Best Associate Programs in North Carolina

An associate degree is the first step in many students’ four-year degree paths. Other individuals find that an associate degree helps them advance in their careers. Associate degrees in North Carolina can be much cheaper than four-year degrees. To graduate, it takes two years or less.

Graduates with an associate degree in North Carolina are more likely to make good money than those with a high school diploma or GED. State workers earn a median salary of $38,370 per year, or $18.45 per hour. An average state earner earns $22,360, while the state’s highest earner earns $99,300.

In the following ranking, you can find the best North Carolina colleges for associate degrees. The information should help you decide which program is suitable for you.

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

Showing 30 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    North Carolina State University at Raleigh

    Raleigh, NC

    Graduation Rate

    82%

    Enrollment

    36,304

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6535

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26654

    From its campus in Raleigh, North Carolina, North Carolina State University at Raleigh offers academic programs as a public institution. The school offers accredited programs that prepare students for a successful career. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. North Carolina State University at Raleigh has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #2

    Cabarrus College of Health Sciences

    Concord, NC

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    475

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13054

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13054

    A private institution, Cabarrus College of Health Sciences grants degrees and certificates from its campus in Concord, North Carolina. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce. The cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports a 52% graduation rate. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #3

    Pamlico Community College

    Grantsboro, NC

    Graduation Rate

    69%

    Enrollment

    549

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $1824

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6432

    Pamlico Community College offers programs from its campus in Grantsboro, North Carolina. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help students reach a variety of career goals. Typical time for program completion ranges from a few months to seven years depending on the type of degree or certificate offered. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The admissions staff can provide more information on the process. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #4

    Piedmont International University

    Winston-Salem, NC

    Graduation Rate

    41%

    Enrollment

    668

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10500

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10500

    Piedmont International University, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, offers 31 programs for students. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The average student-to-teacher ratio is unknown. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 41%. Job seekers often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive job candidates. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Some programs no longer require standardized tests for admission. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling.

    #5

    Carolinas College of Health Sciences

    Charlotte, NC

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    476

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13248

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13248

    Carolinas College of Health Sciences grants degrees as a public institution from its location in Charlotte, North Carolina. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 100%. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #6

    Grace College of Divinity

    Fayetteville, NC

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    187

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $6000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6000

    Located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Grace College of Divinity attracts students with their well-regarded programs. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Depending on the degree or certificate type, enrollees can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years completing a program. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. A waiver makes it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Learners also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. Grace College of Divinity is accredited by the Association for Bibical Higher Educaiton.

    #7

    Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

    Wake Forest, NC

    Graduation Rate

    60%

    Enrollment

    3,164

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8784

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8784

    From its campus in Wake Forest, North Carolina, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their professional goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to build industry-specific knowledge. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #8

    Montgomery Community College

    Troy, NC

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    918

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    A public institution, Montgomery Community College enrolls students from its campus in Troy, North Carolina. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, enrollees qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The school reports a 55% graduation rate. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying. Montgomery Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #9

    Brunswick Community College

    Bolivia, NC

    Graduation Rate

    53%

    Enrollment

    1,585

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    Brunswick Community College, located in Bolivia, North Carolina, often ranks as one of the best schools. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Enrollees earn their degree or certificate in as little time as a few months or as much time as seven years depending on program type and enrollment status. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Learners also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #10

    Randolph Community College

    Asheboro, NC

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    2,903

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2280

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8040

    A public institution, Randolph Community College educates students on its campus in Asheboro, North Carolina. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares students for advancement in their field. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #11

    Southwestern Community College

    Sylva, NC

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    2,324

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2128

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7504

    Located in Sylva, North Carolina, Southwestern Community College enrolls students as a public institution. Learners take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The public institution reports a 50% graduation rate. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #12

    Mayland Community College

    Spruce Pine, NC

    Graduation Rate

    49%

    Enrollment

    399

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    A public institution, Mayland Community College enrolls students on its campus in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. This makes it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Learners at the accredited school can pay for their educational costs with federal student aid programs. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #13

    Southeastern Free Will Baptist Bible College

    Wendell, NC

    Graduation Rate

    62%

    Enrollment

    59

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9100

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9100

    Located in Wendell, North Carolina, Southeastern Free Will Baptist Bible College grants college degrees as a private institution. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Learners at the accredited school often fund their education with federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school's accreditation status is not available at this time.

