2022 Top Private Colleges and Universities in North Carolina

Private colleges and universities frequently top the lists of the best schools in the U.S. These institutions offer rigorous academic programs for students looking for a personalized college experience.

Private colleges and universities generally cost more than their public counterparts, but students often receive the benefits of smaller class sizes, strong alumni networks, and generous financial aid opportunities.

Unlike public institutions, private institutions do not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state tuition. This means students from anywhere can enroll in North Carolina’s private colleges and universities without paying higher out-of-state rates.

2022 Best Private Colleges and Universities in North Carolina

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

Showing 30 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    Duke University

    Durham, NC

    Graduation Rate

    95%

    Enrollment

    16,686

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $58031

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $58031

    A private institution in Durham, North Carolina, Duke University offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. Learners study with experts in many different fields. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. The cost per credit is unknown. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The private institution reports a graduation rate of 95%. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #2

    Davidson College

    Davidson, NC

    Graduation Rate

    91%

    Enrollment

    1,837

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $53166

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $53166

    A private institution located in Davidson, North Carolina, Davidson College enrolls students in several programs. Enrollees complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. The institution offers an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. The school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements depending on their program. Davidson College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #3

    Wake Forest University

    Winston-Salem, NC

    Graduation Rate

    88%

    Enrollment

    8,495

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $55440

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $55440

    A private institution located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Wake Forest University offers multiple programs. Students complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The college charges an average of 1510 per credit. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. The institution offers both academic and technical programs. The school offers foundational courses, technical classes, and general education courses in multiple majors. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #4

    Cabarrus College of Health Sciences

    Concord, NC

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    475

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13574

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13574

    A private institution, Cabarrus College of Health Sciences grants degrees and certificates from its campus in Concord, North Carolina. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce. The cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports a 52% graduation rate. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #5

    Carolina Christian College

    Winston Salem, NC

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    64

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8890

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8890

    Carolina Christian College, located in Winston Salem, North Carolina, enrolls students as a private institution. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports a 100% graduation rate. The admission rate is unknown at this time. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling. Carolina Christian College has been accredited by the Association for Bibical Higher Educaiton, an independent accrediting body.

    #6

    Elon University

    Elon, NC

    Graduation Rate

    85%

    Enrollment

    7,088

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $36571

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $36571

    Located in Elon, North Carolina, Elon University attracts students with their well-regarded programs. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help students meet their career goals. Depending on the degree or certificate type, enrollees can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years completing a program. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. Financial aid helps enrollees cover their educational expenses. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #7

    Piedmont International University

    Winston-Salem, NC

    Graduation Rate

    41%

    Enrollment

    668

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11900

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $11900

    Piedmont International University, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, offers 31 programs for students. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The average student-to-teacher ratio is unknown. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 41%. Job seekers often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive job candidates. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Some programs no longer require standardized tests for admission. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling.

    #8

    Apex School of Theology

    Durham, NC

    Graduation Rate

    98%

    Enrollment

    Not Provided

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $5100

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5100

    A private institution located in Durham, North Carolina, Apex School of Theology enrolls students in several programs. Graduates leave the school prepared for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Students can enroll in nationally ranked programs. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The institution's accreditation status is currently unavailable.

    #9

    Meredith College

    Raleigh, NC

    Graduation Rate

    66%

    Enrollment

    1,810

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $38620

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $38620

    Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, Meredith College educates students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT scores. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Learners at the accredited school can pay for their educational costs with federal student aid programs. Meredith College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #10

    Grace College of Divinity

    Fayetteville, NC

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    187

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $6100

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6100

    Located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Grace College of Divinity attracts students with their well-regarded programs. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Depending on the degree or certificate type, enrollees can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years completing a program. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. A waiver makes it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Learners also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. Grace College of Divinity is accredited by the Association for Bibical Higher Educaiton.

    #11

    High Point University

    High Point, NC

    Graduation Rate

    65%

    Enrollment

    5,330

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $36268

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $36268

    High Point University enrolls learners from its High Point, North Carolina campus. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional goals. Academic programs can take as little as a few months or as many as seven years to complete, depending on the degree or certificate type and the student's enrollment status. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. These policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. Learners at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover educational costs. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #12

    Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

    Wake Forest, NC

    Graduation Rate

    60%

    Enrollment

    3,164

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10072

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10072

    From its campus in Wake Forest, North Carolina, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their professional goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to build industry-specific knowledge. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #13

    Barton College

    Wilson, NC

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    1,161

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31732

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31732

    A private institution located in Wilson, North Carolina, Barton College educates students through multiple programs. Enrollees complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Barton College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #14

    Aviation Institute of Maintenance-Charlotte

    Charlotte, NC

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    22

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16657

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16657

    A private institution, Aviation Institute of Maintenance-Charlotte educates students on its campus in Charlotte, North Carolina. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their career goals. Students prepare to contribute to their field by completing courses. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. These policies make it easier to apply. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The school's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs. The school's accreditation status is currently unknown.

