2022 Top Private Colleges and Universities in North Carolina

Private colleges and universities frequently top the lists of the best schools in the U.S. These institutions offer rigorous academic programs for students looking for a personalized college experience.

Private colleges and universities generally cost more than their public counterparts, but students often receive the benefits of smaller class sizes, strong alumni networks, and generous financial aid opportunities.

Unlike public institutions, private institutions do not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state tuition. This means students from anywhere can enroll in North Carolina’s private colleges and universities without paying higher out-of-state rates.

2022 Best Private Colleges and Universities in North Carolina

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.

This site is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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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

    Duke University

    Durham, NC

    Graduation Rate

    96%

    Enrollment

    16,172

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $55880

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $55880

    Duke University, located in Durham, North Carolina, grants degrees as a private institution. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. The school 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 financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports that 63% of learners receive financial aid, while 18% take out loans. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 96%. The admission rate is 8% for hopeful students. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. Duke University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #2

    Davidson College

    Davidson, NC

    Graduation Rate

    93%

    Enrollment

    1,983

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $54460

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $54460

    Located in Davidson, North Carolina, Davidson College offers multiple programs as a private institution. Enrollees complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. The school's programs appear in national rankings. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The institution offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #3

    Wake Forest University

    Winston-Salem, NC

    Graduation Rate

    89%

    Enrollment

    8,789

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $56722

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $56722

    From its campus in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Wake Forest University grants college degrees as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps students reach their career goals. During a bachelor's degree, students take lower-division and upper-division coursework. Bachelor's programs also incorporate general education requirements. Degree-seekers learn advanced concepts in their major during upper-division courses. The school supports students with tutoring and career services. Students pay a per-credit fee of around 1510 at the school. Learners at this accredited institution also qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Wake Forest University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #4

    Cabarrus College of Health Sciences

    Concord, NC

    Graduation Rate

    65%

    Enrollment

    526

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13446

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13446

    Cabarrus College of Health Sciences grants degrees as a private institution from its location in Concord, North Carolina. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. A total of 100% of students receive financial aid and 62% take out loans at the institution. The private institution reports a 65% graduation rate. Hopeful students can expect admission rates of 35%. Prospective applicants can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. Cabarrus College of Health Sciences is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #5

    Carolina Christian College

    Winston Salem, NC

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    74

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7600

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7600

    Located in Winston Salem, North Carolina, Carolina Christian College enrolls students as a private institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. Bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division requirements. Bachelor's programs also incorporate general education credits. Upper-division requirements focus on advanced concepts within a major. The school supports students with tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at this accredited institution also qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Carolina Christian College holds accreditation from the Association for Bibical Higher Educaiton.

    #6

    Elon University

    Elon, NC

    Graduation Rate

    83%

    Enrollment

    7,117

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $37414

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $37414

    From its Elon, North Carolina campus, Elon University enrolls students in 109 programs. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. According to the school, the student-to-faculty ratio stands at 13-to-1. According to the school, 73% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 83%. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The school incorporates internships, research opportunities, and service learning. The admission rate for applicants is 72%. Some programs waive the test score requirement for qualified applicants.

    #7

    Carolina University

    Winston-Salem, NC

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    951

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12600

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $12600

    A private institution located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Carolina University enrolls students in several programs. Students earn an accredited degree that prepares them for the workforce. The institution offers academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school offers nationally ranked programs in diverse fields. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.

    #8

    Apex School of Theology

    Durham, NC

    Graduation Rate

    98%

    Enrollment

    Not Provided

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $4800

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4800

    A private institution located in Durham, North Carolina, Apex School of Theology enrolls students in several programs. Graduates leave the school prepared for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Students can enroll in nationally ranked programs. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The institution's accreditation status is currently unavailable.

    #9

    Meredith College

    Raleigh, NC

    Graduation Rate

    64%

    Enrollment

    1,802

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $39832

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $39832

    Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, Meredith College operates as a private institution. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. At the accredited school, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 100% of students receive financial aid and 63% take out loans. The private institution reports a graduation rate of 64%. The school reports that the rate of admission is 72%. Prospective students 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.

