2022 Top Public Colleges and Universities in North Carolina

Public colleges and universities are often the most affordable option for students pursuing higher education, but it’s not just affordability that makes these institutions attractive. Public Public colleges and universities also rank highly among the best institutions in many states, North Carolina included.

Public Public colleges and universities receive state and federal funding. Although they generally have larger class sizes than private institutions, they also tend to offer a wide variety of academic programs, diverse student bodies, and prestigious research opportunities.

2022 Best Public 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

    Filter

    School Name


    Location


    Program


    Learning Format


    School Type


    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.

    $<1,000$100,000

    $<1,000 - $


    #1

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Graduation Rate

    91%

    Enrollment

    29,877

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8980

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $36159

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, often ranks as one of the best schools. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help students meet their career goals. Typical time for program completion ranges from a few months to seven years depending on the type of degree or certificate offered. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. At the accredited institution, learners also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #2

    University of North Carolina School of the Arts

    Winston Salem, NC

    Graduation Rate

    75%

    Enrollment

    1,086

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9358

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $25901

    A public institution, University of North Carolina School of the Arts educates students on its campus in Winston Salem, North Carolina. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their career goals. Students strengthen their knowledge of the field by completing coursework. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #3

    North Carolina State University at Raleigh

    Raleigh, NC

    Graduation Rate

    82%

    Enrollment

    36,304

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9101

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $29220

    From its campus in Raleigh, North Carolina, North Carolina State University at Raleigh offers academic programs as a public institution. The school offers accredited programs that prepare students for a successful career. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. 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. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. North Carolina State University at Raleigh has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #4

    Pamlico Community College

    Grantsboro, NC

    Graduation Rate

    69%

    Enrollment

    549

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $1867

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6475

    Pamlico Community College offers programs from its campus in Grantsboro, North Carolina. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help students reach a variety of career goals. Typical time for program completion ranges from a few months to seven years depending on the type of degree or certificate offered. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The admissions staff can provide more information on the process. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #5

    Appalachian State University

    Boone, NC

    Graduation Rate

    73%

    Enrollment

    19,280

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7409

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $22216

    Appalachian State University, located in Boone, North Carolina, operates as a public institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The public institution reports a graduation rate of 73%. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. Appalachian State University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #6

    University of North Carolina Wilmington

    Wilmington, NC

    Graduation Rate

    72%

    Enrollment

    17,499

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7181

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $21246

    Located in Wilmington, North Carolina, University of North Carolina Wilmington awards degrees and certificates as a public institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Students who complete an academic or technical program often enter the workforce right away. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. Bachelor's students graduate from the school at a rate of 72%. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. University of North Carolina Wilmington has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #7

    Carolinas College of Health Sciences

    Charlotte, NC

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    476

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $14812

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14812

    Carolinas College of Health Sciences grants degrees as a public institution from its location in Charlotte, North Carolina. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 100%. The rate of admission for the school is 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, an independent accrediting body.

    #8

    University of North Carolina at Charlotte

    Charlotte, NC

    Graduation Rate

    64%

    Enrollment

    29,615

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6905

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20339

    University of North Carolina at Charlotte enrolls students at its Charlotte, North Carolina campus as a public institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. The accredited institution meets the requirements for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 64%. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. University of North Carolina at Charlotte holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #9

    East Carolina University

    Greenville, NC

    Graduation Rate

    66%

    Enrollment

    28,651

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7238

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $23515

    Located in North Carolina, East Carolina University enrolls students in 187 programs. The institution offers top-ranked programs that provide a rigorous course of study. Information on the student-to-teacher ratio is unavailable. How much aid students receive on average is not currently known. The school reports a graduation rate of 66%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #10

    North Carolina A & T State University

    Greensboro, NC

    Graduation Rate

    51%

    Enrollment

    12,556

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6657

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20167

    Located in Greensboro, North Carolina, North Carolina A & T State University offers multiple programs as a public institution. Students leave the school with credentials that prepare them for the workplace. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. North Carolina A & T State University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #11

    Western Carolina University

    Cullowhee, NC

    Graduation Rate

    62%

    Enrollment

    12,167

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4277

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8277

    Western Carolina University, located in Cullowhee, North Carolina, enrolls students as a public institution. Learners take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs for students planning to enter the workforce or pursue further studies. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The public school reports a 62% graduation rate. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. Western Carolina University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #12

    Montgomery Community College

    Troy, NC

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    918

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2537

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8681

    A public institution, Montgomery Community College enrolls students from its campus in Troy, North Carolina. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, enrollees qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The school reports a 55% graduation rate. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying. Montgomery Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #13

    Brunswick Community College

    Bolivia, NC

    Graduation Rate

    53%

    Enrollment

    1,585

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2532

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8676

    Brunswick Community College, located in Bolivia, North Carolina, often ranks as one of the best schools. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Enrollees earn their degree or certificate in as little time as a few months or as much time as seven years depending on program type and enrollment status. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Learners also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #14

    Randolph Community College

    Asheboro, NC

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    2,903

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2373

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8133

    A public institution, Randolph Community College educates students on its campus in Asheboro, North Carolina. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares students for advancement in their field. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #15

