The Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for 2022

MoneyGeek’s research identified that GEICO offers the best full coverage car insurance in South Carolina. GEICO ranks first for affordability and financial stability, ties in first place for claims and ranks second for customer satisfaction. However, if you have a poor driving record, State Farm may be the best option for you while Allstate is best for drivers with new cars.

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Last Updated: 11/2/2022
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The Best Car Insurance in South Carolina

If you simply want to find the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina, MoneyGeek also ranked companies based on pricing for a state minimum policy.

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Methodology

Why Trust MoneyGeek? Our scoring system for car insurance in South Carolina incorporates hundreds of quotes analyzed by our data scientists, as well as customer service and financial strength ratings from industry-leading market research firms. Click to learn more about how our scores are calculated out of 100.

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Quotes Analyzed

 
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Companies Compared

 
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ZIP Codes

Best Full Coverage Car Insurance Companies in South Carolina: Overall

Our analysis of the best car insurance companies in South Carolina indicates that GEICO is the top insurer overall.

While cost is always important when finding the cheapest rates available to you, MoneyGeek ensures that these policies come from companies with great customer service and financial stability to pay claims.

The top companies that meet these requirements in South Carolina are:

  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 88 out of 100 ($853 per year)
  • State Farm: MoneyGeek score of 74 out of 100 ($1,055 per year)

MoneyGeek used several factors including average rates, claims ratings and customer satisfaction to rank the best car insurance companies in South Carolina. If you are on a budget, MoneyGeek also analyzed the cheapest full coverage car insurance in South Carolina.

THE TOP CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES IN SOUTH CAROLINA

1
GEICOBest Overall
Score:88

5/5

Affordability

4/5

Claims

4/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

GEICO is the best cheap insurance company in South Carolina. This company ranks first for affordability, stability and claims, and ranks second for customer satisfaction. GEICO’s Mechanical Breakdown Insurance is a valuable add-on.

Average Annual Cost: $853

More About GEICO

GEICO’s Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) pays for all mechanical repairs to cars less than 15 months old that have been driven for less than 15,000 miles. This provides increased coverage at a lower rate than a standard dealer’s extended warranty. GEICO also offers accident forgiveness, which ensures your rates will not increase due to your first at-fault accident following a five-year claim-free period. GEICO’s coverage also includes roadside assistance and rental reimbursement coverage. If your car breaks down, the roadside assistance coverage will cover the cost of towing, flat tires, lockout services and similar costs. Rental reimbursement will cover the costs of renting a car or accommodation while your car is in the shop for repairs. However, if you have a new car, keep in mind that GEICO does not offer new car replacement or better car replacement coverage. MoneyGeek also provided a comprehensive review of auto insurance policies with GEICO so that you can learn more about the insurer.

2
State Farm
Score:78

3.1/5

Affordability

4/5

Claims

4.5/5

User Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

State Farm is MoneyGeek’s runner-up pick for the best car insurance in South Carolina, ranking first for customer satisfaction and second for affordability. State Farm is also tied for first in claims rating and offers policyholders unique add-ons such as rideshare insurance.

Average Annual Cost: $1,055

More About State Farm

If you are a rideshare driver, State Farm offers optional rideshare insurance. This coverage provides medical coverage, roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement for rideshare drivers. These coverages apply when the rideshare app is on and you’re waiting to connect with a passenger. State Farm also offers standard add-ons like rental car insurance and travel reimbursement. This coverage will help you cover any expenses you incur while your car is being repaired including rental car expenses. Drivers can also get roadside assistance to cover the cost of services such as towing, jump starts or flat tire changes. This coverage comes in handy when your car breaks down and you need roadside assistance. However, for drivers looking for unique coverages like accident forgiveness, gap insurance or new car replacement, State Farm may not be the best option since it does not offer these coverages.