    #10

    Manna University

    Fayetteville, NC

    Graduation Rate

    90%

    Enrollment

    247

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $6000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6000

    Manna University, which offers programs from its Fayetteville, North Carolina campus, often ranks among the top schools. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. 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. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. Degree-seekers also use financial aid to cover their educational costs. Manna University is accredited by the Association for Bibical Higher Educaiton, an independent accrediting body.

    #11

    High Point University

    High Point, NC

    Graduation Rate

    69%

    Enrollment

    5,617

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $33358

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $33358

    High Point University, located in High Point, North Carolina, enrolls students as a private institution. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's cost per credit is unknown. The accredited institution meets the requirements for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. A total of 89% of students receive financial aid and 42% take out loans at the school. The private institution reports a 69% graduation rate. The admission rate is 77% for new students. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. High Point University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #12

    Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

    Wake Forest, NC

    Graduation Rate

    41%

    Enrollment

    3,343

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8952

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8952

    From its campus in Wake Forest, North Carolina, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary awards degrees as a top school. Enrollees choose from multiple degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Enrollees can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. This makes it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can provide additional information on submitting an application. Students also use financial aid to pay for their college degree. The school holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #13

    Barton College

    Wilson, NC

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    1,177

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $32590

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $32590

    From its campus in Wilson, North Carolina, Barton College enrolls students in programs as a private institution. Graduates leave the school prepared for the workforce. The institution's affordable programs provide a rigorous course of study. Students can enroll in nationally ranked programs. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Based on their major, students take essential courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #14

    Aviation Institute of Maintenance-Charlotte

    Charlotte, NC

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    185

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16520

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16520

    Aviation Institute of Maintenance-Charlotte offers 2 certificate programs from its North Carolina campus. Enrollees complete a rigorous curriculum to prepare them for jobs and further studies. Students gain skills necessary to launch their career or pursue promotions. The college's focus on experiential learning lets enrollees apply lessons in real-world contexts. The institution undergoes regular evaluations to maintain its accreditation status. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. As an accredited institution, learners enrolled in the school qualify for federal financial aid. Students can learn about requirements through the school's website. Independent accreditors ensure that students receive a quality education.

    #15

    Queens University of Charlotte

    Charlotte, NC

    Graduation Rate

    57%

    Enrollment

    2,338

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $35998

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $35998

    Located in Charlotte, North Carolina, Queens University of Charlotte often ranks among the best schools. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help learners meet their career 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 may no longer require standardized tests for admission. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. Enrollees at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Queens University of Charlotte is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #16

    Catawba College

    Salisbury, NC

    Graduation Rate

    56%

    Enrollment

    1,371

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31436

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31436

    A private institution located in Salisbury, North Carolina, Catawba College enrolls students in several programs. The school offers accredited programs that prepare students for a successful career. The institution offers academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners at the institution choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Catawba College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #17

    Watts School of Nursing

    Durham, NC

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    150

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $15110

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15110

    Watts School of Nursing is a private school based in North Carolina. Students can take online courses or study in person in Durham. Enrollees have many academic options, including 2 certificate programs. The programs develop specialized skills in one professional subject area. By eliminating general education requirements, diploma and certificate programs help students graduate quickly. Certificates and diplomas can improve students' professional and academic prospects. Earning a professional credential can lead to more job opportunities and higher pay. These credentials can also prepare students to enroll in an associate or bachelor's program. Students may be able to apply their credential credits toward another degree.

    #18

    Southeastern Free Will Baptist Bible College

    Wendell, NC

    Graduation Rate

    48%

    Enrollment

    62

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9510

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9510

    Southeastern Free Will Baptist Bible College ranks as a top school from its campus in Wendell, North Carolina. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help students meet their career goals. Completing a program can take anywhere from a few months to seven years depending on degree or certificate type and whether the student chooses part-time or full-time enrollment. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The admissions department can help students complete the process. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. The institution's accreditation status is currently unknown.

