Lander University was initially established in 1872 as Williamston Female College by a Methodist clergyman named Samuel Lander. By 1904, it was renamed Lander College to honor its late founder. It wasn’t until 1943 that the women’s college admitted male students. After 1951, Lander was obtained by Greenwood County and became America’s first county-controlled liberal arts college. Today, Lander University is a four-year, publicly funded baccalaureate institution with co-educational enrollment around 2,700. On 190 urban acres, Lander stands in Greenwood, South Carolina, just 58 miles north of Augusta, Georgia.

Lander University primarily serves a seven county area with a retention rate of 68 percent. The U.S. News and World Report ranked Lander as the 44th best regional university, fourth top public school, and 30th best college for military veterans in the South. The Princeton Review has included Lander among its “Best Southeastern” schools. According to Washington Monthly, Lander University is the 227th best baccalaureate institution for social mobility, research, and service. GI Jobs magazine honored Lander with its “Military Friendly” designation along with Greenville Technical College. Lander University is also crowned South Carolina’s seventh best value with an average net price of $13,998.

Lander University Accreditation Details

Continuously since 1952, Lander University has been regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) at Level III. This accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education through 2017. Certain programs have earned discipline-specific accreditations from the:

• National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
• Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
• National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
• Montessori Accrediting Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)
• Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
• Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)
• National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

Lander University Application Requirements

Getting into Lander University isn’t simple because the average acceptance rate is 57 percent. First-year applicants must have never enrolled in college after earning a licensed high school diploma or GED equivalent. Curriculum prerequisites are four units of English, four units of math, three units of lab science, two units of social science, two units of foreign language, and one unit of fine arts. On average, freshmen have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.66. Most admitted students rank in the top 30th percentile of their graduating classes. First-years also achieve a mean SAT score of 981 (without writing) and ACT score of 21.

Around 300 undergraduates transfer to Lander every year. Incoming transfers must hold at least 24 semester hours of college-level work or meet the above freshman criteria. Being eligible to return to their last regionally accredited college is required. Transfer students must also carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. There’s a Bridge Program for seamless transition from 16 technical colleges across South Carolina. For master’s degrees, applicants must possess a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Graduate students must achieve a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75. Extensive work experience can provide up to nine transfer credits. International learners must score at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL.

During the rolling admissions process, students can apply to Lander University by creating an online account and submitting the following:

• Finished online application form
• $35 non-refundable application fee
• Official academic transcripts
• Standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, or GRE)
• At least one letter of recommendation
• Verification of English proficiency
• Resume or CV of experience
• Two-page writing sample

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduates from South Carolina will pay $5,376 per semester. Non-resident undergrad learners enrolling full-time are charged $10,185 each term. Part-time undergraduates carrying less than 12 hours pay $448 (in-state) or $849 (out-of-state) per credit. Room and board is estimated to cost $3,989 per semester. Textbooks generally add $500 to $750 each term. For master’s programs, South Carolina residents are billed $5,889 each semester. Non-resident graduate students must afford $11,239 per term. Part-time graduates will pay $491 (in-state) or $937 (out-of-state) per hour.

Approximately 80 percent of full-time Lander students earn assistance. The average financial aid package is worth $7,915. Institutional awards, such as the Freshmen Merit, Transfer, Eaton Business, Alumni Association, and Clark Nursing scholarships, are numerous. Some students qualify for federal financial aid with the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state residents may earn the South Carolina Need-Based Grant (SCNBG) or SC National Guard College Assistance Program. Veterans earn tuition benefits via the Yellow Ribbon Program. Federal Work-Study (FWS) and the Lander Work program are available for 20 hours per week. Bearcat athletes receive NCAA Division II scholarships. If needed, students can borrow funding with the Federal Perkins, Stafford, or PLUS loans.

Degrees Available

Lander University develops upon its liberal arts core with more than 60 undergraduate majors and 35 minors across four colleges. Pre-professional tracks are offered in nine fields, including dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and occupational therapy. The Graduate Studies Division also offers four master’s programs. Lander has an average class size of 23 for close interaction with 123 full-time faculty who primarily hold terminal degrees. Available degrees include:

B.S. in Visual Arts

Fully accredited by NASAD, the B.S. in Visual Arts program at Lander University gives students the opportunity to explore their creative talents in diverse media. The 120-credit curriculum can be specialized with a Graphic Design Emphasis or K-12 Art Teacher Certification. Students benefit from hands-on creation in the Lander Art Studio and can exhibit their work in the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center.

B.S. in Nursing

Boasting a 95 percent NCLEX-RN pass rate, the B.S. in Nursing program develops students’ clinical reasoning skills to provide holistic nursing care to patients across the lifespan. The pre-licensure program includes 126 credits in courses like community health, physiology, human development, physical assessment, nursing leadership, and biochemistry. B.S. students complete clinical learning experiences in hospitals from Greenville to Columbia.

Related Resource: 75 Specialized Scholarships for Nursing Students

M.S. in Emergency Management

Consisting of 31 credits, the M.S. in Emergency Management program allows Lander students to master disaster preparedness strategies for protecting communities from hurricanes, terrorist attacks, floods, oil spills, and more. All required courses are delivered online in a part-time format for graduation in six terms. Practical research projects help students create a portfolio for employment in government, non-profit, and business sectors.

Other unique degrees at Lander University are the B.S. in Chemistry Education, B.S. in Mass Communications, B.S. in Environmental Sciences, and M.Ed. in Montessori Education.