    #14

    Wilkes Community College

    Wilkesboro, NC

    Graduation Rate

    37%

    Enrollment

    2,692

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    A public institution, Wilkes Community College grants degrees from its campus in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their educational goals. Students complete coursework to prepare them for advanced roles. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Learners at the accredited school often fund their education with federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Wilkes Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #15

    University of Mount Olive

    Mount Olive, NC

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    2,805

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $21194

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $21194

    From its campus in North Carolina, University of Mount Olive enrolls students in 54 programs. The institution's top-ranked programs offer students a challenging course of study. The average student-to-instructor ratio is currently unknown. How much aid students receive on average is currently unknown. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 55%. Hands-on experience helps graduates stand out on the job market. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #16

    Sampson Community College

    Clinton, NC

    Graduation Rate

    65%

    Enrollment

    1,429

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3116

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10988

    From its Clinton, North Carolina campus, Sampson Community College enrolls students in 54 programs. The institution's programs offer a rigorous course of study. The average student-to-faculty ratio is currently unknown. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 65%. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #17

    Campbell University

    Buies Creek, NC

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    6,185

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $32380

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $32380

    Campbell University, located in Buies Creek, North Carolina, grants degrees and certificates as a private institution. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports a graduation rate of 55%. The school's admission rate is unavailable. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. Campbell University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #18

    Wayne Community College

    Goldsboro, NC

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    2,948

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    Located in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Wayne Community College grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing degree- or certificate-specific coursework. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. A waiver makes it easier to apply. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Wayne Community College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #19

    Haywood Community College

    Clyde, NC

    Graduation Rate

    41%

    Enrollment

    1,632

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    Haywood Community College, located in Clyde, North Carolina, enrolls students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. These policies make it easier to enroll. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #20

    Gardner-Webb University

    Boiling Springs, NC

    Graduation Rate

    56%

    Enrollment

    3,518

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31220

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31220

    Gardner-Webb University, located in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, offers 92 programs for students. The institution's many rigorous academic programs rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio is currently unknown. The average amount of aid awarded per student is not available. Students earn their degree from the school at a rate of 56%. Students should explore how workplace experience makes them more competitive employee candidates. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #21

    Western Piedmont Community College

    Morganton, NC

    Graduation Rate

    43%

    Enrollment

    1,820

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    From its campus in Morganton, North Carolina, Western Piedmont Community College enrolls students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. Students prepare to contribute to their field by completing courses. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. These policies make it easier to apply. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Western Piedmont Community College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #22

    Cleveland Community College

    Shelby, NC

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    2,536

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    A public institution located in Shelby, North Carolina, Cleveland Community College offers multiple programs. Students leave the school with experience and credentials that prepare them for the workforce. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Based on their major, students take essential courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #23

    Halifax Community College

    Weldon, NC

    Graduation Rate

    31%

    Enrollment

    1,087

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    Halifax Community College, located in Weldon, North Carolina, grants degrees and certificates as a public institution. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 31%. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling. Halifax Community College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #24

    James Sprunt Community College

    Kenansville, NC

    Graduation Rate

    22%

    Enrollment

    1,266

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    James Sprunt Community College, located in Kenansville, North Carolina, enrolls students in 47 programs. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-instructor ratio is unavailable. Data on the amount of aid students receive per year on average is unavailable. The school reports a 22% graduation rate. The institution's commitment to experiential learning makes graduates more competitive. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #25

    Richmond Community College

    Hamlet, NC

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    2,586

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    Richmond Community College, located in Hamlet, North Carolina, enrolls students in 54 programs. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The average student-to-instructor ratio is currently unavailable. The average amount of aid awarded per student is not available. The public school reports a 39% graduation rate. Hands-on experience helps graduates stand out on the job market. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #26

    College of the Albemarle

    Elizabeth City, NC

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    2,587

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2080

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6705

    College of the Albemarle, located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, welcomes students with 53 program options. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The average student-to-instructor ratio is unknown. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. The school reports a graduation rate of 35%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps students enter the workforce. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #27

    Blue Ridge Community College

    Flat Rock, NC

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    2,332

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    From its campus in Flat Rock, North Carolina, Blue Ridge Community College grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their educational goals. Students complete coursework to prepare them for advanced roles. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #28

    Strayer University-North Carolina

    Morrisville, NC

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    6,318

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $13320

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13320

    Strayer University-North Carolina, located in Morrisville, North Carolina, offers 32 programs for students. Students choose from rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The student-to-faculty ratio is unknown. Data on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. Students in the school's programs graduate at a rate of 50%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers stand out. The admission rate is unknown at this time. Some students qualify for test-optional admissions. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #29

    Southeastern Community College

    Whiteville, NC

    Graduation Rate

    41%

    Enrollment

    1,524

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    Southeastern Community College is a public institution located in Whiteville, North Carolina. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The public school reports a 41% graduation rate. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements. Southeastern Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #30

    Central Carolina Community College

    Sanford, NC

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    5,714

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2432

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8576

    Central Carolina Community College, which operates a campus in Sanford, North Carolina, often ranks as a top school. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. Academic and technical programs help learners reach their unique professional goals. Academic programs can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete, depending on degree or certificate type. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions department can provide more information on the process. At the accredited institution, students also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Central Carolina Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.