Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Find Schools Near

2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina

113 Colleges
$40,358 Avg Salary*
49% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

There are lots of options to chooose from today when trying to decide which college to attend. Our mission at College Factual is to arm you with as much information as we can to help you make that decision. Our Top North Carolina Schools ranking is one tool we have developed to help in this regard.

After analyzing 113 schools in North Carolina, we came up with our list of those that offered the highest quality education. Instead of depending on subjective information, we focus on over 20 objective factors to determine this ranking. These factors include such things as student-to-faculty ratio, average graduate earnings, and graduation rate.

Learn more about our ranking methodology.

Custom Rankings

Since one ranking on its own is not enough to give you a complete understanding of your educational options, you can refine this list by location and field of study. We've also developed a number of other tools and rankings based on other factors. These other rankings highlight colleges that excel in other factors such as value or diversity as well as schools that excel in serving different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Top Colleges in North Carolina

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Duke University

Durham, North Carolina

Our 2022 rankings named Duke University the best school in North Carolina in terms of overall quality for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Duke is located in Durham, North Carolina and has a fairly large student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 6,686 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The school boasts an average 4-year graduation rate of 86%, which is excellent when compared to the national rate of 33%. During the early years of their career, graduates from Duke make an average of $84,400 a year.

Read full report on Duke University

#2

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Wake Forest University. It ranked #2 on our 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina list. Wake Forest University is a private not-for-profit institution located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 2,699 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The low student loan default rate of 1.6% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University go into careers with an average salary of $63,800 during the early years of their career.

Full Wake Forest University Report

#3

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Wake Forest, North Carolina

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The school came in at #3 in North Carolina on this year’s overall quality ranking. SEBTS is a private not-for-profit institution located in Wake Forest, North Carolina. The school has a small population, and it awarded 497 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Read full report on Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

#4

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in North Carolina. This large public school is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and it awarded 9,954 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Bachelor’s degree students at the school tend to finish their degree on-time. The 4-year graduation rate is 81%, which is impressive compared to the national rate of 33%. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UNC Chapel Hill make an average of $55,600 per year during the early years of their career.

Full University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Report

#5

Elon University

Elon, North Carolina

Out of the 113 schools in North Carolina that were part of this year’s ranking, Elon University landed the #5 spot on the list. Elon University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in Elon, North Carolina that handed out 2,028 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The school boasts an average 4-year graduation rate of 79%, which is excellent when compared to the national rate of 33%. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Elon is $51,900 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Elon University

#6

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, North Carolina

North Carolina State University landed the #6 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina ranking.Raleigh, North Carolina is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 9,559 students in 2019-2020.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.9%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from NC State is $52,500 during the early years of their career.

Full North Carolina State University Report

#7

Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina

Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte landed the #7 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina ranking. Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte is a small private not-for-profit school located in Charlotte, North Carolina that handed out 440 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $38,800 during the early years of their career..

Full Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte Report

#8

Central Piedmont Community College

Charlotte, North Carolina

Central Piedmont Community College landed the #8 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina ranking. This fairly large public school is located in Charlotte, North Carolina, and it awarded 2,326 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Central Piedmont Community College make an average of $27,600 per year during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#9

University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Wilmington, North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Wilmington landed the #9 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina ranking.Wilmington, North Carolina is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 4,857 students in 2019-2020.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 86%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from UNCW go into careers with an average salary of $41,600 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#10

Appalachian State University

Boone, North Carolina

Appalachian State University ranked #10 on this year’s Best Colleges in North Carolina list. Appalachian State is a large public school situated in Boone, North Carolina. It awarded 5,052 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 88%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $38,800 during the early years of their career..

Full Appalachian State University Report

#11

East Carolina University

Greenville, North Carolina

East Carolina University did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina ranking, coming in at #11.Greenville, North Carolina is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 6,966 students in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from ECU make an average of $40,500 per year during the early years of their career.

Full East Carolina University Report

#12

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Charlotte did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina ranking, coming in at #12. UNC Charlotte is located in Charlotte, North Carolina and has a large student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 7,732 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UNC Charlotte make an average of $44,000 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on University of North Carolina at Charlotte

#13

Wake Technical Community College

Raleigh, North Carolina

With a ranking of #13, Wake Technical Community College did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina list. Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, the large public school awarded 2,837 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Wake Technical Community College make an average of $31,000 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Wake Technical Community College Report

#14

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Greensboro, North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Greensboro landed the #14 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina ranking. UNC Greensboro is a public institution located in Greensboro, North Carolina. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 4,811 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from UNC Greensboro is $37,500 during the early years of their career.

Full University of North Carolina at Greensboro Report

#15

Meredith College

Raleigh, North Carolina

With a ranking of #15, Meredith College did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina list.Raleigh, North Carolina is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 538 students in 2019-2020.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 4.5%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Meredith go into careers with an average salary of $39,500 during the early years of their career.

Full Meredith College Report

#16

High Point University

High Point, North Carolina

High Point University ranked #16 on this year’s Best Colleges in North Carolina list. Located in High Point, North Carolina, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school awarded 1,328 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

The low student loan default rate of 4.0% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from High Point go into careers with an average salary of $39,000 during the early years of their career.

Full High Point University Report

#17

Randolph Community College

Asheboro, North Carolina

Randolph Community College landed the #17 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina ranking. Located in Asheboro, North Carolina, the small public school handed out 389 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Randolph Community College make an average of $25,500 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Randolph Community College

#18

Wingate University

Wingate, North Carolina

Wingate University did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina ranking, coming in at #18. Located in Wingate, North Carolina, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 739 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.9%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Wingate is $43,200 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#19

Durham Technical Community College

Durham, North Carolina

Durham Technical Community College ranked #19 on this year’s Best Colleges in North Carolina list. Located in Durham, North Carolina, the small public school awarded 564 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Durham Technical Community College make an average of $28,800 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Durham Technical Community College Report

#20

Martin Community College

Williamston, North Carolina

Martin Community College landed the #20 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina ranking. Martin Community College is a small public school located in Williamston, North Carolina that handed out 109 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Martin Community College go into careers with an average salary of $21,000 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#21

Queens University of Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina

Queens University of Charlotte did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina ranking, coming in at #21. Located in Charlotte, North Carolina, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 732 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.4%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $42,200 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on Queens University of Charlotte

#22

Fayetteville Technical Community College

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Fayetteville Technical Community College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina ranking, coming in at #22. FTCC is located in Fayetteville, North Carolina and has a fairly large student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 1,654 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $26,000 during the early years of their career..

Full Fayetteville Technical Community College Report

#23

Richmond Community College

Hamlet, North Carolina

With a ranking of #23, Richmond Community College did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina list. Richmond Community College is a small public school located in Hamlet, North Carolina that handed out 397 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Richmond Community College make an average of $23,200 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Richmond Community College

#24

University of North Carolina at Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina

With a ranking of #24, University of North Carolina at Asheville did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina list. UNCA is located in Asheville, North Carolina and has a small student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 814 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

During the early years of their career, graduates from UNCA make an average of $34,500 a year.

Read More…

#25

Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, North Carolina

With a ranking of #25, Western Carolina University did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in North Carolina list. Located in Cullowhee, North Carolina, the fairly large public school awarded 3,000 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from WCU is $37,700 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Western Carolina University

View Best Colleges Nationwide >

All Majors and Fields of Study >

More Rankings >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Schools Near You