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Top North Carolina Colleges

15 of the Top Colleges in North Carolina

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Top Ranked Colleges: Universities | Public Universities | Liberal Arts Colleges | Engineering | Business | Women's | Most Selective

North Carolina is a strong state for higher education. From large research universities to small liberal arts colleges, from urban to rural campuses, North Carolina offers something for everyone. The 15 top North Carolina colleges listed below vary so much in size and mission that I have simply listed them alphabetically rather than force them into any sort of artificial ranking. That said, Duke, Davidson, UNC Chapel Hill and Wake Forest are the most selective and prestigious schools on the list.

Compare Top North Carolina Colleges: SAT Scores | ACT Scores

Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University
allygirl520 / Flickr

Davidson College

Davidson College
functoruser / Flickr

Duke University

Duke University
mricon / Flickr

Elon University

Elon University
photo courtesy of Elon University / Office of University Relations

Guilford College

Guilford College
Parkram412 / Wikipedia

High Point University

High Point University
Exwhysee / Wikimedia Commons

Meredith College

Meredith College
twbuckner / Flickr
  • Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Enrollment: 2,250 (2,001 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college for women
  • Distinctions: 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio and average class size of 16; strong experiential learning efforts through internships, co-ops and other programs; over 90 student clubs and organizations; attractive 225-acre campus; most students receive grant aid
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Meredith College profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Meredith

North Carolina State University

NC State University Football
opus2008 / Flickr

Salem College

Salem College
bnhsu / Flickr
  • Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Enrollment: 939 (735 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college for women
  • Distinctions: founded in 1772; oldest educational institution for women in the country; 11 to 1 student / faculty ratio; high placement rates for law and medical schools; excellent grant aid
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Salem College profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Salem

UNC Asheville

UNCA - University of North Carolina at Asheville
Marcy Reiford / Flickr
  • Location: Asheville, North Carolina
  • Enrollment: 3,629 (3,589 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: one of the top public liberal arts colleges in the country; public university with a strong undergraduate focus; beautiful location in the Blue Ridge Mountains; member of the NCAA Division I Big South Conference; good value
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the UNC Asheville profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for UNC Asheville
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