Columbia, South Carolina (SC) Colleges and Universities

There are about 23 colleges and universities within a 25-mile radius of Columbia, SC. Read about the schools with the lowest net prices, highest graduation rates, and other desirable characteristics to find the school for you.

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From 4-year universities and vocational institutes to cosmetology training centers and 2-year schools, Columbia, South Carolina, students should be able to find an academic fit if they want to remain local. The categories below include comparisons among traditional institutions in the area, based on information from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Closest Schools to Columbia, South Carolina

The closest schools to Columbia are primarily private 4-year institutions. Several of these 4-year schools offer graduate-level programs as well as undergraduate degrees.

  • University of South Carolina - Columbia (1.9 miles from downtown)
  • Allen University (2.7 miles from downtown)
  • Benedict College (2.7 miles from downtown)
  • Columbia College (4.7 miles from downtown)
  • Columbia International University (4.7 miles from downtown)

Largest Schools Near Columbia, South Carolina

Some students may prefer to attend a large institution. The larger schools around Columbia are mostly private schools, besides a couple of larger public schools.

  • University of South Carolina - Columbia (32,971 students)
  • Midlands Technical College (11,424 students)
  • Benedict College (2,444 students)
  • South University - Columbia (1,464 students)
  • Columbia College (1,221 students)

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Lowest Net Price

The NCES calculates a school's net price by subtracting the average financial aid awarded to in-state, full-time undergraduate students from the total cost of attending that school. Net prices for the traditional schools in the Columbia area ranged from around $5,700 to upwards of $23,000. The following net prices from the NCES were for the 2014-2015 academic year.

  • Midlands Technical College ($5,715)
  • Allen University ($15,695)
  • Benedict College ($16,700)
  • Columbia College ($17,891)
  • Columbia International University ($17,942)

Highest Graduation Rate

The NCES calculates a school's overall graduation rate by finding out the percentage of full-time undergrad students who finish their program within 150% of the 'normal time' (e.g. six years for bachelor's degrees or three years for associate's degrees). Graduation rates among traditional schools in Columbia vary greatly, with figures ranging from as low as 9% all the way up to 72% for 2015.

  • University of South Carolina - Columbia (72% graduation rate)
  • Columbia International University (62% graduation rate)
  • Columbia College (50% graduation rate)
  • ITT Technical Institute - Columbia (36% graduation rate)
  • Benedict College (27% graduation rate)

Whether students are looking for a large school located downtown or one that offers affordable tuition and high-quality programs, Columbia, South Carolina, and the surrounding area provide students with multiple school options.

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