3
Nationwide
Score:66

1.6/5

Affordability

4/5

Claims

4/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Nationwide insurance can be purchased for an average of $1,217 per year, which ranks fifth for affordability in South Carolina. It tied for third in stability, ranks second for satisfaction, and is tied for first in claims rating. This insurer offers identity theft coverage.

More About Nationwide

Identity theft coverage protects the policyholder and their family against identity theft and fraud. The amount of reimbursable coverage can reach up to $25,000 worth of expenses. Nationwide’s total loss deductible waiver pays your deductible if your car is totaled in an accident. MoneyGeek also reviewed Nationwide’s auto insurance policies in detail to help you decide if the insurer is right for you.

4
Allstate
Score:66

2.5/5

Affordability

3.5/5

Claims

3.5/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

At an average of $1,120 per year, you can purchase a car insurance policy from Allstate, the third-best company in the state for affordability. Allstate also ranked third for stability, fourth for satisfaction and fifth for claims. Allstate offers custom parts coverage.

More About Allstate

Custom parts coverage pays for custom equipment damages due to a comprehensive type loss. This insurance covers aftermarket equipment like special carpeting, graphics, decals, bars, height-extending roofs and more. Allstate’s portable electronics and media coverage pays for the loss of compact discs and other similar items used with your car’s stereo.

5
Travelers
Score:65

1.6/5

Affordability

4/5

Claims

3.5/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Travelers offers car insurance policies at an average annual premium of $1,207, ranking fourth for affordability in South Carolina. The company ranks first for stability and claims, but ties for fourth in satisfaction. Travelers offers various add on coverages, including gap insurance.

More About Travelers

With Travelers’ gap insurance, the insurer will pay you the difference between the actual cash value of your car and the remaining balance on your loan or lease if your vehicle is totaled. The insurer also provides accident forgiveness, which forgives one at-fault accident within a specific time period.

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HOW WE DETERMINED THE BEST INSURANCE IN SOUTH CAROLINA

In order to determine the best full coverage car insurance in South Carolina, we looked at several factors from how the cost of the policy compares with others in the state to how the company deals with its customers. To do this, we gathered information from each car insurance company for their quotes and also consult with J.D. Power and the NAIC for data about customer service.

MoneyGeek's South Carolina Car Insurance Resources:

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, Auto-Owners Insurance Co offers the best insurance in South Carolina.

Without examining cost, the top companies for good customer service in South Carolina are:

  • Auto-Owners Insurance Co: MoneyGeek score of 87 out of 100
  • State Farm: MoneyGeek score of 87 out of 100

Great customer service should be one of your top priorities if you want to take full advantage of your policy. A team that could better inform you about your policy and pay claims without hassle or delay should be worth any additional costs you might pay.

THE TOP TWO CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES IN SOUTH CAROLINA FOR SERVICE QUALITY

1
Auto-Owners Insurance CoBest for Customer Service
Score:NaN

Claims

User Satisfaction

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Auto-Owners received a high claims rating of 4 out of 5 and a customer satisfaction score of 4.5 out of 5. Good customer service is important since you will be filing a claim at a stressful time and you want a provider that will handle your claim fairly and promptly.

More About Auto-Owners Insurance Co

Auto-Owners’ unique coverages include diminished value coverage. This coverage pays for your vehicle’s reduction in value following an accident, even after repairs are completed. Auto-Owners also offers new car replacement coverage which may be valuable for drivers with new cars. This ensures that your policy will reimburse you in full with a new car that's the same make and model as the one you had if your car is totaled in an accident. Drivers can also get gap insurance as an add-on which will help you pay off your auto loan in the event your car is totaled or stolen and your outstanding loan is more than the depreciated value of your car. Auto-Owners also offers common add-ons like rental car and travel reimbursement, identity theft coverage, roadside assistance and cell phone replacement. To learn more about the insurer, you can read our detailed review of Auto-Owners Insurance Co. car insurance.

