Online Schools and Colleges in North Carolina

Accredited Degree Programs, Scholarships and Resources for Top Schools

The University of North Carolina System, the largest such system in the state, graduates 54,000 students each year across 200 academic programs. In addition to its 17 campuses, the system offers hundreds of online programs and thousands of fully online courses. This continues to drive online learning growth for a student body where more than one-fifth take at least a single online class each year. But beyond the UNC system, what other online colleges in North Carolina are fueling this growth, and which stand out when it comes to quality and cost? The following page gives current and future online students in the state a great place to start their online college research.

Best Online Colleges in North Carolina 2020

Best Online Schools

Online schools and colleges in North Carolina provide affordable, convenient options to help individuals advance their career. According to data from PayScale, early career professionals with bachelor's degrees from the state's top schools earned median salaries of $60,000 to $70,000 in 2019. Distance programs often provide flexible scheduling options and sometimes offer lower tuition rates.

This guide includes resources to help you begin your college search. The following sections include information about tuition costs and financial aid, accreditation, and scholarship and grant opportunities for learners attending online schools and colleges in North Carolina.

Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
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1 Pitt Community College Winterville, NC Tuition $1,824 # of Online Programs 27 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 10% Financial Aid 16% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
2 Fayetteville Technical Community College Fayetteville, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 33 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 12% Financial Aid 2% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
3 Wake Technical Community College Raleigh, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 31 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 16% Financial Aid 2% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
4 Craven Community College New Bern, NC Tuition $1,824 # of Online Programs 23 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 14% Financial Aid 15% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes
5 Guilford Technical Community College Jamestown, NC Tuition $2,128 # of Online Programs 16 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 13% Financial Aid 4% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
6 Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Salisbury, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 33 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 14% Financial Aid 8% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
7 Stanly Community College Albemarle, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 27 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 29% Financial Aid 11% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
8 Richmond Community College Hamlet, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 14 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 11% Financial Aid 11% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
9 Durham Technical Community College Durham, NC Tuition $2,066 # of Online Programs 13 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 10% Financial Aid 30% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
10 South Piedmont Community College Polkton, NC Tuition $1,728 # of Online Programs 12 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 16% Financial Aid - Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
11 Central Carolina Community College Sanford, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 21 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 25% Financial Aid 8% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes
12 Davidson County Community College Thomasville, NC Tuition $2,082 # of Online Programs 11 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 30% Financial Aid 14% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
13 Lenoir Community College Kinston, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 20 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 17% Financial Aid 21% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
14 Southwestern Community College Sylva, NC Tuition $2,128 # of Online Programs 7 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 30% Financial Aid 9% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
15 Pamlico Community College Grantsboro, NC Tuition $1,824 # of Online Programs 16 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 72% Financial Aid 18% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
16 Beaufort County Community College Washington, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 18 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 11% Financial Aid 29% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
17 Randolph Community College Asheboro, NC Tuition $1,824 # of Online Programs 3 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 25% Financial Aid 15% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
18 Brunswick Community College Bolivia, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 4 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 23% Financial Aid 4% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
19 Cleveland Community College Shelby, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 15% Financial Aid 3% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes
20 Western Piedmont Community College Morganton, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 8 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 22% Financial Aid 10% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes
21 Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Asheville, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 5 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 22% Financial Aid 8% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
22 James Sprunt Community College Kenansville, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 7 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 14% Financial Aid 6% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
23 Gaston College Dallas, NC Tuition $2,290 # of Online Programs 3 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 25% Financial Aid 2% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
24 Mayland Community College Spruce Pine, NC Tuition $2,304 # of Online Programs 3 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 31% Financial Aid 11% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
25 Sandhills Community College Pinehurst, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 3 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 15% Financial Aid 16% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
26 Piedmont Community College Roxboro, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 11 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 26% Financial Aid 12% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
27 Forsyth Technical Community College Winston-Salem, NC Tuition $1,906 # of Online Programs 34 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 15% Financial Aid - Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
28 Mitchell Community College Statesville, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 77 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 22% Financial Aid 8% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
29 Vance-Granville Community College Henderson, NC Tuition $1,824 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 34% Financial Aid 13% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
30 Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 13 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 13% Financial Aid 2% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
31 Nash Community College Rocky Mount, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 24 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 8% Financial Aid 18% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
32 Wayne Community College Goldsboro, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 17 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 15% Financial Aid - Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
33 Surry Community College Dobson, NC Tuition $2,128 # of Online Programs 18 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 30% Financial Aid 6% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
34 Coastal Carolina Community College Jacksonville, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 22% Financial Aid 4% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
35 Haywood Community College Clyde, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 16 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 17% Financial Aid 33% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
36 Bladen Community College Dublin, NC Tuition $2,128 # of Online Programs 15 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 11% Financial Aid 7% Credit For Experience No Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes
37 Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Hudson, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 8 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 18% Financial Aid 9% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
38 Robeson Community College Lumberton, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 8 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 5% Financial Aid 20% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
39 Wilson Community College Wilson, NC Tuition $2,128 # of Online Programs 8 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 20% Financial Aid 15% Credit For Experience No Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes
40 Tri-County Community College Murphy, NC Tuition $2,304 # of Online Programs 5 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 27% Financial Aid 8% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
41 Montgomery Community College Troy, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 12 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 26% Financial Aid 19% Credit For Experience No Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes
42 Edgecombe Community College Tarboro, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 4 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 11% Financial Aid 9% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
43 Blue Ridge Community College Flat Rock, NC Tuition $2,432 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 28% Financial Aid 12% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
44 Alamance Community College Graham, NC Tuition $2,280 # of Online Programs 4 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 19% Financial Aid 16% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
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1 Appalachian State University Boone, NC Tuition $4,159 # of Online Programs 14 Acceptance Rate 68% Graduation Rate 71% Financial Aid 36% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Tucked in the mountains of North Carolina, Appalachian State University provides a unique, holistic education that not all public schools can offer. All online undergraduate degree programs are intended for transfer students who are working toward a specific career. With that in mind, students can complete their education in 2 years while studying at their own pace. Students transferring into this program should have already completed their lower division credits at another institution. There are currently 7 entirely online bachelor's degree programs, as well as the hybrid bachelor's degree in middle grades education. Appalachian State also offers master's degree programs both online and in hybrid format, as well as graduate certificates. Every program at each level is taught with one goal in mind: to advance the student's career.