    #15

    Queens University of Charlotte

    Charlotte, NC

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    2,463

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $35720

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $35720

    From its campus in Charlotte, North Carolina, Queens University of Charlotte offers programs as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their educational goals. Students strengthen their knowledge of the field by completing coursework. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The institution charges learners a per-credit fee of 664 on average for its programs. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Queens University of Charlotte is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #16

    Catawba College

    Salisbury, NC

    Graduation Rate

    51%

    Enrollment

    1,324

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $30520

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30520

    Located in Salisbury, North Carolina, Catawba College enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their professional goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing degree- or certificate-specific coursework. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. This makes it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners at this accredited school also qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Catawba College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #17

    Southeastern Free Will Baptist Bible College

    Wendell, NC

    Graduation Rate

    62%

    Enrollment

    59

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10130

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10130

    Located in Wendell, North Carolina, Southeastern Free Will Baptist Bible College grants college degrees as a private institution. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Learners at the accredited school often fund their education with federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school's accreditation status is not available at this time.

    #18

    University of Mount Olive

    Mount Olive, NC

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    2,805

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $21194

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $21194

    From its campus in North Carolina, University of Mount Olive enrolls students in 54 programs. The institution's top-ranked programs offer students a challenging course of study. The average student-to-instructor ratio is currently unknown. How much aid students receive on average is currently unknown. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 55%. Hands-on experience helps graduates stand out on the job market. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #19

    Campbell University

    Buies Creek, NC

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    6,185

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34630

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34630

    Campbell University, located in Buies Creek, North Carolina, grants degrees and certificates as a private institution. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports a graduation rate of 55%. The school's admission rate is unavailable. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. Campbell University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #20

    Gardner-Webb University

    Boiling Springs, NC

    Graduation Rate

    56%

    Enrollment

    3,518

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $32240

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $32240

    Gardner-Webb University, located in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, offers 92 programs for students. The institution's many rigorous academic programs rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio is currently unknown. The average amount of aid awarded per student is not available. Students earn their degree from the school at a rate of 56%. Students should explore how workplace experience makes them more competitive employee candidates. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #21

    DeVry University-North Carolina

    Charlotte, NC

    Graduation Rate

    14%

    Enrollment

    72

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $18774

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $18774

    From its campus in Charlotte, North Carolina, DeVry University-North Carolina awards degrees and certificates as a top school. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional goals. Academic programs generally take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete depending on degree or certificate type. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The admissions department can provide more information on the process. Degree-seekers also use financial aid to cover their educational costs. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #22

    Salem College

    Winston-Salem, NC

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    709

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $30016

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30016

    From its Winston-Salem, North Carolina campus, Salem College enrolls learners in 52 programs. Students enjoy rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio is currently unavailable. The average amount of aid awarded per student is not available. Students earn their degree from the school at a rate of 59%. Hands-on experience helps graduates stand out on the job market. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs waive the test score requirement for qualified applicants. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #23

    Strayer University-North Carolina

    Morrisville, NC

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    6,318

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $13515

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13515

    Strayer University-North Carolina, located in Morrisville, North Carolina, offers 32 programs for students. Students choose from rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The student-to-faculty ratio is unknown. Data on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. Students in the school's programs graduate at a rate of 50%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers stand out. The admission rate is unknown at this time. Some students qualify for test-optional admissions. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #24

    Lees-McRae College

    Banner Elk, NC

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    848

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $26625

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26625

    Lees-McRae College, a private organization located in Banner Elk, North Carolina, offers multiple programs. The school offers programs that prepare learners for the workforce. The institution's affordable programs provide a rigorous course of study. Students can enroll in nationally ranked programs. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution offers both academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Lees-McRae College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #25

    William Peace University

    Raleigh, NC

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    889

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31700

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31700

    William Peace University, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help learners meet their professional goals. Academic programs can take as little as a few months or as many as seven years to complete, depending on the degree or certificate type and the student's enrollment status. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Enrollees at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. William Peace University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #26

    Living Arts College

    Raleigh, NC

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    234

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16600

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16600

    From its campus in Raleigh, North Carolina, Living Arts College educates students as a private institution. The school offers accredited programs that prepare students for a successful career. Learners benefit from the school's academic rigor and affordable tuition rate. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

    #27

    Montreat College

    Montreat, NC

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    930

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $27950

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $27950

    From its campus in Montreat, North Carolina, Montreat College awards degrees and certificates as a top school. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Check the program website for specifics on the degree- or certificate-completion timeline. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help prospective students complete their application. Learners also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. Montreat College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #28

    Lenoir-Rhyne University

    Hickory, NC

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    2,742

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $38000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $38000

    Lenoir-Rhyne University, located in Hickory, North Carolina, often ranks as one of the best schools. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help learners meet a variety of professional goals. Depending on the program, students can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years earning their degree or certificate. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department can provide more information on the process. Enrollees at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #29

    Guilford College

    Greensboro, NC

    Graduation Rate

    56%

    Enrollment

    1,536

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $38530

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $38530

    From its campus in Greensboro, North Carolina, Guilford College offers multiple programs as a private institution. Students can earn a degree or certificate that prepares them for the workforce. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Guilford College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #30

    Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary

    Charlotte, NC

    Graduation Rate

    33%

    Enrollment

    79

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $10670

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10670

    Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary enrolls learners from its Charlotte, North Carolina campus. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help learners reach a variety of career goals. Depending on the program, students can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years earning their degree or certificate. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Learners at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover educational costs. Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary has been accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, an independent accrediting body.