    #19

    University of Mount Olive

    Mount Olive, NC

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    2,536

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $21194

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $21194

    From its campus in Mount Olive, North Carolina, University of Mount Olive awards degrees and certificates as a top school. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help learners reach a variety of career goals. Depending on the program, students can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years earning their degree or certificate. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. This makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Financial aid provides options for degree-seekers to pay for their education. University of Mount Olive has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #20

    Campbell University

    Buies Creek, NC

    Graduation Rate

    56%

    Enrollment

    5,964

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34290

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34290

    A private institution, Campbell University educates students on its campus in Buies Creek, North Carolina. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Learners complete lower-division and upper-division coursework to earn a bachelor's degree. The degree typically requires general education credits. Upper-division credits focus on various concepts in the major. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #21

    Gardner-Webb University

    Boiling Springs, NC

    Graduation Rate

    56%

    Enrollment

    3,536

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31220

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31220

    Gardner-Webb University, which offers on-campus and programs from its Boiling Springs, North Carolina campus, often ranks among the top colleges. The institution offers a variety of degree-granting programs. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help students meet a variety of professional goals. Enrollees can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. These policies make it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Students at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Gardner-Webb University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #22

    DeVry University-North Carolina

    Charlotte, NC

    Graduation Rate

    25%

    Enrollment

    41

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $14980

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14980

    DeVry University-North Carolina, a private organization located in Charlotte, North Carolina, offers multiple programs. Students complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school offers nationally ranked programs in diverse fields. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. DeVry University-North Carolina has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #23

    Salem College

    Winston-Salem, NC

    Graduation Rate

    66%

    Enrollment

    636

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $30250

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30250

    A private institution, Salem College grants degrees and certificates from its campus in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Learners study with experts in many different fields. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports that 99% of learners receive financial aid, while 69% take out loans. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 66%. The admission rate is 85% for incoming students. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #24

    Strayer University-North Carolina

    Morrisville, NC

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    5,441

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $13320

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13320

    Strayer University-North Carolina, located in Morrisville, North Carolina, offers 31 programs for degree-seekers. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a 28-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The institution reports that approximately 0% of enrollees receive financial aid. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 0%. Students should explore how workplace experience makes them more competitive employee candidates. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Prospective students can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #25

    Lees-McRae College

    Banner Elk, NC

    Graduation Rate

    44%

    Enrollment

    838

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $26140

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26140

    Lees-McRae College, which offers programs from its Banner Elk, North Carolina campus, often ranks among the top schools. Students study with experts in many different fields. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help learners reach a variety of career goals. Academic programs can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete, depending on degree or certificate type. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. 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 is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #26

    William Peace University

    Raleigh, NC

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    830

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31950

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31950

    A private institution located in Raleigh, North Carolina, William Peace University educates students through multiple programs. Students complete programs that prepare them for careers and professional advancement. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements depending on their program. William Peace University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #27

    Living Arts College

    Raleigh, NC

    Graduation Rate

    48%

    Enrollment

    171

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $15324

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15324

    Living Arts College, a private organization located in Raleigh, North Carolina, offers multiple programs. The school offers programs that prepare graduates for careers and professional advancement. Learners benefit from the school's academic rigor and affordable tuition rate. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. 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. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements depending on their program. Living Arts College is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

    #28

    Montreat College

    Montreat, NC

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    950

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $28500

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $28500

    A private institution located in Montreat, North Carolina, Montreat College enrolls learners in multiple programs. Students leave the school with experience and credentials that prepare them for the workforce. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's degrees make 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. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #29

    Lenoir-Rhyne University

    Hickory, NC

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    2,686

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $39900

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $39900

    A private institution located in Hickory, North Carolina, Lenoir-Rhyne University offers a variety of programs. Students leave the school with an accredited degree that prepares them for the workforce. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Based on their major, students take essential courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Lenoir-Rhyne University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #30

    Guilford College

    Greensboro, NC

    Graduation Rate

    49%

    Enrollment

    1,429

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $39400

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $39400

    Located in Greensboro, North Carolina, Guilford College grants degrees as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their professional goals. Students prepare to contribute to their field by completing courses. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. These policies make it easier to enroll. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    Why Choose a Private College or University in North Carolina?

    Learners in North Carolina can choose from several high-ranking public and private colleges. When selecting a school, prospective students should consider their learning objectives and financial constraints.

    Nonetheless, many students choose private institutions because private four-year colleges have ‘name-brand’ prestige and accreditations. North Carolina is home to 36 private colleges accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Private colleges also tend to be smaller and offer more intimate class settings. Many learners embrace the opportunity to form close-knit communities and build relationships with faculty.

    However, private colleges and universities tend to be more expensive and may not be financially accessible. Smaller private institutions may not offer the same breadth of majors, minors, and research opportunities as large public universities. Public colleges also tend to offer a more active campus life.

