North Carolina features 53 colleges and universities, making it an excellent place to explore different educational opportunities. Residents of North Carolina's rural areas and people living out of state no longer need to relocate to earn a degree. North Carolina online colleges can help you advance your career and increase your salary potential from the comfort of home.
Online education can offer many benefits over on-campus instruction, such as asynchronous learning or accelerated timelines. This advantage lets you schedule your education around work or family.
Use this guide to explore the latest cost of living information for the Tar Heel State, scholarship opportunities, and answers to questions about online colleges in North Carolina.
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Students in North Carolina Attend These Programs
Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.
Online Colleges in North Carolina
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#2 Best Online Colleges in North Carolina
North Carolina State University
- Raleigh, NC
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
A public institution, North Carolina State University offers affordable online programs catering to students at every level. Undergraduates, graduate degree-seekers, and lifelong learners can explore the Raleigh-based university's online programs.
Distance learners can pursue popular majors like business, education, and public health. With a total remote enrollment of 32,700, the school delivers 73 online programs. The institution reports a graduation rate of around 84%.
In-state undergraduates pay about $6,535 in annual tuition, while out-of-state students pay about $26,650. At the graduate level, in-state students pay approximately $9,100, while out-of-state students pay around $26,420. The school reports that 68% of students receive some type of financial aid, with about 37% taking out loans. The average financial aid package totals $9,595.
Percent Online Enrollment
Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
As long as students remain continuously enrolled, students attending public colleges in North Carolina pay the same in-state undergraduate tuition rate each year.
Cost of Living in North Carolina
North Carolina ranks as the twenty-fourth most affordable state in the nation, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. This means that residents pay about the national average for housing, utilities, food, transportation, and other services. You can achieve a better cost of living by residing in one of the state's more affordable cities, such as Thomasville-Lexington or Salisbury.
Living with roommates and using public transportation can lower out-of-pocket costs during college. Retailers and services in your community may also offer college students discounts.
Average Cost of Living in North Carolina
|Cost of Living Category
|Monthly Electricity Bill
|Monthly Grocery & Food Costs
|Annual Transportation Costs
|Annual Healthcare Costs
North Carolina Scholarships
Online colleges in North Carolina can become more affordable with scholarships. The opportunities below describe just a few open to online degree-seekers. Application materials may include an essay and a recommendation letter.
Some scholarships restrict applicants to North Carolina residents. Visit the scholarship website to learn the latest application requirements and deadlines.
- Beacon Scholarship for Rural America: High school or college students living in a rural area may apply. Other requirements for this $1,000 award include earning a minimum 3.0 GPA and submitting an essay.
- Michael A. DeMayo Arrive Alive Scholarship: This $2,500 scholarship awards funding to high school seniors residing in one of over two dozen North or South Carolina counties. Application materials include a TikTok video detailing the dangers of drunk driving.
- NC Education Lottery Scholarship: The NC Education Lottery Scholarship awards up to $3,768 per year to residents attempting at least six undergraduate credits per semester. Applicants must also meet Pell Grant requirements.
- The North Carolina Hispanic College Fund: This scholarship awards $500-$1,500 to Hispanic North Carolina high school graduates. Application requirements include a recommendation letter and a minimum 2.5 GPA.
- Penn Family Scholarship: Rockingham County, North Carolina, residents with financial need may apply. You must also attend a University of North Carolina institution.
10 Fast-Growing Jobs in North Carolina
The North Carolina Department of Commerce expects significant growth for careers in the healthcare and STEM fields between 2021-2030. Nurse practitioner, statistician, and data scientist jobs are projected to grow the most. These and other fast-growing jobs also feature an average salary exceeding $80,000.
Many factors affect actual job growth and salary. An economic downturn may contract the labor market in your field. A college degree can help you prepare for some of the most in-demand careers in North Carolina.
Fast-Growing Careers in North Carolina 2021-2030
Source: North Carolina Department of Commerce
||Mean Annual Wage
|Information Security Analysts
|Medical and Health Services Managers
|Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists
Frequently Asked Questions About Online College in North Carolina
What is the cheapest online college in North Carolina?
According to the National Council for Education Statistics (NCES), North Carolina A&T State University has one of the cheapest online college tuition in North Carolina. The average annual net price to attend is $9,189 per year for residents. The university charges out-of-state undergraduates about three times the in-state tuition rate.
What is the easiest online college to get into in North Carolina?
With an 89% acceptance rate, Campbell University is the easiest online college to get into in North Carolina. Application materials include high school transcripts and standardized test scores.
You can select from 18 fully online bachelor's degrees, including RN-to-BSN, elementary education, and Christian studies. The university also offers online associate degrees and certificates.
How much does online college cost in North Carolina?
On average, North Carolina residents attending a four-year public college paid $7,260 in tuition and fees during the 2020-2021 academic year, according to the NCES. Out-of-state degree-seekers spent just over $23,000. In- and out-of-state online learners can save about $10,000 by not paying for on-campus room and board.
North Carolina online colleges can help you save money in other ways, like merit-based scholarships. You may qualify for institutional, state, or federal aid programs depending on your financial need.
Is online college free in North Carolina?
Although no online colleges in North Carolina offer free tuition, many schools help degree-seekers close their financial aid gap through need-based grants. Eligibility requirements may include full-time enrollment and FAFSA results.
Contact potential North Carolina online colleges to find out whether you can earn a degree with little to no out-of-pocket costs.
Do I need to be a resident of North Carolina to attend an online college in North Carolina?
No, you do not need residency to attend an online college in North Carolina. However, expect a more competitive admissions process at public colleges and universities. A recent report from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows that the school admits fewer than 10% of out-of-state applicants.
Check programs' academic requirements closely before applying. Some online programs may ask you to attend on-campus seminars or other events.