2
State Farm
Score:85

4/5

Claims

4.5/5

User Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

State Farm was rated 4 out of 5 for claims and 4.5 out of 5 for satisfaction. This is also the second-most affordable insurer in South Carolina, so you won’t have to trade affordability for quality customer service.

More About State Farm

State Farm does not offer many unique coverages but rideshare drivers will benefit from the company’s optional rideshare insurance. This coverage ensures that rideshare drivers are covered while the rideshare app is on and they’re waiting for a client. Other standard add-ons offered by State Farm include rental car insurance and travel reimbursement, which covers the cost of travel expenses, like a rental car, while your car is in the shop for repairs. Drivers can also add roadside assistance to their existing policy. This coverage comes in handy if your car breaks down and you need coverage for services like towing or jump starts. While State Farm is ideal for drivers who prioritize good customer service, it’s important to keep in mind that this provider does not offer other common coverages, like accident forgiveness, new or better car replacement or gap insurance. Additional information about the insurance provider can be found in MoneyGeek’s review of State Farm’s auto insurance policies.

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for Minimum Coverage

The cheapest car insurance in South Carolina is a state minimum policy that provides only liability coverage as required by state laws. However, the trade-off is that you will be missing out on some potentially important coverages.

If you think that South Carolina’s state minimum coverage policy has the coverages you need, you can save more money by getting coverage from these top two companies:

  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 88 out of 100 ($470 per year)
  • State Farm: MoneyGeek score of 78 out of 100 ($574 per year)

Aside from having the cheapest rates, these car insurance companies in South Carolina also offer great customer service.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: GEICO

GEICO

pros

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Affordable coverage policy at $470 a year on average

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Discounts for anti-theft systems, airbags and daytime running lights

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MoneyGeek claims rating of 4 out of 5

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MoneyGeek user satisfaction rating of 4 out of 5

cons

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No discounts when you pay in full or use paperless billing

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

For drivers on a budget, GEICO offers a variety of discounts that can help make your car insurance policy even more affordable. Drivers can save on their premiums by taking advantage of the bundling discount when they bundle their auto insurance with other GEICO policies like home or renters insurance. You will also get a discount for insuring multiple cars with GEICO and for having a clean driving record.

GEICO also offers discounts for always using a seatbelt or for having safety features installed in your car, like an anti-theft system or daytime running lights. Drivers who are members of GEICO partner organizations like an alumni club, fraternity, sorority or professional organization may also be eligible for additional discounts on their car insurance premiums.

Read MoneyGeek's GEICO Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for Young Drivers and Students

GEICO is MoneyGeek’s top pick for young drivers who tend to pay more for insurance premiums than the average driver due to their risk.

We scored the top car insurance companies in South Carolina with the most affordable rates for adding young and teen drivers to a policy:

  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 88 out of 100 ($2,525 per year)
  • Nationwide: MoneyGeek score of 80 out of 100 ($2,525 per year)

MoneyGeek’s analysis for this category covered rates for those in their late teens or early 20s, in high school or in college.

If you are looking for affordable options, MoneyGeek also analyzed the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for young drivers and students.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: GEICO

GEICO

pros

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Affordable policy for adding a young driver at $2,525 per year on average

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Claims rating of 4 out of 5

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User satisfaction rating of 4 out of 5

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Good student and driver’s education discounts available

cons

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No discounts for distant students

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Young drivers are charged more for car insurance than older adults because insurance companies consider them riskier to insure. Due to their lack of driving experience, young drivers are more likely to get into accidents or file claims. However, GEICO offers affordable rates for adding a young driver to a policy which makes it ideal for young drivers on a budget. This provider also ranked highly for customer service, which is especially important for young drivers who are more likely to get into a collision and require prompt service.

Additionally, GEICO offers multiple discount options for young drivers which can help make it less costly to add a young driver to a policy. For students with good grades, GEICO offers a good student discount. GEICO also offers discounts for students who are able to complete a defensive driving or driver education course.