2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC Tuition $6,881 # of Online Programs 8 Acceptance Rate 27% Graduation Rate 91% Financial Aid 41% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Often recognized as one of the most prestigious schools in the nation, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a leader in many fields, including online education. The majority of online students at UNC are graduates, and most are involved in public health or health sciences. Public health makes up the largest part of the online graduate program with 3 master's degrees, 1 doctoral degree and 6 certificates. UNC is seen as a global leader in health sciences, and the same respect given to their on-campus programs is extended to their online programs. UNC doesn't have any entirely online undergraduate programs, but they offer many undergraduate courses online. All required core courses can be completed online for active military and veterans, so those students can feasibly study toward a hybrid degree or complete their degree in less time than the traditional 4 years. There are also a variety of continuing education courses available online.

3 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC Tuition $6,407 # of Online Programs 38 Acceptance Rate 48% Graduation Rate 78% Financial Aid 48% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Among the top research schools in the nation, North Carolina State University has attracted world-class staff and faculty, improving the quality of education. For students considering online school at NC State, it may help to know that the same faculty teaches both on-campus and online. Aside from their faculty, NC State is among the best in online studies because of their vast number of options. There are currently 5 undergraduate programs offered at least partially online, as well as five undergraduate certificates that can be used to further specialize a degree. After earning a bachelor's degree, students can find master's and doctoral programs online, as well as certificates and licensure for teaching. Despite being online, their distance education still receives a lot of national attention and research funding, making it an excellent stepping stone for students looking to advance in their career or switch careers entirely.

4 Apex School of Theology Durham, NC Tuition $4,800 # of Online Programs 5 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 100% Financial Aid 12% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes

Founded in 1995, Apex School of Theology is one of the younger institutions in the nation. Despite their short time teaching higher education, Apex has already established itself as a top Christian school with a focus on African-American culture. There are only 7 main programs offered at Apex - 1 bachelor's degree, 4 master's degrees, 1 doctoral degree and 1 associate degree - aside from their continuing education programs. However, students won't need to travel to campus to get any of their studies done. Apex offers all of their degree programs entirely online with each course mirroring the same quality and difficulty as their on-campus versions. Online courses are also offered in the traditional 16 week format or an abbreviated 8-week session. Regardless of where students live, Apex charges a flat rate per class, with different fees being applied to the different degree levels. This structure is meant to help keep the cost of an education low, since the programs are designed for working students.

5 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC Tuition $3,893 # of Online Programs 18 Acceptance Rate 41% Graduation Rate 59% Financial Aid 68% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Western Carolina University began as a teaching school but quickly grew into much more. While teaching is still one of the most popular subjects for students to study at WCU, other programs, such as nursing and engineering, have started to attract more national attention. Perhaps the most renowned program at WCU is entrepreneurship, which can be studied as a minor, bachelor's of science or bachelor's of science in business administration. This 4-year program is available both on-campus and entirely online, or as a hybrid. A master's degree in entrepreneurship is also offered entirely online through a quick 30-semester hour program. Entrepreneurship isn't the only program offered entirely online, though, as students can pick from 18 different programs, ranging from certificates to master's degrees. The program that students do end up picking will determine their tuition per credit, so students with previous credit can reduce the time and cost of their program.

