16 Best Boarding Schools in South Carolina | Cost, Types

South Carolina students have a variety of educational choices. The Office of School Transformation’s School Choice Team in Carolina aims to inform all stakeholders about the options available by offering support and resources. Students have a greater chance of succeeding if they can choose the option that best suits their educational needs.

One of the best boarding schools in the USA is located in Columbia, the city capital of South Carolina. Each year, Columbia’s boarding schools attract many applicants who want to study there. Those who choose to attend those institutions must be willing to put in significant effort and commitment to their education.

There are many other outstanding boarding schools in South Carolina 2024 which are listed below in this article.

Are There Boarding Schools in South Carolina?

Students attending boarding schools in South Carolina have access to high academics as well as exciting extracurricular opportunities.

Some of these boarding schools are:

  • Camden Military Academy 
  • Hilton Head Preparatory School
  • Ben Lippen School 
  • Ashley Hall
  • Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics 
  • Whetstone Academy 
  • Tara Hall 
  • Cherokee Creek Boys School 
  • Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities
  • Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School 

Read Also: 15 Best Boarding Schools in Philadelphia | Cost

How Much Do Boarding Schools Cost In South Carolina?

In South Carolina, private boarding schools typically cost between $20,000 and $45,000. Several things affect the total investment amount: tuition and board, which includes meals and lodging in a dorm.

Public schools in South Carolina are free, but there may be expense costs for meals and accommodation depending on the school. 

Read Also: 10 Best Boarding Schools in Alaska | Cost, Types

Are There Affordable Boarding Schools in South Carolina? 

Based on need and/or student accomplishment, several boarding schools offer financial aid, with a rating of 24%, to families to assist with the cost of boarding school education. 

The most affordable boarding schools in South Carolina are:

  • Camden Military Academy ($25,295)
  • Ashley Hall ($28,755)

If you are considering financial aid options to pay for your child’s boarding education, it is advisable that you first get in touch with the school and apply.

Read Also: 10 Best Boarding Schools in Alaska | Cost, Types

What Is The Requirement For Getting Into A Boarding School in South Carolina 2024? 

Set aside a day to tour the school of your choice to get the necessary information and admissions process requirements. This is because each school’s criteria selections are unique.

Your child may be screened by some schools based on their academic performance and standardized exams, while others may still schedule an interview after receiving the necessary paperwork.

Below are the required documents by most boarding schools in South Carolina:

  • English Proficiency Testing for non-English speakers and international applicants 
  • Teachers’ Recommendation Letter- at least two from the previous school
  • School Records’ Grades/Transcript 
  • Tuition deposit 

What Are The Best Boarding Schools In South Carolina 2024?

Attending a boarding school is a choice that is not made lightly. 

Although local schooling choices may provide resources, events, and academics of the same calibre as those provided by boarding schools, boarding schools in South Carolina 2024 have their own advantages and experiences.

Take a peek at the best boarding schools in South Carolina:

#1. Hilton Head Preparatory School 

Yearly Tuition- $52,000

A co-educational day/boarding school, Hilton Head Preparatory School has 400 students enrolled in junior kindergarten through twelfth grade. 

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The goal of the premier independent school in the Lowcountry, Hilton Head Prep, is to equip students for admission to the most prestigious schools in a secure atmosphere. The school combines a rigorous curriculum with exceptional faculty in a welcoming environment.

An application fee of $85 is required for the admission processing, and an interview is scheduled afterwards 

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#2. Ashley Hall 

Yearly Tuition- $28,755

In Charleston, South Carolina, Ashley Hall is a coeducational private school for girls that accepts students in kindergarten through grade 12.

The goal of Ashley Hall’s educational program is to create an educated woman who is autonomous, morally upright, and ready to tackle the problems of society with boldness.

Every student, teacher, parent, alumni, and staff member at Ashley Hall brings something special and significant to the school’s pursuit of academic success and integrity. The diversity in the community helps to create a campus debate that is more deliberate, acknowledges, and includes a variety of viewpoints.

Furthermore, Ashley contends that achieving both academic and educational greatness depends on diversity that is inclusive and integrated into the fabric of the school. 

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#3. Camden Military Academy 

Yearly Tuition- $25, 295

Camden Military Academy, a prestigious private boarding school for guys only, is located in Camden, South Carolina.

Camden Military gives young men in grades 7 through 12 self-confidence, leadership skills, and future preparation. The aim of the institution is to “grow the full man” so that he is ready to tackle the challenges and seize the possibilities that will be presented to him once he graduates from Camden Military Academy.

The school has an amazing acceptance rate of 80%, so if you have been considering a boarding school for your son, you should check out this school’s website. 

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#4. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities (GSAH)

This nine-month public boarding high school on an exclusive campus offers majors in music, dance, drama, visual arts, and creative writing.

