If you live in North Carolina, you likely know the state is no slouch when it comes to higher education. Home to the prestigious University of North Carolina (UNC) system and a number of other top-tier public and private colleges, the state offers education options that can meet your different needs.
Attending one of the many online colleges in North Carolina can give you the flexibility to maintain a career while earning your degree. Read on to learn more about online schools in NC.
Why Consider Online Colleges in North Carolina?
- Many online schools in NC offer accelerated programs, allowing you to earn your degree faster.
- Research shows that having a bachelor's degree can lead to a higher salary.
- North Carolina is home to several top universities, including Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill.
- Online universities in NC may offer fields of study you can't find at local colleges.
- An online degree program makes juggling work and family obligations easier.
Did You Know?
North Carolina is projected to add more than 524,800 new jobs from 2020-2030.
Jobs in nursing, cooking, and information security are projected to grow the fastest in NC, with projected growth rates of over 50% through 2030.
North Carolina offers some of the most affordable two-year colleges in the country.
The UNC System enrolled 244,500 students across all institutions in fall 2021.
In 2021, the UNC System unveiled a $97 million plan to support adult online education.
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Top 5 Accredited Online Colleges in North Carolina
These rankings include
#1 Best Accredited Online Colleges in North Carolina
Appalachian State University
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Learners at Appalachian State University receive a high-quality online education. Offering 26 online programs to 4,490 distance students, the public institution educates individuals located across the country. The flexibility of online learning allows working professionals to complete coursework at convenient times.
Virtual learning environments provide opportunities for enrollees to connect with professors and peers. Internships help participants improve their professional credentials. Learners can access career services to locate professional opportunities and prepare for interviews.
Degree-seekers often receive scholarships from third-party organizations, along with federal financial aid. Students can contact a financial aid officer for information about eligibility requirements for institutional scholarships and fellowships. To fund their degree, 70% of enrollees use financial aid, and many receive other types of funding.
#2 Best Accredited Online Colleges in North Carolina
University of North Carolina Wilmington
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Online enrollees often participate in class discussions through forums and chat. Academic opportunities often include research projects, internships, and independent studies. Academic advisors help learners select classes and ensure they are on track to graduate.
The school offers numerous internal and external funding opportunities to eligible applicants. Students can contact a financial aid officer for information about eligibility requirements for institutional scholarships and fellowships. Financial aid helps 72% of the school's enrollees cover their educational costs.
#3 Best Accredited Online Colleges in North Carolina
North Carolina Central University
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Learners who need scheduling flexibility can consider North Carolina Central University's online programs. With a main campus in Durham, the school's academic offerings include 22 online programs. The institution enrolls 3,771 online degree-seekers.
The online learning community allows remote students to collaborate with peers through discussion boards and email. Tools such as videoconferencing and discussion boards allow participants to communicate with peers. Many employers prefer candidates with professional experience, which students can gain by completing internships and research projects. Academic advisors help online learners choose courses and stay on track for graduation. Enrollees gain professional and academic guidance through career workshops, mock interviews, and access to career services and academic advising.
Students can pursue financial aid to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Many organizations, such as professional associations, offer scholarships to learners in certain fields. The institution's statistics indicate that 93% of enrollees receive financial aid.
#4 Best Accredited Online Colleges in North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Learners can access flexible online programs from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Located in Greensboro, the school's academic options include in-person programs and 33 online programs. Of the institution's enrollees, 10,282 study in an online format.
Students can access support and resources through the online learning community. Participants learn alongside colleagues and communicate through email, chat, and discussion boards. In addition to completing internships, students can conduct original research to gain professional experience and impress employers after graduation. Online learners can access academic and professional resources to benefit their studies. During job fairs, enrollees can network with prospective employers and make professional connections.
To reduce the financial burden of higher education, eligible students can apply for financial aid. Learners often benefit from applying to a variety of funding programs, including those offered by private organizations. To defray the cost of their education, 88% of enrollees receive financial aid of some type, according to the institution's statistics.
#5 Best Accredited Online Colleges in North Carolina
Fayetteville State University
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Students who plan to attend school online can consider Fayetteville State University's remote academic programs. A leader in distance learning, the public school supports 16 remote programs from its main campus in Fayetteville. The institution provides online resources to support its 4,596 distance learners, including virtual library access and tutoring.
In the online classroom environment, enrollees can network with classmates and receive help from professors. Online programs require both general education and field-specific classes, helping learners gain hard and soft skills. Academic advisors help students choose electives that align with their professional aspirations. Enrollees can complete research projects and internships to enhance their resume and impress prospective employers.