6 University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, NC Tuition $4,356 # of Online Programs 13 Acceptance Rate 72% Graduation Rate 71% Financial Aid 50% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Joining the UNC system nearly 50 years ago, the University of North Carolina Wilmington may not be the oldest or most storied institution in North Carolina, but they have gained national attention. Their dedication to student experience and innovation is noticeable not just with the growth of the school, but also with the growth of their online program. Online undergraduate degrees as UNC Wilmington are similar to those found at other schools, save a few of their majors. For example, their bachelor's in exercise science is a unique program both for its academics and format. Students that pursue this online degree with take courses in 6 sessions throughout the year, and courses last 7 weeks at a time. All of their bachelor's degrees can be completed entirely online, except for clinical experience (if required). UNC Wilmington also has an array of master's degrees and one doctoral degree in nursing practice.

7 East Carolina University Greenville, NC Tuition $4,356 # of Online Programs 57 Acceptance Rate 70% Graduation Rate 61% Financial Aid 42% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Founded over 100 years ago as a teacher training school, East Carolina University is now one of the largest schools in North Carolina. While the school has experienced significant growth over the years, they've managed to maintain the same level of quality across all their programs - including those offered online. ECU's online school has over 50 degree choices, many more than most online schools across the nation. For students that are interested in earning a bachelor's degree, it's important to know that all their online bachelor's programs are degree completion. Transfer students and students that are switching to online education should have little to no problem getting their credits to go toward their new degree at ECU. ECU recommends that all transfer students enter with at least the first 2 years of their college education completed, or with a compatible associate degree. Also, a few programs require some campus attendance.

8 North Carolina Central University Durham, NC Tuition $3,655 # of Online Programs 14 Acceptance Rate 67% Graduation Rate 49% Financial Aid 82% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

There is plenty to know about North Carolina Central University aside from the fact that they were the first public liberal arts school for African Americans. Since 1909, NCCU has been working to find new ways to reach students, which led to the creation of their online school. What makes NCCU online unique is that they offer 2 of their 3 most popular undergraduate degrees entirely online: a bachelor's in criminal justice and a bachelor's in psychology. Both of these online programs carry the same amount of respect as a traditional bachelor's from NCCU would. NCCU's commitment to making their online program one of the best in the state extends beyond academics. Students that earn a degree online will have access to special networking and job opportunities, helping them find a new career upon graduating. These programs are designed with working students in mind, so even busy students can find a way to make their online degrees work.

9 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC Tuition $3,737 # of Online Programs 17 Acceptance Rate 62% Graduation Rate 58% Financial Aid 28% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Located in one of the busiest cities in the state, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte was founded after WWII specifically to be a research institution. While UNC Charlotte is still recognized for their research, they've since expanded into other areas, one of the most recent being distance education. UNC Charlotte's online program is into 4 colleges: education, engineering, liberal arts & sciences and health & human services. Each of these colleges has multiple undergraduate and graduate degree options, some of which are 4-year programs that can be completed entirely online. Some of the specific programs may also require in-person experience; for example, to become a certified teacher in North Carolina, students in the online school of education will still be required to gain licensure through clinical experience. Anyone worried about the quality of UNC Charlotte's online school should know that all online courses are taught by the same professors that teach on campus.

10 Grace College of Divinity Fayetteville, NC Tuition $4,080 # of Online Programs 5 Acceptance Rate 75% Graduation Rate 50% Financial Aid 52% Credit For Experience No Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes

Formerly known as Grace Leadership Institute, Grace College of Divinity is a Christian school that offers education down 1 of 4 tracks: leadership, worship, ministry and family life. Following that, there are only 4 undergraduate options at GCD, each of which follows at least one of those tracks. These bachelor's degrees are made available through a variety of means, including entirely online. Online courses have students engage in online discussion boards, keeping everyone within the GCD community. GCD does require some in-person experience, and the required experience varies depending on the degree - so, strictly speaking, not all of the undergraduate degrees can be completed entirely online. That being said, each program is structured for students that are currently working, so there is flexibility regardless of how they study.

11 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC Tuition $4,335 # of Online Programs 19 Acceptance Rate 74% Graduation Rate 58% Financial Aid 61% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Students enrolled in fully online programs to complete a bachelor's degree at UNC Greensboro can expect to pay less than their on-campus peers. There are options to study peace and conflict, business administration, supply chain management, public health or human development. Prior credit and GPA requirements vary by degree, and you can download the Online Student Guide to determine specifics. Most pathways call for the satisfaction of 122 total credit hours with a 2.0 grade average in order to graduate. Some classes require you to access your coursework at specific times. Instructors use web conferencing and chat boards to offer an interactive classroom experience. Other curriculum is completed at your own pace. Throughout the academic journey, Student Success Services is available to connect online learners with supports such as library access, the writing center and the bookstore. As you near graduation, the Career Services Center assists in career exploration, interview preparation and job placement.

