Wil Lou Gray

Welcome to Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School!

To Parents and Prospective Students,


The Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School is the state’s oldest alternative education provider serving South Carolina’s families since 1921!  As you consider admission, I want you to know the school has perfected an educational environment, oftentimes not found in the public school system, based upon each student’s needs. Our 14-week program has produced notable results for thousands of successful young people from all walks of life from throughout the Palmetto State. 

We attribute the school’s success for at-risk youth to the following:

  • Top notch classroom instruction centered on the needs of each individual student
  • State-of-the-art classrooms  
  • Small classes provided by dedicated, state-certified instructors, 12 students or less, for at-risk students
  • Mandatory JROTC citizenship classes 
  • Mandatory vocational classes
  • Mandatory uniform apparel
  • Cell phones not permitted on campus
  • On-site Mental Health Counselors and medical services available 24/7 allowing students to never miss valuable classroom instruction nor personal counseling opportunities
  • A safe, established 86-acre campus with modern facilities

I encourage you to view our tour video on this page for a virtual tour of our campus.

Thank you for visiting us!

Pat G. Smith


Our Mission

In 1921 the late Dr. Wil Lou Gray founded a school that later became her namesake. Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School continues to be the state’s leader in providing alternative education. As an agency of state government, the school provides a wealth of academic and life skills training by SC state-certified teachers in modern classroom settings.

Dr. Gray adopted the motto “Why stop learning?” and dedicated her life to educating the undereducated.

Why Stop Learning?

Changing Lives. That’s what we do at the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School. We specialize in helping at-risk young people move past the obstacles in their lives to achieve success. What do we mean by “at-risk”?  WLGOS serves students in South Carolina who are 16 through 19 years of age who are on a path toward:

truancy, or failing at their current school.

dropping out of school and not completing their education.

missing a college education or a successful career.

a negative lifestyle, because of bad choices in their everyday life.

Do you have or know someone who has a student who fits these descriptions?

If so, we are here to help! We help our students achieve their goals by placing them in an environment that is geared toward learning and applying new skills. We are a structured, residential, military-style environment that emphasizes both academic and life-skills education. 

Wil Lou Gray is a tuition-free school, however, students are required to maintain a spending account of $275 for medical costs, field trips, lost items, GED testing fee and miscellaneous items.

Since our students have many individual needs, we have a variety of programs to guide our student to success, including:

  Compensatory Education Pre-Vocational Training

  Pre-Employment Training Career Guidance and Job Placement

  Counseling  / Healthcare

  Life Skills / Self-Discipline

If you have any questions about how the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School might help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us, or call us at 803.896.6480. Please note: WLGOS does not receive funding from public schools.


Get In Touch


3300 W Campus Rd,
West Columbia, SC


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