Best Colleges in North Carolina

If you tune into March Madness, then you’re certainly familiar with at least a few of North Carolina’s historic colleges. But there’s much more to the state—and to university life—than basketball. So if you’re considering coming to North Carolina for college, or if you’re a native of the state, let’s review a little bit of what makes North Carolina great.

Besides college basketball, the state is home to a number of other great attractions for sports fans, including professional franchises in the NFL, NBA, and NHL, not to mention Charlotte Motor Speedway and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Culture in the state isn’t confined to sports, of course. Musical icons John Coltrane, Theolonious Monk, and James Taylor all hail from the state. And Southern Living recently named Durham–Chapel Hill the south’s “Tastiest City.”

Clearly, there’s something for everyone, and all different tastes.

But what about college? Well, you’re in luck. From large, public research universities to small, liberal arts colleges to everything in between, North Carolina offers a high-quality education for all different kinds of interests. With some luck and some work at networking, when you graduate you might be able to tap into networks in Charlotte, the country’s second biggest financial center, or the Research Triangle, where some of the world’s most innovative technology is being developed. If any of this sounds attractive, then you should certainly check out our list.

If any of this sounds attractive, then you should certainly check out our list.

What Are the Best Colleges in North Carolina?

On to the rankings – but first, a word about our methodology. We’ve ranked the best colleges in North Carolina by looking at academic quality, student body diversity, and return on investment. That way, you know not only that you’re getting a great education, but that you’re getting one that will significantly improve your career prospects. Our data takes into account a whole host of data points, including student-to-faculty ratio, opportunity for research, tuition rates, and expected early career salary. All of this data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics and their IPEDS database.

1

Duke University

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $21,764

School Website

Overview

Duke University was founded in 1838 by Methodist and Quaker families as a local professional school. In 1924, the college became known as Duke University, named after tobacco and electric power industrialist James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke’s high standards are shown in their 10 departmental schools, 11% acceptance rate and high scores. Internationally, 6400 undergraduate and 8400 graduate students attend Duke. But there is plenty to see on their roughly 9,000 acres worldwide: The Duke Forest, Marine Lab, Lemur Center, and 2000 comfy seats in 6 distinct libraries. Don’t forget about the 400+ student clubs, Greek life, and 27 NCAA Division I Varsity sports teams.

Features

Duke’s mission is Access and Flexibility: Scholarly Pursuit, Influenced Study and Engaged Immersion. This occurs both on its 9,000 amazing acres of property on its local four campuses and internationally. Most popular majors at Duke are:

  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Biology/Biological Sciences
  • Economics
  • Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering
  • Psychology

Notables

Located in Durham, NC, the “Heart of North Carolina,” Duke University is in the Top Places to Live (U.S. News and World Report). Forbes calls Durham #6 of America’s smartest Cities. In this city of 200,000 people, you will find an abundance of sports, history, food, and the arts right at your fingertips.

2

Davidson College

College Choice Score: 81.42

Average Net Price: $22,457

School Website

Overview

Davidson College was founded in 1837 by Presbyterians in Davidson, North Carolina – 19 miles from Charlotte. There are typically just under 2,000 students enrolled at one time hailing from 47 states and 40 countries. Davidson Athletics participate in NCAA Division I. The main campus has 665 acres with an additional 110 lake campus. Student-faculty ration is 10:1 with average class sizes of 15 students. There are over 150 student organizations on campus including Greek Life. Average tuition and fees are just under $50,000.

Features

The college does offer 26 majors including preparation programs in education, engineering, law, medicine, ministry and military. However, the college is known for the following coursework:

  • Political Science and Government
  • Biology/Biological Sciences
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Literature

Notables

Davidson’s Motto is Alenda Lux Ubi Orta Libertas: “Let Learning Be Cherished Where Liberty Has Arisen.” In addition to their classroom learning and athletics, they are school with deep traditions. Just ask someone about the Freshman Cake race tradition that was started in 1934. Even with deep traditions, this school cares for their students and is willing to create new traditions. In 2007, the Davidson Trust became the first in the nation to offer grants instead of loans in all financial aid packages so that student graduate debt free.