12 Queens University of Charlotte Charlotte, NC Tuition $31,360 # of Online Programs 5 Acceptance Rate 83% Graduation Rate 62% Financial Aid 99% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

At Queens University of Charlotte, students can choose from over 40 degree options in fields of social sciences, arts and design, business, communication, humanities and education. Although most coursework is held on campus, you can search the catalog for online offerings. Admissions eligibility is determined by your high school transcript and SAT or ACT scores. Applicants are also encouraged to submit letters of recommendation. In order to graduate, you will satisfy 120 credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. On top of this, 100% of students will participate in an internship at companies such as Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and YMCA. Over 50% of enrollees take advantage of study abroad opportunities, ranging from language immersion programs in Spain to business internships in France. You can utilize a number of supports throughout your academic journey, including the stress reduction team, which is made up of Nola and Sunshine, 2 friendly canines available for snuggles and walks.

13 Fayetteville State University Fayetteville, NC Tuition $2,923 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate 59% Graduation Rate 37% Financial Aid 73% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Online degree completion programs at Fayetteville State University are designed for students who have satisfied the school's core curriculum or are concurrently taking courses at a partner college. Applicants living outside of North Carolina have to acquire approval from their state of residency prior to enrollment. You must possess a minimum 2.0 GPA to be eligible for enrollment, and this grade average is to be maintained throughout the completion of the average 120 credits needed for graduation. There are 10 available disciplines, including accounting, intelligence studies, nursing, sociology or fire and emergency services administration. Classes are implemented in a semi-structured format through the web platform Canvas, in which students can work toward assignment deadlines and exams on their own schedule. Canvas is also host to Smarthinking Online Tutoring, a virtual service assisting students in writing assignments. Additional resources provide career guidance, technical help and financial aid information. You only need to submit 1 application to be considered for the 100+ available school-funded scholarships.

14 Campbell University Bules Creek, NC Tuition $28,800 # of Online Programs 13 Acceptance Rate 81% Graduation Rate 48% Financial Aid 89% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Students looking to finish their bachelor's degree quickly can enroll in Campbell University's accelerated online programs, which implement courses in 8-week formats. You can select from disciplines such as accounting, Christian studies, criminal justice, elementary education, health care management or psychology. Graduation requirements vary based on your degree choice and academic history. However, all programs call for a 2.0 minimum GPA in order to be admitted and to graduate. Classes are delivered through the web platform Blackboard Learn by campus faculty, and technical assistance is available 24/7. Online learners can also utilize the Office of Student Success, which offers access to free tutoring, counseling services and accommodations for disabilities. Military members may be eligible for the Campbell Online Military Benefit, which provides discounted tuition rates. Students with a military history can also speak to an advisor about using their experience for credit. As a Christian-based school, there are opportunities to participate in chapel services and mission trips.

15 Gardner-Webb University Boiling Springs, NC Tuition $29,420 # of Online Programs 29 Acceptance Rate 52% Graduation Rate 55% Financial Aid 100% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

The Christian-based Gardner-Webb University is host to a number of online degree completion programs, including accounting, Christian ministry, elementary education and organizational leadership. Students interested in going beyond the 128 credits required for graduation can enroll in Gardner-Webb Plus! to participate in research, community service or study abroad experiences. All enrollees will be connected with an academic adviser who will assist in initial registration and guidance throughout the educational journey. Additional academic supports include the writing center, peer tutoring and the first-year program, which encourages students to build relationships, grow in their faith and serve within their community. The Center for Personal and Professional Development offers tools for job exploration, and students can also have their professional headshots taken. Although there are no specific admission requirements, the average applicant holds a 3.7 GPA, an ACT score of 22 or an SAT score of 1015. Residents and non-residents pay the same tuition rates, and school-funded scholarship opportunities specific to undergraduates are also available.

16 Lenoir-Rhyne University Hickory, NC Tuition $33,730 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate 70% Graduation Rate 55% Financial Aid 100% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Exercise science, multimedia communication and sacred music are just a few of the options to earn a bachelor's degree at Lenoir-Rhyne University. All programs include the school's core curriculum, which is designed to help students transition to college life while also providing foundational courses in the liberal arts and sciences. Certain classes may be offered in a hybrid or online format through the web platforms Canvas and WebEx. Technical assistance is available 24/7, and the Lohr Learning Commons links enrollees with tutoring and career guidance. Students can also utilize web conferencing to receive assistance from campus librarians. In addition, students are encouraged to take advantage of the school's outside learning opportunities, such as Engaged Scholars, which awards participants for independent research, study abroad experience or internships. In order to graduate, students will need to satisfy 128 credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. First-time applicants will be required to submit an application, transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.