The philosophy of Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities is to encourage an apprenticeship-style of art training. Here, students from all around the state who exhibit artistic talent work together with a master faculty that includes both educators and working artists.

Students with artistic talent must apply and perform in an audition for this esteemed program. All other subjects are two-year programs for junior and senior-level students, whereas dancers may enrol from their sophomore through their senior year.

The extensive pre-professional arts curriculum provides thorough instruction in a demanding but encouraging setting.

Since it is a public school, there is no tuition. However, there are administrative and meal plan expenses. 

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#5. Ben Lippen School 

Yearly Tuition- $40,000

Ben Lippen School is a college that instructs ethics and values which students practice at home.

Situated on three different campus locations in South Carolina, the former all-boys, now co-ed school, seeks to become the top Christian school in the Southeast United States. Its rigorous academic curriculum that prepares students for college, vibrant fine arts program and competitive athletics distinguish it.

With greater concern for the spiritual growth of students, Ben Lippen’s aim is to glorify God by teaching students from a biblical perspective so that they can impact the nations with the gospel and by helping the family and church to provide for the spiritual, academic, social, and physical development of students under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

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#6. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics 

The co-educational, brand-new, cutting-edge high school, Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, is for students who are academically interested in studying science, technology, engineering, and math. Currently, the school has enrolled 221 pupils in grades 11 and 12.

For juniors and seniors who desire to spend their high school years away from home, this school is ideal for all the reasons as a boarding school. 

The school offers a well-rounded education, with a strong emphasis on science and mathematics. There are smaller classrooms and all-hands-on learning, all at zero cost for tuition. 

They supervise the students through research while organised field trips are prolonged. For students to choose from, there are more than 45 STEM preparation courses that are uniquely tailored to research opportunities.

READ ALSO:  15 Best Boarding Schools in Korea | Cost, Requirements & How to Apply

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#7. Tara Hall School

Tara Hall is an all-boys therapeutic boarding school in South Carolina demanding no cost in exchange for the nurture and healing of young, distressed and troubled boys.

Tara Hall accepts every boy exactly as he is—a child with a special past and unique needs. They encourage him to develop excellent habits and teach him how to make wise judgments. 

In order to work with each family and support them in helping their child go forward, Tara Hall gets to know them and meets them precisely where they are.

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#8. Whetstone Academy 

Whetstone Academy is a therapeutic boarding school that was established in 2011. Its 57-acre campus, which is located close to the Chattooga River in South Carolina’s lowlands of the Blue Ridge Mountains, features a recreational lake and an active farm with numerous animals and birds.

At the time of admission, the school administration is always eager and pleased to assist children in grades five through nine. 

The goal of a therapeutic boarding school is to offer a dynamic and safe environment where students can acquire the skills and tactics they need to succeed in life by concentrating on the behaviour, academics, and emotional and social interests of the child.

Whetstone’s academic program is progressive, accredited, and college-preparatory. It is created to evaluate each child’s age, aspirations, and learning preferences while creating individualized schedules that encourage each child to reestablish the joy of learning.

Do you know anyone who requires such assistance? Please suggest that they go to the school’s website for further inquiry.

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#9. Cherokee Creek Boys School 

Cherokee Creek Boys School is a South Carolina therapeutic boarding school for boys. 

Since 2005, Cherokee Creek has held full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and the state of South Carolina has granted the institution a license.

In order to address the unique physical, academic, emotional, and social skill needs of each student, the school offers a space where struggling middle-school boys can receive support from competent counsellors and certified therapists. 

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD), Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, depression, anxiety, oppositional conduct, underdeveloped social skills, or learning difficulties are common challenges for students who enrol at Cherokee Creek Boys School.

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#10. Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School 

Wil Lou Gray is a tuition-free school but requires students to keep a budgeted amount of $275 for things like medical expenses, field trips, lost property, GED testing fees, and other expenses.

The Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School has been providing alternative education to South Carolina families since 1921, making it the oldest institution of its kind in the state. 

It is also important to note that the school has established an educational environment focused on each student’s needs that is frequently absent from the public school system as you evaluate admittance. For thousands of accomplished young people from all areas of life from across the state, the school’s 14-week curriculum has yielded noteworthy benefits.

In Wil Lou Gray, every student is intentionally prepared towards a General Education Development (GED) diploma through the school’s curriculum. Students can learn at their own pace in the classroom, even in subject areas where they might be having trouble.

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Best Boarding Schools Close to South Carolina 

North Carolina borders South Carolina on the North. Thus, many South Carolina parents often opt to enrol their children in top boarding schools in North Carolina, due to its close proximity.

Here are the top best boarding schools in North Carolina:

#11. Asheville School

Yearly Tuition- $69,500

Asheville ranks top on the list of boarding schools close to North Carolina. 