With overall costs varying by program, applicants should contact the financial aid office for details regarding the cost of earning a degree. Students can apply for scholarships based on academic merit or personal history.
How Accreditation Works for Online Colleges in North Carolina
If you're considering online colleges in North Carolina, always make sure a school holds proper accreditation.
Accreditation tells you that the school has met certain academic standards and will provide you with a quality education. Avoid schools that don't don't hold accreditation.
Accreditation comes in two major forms: institutional and programmatic.
Most accredited online colleges in North Carolina will be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
How Much Do Online Schools in NC Cost?
Tuition rates for online colleges in North Carolina vary, but you'll generally pay anywhere from $2,500-$37,000 per year depending on which school you attend.
Factors such as whether the school is public or private, whether you enroll part time or full time, and whether you're a state resident can all affect how much you pay.
In general, public schools charge lower tuition rates than private colleges. You'll pay the lowest tuition at public schools as an in-state resident.
Financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships can also lower your overall college expenses. You should always submit the FAFSA to see whether you qualify for federal funding.
What Are the Most In-Demand Jobs in North Carolina?
If you plan to attend one of the many online colleges in North Carolina, you may already be considering your career options after graduation.
Those living in or planning to move to North Carolina can expect huge growth for highly skilled jobs such as nurse practitioner, information security analyst, and statistician.
|Job||Job Growth Rate (2020-2030)||Median Annual Salary (May 2021)|
|Information Security Analysts||51%||$119,980|
|Ushers, Lobby Attendants, and Ticket Takers||46%||$20,530|
|Locker Room, Coatroom, and Dressing Room Attendants||44%||$27,080|
|Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes||42%||$47,570|
|Solar Photovoltaic Installers||39%||$37,130|
What Are the Highest-Paying Jobs in North Carolina?
Most of the highest-paying jobs in North Carolina require advanced education credentials, usually a master's or first-professional degree.
That said, the state also boasts plenty of high-paying jobs you can pursue with just a bachelor's degree, such as airline pilot, natural science manager, and financial manager.
|Job||Median Annual Salary (May 2021)||Minimum Education Required|
|Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers||$172,960||Bachelor's|
|Physicians, All Other||$165,890||First-Professional|
|Law Teachers, Postsecondary||$154,400||First-Professional|
|Natural Sciences Managers||$152,220||Bachelor's|
City Spotlight: Explore Online Colleges in Raleigh, NC
The capital of North Carolina, Raleigh is part of the state's Research Triangle, which is home to firms such as IBM and Fidelity Investments.
Whether you're a Raleigh resident or an out-of-state learner, you can attend a Raleigh-based community college online.
Wake Technical Community College, for instance, offers over 100 completely online associate, diploma, and certificate programs.
Many colleges in Raleigh award online bachelor's and graduate degrees as well. For example, North Carolina State University — the largest four-year university in the state — offers over 120 online programs, including bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.
|Wake Technical Community College||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges||Public 2-Year|
|North Carolina State University||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges||Public 4-Year|
|Shaw University||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges||Private 4-Year|
|William Peace University||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges||Private 4-Year|
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in North Carolina
Is college free in North Carolina?
While not all college is free in North Carolina, the state does offer tuition incentives that can help lower your overall education expenses.
If you graduated from high school in 2022, you might be able to receive free tuition at any of the state's 58 community colleges through the North Carolina Longleaf Commitment Grant program. The UNC System also offers reduced tuition guarantees through its NC Promise program.
How many colleges and universities are there in North Carolina?
North Carolina is home to 135 colleges and universities, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This number includes community colleges and public and private four-year colleges and universities.
What NC colleges are online?
When it comes to online colleges in North Carolina, you have lots of options. Many of the state's two- and four-year colleges offer online courses and online programs in a variety of subjects.
Most schools in the UNC System offer online degrees, with online courses available to students across the 17-campus system.
What are the requirements for in-state tuition in North Carolina?
To receive in-state tuition in North Carolina, you must establish state residency. The state requires you to live in North Carolina for at least 12 consecutive months before you can qualify for in-state tuition.
Can you go to UNC-Chapel Hill online?
If you're looking for one of the top online colleges in North Carolina, look no further than UNC-Chapel Hill. The state's flagship university offers online courses at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.
You can also enroll in online certificate programs, bootcamps, and continuing education courses that meet professional licensure requirements at UNC-Chapel Hill.