Often called the Old North State, North Carolina is undergoing an exciting period of growth and development. The state has made a concerted effort in recent years to move beyond its agricultural history and enhance its competitive advantage in the areas of finance, biotechnology and green energy. While North Carolina’s higher education system has seriously benefited from this growth in investment and development, its students continue to pay considerably less than their counterparts in other states. Attending school in North Carolina is an affordable option for those seeking a strong education and access to some of the country’s fastest growing industries. This is excellent news, because according to the Lumina Foundation, North Carolina needs more college educated workers, and fast. In order to produce more graduates, education needs to be accessible to everyone, even those with full-time jobs and families to tend to, or those who live in a more remote area of the state. Online schools in North Carolina can bridge this accessibility gap.
There are a number of online schools in North Carolina offering flexible learning options to interested students. North Carolina community colleges, for example, have 248 curriculum and 45 continuing education courses online through their local colleges. UNC has received numerous accolades for its online program, The University of North Carolina Online. Through UNC’s online platform, students may pursue bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, certificate, and licensure programs in a number of subjects such as library science, leisure studies, statistics and foreign languages. UNC online students can also participate in The University of North Carolina Course Exchange, which allows students to enroll in courses outside of their home campus.
North Carolina’s community college system is made up of 58 separate campuses. These campuses are located within 30 minutes of 99 percent of the state’s population, which adds a level of convenience and accessibility unattainable in many other states. The school system currently educates approximately 840,000 students and prides itself on having the lowest tuition in the Southeast Region as well as one of the lowest in the nation. Community colleges in North Carolina are often recognized for their emphasis on the provision of customized work force training programs, occupational certifications and continuing education development.
North Carolina also provides a number of programs intended to support its students, including The Small Business Center Network, Continuing Education and Workforce Development, The BioNetwork and Minority Male Mentoring.
The University of North Carolina, the oldest public university in the nation, is spread across 16 campuses and serves as the state’s public education system. In addition to the university campuses, the UNC system also includes the NC School of Science and Math, which is the nation’s first public residential high school for high achieving students. Given that UNC receives strong financial support from the state, it is able to offer its students a tuition that is well below the national average. The public university system confers a majority of its degrees in the areas of social science, business management, communications, engineering, education, psychology, health professions and public affairs.
There are 36 nonprofit, private colleges in North Carolina. The private school system provides students with a number of options including women’s colleges, historically black universities and many religiously affiliated institutions. Financial assistance is readily available to those interested in pursuing a private education in North Carolina. On some campuses more than 90 percent of students receive some type of financial aid. In addition, many of these colleges and universities pride themselves on their diversity. Two of North Carolina’s most well-known private universities are Duke University and Wake Forest University.
University of North Carolina (UNC Online)
The University of North Carolina has always been an innovator in the field of higher education, so it makes sense that its online learning program, UNC Online, is more than just one of many online schools in North Carolina: it is a network of 16 universities offering more than 300 online programs of study, including several fully online certificate and degree programs. As of 2014, more than 70,000 students were enrolled in UNC Online, including traditional students, working professionals, military personnel and those who have completed some college, but did not complete their degrees (often called 2+2 students).
UNC was among some of the first universities in the nation to offer massive open online courses, or MOOCs. MOOCs are large, typically free online courses available to anyone, anywhere. Today UNC offers several MOOCs, some of which are offered in partnership with other well known universities.
You can learn more about UNC’s online programs and MOOCs by visiting UNC Online: http://online.northcarolina.edu/.
North Carolina State University (NC State DE)
North Carolina State is another example of an online school in North Carolina investing in its distance learning program. As of 2014, NC State enrolls more than 14,000 students in more than 300 distance education (DE) courses on a rotating basis, and nearly 70 DE degree, certificate and lateral entry programs. It even offers an online teacher licensure program. NC State’s online program is designed to help students overcome barriers to higher education, especially those with little time to spare, who live in remote areas (even overseas) or are enlisted in the military. Students have access to online advising and career counseling services, just as they would at any traditional university.
Though NC State does have its own fairly beefy catalog of online courses, it expands its reach considerably through partnerships with other schools and online learning organizations — among them are the eLearning Commission and UNC Online. It is also a member of the Southern Regional education Boards Electronic Campus, which helps students find online classes and services with member institutions from all across the South.
Learn more about NC State Distance Education—and all its programs and services—by visiting: http://distance.ncsu.edu/.