3

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

College Choice Score: 79.91

Average Net Price: $10,936

School Website

Overview

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is locally known as Carolina. Chartered in 1789 and began enrollment in 1795. Thus, it is one of the oldest public universities in America. Carolina offers 78 Bachelors, 112 Masters, 68 Doctorate and 7 professional degrees through 15 different departmental schools. It is the second largest North Carolina University with over 28,000 total students from 50 states, 47 countries with over 550 student organizations and Division I athletics on 729 acres.

Features

While this is a large school, they have a reputation of having a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. Over 85% of their classes have less than 50 students. They pride themselves in being a great value public university for students. With Carolina’s focus on research, their popular majors are:

  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Economics

Notables

Carolina first in being recognized as being #1 of 100 public colleges and universities to be high quality academics at affordable price. Also, is known for being 8th among research universities for federal funding. The state of North Carolina is a direct recipient of 576 research projects directly impacting the health, education and/or well-being in 2015.

4

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

College Choice Score: 68.24

Average Net Price: $13,579

School Website

Overview

Founded March 7, 1887. North Carolina State University at Raleigh, known as NC State, was founded. This is one of the 16 universities in the University of North Carolina System. They focus on land, Sea and space research. It is one of three research based schools that work in partnership with Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Like their research partners, they have a large student population (34,000 students) with over 106 bachelors, 104 master and 61 doctoral degrees within 11 departmental schools. They also known for their NCAA Division I Atlantic Coast Conference teams.

Features

With such a large campus and large research partners, they decided to focus on research to benefit the community as well. NC State educational programs focuses on

  • Engineering
  • Business/Management
  • Marketing
  • Biological/ Biological sciences
  • Social Sciences

Notables

Raleigh, North Carolina has been selected as a Google® fiber expansion city. It has become the second hottest area for technology jobs. According to Forbes, you don’t have to have a technology degree to get a job here, it is the second easiest city to find a job and third best city for young professionals. Plenty of great companies in the area to hire interns, current students, and recent grads.

5

Wake Forest University

College Choice Score: 67.22

Average Net Price: $25,826

School Website

Overview

Founded 1834 just outside in Raleigh, NC. 1941 medical school moved to Winston-Salem and the rest of the college moved in 1956. Private liberal arts collegiate university. Today, nationally ranked #27. The student-faculty ratio is 11:1. There are over 190 student clubs and orgs. It is a private, independent nonprofit research university. As of 2008, it does not require standard test scores for undergraduate admission. There are over 190 various student organizations, including Greek life and NCAA Division I sports, at their suburban 340 acres. Total number of undergraduates are just under 5,000 students.

Features

Wake Forest has four campuses near the Twin Cities of Winston-Salem. They are very proud of their political and research areas of their University. Based on their noted actives, their popular majors are:

  • Political Science
  • Business
  • Hard Sciences: Chemistry, Physics, Biology

The following graduate programs are nationally ranked:

  • Law
  • Business
  • Medicine

Notables

Wake Forest prides themselves on being actively involved in the Medical, Business, Political and Diversity. One of their own future alumnus, Kathryn Webster, 2017, will be the first blind actuarial scientist. They have earned the US highest CPA exam pass rate for the past 12 years. They have hosted two United States Presidential debates. Their own Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Barbee Oakes was named one of the “25 Women Making a Difference” in 2012.

6

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

College Choice Score: 58.63

Average Net Price: $10,076

School Website

Overview

University of North Carolina at Greensboro, known as UNC Greensboro, is a public liberal arts and research university established in 1891 in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was originally established as a women’s college. Since then, the college has become co-ed and grown to over 100 bachelor, master, and doctoral programs. The urban campus has about 210 acres. With almost 16,000 students in attendance, it is great to point out that the student-faculty ratio is about 18:1 with an average class size of 27.

Features

There are 10 various schools within UNCG included medical, business, and education. For the undergraduate, most students will be graduating in the following programs:

  • Business/Management
  • Education
  • Social Sciences
  • Health Professions
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Notables

UNC Greensboro is known for their NCAA Southern Division I sports as well as their Visual and Performing Arts programs. But not all students that attend UNC Greensboro are artistic or sports minded. UNC has great programs in the hard sciences and business divisions short. This university is defining the design of research organizations. This is great news for undergraduate students looking to finish their post graduate work. UNC Greensboro has fantastic master and doctoral degrees available.