    Southwestern Community College

    Sylva, NC

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    2,324

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2213

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7589

    Located in Sylva, North Carolina, Southwestern Community College enrolls students as a public institution. Learners take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The public institution reports a 50% graduation rate. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #16

    Mayland Community College

    Spruce Pine, NC

    Graduation Rate

    49%

    Enrollment

    399

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2558

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8702

    A public institution, Mayland Community College enrolls students on its campus in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. This makes it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. 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. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #17

    University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Greensboro, NC

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    20,196

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7403

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $22562

    University of North Carolina at Greensboro, located in Greensboro, North Carolina, operates as a public institution. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. At the accredited school, enrollees qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 59%. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Prospective applicants can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #18

    Wilkes Community College

    Wilkesboro, NC

    Graduation Rate

    37%

    Enrollment

    2,692

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2572

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8716

    A public institution, Wilkes Community College grants degrees from its campus in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their educational goals. Students complete coursework to prepare them for advanced roles. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Learners at the accredited school often fund their education with federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Wilkes Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #19

    Sampson Community College

    Clinton, NC

    Graduation Rate

    65%

    Enrollment

    1,429

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2783

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9695

    From its Clinton, North Carolina campus, Sampson Community College enrolls students in 54 programs. The institution's programs offer a rigorous course of study. The average student-to-faculty ratio is currently unknown. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 65%. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #20

    Wayne Community College

    Goldsboro, NC

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    2,948

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2524

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8668

    Located in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Wayne Community College grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing degree- or certificate-specific coursework. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. A waiver makes it easier to apply. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Wayne Community College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #21

    Haywood Community College

    Clyde, NC

    Graduation Rate

    41%

    Enrollment

    1,632

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2580

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8724

    Haywood Community College, located in Clyde, North Carolina, enrolls students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. These policies make it easier to enroll. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #22

    Winston-Salem State University

    Winston-Salem, NC

    Graduation Rate

    51%

    Enrollment

    5,121

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5941

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16188

    From its Winston-Salem, North Carolina campus, Winston-Salem State University enrolls students in 54 programs. Students choose from rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The average student-to-instructor ratio is currently unavailable. Information on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. Students in the school's programs graduate at a rate of 51%. Job seekers often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive job candidates. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #23

    Western Piedmont Community College

    Morganton, NC

    Graduation Rate

    43%

    Enrollment

    1,820

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2577

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8721

    From its campus in Morganton, North Carolina, Western Piedmont Community College enrolls students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. Students prepare to contribute to their field by completing courses. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. These policies make it easier to apply. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Western Piedmont Community College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #24

    Elizabeth City State University

    Elizabeth City, NC

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    1,769

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3260

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7260

    From its campus in North Carolina, Elizabeth City State University administers 41 total programs. The institution's top-ranked programs offer students a challenging course of study. Information on the average student-to-teacher ratio is unavailable. Data on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 39%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers stand out. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #25

    Cleveland Community College

    Shelby, NC

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    2,536

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2552

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8696

    A public institution located in Shelby, North Carolina, Cleveland Community College offers multiple programs. Students leave the school with experience and credentials that prepare them for the workforce. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Based on their major, students take essential courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #26

    Halifax Community College

    Weldon, NC

    Graduation Rate

    31%

    Enrollment

    1,087

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2608

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8752

    Halifax Community College, located in Weldon, North Carolina, grants degrees and certificates as a public institution. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 31%. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling. Halifax Community College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #27

    James Sprunt Community College

    Kenansville, NC

    Graduation Rate

    22%

    Enrollment

    1,266

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2570

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8714

    James Sprunt Community College, located in Kenansville, North Carolina, enrolls students in 47 programs. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-instructor ratio is unavailable. Data on the amount of aid students receive per year on average is unavailable. The school reports a 22% graduation rate. The institution's commitment to experiential learning makes graduates more competitive. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #28

    Richmond Community College

    Hamlet, NC

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    2,586

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2516

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8660

    Richmond Community College, located in Hamlet, North Carolina, enrolls students in 54 programs. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The average student-to-instructor ratio is currently unavailable. The average amount of aid awarded per student is not available. The public school reports a 39% graduation rate. Hands-on experience helps graduates stand out on the job market. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #29

    College of the Albemarle

    Elizabeth City, NC

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    2,587

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2245

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7451

    College of the Albemarle, located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, welcomes students with 53 program options. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The average student-to-instructor ratio is unknown. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. The school reports a graduation rate of 35%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps students enter the workforce. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #30

    Blue Ridge Community College

    Flat Rock, NC

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    2,332

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2651

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8795

    From its campus in Flat Rock, North Carolina, Blue Ridge Community College grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their educational goals. Students complete coursework to prepare them for advanced roles. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    Why Choose a Public College or University in North Carolina?

    North Carolina has the best of both worlds for outdoorsy folks: mountains and beaches. Coupled with its agreeable weather, this makes North Carolina a favorable place to live. North Carolina also offers a booming economy with major cities as well as a relatively low cost of living.