17 University of Mount Olive Mount Olive, NC Tuition $19,000 # of Online Programs 3 Acceptance Rate 48% Graduation Rate 44% Financial Aid 93% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

There are 2 online programs to complete undergraduate studies at the Christian-based, private University of Mount Olive. Students can work toward a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and criminology in order to enter the workforce as police officers, private investigators, CIA agents or postal inspectors. The second pathway is a completion program for nursing students who have already received an associate degree in the medical field. Both options require the completion of 126 credit hours with a minimum 2.0 GPA in order to graduate. The Academic Resource Center is available to connect online learners to peer tutoring services, study groups and supplemental instruction for notoriously challenging classes. Following degree completion, students can utilize the UMO Job Network to post resumes and search for employers. First-time undergraduates will need to submit an application as well as SAT or ACT scores. It is suggested that prospective students possess a high school grade average of 2.5.

18 Winston-Salem State University Winston-Salem, NC Tuition $3,335 # of Online Programs 5 Acceptance Rate 63% Graduation Rate 48% Financial Aid 60% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes

Winston-Salem State University offers students opportunities to earn a bachelor's degree through 100% online studies in the fields of clinical laboratory science, nursing, education and interdisciplinary studies. The MLT to CLS program is intended for graduates of an NAACLS approved Medical Laboratory Technology associate degree who wish to continue on with their education in order to enter the workforce as medical technologists or forensic scientists. The RN to BSN program is open to future nurses possessing an associate degree or 24 recognized credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Students wanting to teach or work in the business side of education can complete undergraduate work through the Birth-Kindergarten Education pathway. For those interested in multiple disciplines, interdisciplinary studies allows for a customized plan of study. Admissions, graduation requirements and state reciprocity agreements vary for each program. Prospective students can contact their distance learning coordinator or consult the undergraduate catalog for degree-specific information.

19 North Carolina A & T State University Greensboro, NC Tuition $3,470 # of Online Programs 8 Acceptance Rate 54% Graduation Rate 51% Financial Aid 66% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

If you're looking for more flexibility in your schedule but are unsure of whether distance education is the right decision, North Carolina A&T State University provides a readiness assessment for students. Online programs to earn a bachelor's degree are available for students interested in fields such as agricultural education, business, electronics technology, geomatics and African American studies. Following enrollment, there are a number of resources to assist students in navigating the virtual Blackboard Learn classroom, including library access, free tutoring and technical support. Students nearing the completion of the 120-125 credits required to graduate can utilize the Office of Career Services for job searches, interview preparation and resume writing. All coursework must be passed with a C or higher in order to count toward credit. Applicants will want to check with their program of choice to determine admissions criteria, as some options are intended for transfer students and others for incoming freshman.

20 Mid-Atlantic Christian University Elizabeth City, NC Tuition $13,600 # of Online Programs 4 Acceptance Rate 46% Graduation Rate 40% Financial Aid 95% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

The School of Professional Studies at Mid-Atlantic Christian University is host to both hybrid and accelerated online programs to complete an undergraduate degree in business administration, family studies or Christian ministry and biblical studies. Following the fulfillment of 120-128 credit hours with a minimum 2.0 GPA, students enter fields of human resources, management, public policy and education. Additional graduation requirements include participation in Christian service hours and passing the Bible content test of the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Prospective enrollees must possess an associate degree or 60 credit hours from an accredited learning institution and be able to demonstrate a 2.0 grade average on transferrable coursework. If you don't meet this requirement, the school offers a Bridge Program to close the gap between foundational courses and degree-specific curriculum. Online Registration and Student Information Services links students to academic advising, the bookstore and financial aid information.

21 Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Wake Forest, NC Tuition $9,960 # of Online Programs 12 Acceptance Rate 76% Graduation Rate 31% Financial Aid 17% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Christian studies are at the heart of academics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Students can choose from over 20 options to earn a bachelor's degree in areas such as Christian counseling, history, pastoral ministry, theology and philosophy. Regardless of pathway, all Bachelor of Arts programs involve 48 hours of general education and 24 hours of Christian core curriculum. Bachelor of Science programs entail 36 hours of general education, 45 hours of global studies or pastoral ministry and 45 hours of vocational electives. A number of classes are offered online for students seeking flexibility. Graduation will result from the completion of 127 credit hours with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Additionally, students must attend 20 chapel services or listen to 25 recorded services throughout their time at school. Applicants will need to pass a criminal background check as well as submit transcripts, 2 character references, 1 pastor reference and 1 church reference to be considered for admissions.