7

Salem College

College Choice Score: 58.40

Average Net Price: $15,497

School Website

Overview

Salem College has a long proud history of advocating for women’s rights. The Moravians founded the college originally as a primary school in 1772 for females. Since then, it has become a women-only undergraduate college. Their continuing education program allows individuals over 23 years of age to learn in a co-ed environment. It is the 13th oldest college in the United States that rests on 57 acres. It is also one of the first educational sites to accept non-white students. It currently has just over 1,100 current female undergraduate students. They are a part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Features

This College is well known for its contributions to the American culture and women’s independence. The typical majors at this college are

  • Education
  • Biology/Biological Sciences
  • Business Administration and Management
  • Psychology

Notables

This college has a rich history of creating independent women ready for the workplace. When you attend Salem College, you are not just creating memories at a four-year institution. You are preparing for a sisterhood that extends beyond graduation. As part of your graduation requirements, you will be completing a professional internship and networking with alumni groups.

8

Campbell University

College Choice Score: 58.25

Average Net Price: $26,865

School Website

Overview

Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, was started by a Baptist Minister in 1887 who believed everyone should get an education regardless if they couldn’t pay for it. That first day of classes there were 16 students. Since then, Campbell University has grown in many ways to include over 4,500 students learning in over 150+ programs in 10 academic divisions over 6 campuses focused on one mission.

Features

Like their founder, students are involved at this university. They have over 100+ organizations to join. Over 850 acres of places to study, learn and ask questions. But they also do over 80,000 hours of volunteering per year. A student here will not be bored while working towards graduation. Most popular majors are:

  • Business Administration and Management
  • Science Technologies/Technicians
  • Information Technology
  • Psychology
  • General Science/Social Science

Notables

For those who want to continue their education, Campbell University is the only North Carolina private university with degrees in Law, Pharmacy and Medicine. The faculty and staff are proud that they have achieved one of the highest accreditations in the state. These accreditations show that their faculty is well educated, continuing to learn in their own fields and very involved with their students.

9

University of North Carolina Wilmington

College Choice Score: 58.04

Average Net Price: $14,418

School Website

Overview

The University of North Carolina Wilmington is also known as UNC Wilmington. It is a public university that enrolls nearly 16,000 students at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. It was started in 1947 as a junior college offering freshmen-level courses to returning WWII veterans. In 1963, UNC Wilmington began granting bachelor degrees. In 1969, UNC Wilmington became part of the University of North Carolina System. Since then, it has grown exponentially.

Features

UNC Wilmington has over 13,000 students at their urban campus offering 54 different degrees. 70% of these student commute to classes. The site has over 661 acres. They are known for their Division I NCAA sports. In terms of classroom capabilities, their student-faculty ratio is 17:1. Most students tend to finish in the following majors:

  • Business/Management
  • Health Professions and Related Programs
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Education

Notables

Just because this university began as a junior college or community college, there is nothing community about it. Since becoming part of the University of North Carolina system, it has grown to have Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral degrees. This is a University that wants to give its students the best opportunity to make their mark.

10

Appalachian State University

College Choice Score: 57.86

Average Net Price: $11,508

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1899, Appalachian State University is surrounded by the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone, NC. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more scenic campus. ASU enrolls around 16,000 undergraduate students and 1500 graduate students – 90% of students are from NC, making this school a local favorite. ASU is a public, co-educational institution and is one of 17 universities that make up the UNC system of higher learning.

Features

Given the school’s unique mountainside location, it’s not surprising that the university culture is built around a sustainable environment and global citizenry. Their academic program has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio and a focus on service-learning, which helped ASU earn a “Best Colleges in the Southeast” from Princeton Review.

There are over 150 majors at Appalachian State University. Some of the most popular:

  • Business Administration & Management
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Elementary Education

Notables

If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, Appalachian State University has been named a “Best Value” from Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review, and Washington Monthly. Also, SIERRA magazine named ASU as one of its “Coolest Schools” in 2016. There are over 400 student organizations, including clubs that take advantage of the Blue Ridge setting, like snowboarding, hiking, camping, and rock climbing.