Read MoneyGeek's GEICO Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for Seniors

MoneyGeek ranked the best auto insurance companies for seniors in South Carolina based on the cost of car insurance for seniors and customer service record.

The two top companies for car insurance for seniors in South Carolina are:

  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 88 out of 100 ($943 per year)
  • State Farm: MoneyGeek score of 84 out of 100 ($1,024 per year)

To rank the best auto insurance for seniors in South Carolina, MoneyGeek scored these companies based on both affordability and customer service.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: GEICO

GEICO

pros

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Affordable policy for seniors at an average of $943 per year

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Claims rating of 4 out of 5

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User satisfaction rating of 4 out of 5

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Seniors discounts available for drivers over 50

cons

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Lacks some common discounts like paperless discounts

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

If you are a senior driver in South Carolina, GEICO offers the best balance of affordable rates and quality customer service. Some of the coverages offered by GEICO include roadside assistance, which helps to pay for service like towing, jumpstarts or tire changes if your car breaks down and you need assistance. You can also get travel and rental car reimbursement to get compensation for travel expenses incurred while your car is in the shop for repairs.

GEICO also offers valuable discounts for seniors which can help to make rates even more affordable. This includes the seniors discount which is available for drivers aged 50 or older. Senior drivers who take a defensive driving course may also qualify for additional discounts on their car insurance premiums.

Read MoneyGeek's GEICO Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for Bad Driving Records

In South Carolina, the best insurer if you have a bad driving record is State Farm. Insurance companies look at a driver’s risk when pricing their policies and drivers with a bad record tend to pay higher premiums than the average driver.

Our top recommendations in South Carolina had the following scores:

  • State Farm: MoneyGeek score of 89 out of 100 ($1,260 per year)
  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 88 out of 100 ($1,253 per year)

For drivers focused on savings, MoneyGeek also analyzed the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for DUIs or a bad driving record.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: State Farm

State Farm

pros

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Affordable policy for drivers with bad records at an average of $1,260 per year

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MoneyGeek claims rating of 4 out of 5

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MoneyGeek user satisfaction score of 4.5 out of 5

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Offer roadside assistance and rental car and/or travel reimbursement

cons

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Does not offer accident forgiveness, new car replacement or better car replacement

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

If you have a poor driving record, State Farm is the best option for car insurance in South Carolina. This provider rates highly for claims and user satisfaction with scores of 4 out of 5 and 5 out 5 respectively. State Farm’s rates are also affordable at an average cost of $1,260 per year for drivers with bad records.

While State Farm does not have some of the common add on coverages offered by other insurers, like accident forgiveness, gap insurance and new car replacement, it still offer s the following useful coverages:

  • Roadside assistance: Covers the cost of flat tires, jump starts, lockouts, mechanical labor or towing if you’re stranded on the road.
  • Rental car reimbursement: Covers rental car expenses when your car is in the shop for repairs.
Read MoneyGeek's State Farm Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for a Military Background

Only military families are eligible to buy car insurance from USAA. With a MoneyGeek score of 100 out of 100, this company is our top choice in South Carolina for eligible drivers.

A state minimum policy from USAA can be purchased for an average of $500 per year. Military members with an at-fault accident pay an average of $1,372 per year.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: USAA

USAA

pros

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An affordable full coverage policy at an average of $926 per year

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Claims rating score of 5 out of 5

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User satisfaction of 4.5 out of 5

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Roadside assistance coverage

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Safe driving discount

cons

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Only military families are eligible

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

If you have a military background, USAA is the best option for car insurance in South Carolina. USAA offers the most affordable rates and is also ranked as one of the best companies for customer service.

Apart from having one of the best reputations in the country, USAA also offers a host of coverages and discounts including:

  • Rental car and/or travel reimbursement: If your car is in the shop following a covered loss, this coverage provides funds for a rental car.
  • Rideshare insurance: Are you a rideshare driver? If so, USAA will cover you during the gap in coverage most rideshare drivers experience when they’re waiting for a passenger request.
  • Multiple car discount: You’ll receive more discounts if you insure more than one car with USAA.
  • New car discount: Discounts are also available for new cars less than three years old.
Read MoneyGeek's USAA Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for Those With New Cars

Allstate offers the best car insurance in South Carolina for those with new cars.