Wake Forest University (Semester Online)
Wake Forest University (WFU) is part of a broader online program called Semester Online. According to WFU, Semester Online is a “consortium of elite schools” that work together to offer credit bearing, 100 percent online courses taught by faculty at other prestigious schools. It is important to note that Semester Online differs from other programs offered by online schools in North Carolina in that it is designed to supplement campus-based learning. This means students will still need to attend traditional classes to complete their certificates and degrees. Courses are typically about 15 weeks in length and include at least some synchronous material, meaning students will need to “attend” live, real-time streaming class sessions in a virtual classroom environment.
You can learn more about Wake Forest University’s Semester Online program by visiting its website: http://college.wfu.edu/semesteronline/.
Best Online Schools in North Carolina for Future Military Service
Many schools along the Eastern seaboard offer excellent educational opportunities, but none can compare to North Carolina’s approach to civic-minded programs. Students interested in serving their country will find a multitude of schools boasting ROTC programs in North Carolina. In fact, we’ve listed them here. Each university below is non-profit, offers four-year degrees, and has at least two ROTC programs. Whether it’s Army, Navy or Air Force, students can find them in North Carolina. Another selling point is North Carolina’s various schools offering reasonable tuition costs.
|Tuition||City||ROTC - Army||ROTC - Navy||ROTC - Air Force|
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh||$5,748||Raleigh||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||$5,823||Chapel Hill||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Fayetteville State University||$2,585||Fayetteville||Yes||No||Yes|
|Winston-Salem State University||$2,807||Winston-Salem||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of North Carolina at Pembroke||$3,012||Pembroke||Yes||No||Yes|
|North Carolina A & T State University||$3,070||Greensboro||Yes||No||Yes|
|North Carolina Central University||$3,244||Durham||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of North Carolina at Charlotte||$3,453||Charlotte||Yes||No||Yes|
|East Carolina University||$3,758||Greenville||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of North Carolina at Greensboro||$3,779||Greensboro||Yes||No||Yes|
|Bennett College for Women||$14,614||Greensboro||Yes||No||Yes|
|Johnson C Smith University||$15,466||Charlotte||Yes||No||Yes|
|High Point University||N/A||High Point||Yes||No||Yes|
Best Online Schools in North Carolina for Small Class Size
From the mountains to the sea, North Carolina is home to many of the nation’s leading research universities. Students have the luxury of choosing among post-secondary degree programs offering major fields of study for in-demand professions as well as smaller, independent paths of study. The following non-profit schools have kept classes intimate. They all have 5,000 or more students, but classes don’t exceed the ratio of 20 students per professor.
|Mount Olive College||20 to 1||5,109||$16,800||Private not-for-profit||Mount Olive|
|University of North Carolina at Charlotte||19 to 1||23,197||$3,453||Public||Charlotte|
|Chowan University||18 to 1||1,372||$21,600||Private not-for-profit||Murfreesboro|
|North Carolina A & T State University||18 to 1||10,382||$3,070||Public||Greensboro|
|East Carolina University||18 to 1||23,674||$3,758||Public||Greenville|
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh||18 to 1||29,134||$5,748||Public||Raleigh|
|Apex School of Theology||17 to 1||608||$4,800||Private not-for-profit||Durham|
|Belmont Abbey College||17 to 1||1,897||$27,622||Private not-for-profit||Belmont|
|Appalachian State University||17 to 1||16,774||$3,542||Public||Boone|
|University of North Carolina at Greensboro||17 to 1||17,025||$3,779||Public||Greensboro|
|Livingstone College||16 to 1||1,238||$13,404||Private not-for-profit||Salisbury|
|Guilford College||16 to 1||3,218||$31,000||Private not-for-profit||Greensboro|
|High Point University||16 to 1||4,147||$||Private not-for-profit||High Point|
|Fayetteville State University||16 to 1||6,168||$2,585||Public||Fayetteville|
|Western Carolina University||16 to 1||8,921||$3,397||Public||Cullowhee|
|University of North Carolina Wilmington||16 to 1||13,699||$3,743||Public||Wilmington|
|Catawba College||15 to 1||1,401||$26,040||Private not-for-profit||Salisbury|