22 Pfeiffer University Misenheimer, NC Tuition $28,000 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate 44% Graduation Rate 36% Financial Aid 100% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Students with a minimum of 24 credit hours are eligible to participate in Pfeiffer University's online and hybrid programs for completing a bachelor's degree. Prospective students who don't meet the credit minimum will need to submit ACT or SAT scores for admission. The 100% online option is available for those interested in health administration, business management and leadership, criminal justice or nursing. Coursework must be passed with a grade C or above, and most programs require an average of 120 credit hours in order to graduate. Prior to graduation, online learners can utilize the Office of Career Services and Internships for help in job exploration, networking, resume writing and interview skills. In-state and out-of-state residents pay the same tuition rates, and active-duty military members, veterans and enrollees in the RN-BSN program receive discounts. On top of this, there are $7,000-$12,000 scholarships awarded specifically to transfer students each year. Prospective applicants can plan on attending the annual Transfer Student Day where they will learn about enrollment and other financial aid opportunities.

23 John Wesley University High Point, NC Tuition $10,500 # of Online Programs 14 Acceptance Rate 39% Graduation Rate 50% Financial Aid 46% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes

Christian-based Piedmont International University aims to balance academics and spiritual life through its online programs when earning a bachelor's degree. On top of completing an average of 120 credits with a grade C or above, students are required to regularly attend and serve at an approved church. The school also records its own chapel services, which online learners are encouraged to listen to. Available undergraduate programs include biblical studies, Christian ministry and sign language interpretation. For more information regarding a desired program of study, students can contact the academic adviser specific to online undergraduate degree. Once enrolled, the Academic Success Center provides tutoring resources as well as accommodations for students with disabilities. Applicants must submit a personal testimony, reference forms, proof of a minimum 2.0 GPA and an ACT score of 17 or the SAT equivalent. In-state and out-of-state residents pay the same tuition rates, and there are a number of school-sponsored scholarships to assist in costs.

24 University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke, NC Tuition $3,531 # of Online Programs 8 Acceptance Rate 74% Graduation Rate 36% Financial Aid 38% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

For students who are interested in completing a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, sociology, interdisciplinary studies or business administration, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke offers the opportunity to do so in a hybrid or fully online format. The school partners with a number of community colleges to make the transition simple. Students can also use a transfer tool to determine which credits will count toward their program. Although degrees vary in requirements, graduation calls for the fulfillment of an average 120-128 credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. The faculty members teaching on-campus coursework are also in charge of online classes, which are implemented through the web platform Blackboard. The Transfer Transition Office works directly with online learners by connecting them to resources such as free tutoring, writing services, accommodations for disabilities and the Resource Learning Lab, which uses a variety of software programs to teach students time management and note-taking skills.

25 Montreat College Montreat, NC Tuition $24,740 # of Online Programs 7 Acceptance Rate 61% Graduation Rate 34% Financial Aid 100% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes

Montreat College's online bachelor's degree completion programs implement coursework in 5- to 8-week formats through the web platform Moodle. Students can choose to study business administration, psychology and human services, bible and religion, cybersecurity, human resource management or marketing. Curriculum is rooted in Christian values and instruction is implemented through a biblical lens. All students can utilize the school's resources and opportunities, including BestSemester, a program for international and domestic academic experiences. The Thrive Center for Learning, Calling and Career helps learners develop programs of study, explore job options and build resumes. Demonstration of a 2.0 GPA in prior college coursework is necessary for admissions, and this grade average must be maintained in order to finish your degree. Applicants will need to submit high school and college transcripts as well as American Council on Education proof of CLEP or DSST exams. Graduates enter the workforce as marketing directors, hospice chaplains, biblical authors and market research analysts.

26 Lees-McRae College Banner Elk, NC Tuition $24,878 # of Online Programs 4 Acceptance Rate 63% Graduation Rate 39% Financial Aid 100% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Students possessing an associate degree or prior college credit are eligible to enroll in Lees McRae College's online opportunities to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration, criminal justice, elementary education, human services or nursing. Following an average of 2 years and the completion of 120 total credits, graduates enter the workforce as parole officers, teachers, medical case managers and sales directors. Courses are delivered through the web platform Brightspace, and the Helpdesk is available to respond to any technical concerns. All students also receive a copy of Microsoft Office 365. Other resources include the school's career and counseling services, which assist online learners with networking, stress management and relationships. Residents and non-residents pay the same tuition, and there is a flat rate for textbook rentals each semester. Students can also take advantage of financial aid options and school-funded scholarships to help cut down on costs. Admissions calls for a minimum 2.0 GPA, but students will need to check with individual programs for additional degree-specific requirements.

27 Williams Peace University Raleigh, NC Tuition $26,880 # of Online Programs 3 Acceptance Rate 63% Graduation Rate 36% Financial Aid 98% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

William Peace University offers a number of online bachelor's degrees for prospective students looking for flexible options. Students can earn a Bachelor of Science in business administration or leadership or nonprofit administration. They can also pursue a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies, marketing, psychology or strategic communication. All online bachelor's degree programs at William Peace University are designed to give busy students a flexible way to begin or continue their college education. They are taught through Moodle, which is a course management system that allows students to access and submit assignments and exams. Students should expect to spend about 10 to 15 hours per week on a 3-credit course and log into the course at least 4 to 5 times per week. To be considered for admission to any of these 4-year online degrees, students are required to submit their official high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. In addition to need-based financial aid, William Peace University offers merit scholarships ranging in value from $4,000 to $18,000.

