A Beaufort County institution has been named the best community college in South Carolina by BestColleges.com.
Technical College of the Lowcountry, with a main campus in Beaufort in addition to campuses in Bluffton and Varnville, serves about 5,000 students and offers more than 80 different associate degrees.
“With a focus on being community directed and providing services to local students, Technical College of the Lowcountry takes the top spot in the search for best two-year colleges in South Carolina,” the college’s profile on the website says.
It explains that college caters to students looking to start their careers quickly as well as those who are planning to later transfer to another school to earn a four-year degree.
More than 93 percent of graduates are currently working in their chosen field of study or completing higher education, the college search website says.
“TCL’s approach seems to be working well,” it says.
TCL has a 33 percent graduation rate, according to the website.
BestColleges.com ranked colleges based on academic quality (60 percent) and affordability (40 percent). Under those areas, the website considered student retention and graduation rates, along with in-state tuition and other factors.
Other community colleges in the Top 5:
▪ Midlands Technical College in West Columbia
▪ Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton
▪ Horry-Georgetown Technical College in Conway
▪ York Technical College in Rock Hill.
BestColleges.com also released its rankings for four-year colleges and universities. The top-ranked four-year colleges in South Carolina were:
▪ Columbia International University in Columbia
▪ Clemson University in Clemson
▪ North Greenville University in Tigerville
▪ University of South Carolina-Aiken in Aiken
▪ Citadel Military College in Charleston
University of South Carolina-Beaufort, which serves more than 1,750 students on two campuses in Beaufort and Bluffton, came in at No. 20. It offers bachelor’s degrees in 18 majors, according to BestColleges.com.
On the website’s list of most affordable online colleges, USC Beaufort came in at 7th place.