11

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

College Choice Score: 57.51

Average Net Price: $10,196

School Website

Overview

While there are other research-focused universities in the state of North Carolina, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte bills itself as the only “urban research” university among the 17 institutions within the UNC system of higher learning. Established in 1946 as a school for WWII veterans, UNC Charlotte now enrolls about 28,700 students. This public, co-educational school offers a 19:1 student/faculty ratio.

Features

As the largest public university in the Charlotte region, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is well-known for its collaboration with business and industry. UNC Charlotte presents its students with a wide variety of options across 77 undergraduate, 63 graduate, and 23 doctoral programs. Some of the most popular majors are:

  • Business
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Social Sciences

Notables

In 2016, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte received over $40 million in research grants. With that money, students and faculty concentrate their research on improving the lives of the people in and around the Charlotte metropolitan area. Also important to note is UNC Charlotte’s stellar reputation for its part-time MBA program. The program is ranked #20 by Bloomberg Businessweek, #42 by U.S. News & World Report, and within Tier 1 by CEO Magazine.

12

Western Carolina University

College Choice Score: 57.38

Average Net Price: $12,916

School Website

Overview

The small town of Cullowhee, NC is where you’ll find Western Carolina University. With only 10,800 students and a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, WCU offers you the opportunity to be more than just a number. This public, co-educational institution was founded in 1889 as a teachers’ college but has since grown to a full-service university that serves the needs of its regional population. WCU is one of 17 schools that belong to the UNC system of higher learning.

Features

Western Carolina University has a strong focus on growing the economics and community of western North Carolina. To that end, the most popular degrees of their over 155 degrees are:

  • Nursing
  • Business Administration & Management
  • Education for Jr. High/Middle School
  • Emergency Medical Technology

WCU’s academic programs are centered on academic discovery and hands-on learning. Teaching, service, and community engagement are part of WCU’s core philosophy.

Notables

Western Carolina University is one of the only universities to have its own base camp for students. Base Camp Cullowhee provides a variety of outdoor adventure programs which has earned WCU the title of “Top Adventure College” from Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine. Overall, WCU is continually ranked in the top 15 for best public schools in the South by U.S. News & World Report.

13

Elon University

College Choice Score: 56.93

Average Net Price: $32,205

School Website

Overview

Elon University is centered on student-faculty engagement, and this mid-size, private university boasts an impressive 12:1 student/faculty ratio to prove they are serious. Located in Elon, NC, there are almost 6,800 students in attendance. Elon University was established in 1889 with a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, and the curriculum continues in that tradition today.

Features

Experiential learning is at the heart of Elon University’s educational methodology. In fact, 74% of students will experience international study abroad by the time they graduate. With a 78% graduation rate, Elon earned a spot in the top 10% of private universities in the U.S. for graduates of a four-year degree program.

 

Elon offers over 60 majors to students and the most popular majors include:

  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Education – Health & Physical
  • Biology

Notables

Elon University’s commitment to student success has been featured in U.S News & World Report for its innovative academics that foster student achievement. Specifically, Elon is #1 for best regional university in the South, also according to U.S. News & World Report. And, Princeton Review named Elon as best college for study abroad. If you’re looking to spend wisely, Elon is considered a “best value” for a private university by Kiplinger’s.

14

North Carolina A & T State University

College Choice Score: 56.00

Average Net Price: $10,145

School Website

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University makes its home in Greensboro, NC with more than 10,000 students and a 19:1 student/faculty ratio. Originally founded in 1890 as a land-grant university, NC A&T has developed into a globally minded and innovative doctoral research university. This historically black university is a public, co-educational institution that belongs to the UNC system of higher learning.

Features

Visionary learning and a spirit of discovery are hallmarks of North Carolina A&T State University’s academic programs. Environmental technology, human-machine studies, and a brand new Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering are a few examples of NC A&T’s groundbreaking areas of study. NC A&T has more than 175 undergraduate and graduate majors. The most popular are:

  • Engineering
  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Management
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences

Notables

North Carolina A&T State University confers the highest number of Engineering degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral) for African American graduates in the U.S. The same is true for African American undergraduates in Psychology. NC A&T is also among universities that graduate the most African American accountants. U.S. News & World Report named NC A&T as #10 among historically black colleges and universities.