28 Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary Charlotte, NC Tuition $9,360 # of Online Programs 6 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 15% Financial Aid - Credit For Experience No Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes

At Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary offers 3 bachelor's degree programs designed to prepare students for Christian ministerial careers. The BA in Biblical Studies offers 3 different concentrations; the BA in Urban Christian Ministries offers 6 concentrations; and the BA in Pastoral Studies stands alone. Graduates often go on to teaching positions in a church setting, missionary work or graduate degree programs. Students may choose to complete their bachelor's degree entirely online or through a combination of online and on-campus courses. Each degree is a 4-year program requiring 128 credit hours of coursework. Charlotte Christian College uses a web-based college management system called Populi to offer online courses. Populi allows students to easily communicate with their professor and peers through online discussion boards. All online courses run 8 weeks and there are 2, 8-week sessions offered during the fall, spring and summer semesters. This allows students studying online to accelerate the pace of their learning.

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How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I'm Looking for in North Carolina?

North Carolina is home to a variety of higher education institutions, many of which offer online programs. Prospective students should thoroughly research options before selecting a school. The College Foundation of North Carolina provides information about institutions in the state. You can also click the icon below to learn about online schools and colleges in North Carolina.

How Much More Do College Grads in North Carolina Make?

Earning a degree can significantly increase a professional's salary potential. Higher levels of educational attainment typically lead to higher salaries.

While no degree guarantees a particular salary, obtaining additional education can qualify graduates for high-paying jobs. The table below illustrates the correlation between education level and earning potential for professionals nationwide.

Annual Full-Time Wage and Salary by Educational Attainment in the U.S.
Less Than a High School Diploma High School Diploma Associate Degree
$28,756 $37,960 $44,824
Bachelor's Degree Master's Degree Doctoral Degree
$62,296 $74,568 $94,900

Source: BLS

Paying for Online College in North Carolina: Tuition and Financial Aid

Learners should consider the cost of tuition when budgeting for school. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of college tuition in North Carolina has increased every year from 1985 to 2017. However, the average cost of tuition and fees at North Carolina public schools is below the national average for both in-state and out-of-state students.

The tables below show the average cost of tuition and fees at North Carolina institutions. The cost of tuition varies significantly based on the type of institution and the student's residency status.

Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Public Colleges and Universities
In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition National Average
$7,924 $20,061

$9,037 (In-State)

$25,657 (Out-of-State)
Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Private Colleges and Universities
Tuition Out-of-State Tuition National Average
$32,140 N/A $30,731

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Cost Considerations for Online Students in North Carolina

The figures above only include the cost of tuition and fees. However, online students may encounter additional expenses. Below are some cost considerations for students attending online schools and colleges in North Carolina.

Required Travel: Some online programs require students to take tests, complete internships, or fulfill residency requirements in person. Learners in these programs should budget for travel expenses.
Online Fee: Some schools charge distance learners a flat fee at the time of enrollment. Institutions typically only collect this fee one time.
Textbooks and Materials: Distance learners should budget for textbooks and supplies. Online learners must often purchase physical or digital textbooks and software.
Technology Fees: In addition to a flat online learning fee, some schools charge per-semester or per-course technology fees. These fees often cover the cost of tech support, learning software, and online resources.
Tuition by Degree Program: More popular online programs may have higher tuition rates. Additionally, some degree programs require fees to cover labs or facilities.

Qualifying for In-State Tuition in North Carolina

Some online schools and colleges in North Carolina charge all distance learners in-state tuition rates, regardless of residency status. Each college sets unique residency requirements, so learners should carefully research eligibility requirements at their prospective institution to determine whether they qualify for in-state tuition rates.

Some out-of-state students can qualify for in-state tuition rates through reciprocity agreements. For example, graduate students from qualifying states attending participating North Carolina institutions can receive discounted tuition rates through the Academic Common Market.

Paying for College in North Carolina: Scholarships and Financial Aid

Students can apply for various types of financial aid to reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. Scholarships and grants are ideal forms of funding, since they do not require repayment. Below are some scholarships and grants available to learners attending online schools and colleges in North Carolina.

Scholarships for North Carolina College Students

Couch Oil Cares Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports North Carolina residents planning to attend a four-year college or community college. Students should apply at the end of their senior year of high school.

Amount: $1,000

Apply For Scholarship

Richard Goolsby Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students interested in the plastics industry can apply for this scholarship. The committee considers graduate and undergraduate learners studying subjects such as chemistry, business administration, physics, and engineering.