New car owners need to protect their investment by getting a car insurance policy that fully covers their vehicle. That’s why we looked at the best companies that offer new car replacement or better car replacement coverages in their auto insurance policies.

These coverages replace your vehicle with a new version of your car’s model if it’s totaled in a covered accident and are more cost-effective than paying for damages to a brand-new vehicle. However, they are not included in your basic car insurance policy, so you’ll end up paying more.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: Allstate

Allstate

pros

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Relatively affordable policy at an average of $1,120 per year

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Offers new car replacement coverage

cons

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Claims rating score of 3.5 out of 5

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Satisfaction score of 3.5 out of 5

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No better car replacement coverage available

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Allstate is one of the few companies in South Carolina that offers new car replacement coverage. This coverage is valuable for drivers with new cars, since it ensures that you will be reimbursed with a new model of your car in the event that your car is totaled in an accident.

Allstate’s new car replacement is available to drivers with cars that are less than two model years old. Normally, your car depreciates in value the moment you drive it off the lot, so an insurer isn’t obligated to provide you a replacement car of equivalent value unless you have this insurance.

Read MoneyGeek's Allstate Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance in South Carolina for Low-Mileage Drivers

Low-mileage drivers in South Carolina may choose Nationwide SmartMiles as their best choice. Many car insurance companies provide pay-per-mile coverage where you pay for the number of miles that you drive.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: Nationwide

Nationwide

pros

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More affordable than standard insurance policies for low-mileage drivers

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Claims rating score of 4 out of 5

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User satisfaction of 4 out of 5

cons

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If you drive frequently, you could end up paying more with SmartMiles

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

If you drive infrequently, Nationwide’s SmartMiles program may be the best car insurance option for you. The Nationwide SmartMiles program includes both a base rate and a variable rate that depends on how many miles you typically drive. This means that your premium will partly depend on how much you drive, which can help those who do not drive frequently save on premiums.

Nationwide’s SmartMiles program only counts the first 250 daily miles if you’re on a road trip. There is a behavior element to this program — safe drivers are rewarded with a 10% discount.

Read MoneyGeek's Nationwide Auto Insurance Review

How to Find the Best Car Insurance in South Carolina For You

Selling affordable policies is not enough. A good car insurance company should have customer service that is helpful and responsive, and also should have the stability to pay claims quickly and fairly. MoneyGeek already reviewed this information for you, but we welcome you to do your own analysis as well.

1

Research customer service reputations in South Carolina

Our data on claims and user satisfaction were based on research from J.D. Power and the NAIC. These are widely reputable organizations that gather data on customer satisfaction and service performance. You may investigate these two sources as well as the Department of Insurance website for your own research.

2

Compare quotes for yourself

Before buying a policy, make sure to compare quotes available to you. By seeing your options, you'll compare not just the prices but the coverages that are offered, as well as how their customer service performance measures up.

3

Make sure the company has coverages you want in South Carolina

A long list of coverages might excite you about a certain car insurance policy. However, do keep in mind that in many cases, these may not all apply to you as a policyholder. Make sure that when you buy a policy, you have a list of specific coverages available in your state from each insurer you’re considering.

4

Double-check financial stability ratings

A company’s financial stability has a direct correlation with its ability to pay claims. Checking the company’s rating in this area should be an essential step to ensure that you have protection while you pay your premiums.

FAQs About the Best Car Insurance in South Carolina

These rankings only work as a guide. The best option for you will depend on which company is able to meet your requirements. Understanding the answers to some frequently asked questions about South Carolina auto insurance will help you make a solid decision.

About the Author


expert-profile

Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.


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