attend this 2-year school in Kingstree was $7,889, making it the third most affordable option among Conway area schools. NCES also reports that tuition and fees for 2012-2013 were $3,540 for in-district students, $3,660 for in-state students and $6,840 for out-of-state students. Ninety-two percent of beginning undergraduate students received grants or scholarships to help pay for their educations in 2010-2011, according to NCES. Their average award was $5,644.

Highest Graduation Rate

A graduation rate can indicate how successfully students complete a school's academic programs. This figure is the percentage of beginning undergraduate students who graduated within 150% of the 'normal time' it takes to complete a program, or six years for a bachelor's degree. Most of the schools in the area have graduation rates below 40%, according to NCES. The Conway area's top three traditional public schools in this category are outlined below.

1 - Coastal Carolina University

Coastal Carolina University features an overall graduation rate of 46% and a transfer-out rate of 17% among students who enrolled in 2005. The 4-year graduation rate for students beginning bachelor's degree programs during this year was significantly lower at 25%. NCES also reports that 63% of full-time students and 43% of part-time students returned for a second year of study after enrolling in the fall of 2010.

2 - Francis Marion University

Located in Florence, Francis Marion University is one of 13 public coed universities in the state. It awards bachelor's and master's degrees as well as post-master's certificates in the liberal arts and sciences, business and education. The school boasts an overall graduation rate of 42% among students who began their studies in 2005, the second highest in the area. The school also has a transfer-out rate of 36% and a 4-year graduation rate of 20%. Additionally, NCES' retention rate figures show that 67% of full-time students entering in the fall of 2010 returned in 2011.

3 - Horry-Georgetown Technical College

The overall graduation rate for the class entering Horry-Georgetown Technical College in 2008 was 14%, giving it the third highest graduation rate of the area schools. However, only 7% of students completed their programs within 'normal time', and the transfer-out rate for Horry-Georgetown Technical College was 18%. NCES also reported a 53% retention rate among full-time students and a 40% retention rate among part-time students who began their studies in 2010.

Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Student-faculty ratio is another factor students may wish to take into consideration when selecting which school to attend. A low number of students per instructor could mean more attention from faculty members. Student-faculty ratios at schools in this area can range from as low as 4:1 to as high as 24:1, according to NCES' figures for 2011. The three traditional public schools with the lowest student-faculty ratios are summarized below.

1 - Williamsburg Technical College

Williamsburg Technical College had a student population of 661 and a student-faculty ratio of 12:1 in 2011. NCES also reports that the school had just 73 faculty members during this period, 18 of whom were employed on a full-time basis.

2 - Francis Marion University

With a student-faculty ratio of 16:1 in 2011, Francis Marion University boasted the second lowest number of students per instructor in the Conway area. According to NCES, 196 full-time and 63 part-time faculty members were employed at Francis Marion University at this time. Additionally, the school reports that the average class has 21 students, and over 80% of faculty members teaching full time have terminal or doctoral degrees.

3 - Coastal Carolina University

Coastal Carolina University's student-faculty ratio was 17:1 in 2011. During this year, the school employed 355 full-time and 195 part-time instructors to serve a student population of around 9,000, according to NCES. The school reports that first-year classes have 27 students, on average. Upper-level classes are slightly smaller, with an average class size of 24 students.

Conway Area Schools at a Glance

School Name Location School Type Program Levels Offered Area Ranking
Coastal Carolina University Conway, SC 4-year, public Bachelor's and master's degrees; postbaccalaureate certificates Highest Graduation Rate,
3rd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
3rd Most Program Variety
Florence-Darlington Technical College Florence, SC (about 49 miles from Conway) 2-year, public Less than 1-year and 1- to less than 2-year certificates; associate's degrees Lowest Net Price,
2nd Most Program Variety
Francis Marion University Florence, SC (around 47 miles from Conway)4-year, public Bachelor's and master's degrees; post-master's certificates 2nd Highest Graduation Rate,
2nd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Horry-Georgetown Technical College Conway, SC 2-year, public Less than 1-year and 1- to 2-year certificates; associate's degrees Most Program Variety,
2nd Lowest Net Price,
3rd Highest Graduation Rate
Williamsburg Technical College Kingstree, SC (approximately 46 miles from Conway) 2-year, public Less than 1-year and 1- to 2-year certificates; associate's degrees Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
3rd Lowest Net Price

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