15

North Carolina Central University

College Choice Score: 55.88

Average Net Price: $9,701

School Website

Overview

North Carolina Central University has a proud history that includes being the first public liberal arts college in the U.S. for African Americans. Initially established in 1909 as the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua, NCCU now enrolls almost 8,100 students. NCCU is a public, co-educational institution located in Durham, NC with a student/faculty ratio of 15:1. This historically black university is part of the UNC system of higher learning.

Features

North Carolina Central University trains its students to be problem solvers who can make an impact on their local communities as well as communities across the globe. With that goal in mind, NCCU created its Community Services Program which sets a target of 15 hours of community service for each student per semester. NCCU offers 78 degree programs, with around half for undergraduates and half for graduates. Most popular majors are:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Business Administration
  • Psychology

Notables

U.S. News & World Report ranked North Carolina Central University as #13 among historically black colleges and universities and as #24 of the best public schools in the South. The NCCU School of Law placed #3 in the country as most affordable law school, also by U.S. News & World Report.

16

Pfeiffer University

College Choice Score: 55.30

Average Net Price: $17,611

School Website

Overview

If you are searching for the quintessential, small, private liberal arts college experience, then you’ll find it at Pfeiffer University. With only 1624 students and a 12:1 student/faculty ratio, Pfeiffer provides a personalized approach to student-centered learning. There is almost a 50/50 split of undergraduates and graduates. Pfeiffer University, located in the town of Misenheimer, NC, was founded in 1885 as a home school that was later managed by the United Methodist Church.

Features

Pfeiffer still maintains its association with the Methodist Church to this day while fulfilling its mission to educate students as servant leaders. Pfeiffer University guides its graduates to live a life of scholarship, spirituality, and service. With that goal in mind, students can pursue one of more than 40 majors.

Popular majors include:

  • Health Care Administration
  • Business Administration & Management
  • Counseling – Marriage & Family Therapy
  • Organizational Leadership

Notables

U.S. News & World Report ranks Pfeiffer University ranks in the top 100 of best regional universities in the South. Of the many traditions at Pfeiffer, the university holds its Village Church in high regard. This United Methodist congregation is student-run and welcomes people of all faiths to join in meaningful activities of service.

17

University of North Carolina at Asheville

College Choice Score: 54.93

Average Net Price: $12,040

School Website

Overview

The University of North Carolina at Asheville is the designated liberal arts university among the 17 schools that belong to the UNC system of higher learning. That means that UNC Asheville delivers a top notch liberal arts education with an emphasis on critical thinking. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, UNC Asheville was founded in 1927. Almost 3,900 students are enrolled at this public, co-educational institution and the student/faculty ratio is 14:1.

Features

There are more than 30 undergraduate majors offered by the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Popular majors include:

  • Environmental Studies
  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Health and Wellness Promotion
  • Management

At least 60% of students participate in UNC Asheville’s Undergraduate Research Program which has earned national respect. This undergraduate research goes hand in hand with the interdisciplinary learning that is fundamental to UNC Asheville’s liberal arts curriculum. 

Notables

As far as public liberal arts colleges, the University of North Carolina at Asheville is ranked #8 in the country by U.S. News & World Report. With such strong advocacy for the liberal arts, it makes sense that UNC Asheville is also the headquarters for the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). In addition, UNC Asheville is considered a good value for the cost, according to the Princeton Review, Kiplinger’s, and Fiske.

18

Johnson C. Smith University

College Choice Score: 54.88

Average Net Price: $19,032

School Website

Overview

Celebrating 150 years since its founding in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University describes itself as a “premier, independent, urban university”. This private, liberal arts school is located in Charlotte, NC and is fully immersed in the city’s urban core, providing students with a diverse, multi-cultural educational experience. Fewer than 1500 students attend JCSU and the low 11:1 student/faculty ratio promotes individualized attention and support.

Features

Johnson C. Smith University is a historically black university that encourages students to think about social responsibility while they are earning their degrees. There are 23 undergraduate majors and 1 graduate program for a Master’s of Social Work. The most popular undergraduate majors are:

  • Business Administration & Management
  • Criminology
  • Biology
  • Information Technology

Taken as a whole, JCSU drives students to lean forward, take risks, and be entrepreneurs – all within a socially conscious context.