Students come to this school from sixteen states and eighteen different countries, bringing with them a diverse range of experiences, passions, and skills. Students will build a solid character and acquire crucial life skills at Asheville School that will be used for life even if they are away from home and forced to rely on personal judgment.

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#12. Oak Ridge Military Academy 

Yearly Tuition- $34,600

Located in Oak Ridge, North Carolina, less than 300 miles from South Carolina, Oak Ridge Military Academy is a renowned private, coeducational Christian school. With a student-teacher ratio of six to one, it has 90 pupils in grades seven through twelve.

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The Oak Ridge experience starts with loving adult mentors who are seasoned leaders who work with each kid in and out of the classroom. The committed faculty at Oak Ridge excels in motivating cadets to want to learn and providing them with the resources they need to improve their interpersonal and study abilities. As they get ready to lead others, cadets are taught to think critically and emotionally.

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#13. Salem Academy 

Yearly Tuition- $50,500

Salem Academy is an all-girls boarding school famous for an average graduation rate of 100%, and excellence in SAT and ACT tests.

Girls who attend Salem Academy are better equipped and more self-assured to succeed. Salem also provides excellent academics, all-around leadership development, and thorough college preparation. Girls at Salem Academy find their voice and investigate where it can take them.

More targeted attention, individualized learning achievements, and leadership chances result from smaller class sizes. Students have the exceptional chance to enrol in college-level courses and have access to cutting-edge facilities.

For the purpose of preparing them for college and the workplace, they hold Salem students to high standards in both speaking and writing.

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#14. Christ School

Yearly Tuition- $58,935

Located in Asheville, Christ School is a boarding and day school for boys.

Christ School is not like other schools where there are fluorescent lights, crowded hallways, and bells that ring to signal when it is okay to move about. Students find their “voice” in this school and learn more about who they are. Upon graduation, what’s left is the finest possible version of oneself.

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#15. Saint Mary’s School

Yearly Tuition- $60,700

The historic, 23-acre residential campus, which was established in 1842, is situated in the centre of Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, 219 miles from South Carolina. It provides quick access to the city’s attractions as well as a secure haven amidst the bustle. 

Saint Mary’s engages girls in a dynamic learning environment that offers both hands-on classroom learning and opportunity for real-world experiences, with the goal of preparing girls for college and life.

Since it is a boarding and day college, students study and live with girls from all around the area, the state, the nation, and the world as they discover new concepts, hone their comprehension, and develop into young women of intellect, integrity, and purpose.

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#15. The Academy at SOAR

Yearly Tuition- $54,000

The SOAR Academy is intended for kids with ADHD/LD who have encountered difficulties in a typical classroom setting as a result of a learning disability.

Through education in the following areas, the student-centred model equips students with the knowledge and experiences necessary for success: academics, adventures, self-advocacy, life skills, project-based learning, field studies, community, and empowerment.

Students leave the Academy with increased self-awareness, a passion for knowledge, and a previously unrealized sense of independence.

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Are There All-Girls Boarding Schools in South Carolina? 

Ashley Hall College is the only all-girls boarding school in South Carolina.

Read Also: 15 Best Boarding Schools in Montana | Cost, Types

Are There All-Boys Boarding Schools in South Carolina? 

Here are South Carolina boarding schools solely for boys:

  • Whetstone Academy
  • Cherokee Creek Boys School
  • Camden Military Academy
  • Tara Hall School

Read Also: 11 Best Boarding Schools in Mississippi | Cost, Types

Are There Therapeutic Boarding Schools in South Carolina? 

There are therapeutic boarding schools for troubled teens in South Carolina. However, this type of boarding school only admits male children in the state.

They are:

  • Cherokee Creek Boys School 
  • Whetstone Academy 
  • Tara Hall 

Read Also: 15 Best Boarding Schools in Boston | Cost, Types

Are There Military Boarding Schools in South Carolina? 

Camden Military Academy is currently the only military boarding school in South Carolina. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the factors that influence the tuition cost of boarding schools? 

School amenities 
Grade level 
Programme offered
Type of boarding school

Do students have guardians in boarding schools? 

No, they don’t. 
However, teachers in boarding schools dedicate themselves not only to the academic development of every child but also, to their general physical, mental and social welfare.

In South Carolina, is there a choice of school?

Private schools, online academies, homeschooling, learning pods, regular public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, and private schools are all options available to South Carolina families.

Do boarding schools offer tuition assistance? 

Some boarding schools offer financial aid to students. 
There are different criteria for tuition assistance depending on the school. Some offer based on needs, while others may offer based on citizenship or place of residence. 


In essence, boarding schools give kids a safe setting where they can have more autonomy and control over their lives and activities. This is so that the child may focus more on all aspects of school, acquire a sense of independence, and make new friends before leaving home.


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