Trident Technical College (Charleston)
The main campus of Trident Technical College is in North Charleston, but students throughout the region can get access to its degree and certificate programs through a range of satellite learning sites. Robust campus facilities exist in Moncks Corner, Charleston and Mount Pleasant, and study centers with selective missions can be found in St. George, Mount Pleasant and Hollywood.
Thanks in part to its multi-campus structure, TTC has one of the larger student bodies among the top South Carolina community colleges. More than 15,000 students choose TTC for their education each year.
Popular programs at TTC include its associate degree in business management and its certificates offered through the Culinary Institute of Charleston. Online programs are available in fields such as criminal justice, business technology and hospitality and tourism management.
Greenville Technical College (Greenville)
Founded in 1962, Greenville Technical College boasts a student body of nearly 11,000 learners and a student-faculty ratio of 15:1. It offers degrees and certificates in 10 broad areas of interest and has four online certificates as well as an online degree in criminal justice technology.
The main campus of Greenville Technical College is located in downtown Greenville, but three other locations also exist to serve students in nearby areas. Taylors, Simpsonville and West Greenville each have their own satellite campus of GTC to serve the local population.
In addition to its four campus locations, the institution operates an advanced manufacturing training facility called the Center for Manufacturing Innovation (CMI). Through the center, Greenville Technical College is the first two-year school in the state to offer a Bachelor in Applied Science in advanced manufacturing technology.
Midlands Technical College (Columbia)
If you're looking for a college that can give you some help with the cost of your education, Midlands Technical College might be the place for you. More than 90 percent of students at MTC receive some form of financial aid, including the LIFE Scholarship for South Carolina high school graduates that awards up to $5,000 annually.
MTC is also one of the larger institutions among the best South Carolina community colleges, serving nearly 10,000 students in the 2017-18 academic year. More than 120 degree and certificate programs are available here, for academic majors as well as students seeking skills- and career-based training. MTC has more than 450 online courses and four fully online programs, including an Associate in Arts degree and a criminal justice certificate.
Students looking to build towards a transfer have multiple options at MTC. Bridge programs link students with their destination college early on in their coursework, while transfer programs and articulation agreements provide clear direction and transfer support.
Tri-County Technical College (Pendleton)
The student body at this medium-large institution was more than 6,000 in 2018, with 55 percent of students attending full time. Tri-County Technical College offers a standard complement of academic majors and career programs, but it also takes extra steps to help particular groups of students get the education they're looking for.
Transition programs available at TCTC include high school engagement initiatives, integrated basic education and skills training (I-BEST) and an array of resources for non-traditional college students. TCTC also maintains partnerships with local adult learning centers to help students transition smoothly into college coursework after earning their GED.
TCTC is ranked in the top one percent nationally for successful transfers, and its transfer programs include two associate degrees as well as a university studies certificate. The school is also home to a number of unique learning opportunities such as the AARP Foundation Back to Work 50+ program.
Northeastern Technical College (Cheraw)
You'll find affordable tuition and a supportive environment at Northeastern Technical College. Founded in 1969, the school has four convenient campus locations as well as online and evening classes for those who can't attend school during the day.
NETC offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in addition to 200+ continuing education courses. Its academic and career technical education options fall into four categories: arts and sciences, business and computer technology, health and public service and applied technology. Popular programs at NETC include an Associate Degree of Nursing and a computer numerical controls certificate.
Bridge and transfer opportunities are available for students who want to transfer credits to a partnering four-year college or university. The educational programs at NETC also include apprenticeships and dual enrollment and dual credit for high school students.
Spartanburg Community College (Spartanburg)
More than 100 degree and certificate programs are available at Spartanburg Community College, where more than 4,500 students attend classes each year. The institution's central campus is located near New Cut Road in Spartanburg, but four other campuses exist to serve area students: one in Union, one in Gaffney and two in Spartanburg County.
If none of those campuses are a good fit for you, SCC also counts itself among the ranks of online community colleges in South Carolina. A general A.A. degree for university transfer can be earned exclusively through online courses, as well as an accounting specialist certificate.
Students at SCC can earn degrees that are almost immediately relevant on the career market, like an A.A.S. in radiologic technology, or take their first steps on the path to careers in advanced fields like chiropractic.
Technical College of the Lowcountry (Beaufort)
Nearly 2,300 credit-seeking and continuing education students attend Technical College of the Lowcountry on a full- or part-time basis. This institution on the Atlantic Coast has a student-faculty ratio of 15:1 and offers more than 90 total programs of career training and academic study.
All full- or part-time students who are residents of South Carolina may be eligible for Lottery Tuition Assistance (LTA), which can potentially cover more than half of the yearly tuition charged at TCL. The award is not based on need or income, so check with an adviser to see if you qualify.
Three TCL locations exist to serve students in the area around the coastal islands in southeastern South Carolina — the main campus in Beaufort and two satellite campuses in Varnville and Bluffton — and online programs have recently become available as well. There are a dozen fully online programs including an administrative support diploma and a computer technology degree.
Williamsburg Technical College (Kingstree)
Located in the state's Atlantic Coast region, Williamsburg Technical College has been educating area residents since 1969. The school's educational philosophy has been to offer high-quality academics that minimize barriers students may face when seeking advanced training.
Students can choose from three dozen degrees, diplomas and certificates at WTC. These include transfer programs intended for those who plan to continue their education at a four-year school and career technical education options designed to take graduates directly from the classroom to the workplace.
Popular programs at WTC include a nursing assistant certificate, practical nursing diploma and an associate degree in early care and education. Some hybrid courses are available, and these combine online learning with some on-campus requirements.
Florence-Darlington Technical College (Florence)
More than 6,000 students attend Florence-Darlington Technical College, with the vast majority coming from the institution's two namesake counties. Administrators here place their educational emphasis on nurturing regional entrepreneurs and providing workforce development training.
Three types of programs are available at FDTC: certificates, which typically take between 8 and 40 credit hours to earn; diplomas, which usually require between 41 and 52 credit hours; and associate degrees, which top out at 84 credit hours and generally take two years to complete. Diplomas and certificates tend to be career-oriented, while associate degrees may focus on either career training or academic work.
Close to a dozen FDTC degree and certificate programs are offered via online instruction. Subjects for online associate degrees include business, criminal justice and a general Associate in Arts (A.A.) plan, while online certificates focus on business and tech.
University of South Carolina-Sumter (Sumter)
About 1,000 students per year pursue higher education at the University of South Carolina-Sumter. The school has been part of the University of South Carolina system since 1973 and offers two-year associate degrees as well as some bachelor's degrees.
Four-year degrees are offered in partnership with schools such as USC Columbia, USC Aiken and Palmetto College. They allow students to both start and finish their education at USC Sumter. Two-year degrees result in an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science, and between the two, more than a dozen majors are available.
USC Sumter also offers dual enrollment and early college programs that allow high school students to earn college credit early. As a military friendly institution, the college offers classes on Shaw Air Force Base as well.