Notables

U.S. News & World Report named Johnson C. Smith University as #15 among historically black colleges and universities. Because JCSU believes in embracing a global perspective through its curriculum, every student receives a free passport. In addition, JCSU focuses on incorporating its liberal arts foundation with business, science, and technology which earned the school an award for “Best STEM Program” from Historically Black Colleges & Universities Digest.

19

Fayetteville State University

College Choice Score: 54.67

Average Net Price: $6,848

School Website

Overview

Fayetteville State University was established in 1867, making this school the second-oldest public institution for advanced instruction in the state of North Carolina. Located in Fayetteville, FSU was originally founded as the Howard School for the education of African-Americans and today has become one of the most diverse campuses in the country. This public, co-educational university has a student/faculty ratio of 19:1 with more than 6,300 students in attendance. FSU is one of 17 schools that belong to the UNC system of higher learning.

Features

The underlying principle of Fayetteville State University’s educational charter is student-centered learning. As such, FSU has created a supportive student environment through its Center for Personal Development, Freshman Seminar Program, and Student Academic Services Center. These resources foster student success across 66 degree programs. The most popular majors are:

  • Nursing
  • Criminal Justice
  • Psychology
  • Business Administration & Management
  • Sociology

Notables

With a focus on student safety, Fayetteville State University boasts the lowest crime rate of all schools in the UNC system. And, FSU is considered one of the more affordable public colleges nationwide, according to the Lumina Foundation. U.S. News & World Report gave FSU a respectable ranking of #26 in the category of Historically Black Colleges & Universities.

20

East Carolina University

College Choice Score: 53.62

Average Net Price: $12,908

School Website

Overview

East Carolina University was founded in 1907 to be a teacher training institution. Since then, the institution has adapted to local needs by becoming a community college and then a 4-year college. In 1972, East Carolina University joined the University of North Carolina higher education system. East Carolina University is in Greenville, North Carolina, 85 miles east of Raleigh and 87 miles due west of the Atlantic Ocean. It has 5 campuses with over 1600 acres.

Features

Today, East Carolina University is the third largest university in North Carolina with over 29,000 students studying one of 88 bachelors, 72 masters, or 19 doctoral programs. They also have 79 certificates available as well. Student-faculty ratio is 18 to 1 and the average class size is over 20 students. Top majors include:

  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Business
  • Criminal Justice
  • Biology

Notables

Over 43% of the student population is enrolled in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) or Health-care program. They have the #1 nursing program in North Carolina and graduate the most nurses in North Carolina. However, these programs are not all that East Carolina University is known for. One of their most notable alumni is Sandra Bullock, a lead actress in The Blind Side, Two Weeks Notice, and Miss Congeniality. They are also known for their NCAA Division I athletics.

21

Barton College

College Choice Score: 52.45

Average Net Price: $20,199

School Website

Overview

Barton College was founded in 1902 by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It was originally called Atlantic Christian College. However, in 1990, they changed the name to Baron College after Barton Warren Stone. Today it is a private, Christian liberal Arts institution located in Wilson, North Carolina.

Features

Barton College has wide variety of programs that include education of the d/Deaf and hard of hearing, nursing, gerontology, and mass communications. It has over 21 intercollegiate NCAA Division II athletic programs. There are 1051 students that study here. The average class size is 16 and the student faculty ratio is 11 to 1. Top Majors include:

  • Nursing
  • Business
  • Social Work
  • Sport and Fitness Management
  • Criminal Justice

Notables

Wilson, North Carolina is located 45 miles east of Raleigh. It is easy to get to since it is 7 miles east of the I-95 and US 264 interchange. If students want to travel to the North Carolina Beaches it is about a 2-hour drive east. If you would rather go hiking in the woods, it would be a 4-hour trip west. But this rural area and small town do everything they can to great students every fall to show them that just because they are a small town, there is plenty to do locally.

22

Winston-Salem State University

College Choice Score: 52.32

Average Net Price: $7,737

School Website

Overview

Winston-Salem State University was originally founded by Dr. Simon Green Atkins to train teachers in what is now known as Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Dr. Atkins was a former slave who was well known in the higher education schools in the area. He worked at several other schools prior to working on getting Winston-Salem State University started.