|North Carolina Wesleyan College||15 to 1||1,724||$25,710||Private not-for-profit||Rocky Mount|
|Shaw University||15 to 1||2,527||$11,160||Private not-for-profit||Raleigh|
|Elizabeth City State University||15 to 1||3,310||$2,582||Public||Elizabeth City|
|University of North Carolina at Pembroke||15 to 1||6,644||$3,012||Public||Pembroke|
|North Carolina Central University||15 to 1||7,476||$3,244||Public||Durham|
|Montreat College||14 to 1||856||$22,684||Private not-for-profit||Montreat|
|Lees-McRae College||14 to 1||925||$23,450||Private not-for-profit||Banner Elk|
|Saint Augustine’s University||14 to 1||1,628||$12,364||Private not-for-profit||Raleigh|
|Wingate University||14 to 1||1,741||$22,540||Private not-for-profit||Wingate|
|Johnson C Smith University||14 to 1||1,866||$15,466||Private not-for-profit||Charlotte|
|University of North Carolina at Asheville||14 to 1||4,603||$3,476||Public||Asheville|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||14 to 1||19,644||$5,823||Public||Chapel Hill|
|Pfeiffer University||13 to 1||1,104||$22,500||Private not-for-profit||Misenheimer|
|Methodist University||13 to 1||2,665||$26,600||Private not-for-profit||Fayetteville|
|Gardner-Webb University||13 to 1||3,572||$24,250||Private not-for-profit||Boiling Springs|
|Elon University||13 to 1||5,404||$28,633||Private not-for-profit||Elon|
|Mid-Atlantic Christian University||12 to 1||186||$11,680||Private not-for-profit||Elizabeth City|
|William Peace University||12 to 1||895||$23,700||Private not-for-profit||Raleigh|
|Warren Wilson College||12 to 1||962||$27,372||Private not-for-profit||Swannanoa|
|Barton College||12 to 1||1,316||$22,278||Private not-for-profit||Wilson|
|Mars Hill College||12 to 1||1,425||$22,156||Private not-for-profit||Mars Hill|
|Lenoir-Rhyne University||12 to 1||1,616||$27,718||Private not-for-profit||Hickory|
|Queens University of Charlotte||12 to 1||2,277||$27,576||Private not-for-profit||Charlotte|
|Winston-Salem State University||12 to 1||6,792||$2,807||Public||Winston-Salem|
|Salem College||11 to 1||1,035||$23,478||Private not-for-profit||Winston Salem|
|Greensboro College||11 to 1||1,262||$25,300||Private not-for-profit||Greensboro|
|Meredith College||11 to 1||1,854||$29,106||Private not-for-profit||Raleigh|
|Davidson College||11 to 1||1,915||$40,405||Private not-for-profit||Davidson|
|Wake Forest University||11 to 1||4,940||$42,700||Private not-for-profit||Winston Salem|
|Grace College of Divinity||10 to 1||141||$3,360||Private not-for-profit||Fayetteville|
|St. Andrews University||10 to 1||480||$22,674||Private not-for-profit||Laurinburg|
|Bennett College for Women||10 to 1||793||$14,614||Private not-for-profit||Greensboro|
|Carolina College of Biblical Studies||9 to 1||138||$4,500||Private not-for-profit||Fayetteville|
|New Life Theological Seminary||9 to 1||158||$7,700||Private not-for-profit||Charlotte|
|Piedmont International University||9 to 1||330||$11,440||Private not-for-profit||Winston Salem|
|Brevard College||9 to 1||688||$23,900||Private not-for-profit||Brevard|
|Carolina Christian College||8 to 1||67||$3,750||Private not-for-profit||Winston Salem|
|Cabarrus College of Health Sciences||8 to 1||592||$10,720||Private not-for-profit||Concord|
|Shepherds Theological Seminary||7 to 1||6||$6,120||Private not-for-profit||Cary|
|Heritage Bible College||7 to 1||84||$6,720||Private not-for-profit||Dunn|
|Laurel University||7 to 1||492||$8,160||Private not-for-profit||High Point|
|University of North Carolina School of the Arts||7 to 1||780||$5,270||Public||Winston-Salem|
|Duke University||7 to 1||7,284||$42,308||Private not-for-profit||Durham|
|Hood Theological Seminary||1 to 1||6||$||Private not-for-profit||Salisbury|
Best Online Schools in North Carolina for Women in STEM
North Carolina is home to numerous schools known for their superb technology and engineering programs for women. These STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields are ranked for having the highest earning potential after graduation. However, these are also programs that tend to have the least number of women enrolled. Fortunately, there are some amazing online schools in North Carolina that offer women an incredible learning environment while they pursue tech degrees. Some of these schools offer female-only dorms, while others arrange for new female students to receive guidance via mentorships from more experienced women in the same degree track. Some schools also have centers and dedicated staff encourage women’s pursuits in the technology and engineering disciplines. Below is a list of the ultimate North Carolina schools that are focused on offering women in tech the best higher education.