    North Carolina has a competitive university system that includesover 70 public Public colleges and universities. Carolina provides many options for you tochoose the best college for you. Although North Carolina is well known for the private Duke University, there are many top-ranking public institutions as well.

    When considering pursuing a degree at aprivate or a public college, you should factor in the pros and cons of each type of college. Public colleges and universities are typically larger, state-funded schools. Private colleges and universities are either for-profit or nonprofit educational institutions.

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

    Pros

    • Class options: Because public institutions tend to be larger, there are more majors and programs to choose from. They also have more course offerings than private institutions.
    • Location: North Carolina has mountains, oceans, large cities, and small towns. The state experiences mostly mild temperatures and has an overall low cost of living.
    • Sports: Many North Carolina schools have top-performing sports teams. Whether you play sports or simply enjoy watching basketball games, North Carolina has many competitive teams to follow.

    Cons

    • Larger class sizes: Public colleges and universities have a larger student population than private institutions, leading to larger class sizes.
    • Professor availability: Because public colleges and universities have more students and larger class sizes than private colleges, you may have difficulty connecting with your professors.
    • Hurricanes: Although the weather is mostly mild and temperate, North Carolina does experience hurricanes. Hurricanes can disrupt your school year, create damage, and can even be deadly.

    Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in North Carolina

    When researching colleges and universities in North Carolina, you should know whether the college or university is anonprofit or for-profit college. All public colleges and universities are nonprofit colleges. Private institutions can be either nonprofit or for-profit. There are pros and cons to attending a for-profit college.

    For-profit colleges and universities are private schools whose bottom line is to turn a profit. For-profit schools are funded by student tuition, which typically results in a higher tuition cost for students. On the other hand, nonprofit colleges receive funding from state governments, donations, and tuition.

    Investors and shareholders make decisions at for-profit colleges and universities, whereas private or public nonprofit colleges are governed by a board of trustees and are focused on the quality of education.

    Many graduates of for-profit schools struggle to find work in their fields upon graduating, and many lawsuits against for-profit colleges and universities have sprung up over the years for predatory practices.

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

    North Carolina is well-known for having affordable public postsecondary education. The average cost of tuition for public colleges and universities in North Carolina is lower than the national average cost of tuition for public institutions.

    For the 2019-20 academic year, the average cost of tuition and fees for public institutions in North Carolina was $7,230 for in-state residents, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The national average cost for tuition and fees that same year was $9,350.

    In-state residents and out-of-state residents pay different tuition and fee costs. However, out-of-state tuition in North Carolina is still lower than the national average for out-of-state tuition and fees. According to the NCES, the average cost of tuition and fees for North Carolina colleges and universities was $23,360 for out-of-state residents, whereas the national average cost was $27,020.

    There are many misconceptions about paying for college. For instance, tuition and fees are not the only cost of attending a college or university. You should also consider the cost of room and board. The average cost of room and board for public colleges and universities in North Carolina was $10,340 during the 2019-20 academic year.

    Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

    Frequently Asked Questions About Public Colleges and Universities in North Carolina

    How many public colleges and universities are there in North Carolina?

    North Carolina has over 70 public colleges and universities. According to the NCES, as of 2019-20 North Carolina had 75 public colleges and universities and 60 private institutions. Of the 60 private schools, 50 were nonprofit colleges.

    Public colleges and universities with the highest enrollment include the University of North Carolina’s multiple campuses, North Carolina State University, and East Carolina University.

    What is the most expensive public college or university in North Carolina?

    The most expensive public college or university in North Carolina is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The average cost of tuition and fees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for the 2021-22 academic year was $9,040 for in-state residents and $36,900 for out-of-state residents.

    Because of expensive tuition, cost may be a huge factor in determining where you attend college. Many aspects contribute to the high cost of colleges. Although colleges and universities in North Carolina are cheaper than the national average, the colleges vary in cost.

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

    There are several public colleges and universities in North Carolina with exceptionally inexpensive tuition and fees. Elizabeth City State University is one of the least expensive public institutions in North Carolina.

    Elizabeth City State University is very affordable, with a flat-rate yearly tuition of $1,000 for full-time in-state residents and $5,000 for full-time out-of-state residents. Including tuition and fees, the in-state tuition for the 2020-21 academic year was $6,600, and out-of-state tuition was $10,600.

    What is the biggest public college or university in North Carolina?

    There are several large public colleges and universities in North Carolina. The biggest public institution in North Carolina in terms of student population is North Carolina State University. In the 2021-22 academic year, North Carolina State University had over 36,000 enrolled students.

    The University of North Carolina has the largest university system in North Carolina. The university has 17 institutions and affiliate schools within the state. Several of these colleges, like the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have some of the largest student populations.

    Is a public college or university right for me?

    Whether or not to choose to study at a public college or university is a personal decision. Create a list of what is most important for your college experience. When deciding, consider how important factors like majors and programs, location, and cost are for you.

    You should also think about the size of the college. You may also want to consider a school’s alumni network, internship opportunities, student clubs and activities, and student support services while deciding.