More than 231,000 students currently attend South Carolina higher education institutions, a hefty number that ensures a ready supply of workers for emerging industries.
South Carolina has 23 private four-year colleges, 13 public four-year colleges and 16 public two-year technical colleges. Four colleges and universities in the state were named to Princeton Review's best-value colleges in 2012 – Clemson University, College of Charleston, University of South Carolina and Wofford College.
Ten South Carolina colleges were included on Forbes' list of America's top colleges – The Citadel, Clemson, College of Charleston, Converse College, Erskine College and Seminary, Furman University, North Greenville University, USC and Wofford.
The two highest-profile universities in the Palmetto State are Clemson and USC, with student enrollments of 19,000 and 46,000 respectively. Clemson is a top research university that provides students with a comfortable academic setting on a large campus.
“When I asked a group of students recently if Clemson is a large or small school, one answered, 'I think I go to a small school with lots and lots of other students,'” says Clemson president James F. Barker. “Many students and families are looking for that kind of comfortable experience.”
The Carnegie Foundation recognized the University of South Carolina in Columbia for its research efforts. The university has earned a top-10 ranking from U.S. News & World Report, which called it "most promising and innovative."
Professional schools on the Columbia campus include business, engineering, law, medicine and pharmacy. USC also houses the largest collection of 18th-century poet Robert Burns's compilations outside Scotland.