Features

Today, Winston-Salem State University is a Historically Black research university. Over 5100 students study at this 117-acre institution. Over 50% are first generation college students. Students can join scores of student organization groups, attend athletic events or volunteer in the local community. Inside the classes room, classes average less than 20 students per class with a student-faculty ratio 14 to 1. Top majors include:

  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Business
  • Health Care Management
  • Medical Technician

Notables

The university’s motto is Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve. Students can find plenty to learn about on campus going to the Digg Gallery or using the local library. The Diggs Gallery is one of the top 10 African-American galleries that portray early and contemporary African-American art. But outside of the school property, students have access to the history and culture of the Winston-Salem area.

23

William Peace University

College Choice Score: 52.12

Average Net Price: $18,769

School Website

Overview

William Peace University was founded by the Presbyterian Church, Reverend. Joseph M Atkinson and William Peace in Raleigh, North Carolina. William Peace was a Raleigh Businessman, church elder and a 10,000 donor towards the cause. But the heavy lifting was done by Reverend Atkinson. It was originally founded as a primary and high school for women. Over time, the female-only college transitioned to becoming a university in 2011. In fall 2012, they welcomed their first male students.

Features

Today, over 1000 students study at this location. There are 30+ student organizations to get involved in. Inside the classroom, students have access to faculty – especially with a 15 to 1 ratio. Additional learning and cultural resources are available to students through the Raleigh College Consortium. Top majors include:

  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Education
  • Biology
  • English & Communication

Notables

William Peace University is a historic landmark in downtown Raleigh. Students have the best of both worlds – small school with a big city access. Raleigh, North Carolina, are in the top 10 places to live as a young professional. It is also known as the #1 best city for school performance, green space and cultural amenities according to Businessweek.

24

Gardner-Webb University

College Choice Score: 52.09

Average Net Price: $22,988

School Website

Overview

Founded in 1905 by the Kings Mountain Baptist and Sandy Run Baptist associations in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. In 1942, Governor O. Max Gardener and his wife Fay Webb Gardner began focusing their efforts to strengthen the institution and the institution became co-ed. In 1993, the college’s name changed to Gardner-Web University to expand their programs and honor the Gardner’s legacy. Today, it is known as the youngest North Carolina Baptist University.

Features

Over 4,500 undergraduates and graduates study at this location. There are about 80 undergraduate and graduate courses available. The average class size is under 20 students with a student-faculty ratio of 13 to 1. Students can join over 40 different student organizations. Top majors include:

  • Business
  • Social Sciences
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Criminal Justice

Notables

Boiling Springs is in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains just 50 miles southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina. The town is named after a natural spring that feeds the local lake. The town itself is very small less than 5,000 people. Don’t let the small town, rural area stop you from considering this institution. The community enjoys getting involved with the main campus and their students.

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Elizabeth City State University

College Choice Score: 51.33

Average Net Price: $2,490

School Website

Overview

Elizabeth City State University was founded in 1891 by Hugh Cale, an African-American representative who sponsored House Bill 383 in the North Carolina General Assembly. This confirmed bill created a school to teach black teachers for local black schools. By 1937, the teacher college had evolved to a 4-year institution. By 1969, it became known as Elizabeth City State University and in 1971, joined the University of North Carolina System with 15 other schools.

Features

Today, over 1,600 undergraduates and graduates study at Elizabeth City State University’s 22 undergraduate and 4 graduate programs. Elizabeth City State University prides itself for their small classes, challenging workloads and being the most affordable program in North Carolina with a faculty ratio of 14 to 1. Students have a great opportunity to experience scores of greek life, student organizations, volunteering and the greater Albemarle areas – rich in culture and history. Top majors include:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Homeland Security
  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Notables

Elizabeth City State University includes 114 acres at the main campus, 68 acres at a former farm, 639-acre wetland preserve, and 35 additional residential lands. It is in the historic Albemarle area near the Pasquotank River mouth. Students can visit great places in Albemarle and other areas such as Williamsburg, Jamestown, York Town, plantations, etc. These are all accessible thanks to the US highway 17 and 158.

Degree Finder

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