    Why Choose a Private College or University in North Carolina?

    Learners in North Carolina can choose from several high-ranking public and private colleges. When selecting a school, prospective students should consider their learning objectives and financial constraints.

    Nonetheless, many students choose private institutions because private four-year colleges have ‘name-brand’ prestige and accreditations. North Carolina is home to 36 private colleges accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Private colleges also tend to be smaller and offer more intimate class settings. Many learners embrace the opportunity to form close-knit communities and build relationships with faculty.

    However, private colleges and universities tend to be more expensive and may not be financially accessible. Smaller private institutions may not offer the same breadth of majors, minors, and research opportunities as large public universities. Public colleges also tend to offer a more active campus life.

    In North Carolina specifically, the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) allows students to transfer credits easily within the state’s community college and state university systems, a financial-savvy benefit that private schools may not necessarily grant.

    Pros and Cons of Attending a Private College or University in North Carolina

    Pros

    • ‘Name brands’ attract students looking to earn degrees from reputable institutions.
    • Many private colleges offer more direct access to faculty and, in some cases, student resources, such as tutoring or disability services.
    • Private schools may offer close-knit campus communities and smaller, more intimate class settings.

    Cons

    • Although exact costs depend on the institution and students’ financial aid packages, private colleges are usually more expensive.
    • Private schools might offer fewer research opportunities and academic majors.
    • It can be more difficult to transfer credits outside a public university system.

    Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Universities in North Carolina

    Nonprofit colleges generate funding from state and federal governments, donors, and students’ tuition. Nonprofit colleges in North Carolina use resources to directly fund school amenities.

    For-profit colleges typically generate funding from students’ tuition and investors. For-profit institutions function more like businesses and aim to generate money for owners or shareholders.

    Since for-profit colleges are designed to make money, they often have higher tuition costs than their non-profit counterparts and may not be accredited. Even so, many for-profit schools attract students by offering support services and flexible learning formats.

    While all public universities are nonprofit institutions, private institutions can be nonprofit or for-profit. Determining whether a college is nonprofit or for-profit is usually as simple as checking the school’s website.

    How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Private College or University in North Carolina?

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition for private four-year colleges in North Carolina was $35,380 in the 2019-20 academic year. Students typically pay for several expenses in addition to tuition, including meal plans, housing costs, and student activity fees. In 2020, private colleges in North Carolina charged an average of $12,630 for room and board.

    Although attending private colleges can be a hefty financial commitment, many private schools offer substantial need and merit-based aid. Some students see a private education as a worthwhile investment. Many private schools have close-knit alumni networks and other infrastructures to help students find employment after graduation.

    Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

    Frequently Asked Questions About Private Colleges and Universities in North Carolina

    How many private universities are there in North Carolina?

    North Carolina has 36 accredited private colleges and universities. In any given year, these institutions serve more than 80,000 students.

    These colleges include Barton College, Brevard College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Davidson College, Duke University, Elon University, Greensboro College, Highpoint University, and Saint Augustine’s University, to name a few.

    What is the most expensive private university in North Carolina?

    Some of the best private schools in North Carolina can be very costly. Wake Forest University was the state’s most expensive private college in the 202-22 school year, with an annual tuition of $58,710. This figure accounts for tuition alone and does not include additional costs, such as room and board. In the same year, Duke University was the state’s second most expensive college, charging an annual tuition of $55,880.

    What is the least expensive private college or university in North Carolina?

    Apex School of Theology is the state’s least expensive private college. In the 2020-2021 school year, students at this college paid an annual tuition of $4,800. Residency does not impact tuition — all students, in state and out of state, pay the same price. Additionally, the school does not offer room and board. Students are responsible for securing off-campus housing, which can affect the total cost of attending.

    Is a private university right for me?

    College students looking for a more personalized learning experience, a close-knit campus community, and abundant student support services can benefit from a private education. However, private colleges are not ideal for all learners.

    Although private schools can be costly, they offer high-quality learning experiences for students in specialized majors. Depending on your field of study, this can be a benefit or disadvantage.

    Public institutions typically offer a wider variety of programs. In addition, students transferring from community colleges may find it easier to transfer credits to a public university.

    There are several factors that students must consider to determine if a private college or university is appropriate for them, including cost and degree programs. Consider your circumstances before choosing a school.

    Can I get more scholarship money at a private university?

    Although private universities in North Carolina have very high price tags, the National Association of College and University Business Officersreports that as of the 2020-21 academic year, private four-year colleges offered students an average tuition discount of 48%.

    However, it can be difficult to generalize schools’ policies regarding scholarships and financial aid. Many private colleges and universities in North Carolina have different metrics to determine who qualifies for need and merit-based assistance. Some of the best private schools in North Carolina have large endowments and can afford to grant students with substantial financial aid.