    In North Carolina specifically, the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) allows students to transfer credits easily within the state’s community college and state university systems, a financial-savvy benefit that private schools may not necessarily grant.

    Pros and Cons of Attending a Private College or University in North Carolina

    Pros

    • Check Circle
      ‘Name brands’ attract students looking to earn degrees from reputable institutions.
    • Check Circle
      Many private colleges offer more direct access to faculty and, in some cases, student resources, such as tutoring or disability services.
    • Check Circle
      Private schools may offer close-knit campus communities and smaller, more intimate class settings.

    Cons

    • X Circle
      Although exact costs depend on the institution and students’ financial aid packages, private colleges are usually more expensive.
    • X Circle
      Private schools might offer fewer research opportunities and academic majors.
    • X Circle
      It can be more difficult to transfer credits outside a public university system.

    Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Universities in North Carolina

    Nonprofit colleges generate funding from state and federal governments, donors, and students’ tuition. Nonprofit colleges in North Carolina use resources to directly fund school amenities.

    For-profit colleges typically generate funding from students’ tuition and investors. For-profit institutions function more like businesses and aim to generate money for owners or shareholders.

    Since for-profit colleges are designed to make money, they often have higher tuition costs than their non-profit counterparts and may not be accredited. Even so, many for-profit schools attract students by offering support services and flexible learning formats.

    While all public universities are nonprofit institutions, private institutions can be nonprofit or for-profit. Determining whether a college is nonprofit or for-profit is usually as simple as checking the school’s website.

    How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Private College or University in North Carolina?

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition for private four-year colleges in North Carolina was $35,380 in the 2019-20 academic year. Students typically pay for several expenses in addition to tuition, including meal plans, housing costs, and student activity fees. In 2020, private colleges in North Carolina charged an average of $12,630 for room and board.

    Although attending private colleges can be a hefty financial commitment, many private schools offer substantial need and merit-based aid. Some students see a private education as a worthwhile investment. Many private schools have close-knit alumni networks and other infrastructures to help students find employment after graduation.

    Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

    Frequently Asked Questions About Private Colleges and Universities in North Carolina

    How many private universities are there in North Carolina?

    North Carolina has 36 accredited private colleges and universities. In any given year, these institutions serve more than 80,000 students.

    These colleges include Barton College, Brevard College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Davidson College, Duke University, Elon University, Greensboro College, Highpoint University, and Saint Augustine’s University, to name a few.

    What is the most expensive private university in North Carolina?

    Some of the best private schools in North Carolina can be very costly. Wake Forest University was the state’s most expensive private college in the 202-22 school year, with an annual tuition of $58,710. This figure accounts for tuition alone and does not include additional costs, such as room and board. In the same year, Duke University was the state’s second most expensive college, charging an annual tuition of $55,880.

    What is the least expensive private college or university in North Carolina?

    Apex School of Theology is the state’s least expensive private college. In the 2020-2021 school year, students at this college paid an annual tuition of $4,800. Residency does not impact tuition — all students, in state and out of state, pay the same price. Additionally, the school does not offer room and board. Students are responsible for securing off-campus housing, which can affect the total cost of attending.

    Is a private university right for me?

    College students looking for a more personalized learning experience, a close-knit campus community, and abundant student support services can benefit from a private education. However, private colleges are not ideal for all learners.

    Although private schools can be costly, they offer high-quality learning experiences for students in specialized majors. Depending on your field of study, this can be a benefit or disadvantage.

    Public institutions typically offer a wider variety of programs. In addition, students transferring from community colleges may find it easier to transfer credits to a public university.

    There are several factors that students must consider to determine if a private college or university is appropriate for them, including cost and degree programs. Consider your circumstances before choosing a school.

    Can I get more scholarship money at a private university?

    Although private universities in North Carolina have very high price tags, the National Association of College and University Business Officersreports that as of the 2020-21 academic year, private four-year colleges offered students an average tuition discount of 48%.

    However, it can be difficult to generalize schools’ policies regarding scholarships and financial aid. Many private colleges and universities in North Carolina have different metrics to determine who qualifies for need and merit-based assistance. Some of the best private schools in North Carolina have large endowments and can afford to grant students with substantial financial aid.