Amount: Varies

Apply For Scholarship

William Vatavuk Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The nonprofit Bennett Place Support Fund sponsors this scholarship for graduating seniors at North Carolina high schools. Applicants must plan to attend a two-year or four-year college.

Amount: $1,000

Apply For Scholarship

NIADA Foundation Regional Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The NIADA Foundation awards this scholarship to four students each year. Recipients can apply the funds to any two-year or four-year school.

Amount: $3,500

Apply For Scholarship

Innovation in Education Scholarship

Who Can Apply: LA Tutors awards this scholarship to innovative students who create solutions to everyday problems. Applicants must submit an essay describing their innovation and must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Amount: $500

Apply For Scholarship

Grants for North Carolina College Students

NACME Scholars

Who Can Apply: NACME partners with colleges that support minority and underrepresented students. Applicants must have a minimum 2.8 GPA, must submit a resume, and must be majoring in engineering or computer science.

Amount: Varies

Apply For Grant

North Carolina Student Incentive Grant

Who Can Apply: This grant supports learners who demonstrate financial need through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applicants must be attending a participating institution.

Amount: $700

Apply For Grant

North Carolina Community College Grant

Who Can Apply: This grant supports North Carolina residents who attend a community college in the state. Applicants must enroll in at least six credits and be in good academic standing.

Amount: Varies

Apply For Grant

Certain Private Education Institutions Grant

Who Can Apply: This grant supports state residents attending a participating private university in North Carolina. Applicants must demonstrate financial need through the FAFSA form.

Amount: Varies

Apply For Grant

North Carolina Legislative Tuition Grant

Who Can Apply: Applicants must be enrolled full time at an independent, nonprofit college in North Carolina. The award amount is not based on need.

Amount: Varies

Apply For Grant

The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in North Carolina

Accreditation of online schools and colleges in North Carolina demonstrates that institutions meet rigorous academic standards. Accrediting agencies set these standards, evaluate schools, and award accreditation.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) monitor accrediting agencies in the United States. The following sections explore various types of accreditation, along with methods for determining a school's accreditation status.

Regional and National Accreditation

The two main types of institutional accreditation in the U.S. are regional and national accreditation. Technical colleges, private universities, and vocational schools usually receive national accreditation.

Each regional accrediting agency evaluates schools in a specific area of the country. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges awards regional accreditation to North Carolina institutions.

Subject-Specific Accreditation

While regional and national accreditation evaluate institutions as a whole, subject-specific accreditation typically applies to individual degree programs. Subject-specific accrediting agencies set standards for programs in certain fields and ensure that programs prepare learners to succeed in relevant industries. Both the ED and CHEA maintain lists of recognized, subject-specific accrediting agencies.

How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited

Accredited schools and programs typically feature their accreditation status online. Learners can contact the school directly for more information about accreditation.

Students can also search for recognized accrediting agencies, accredited institutions, and accredited programs through the ED database and the CHEA directory.

Online College and Adult Education in North Carolina

Professionals can increase their career opportunities and earning potential by furthering their education. The following sections include information and statistics about online education in North Carolina, along with details about state initiatives supporting adult education.

By the Numbers: Adult Education in North Carolina

All North Carolina community colleges offer no-cost career training for eligible companies in the state.

The majority of distance education students in North Carolina take classes at public universities.

Nearly 67,000 North Carolina students enrolled exclusively in distance education courses in 2015.

Source: NC Community Colleges, Distance Education State Almanac 2017

Adult Education Programs for North Carolina Students

  • Career Pathways Systems: This initiative helps students develop key skills necessary to transition into the workforce. The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor jointly oversee this program.
  • Intensive English USA: Intensive English programs help non-native English speakers nationwide develop critical skills in reading, writing, and comprehension. These programs prepare learners for academic and professional endeavors.
  • College Access Challenge Grant Program: This federal program supports low-income students by matching grants from state and local governments, as well as private organizations.

Online College Resources for North Carolina Students

Prospective students should conduct thorough research and develop a plan and budget. Learners should consider tuition rates, application requirements, and their personal career goals. The resources below provide information to help learners consider educational options and explore financial aid opportunities.

  • College Foundation of North Carolina: CNFC helps students apply for college and fund their education. Students can create tuition plans, take out loans, and make payments through the website. CNFC also helps students apply for financial aid.
  • North Carolina State Government: The state government provides links to education agencies and services. This website also offers information about financial aid and higher education institutions in the state.
  • NC Student Success Center: This website pools resources from North Carolina's 58 community colleges to provide learning tools and information related to earning a degree in the state.
  • Federal Student Aid: This resource helps students determine their eligibility for federal aid. Students can learn about various funding options, including scholarships, grants, and loans. The website also contains information about completing the FAFSA form.
  • BigFuture: This resource from the College Board guides prospective students through the application process. Students can learn about universities, degree options, financial aid opportunities, and career paths.

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