|TUITION + FEES||CITY||WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED||TOTAL ENROLLMENT||TYPE|
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh||$7,788||Raleigh||542||27,438||Public|
|Duke University||$43,623||Durham||239||15,004||Private Not for Profit|
|East Carolina University||$5,869||Greenville||146||21,093||Public|
|North Carolina A & T State University||$5,059||Greensboro||114||9,125||Public|
|Appalachian State University||$6,059||Boone||87||15,604||Public|
|University of North Carolina at Charlotte||$5,873||Charlotte||74||19,170||Public|
|Campbell University||$25,000||Buies Creek||52||4,637||Private Not for Profit|
|Winston-Salem State University||$4,941||Winston-Salem||34||5,332||Public|
|University of North Carolina School of the Arts||$7,558||Winston-Salem||31||874||Public|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||$7,693||Chapel Hill||26||24,222||Public|
|Western Carolina University||$5,925||Cullowhee||21||7,114||Public|
|North Carolina Central University||$5,200||Durham||9||6,501||Public|
|Fayetteville State University||$4,324||Fayetteville||9||4,302||Public|
|University of North Carolina Wilmington||$6,199||Wilmington||6||11,319||Public|
|Wake Forest University||$43,200||Winston Salem||5||7,217||Private Not for Profit|
Best Online Schools in North Carolina for Community Service Work
North Carolina is one of the best places to pursue a degree in social work, especially for those most interested in assisting families. These online schools in North Carolina combine practical field experience with unsurpassed advanced classroom learning. And with plenty of clinical setting and internship opportunities, these schools prepare their students for the variety of environments in which social work graduates may thrive. By comparing academic merits, facilities, rankings, and innovative techniques, we’ve gathered the foremost social work degree programs in North Carolina. Each of these schools listed below have programs that emphasize the social and psychological needs of families.
|CITY||SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED||WOMEN||MEN||TUITION & FEES||TOTAL ENROLLMENT|
|University of North Carolina at Charlotte||Charlotte||276||222||54||$5,873||19,170|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill||253||200||53||$7,693||24,222|
|East Carolina University||Greenville||197||167||30||$5,869||21,093|
|University of North Carolina at Greensboro||Greensboro||197||152||45||$6,136||14,440|
|Fayetteville State University||Fayetteville||183||132||51||$4,324||4,302|
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh||Raleigh||174||140||34||$7,788||27,438|
|Appalachian State University||Boone||141||119||22||$6,059||15,604|
|University of North Carolina at Pembroke||Pembroke||136||117||19||$4,857||4,546|
|University of North Carolina Wilmington||Wilmington||131||116||15||$6,199||11,319|
|Western Carolina University||Cullowhee||97||71||26||$5,925||7,114|
|North Carolina A & T State University||Greensboro||77||66||11||$5,059||9,125|
|North Carolina Central University||Durham||67||52||15||$5,200||6,501|
|Winston-Salem State University||Winston-Salem||57||45||12||$4,941||5,332|
|Elizabeth City State University||Elizabeth City||55||48||7||$4,150||2,553|
|Wake Forest University||Winston Salem||40||26||14||$43,200||7,217|
|Mars Hill College||Mars Hill||32||18||14||$24,536||1,175|
|University of North Carolina at Asheville||Asheville||29||26||3||$5,916||3,124|
|Warren Wilson College||Swannanoa||27||25||2||$27,740||973|
|Saint Augustine’s University||Raleigh||21||18||3||$17,160||1,466|
|Salem College||Winston Salem||16||16||$23,839||788|
|Johnson C Smith University||Charlotte||12||11||1||$18,236||1,496|
|Gardner-Webb University||Boiling Springs||10||4||6||$24,450||2,512|
|Campbell University||Buies Creek||9||8||1||$25,000||4,637|
|Bennett College for Women||Greensboro||7||7||$16,794||672|
|North Carolina Wesleyan College||Rocky Mount||7||6||1||$25,760||1,106|