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1600 Harden Street
Columbia, SC 29204-1086
p. 803-256-4220
w. www.benedict.edu

Benedict College

Benedict College Rating: 3.2/5 (11 votes)

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Founded in 1870, Benedict College is a historically black institution with a long history. It was originally began as a teachers’ college. The American Baptist Home Mission Society founded the school with $13,000 donated from a Rhode Island woman. It was created so recently-emancipated African Americans could attend college. Rhode Island native Mrs. Bathsheba Benedict and the Baptist Home Mission’s goal was to educate African Americans and produce citizen “powers for good in society”

The school’s first “campus” was a former slave master’s mansion, and students learned grammar, Bible and theology. Later, the school’s mission evolved into training teachers and preachers, and courses were added to accomplish that task. In 1930 the Reverend John J. Starks, an alum, became the school’s first African American president. Every president since Starks has been African American.


The school describes itself as a private, co-educational liberal arts institution, and enrolls about 3,100 students yearly. Academics are divided into six schools: The School of Business and Economics, The School of Education, The School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, The School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, The School of Continuing Education and The School of Honors.

Students may pick from roughly 25 majors with courses in about 50 different programs, along with the continuing education program which offers students three undergraduate degree options. It is accredited by a number of organizations, including the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s degrees. Individual department accreditation includes: The School of Business and Economics for its business programs by The Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, the Office of Teacher Education by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the social work program by the Council on Social Work Education, and The Recreation and Leisure Services Program by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA). It is only the second historically black college in the nation to receive national accreditation for its Environmental Health Program (EHAC). It’s Child Development Center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Most Popular Fields of Study


Admissions are non-competitive. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or a GED certificate, have at least a 2.0 GPA and have scored 750 on the SAT or 15 on the ACT. Or, an applicant may be ranked in the top 75 percent of its graduating class.

There are also a number of non-degree application requirements. People looking to take classes to improve their skills, transfer credits to another institution or for personal reasons can apply for school. They must prove they have the preparation and ability to do college-level coursework. High school students wishing to take classes must receive permission from the admissions office.

There is also a transfer program with a local community college. The Benedict College – Midlands Technical College Bridge Program is designed to ease the transfer process of students from Midlands Technical College. It provides program support and services during the transfer process.

Financial Aid

There are more than seven different types of school-based scholarships, along with more than 10 other scholarship and fellowship programs besides the traditional financial aid awards. The Trustee Club level scholarship awards $17,000 annually, or $68,000 over eight semesters to students with GPAs between 3.8-4.0. The Trustee scholarship grants students $13,000 annually, or $52,000 over eight semesters, if they have a GPA between 3.5 and 3.79. There are also three different scholarship levels for South Carolina residents — the Palmetto Fellowship, the S.C. Life and the S.C. Hope scholarships.

The school also awards a number of other scholarships. Those include scholarships in athletics, concert choir, gospel choir, Army ROTC, wind ensemble, dance and marching band. The opportunities to obtain scholarships also extend through programs like the Mercedes Benz scholarship program and the Kellogg African American Public Health Fellowship.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 2447th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in South Carolina.


Benedict is a Division II school. It competes in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The school competes in the following sports: football, men and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, track and field, cross country, golf, handball, soccer, tennis,volleyball, cheerleading, and marching band. On-campus football games are held in the Charlie W. Johnson Stadium. The school’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, and men’s cross-country team, have won championships.

Local Community

Columbia is South Carolina’s largest city and the state capital. It’s population in the 2010 census was 129,272. It routinely receives high rankings in numerous studies of metro areas in the United States. The city has received “best of” rankings status by Forbes, BusinessWeek, Bizjournals, Policom, among others.

Additional School Information

Diversity magazine named Benedict one of the top 100 black colleges in the country. Its enrollment growth since the mid-1990s has made it the second largest private undergraduate school in South Carolina.

The honors debate team has won a championship, and the gospel choir is nationally-ranked. The debate team’s honors include first place at the National Association of African-Americans Honors Program Conference in 2005, 2007 and 2009. For Physics students, it is one of the top ten colleges in the country, according to the Education and Employment Statistic Division of the American Institute of Physics. The school’s Service Learning Program is a national model program and serves over 114 non-profit organizations around in South Carolina. It recently won the 6th Annual Commission on Higher Education’s Service Learning Competition.

For minority entrepreneurs, The Business Development Center provies educational opportunities and a revolving loan program geared to starting new businesses. The school offers an international study program for students, many of whom have studied in Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, Italy, Ghana, China, South Africa, Spain, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Monaco and Italy, among other countries.

Information Summary

Ranks 40th in South Carolina and 2336th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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Administration building :: Benedict College Pratt Hall :: Benedict College Library :: Benedict College Duckett Hall :: Benedict College

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 13 0.40
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 6 0.19
Robbery 10 0.31
Arson 2 0.06
Burglary 175 5.45
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 3 0.09
Arrest 58 1.81

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Columbia, SC 29204-1086
Surrounding communityMidsize city (inside urban area, pop. between 100,000 to 250,000)
Total Population22,120 (22,120 urban / N/A rural)
Households8,844 (2.22 people per house)
Median Household Income$30,933
Families4,933 (2.96 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Baccalaureate Colleges — Diverse Fields
UndergraduateBalanced arts & sciences/professions, no graduate coexistence
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, inclusive
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate four-year
Size & SettingSmall four-year, highly residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringBachelor's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationBaptist
Congressional District4506

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1293rd for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $16,354 $16,354 $16,354
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $1,900 $1,900 $1,900
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $548 $548 $548
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $30,458 $30,458 $30,458
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $36,696 $36,696 $36,696
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $28,096 $28,096 $28,096

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $17,190 $18,254 $17,190 $18,254 $17,190 $18,254
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $2,000(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board $7,678 $8,104
On-Campus – Other Expenses $2,064 $2,100
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $11,600(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $5,842(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $5,842(N/C)

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conf
NCAA Basketball Conference Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conf
NCAA Baseball Conference Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conf
NCAA Track & Field Conference Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conf

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity2,650
Meals per Week20
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 369 1 1 2 4 377
Accounting 13 1 14
Art Teacher Education
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 41 41
Business Administration and Management, General 47 1 48
Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other
Chemistry, General 1 1
Chemistry, Other
Computer Engineering, General 7 7
Computer Science 7 7
Computer and Information Sciences, General 3 3
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration 37 37
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 7 7
Economics, General 8 8
Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 6 6
Elementary Education and Teaching 2 2
Engineering Physics/Applied Physics
English Language and Literature, General 7 7
Environmental Health 6 6
Fine/Studio Arts, General 9 9
General Studies 14 14
History, General 2 2
Human Development and Family Studies, General 36 36
Information Science/Studies
Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching 2 2
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 4 4
Mass Communication/Media Studies 29 1 30
Mathematics, General 2 2
Music, General 7 7
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies 8 8
Philosophy and Religious Studies, Other
Physical Sciences, Other
Physics, General 6 1 1 8
Physics, Other
Political Science and Government, General 5 5
Psychology, General 21 21
Public Health, Other 7 2 9
Social Work 21 1 22
Sociology 2 2
Sports Communication
Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy 2 2
Transportation/Mobility Management
Voice and Opera

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 3179th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $52,582 ($54,713 male / $46,051 female)
Number of FT Faculty 138 (70 male / 68 female)
Number of PT Faculty 186
FT Faculty Ratio 0.7 : 1
Total Benefits $806,992

Elisabeth Bailey+

Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

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