Best Value Colleges in North Carolina

PayScale’s 2016 College ROI Report ranks North Carolina colleges by their return on investment for your educational dollars.

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Rank
School Name
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Graduation Rate
% of full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students who began their studies at the given school and graduate within 6 years. Source: IPEDS
Typical Years to Graduate
# of years it takes for at least 65 percent of graduates from a given school to receive their diplomas. Source: IPEDS
Average Loan Amount
Received by full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students, multiplied to represent amount over four years. Includes all Title IV loans and all institutionally- and privately-sponsored student loans. Source: IPEDS
% Grant Money Received
% of full-time, first-time undergrads who received local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2012-2013 academic year. Source: IPEDS
16.4%N/A13.4%N/A$641,000N/A$830,000N/A$262,000N/A95%4$24,70012%
1Duke University(Private)
Annual ROI6.4%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI13.4%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$641,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$830,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$262,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$24,700
Grant Money Received12%
25.4%5.4%10.9%10.9%$476,000$476,000$638,000$638,000$254,000$254,00088%4$37,10010%
2Wake Forest University(Private)
Annual ROI5.4%
Annual ROI5.4%
Annual ROI10.9%
Annual ROI10.9%
20 Year Net ROI$476,000
20 Year Net ROI$476,000
20 Year Net ROI$638,000
20 Year Net ROI$638,000
Total 4 Year Cost$254,000
Total 4 Year Cost$254,000
Grad Rate88%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$37,100
Grant Money Received10%
39.5%9.5%12.9%12.9%$465,000$465,000$506,000$506,000$90,600$90,60077%5$25,50019%
3North Carolina State University at Raleigh(In-State)
Annual ROI9.5%
Annual ROI9.5%
Annual ROI12.9%
Annual ROI12.9%
20 Year Net ROI$465,000
20 Year Net ROI$465,000
20 Year Net ROI$506,000
20 Year Net ROI$506,000
Total 4 Year Cost$90,600
Total 4 Year Cost$90,600
Grad Rate77%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$25,500
Grant Money Received19%
46.7%6.7%8.3%8.3%$402,000$402,000$444,000$444,000$153,000$153,00077%5$25,50019%
4North Carolina State University at Raleigh(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROI8.3%
Annual ROI8.3%
20 Year Net ROI$402,000
20 Year Net ROI$402,000
20 Year Net ROI$444,000
20 Year Net ROI$444,000
Total 4 Year Cost$153,000
Total 4 Year Cost$153,000
Grad Rate77%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$25,500
Grant Money Received19%
58.1%8.1%15.2%15.0%$374,000$373,000$445,000$444,000$98,900$99,90091%4$26,70021%
5University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill(In-State)
Annual ROI8.1%
Annual ROI8.1%
Annual ROI15.2%
Annual ROI15.0%
20 Year Net ROI$374,000
20 Year Net ROI$373,000
20 Year Net ROI$445,000
20 Year Net ROI$444,000
Total 4 Year Cost$98,900
Total 4 Year Cost$99,900
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$26,700
Grant Money Received21%
68.8%8.9%11.4%11.6%$362,000$363,000$393,000$395,000$82,300$80,70057%5$27,20033%
6University of North Carolina at Charlotte(In-State)
Annual ROI8.8%
Annual ROI8.9%
Annual ROI11.4%
Annual ROI11.6%
20 Year Net ROI$362,000
20 Year Net ROI$363,000
20 Year Net ROI$393,000
20 Year Net ROI$395,000
Total 4 Year Cost$82,300
Total 4 Year Cost$80,700
Grad Rate57%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$27,200
Grant Money Received33%
79.0%8.8%12.8%12.3%$325,000$321,000$359,000$356,000$70,000$73,30043%5$25,20058%
7North Carolina A & T State University(In-State)
Annual ROI9.0%
Annual ROI8.8%
Annual ROI12.8%
Annual ROI12.3%
20 Year Net ROI$325,000
20 Year Net ROI$321,000
20 Year Net ROI$359,000
20 Year Net ROI$356,000
Total 4 Year Cost$70,000
Total 4 Year Cost$73,300
Grad Rate43%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$25,200
Grant Money Received58%
86.2%6.2%7.6%7.7%$310,000$311,000$341,000$343,000$134,000$133,00057%5$27,20033%
8University of North Carolina at Charlotte(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.2%
Annual ROI6.2%
Annual ROI7.6%
Annual ROI7.7%
20 Year Net ROI$310,000
20 Year Net ROI$311,000
20 Year Net ROI$341,000
20 Year Net ROI$343,000
Total 4 Year Cost$134,000
Total 4 Year Cost$133,000
Grad Rate57%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$27,200
Grant Money Received33%
94.5%4.5%6.9%6.8%$277,000$276,000$348,000$347,000$196,000$197,00091%4$26,70021%
9University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI4.5%
Annual ROI4.5%
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI6.8%
20 Year Net ROI$277,000
20 Year Net ROI$276,000
20 Year Net ROI$348,000
20 Year Net ROI$347,000
Total 4 Year Cost$196,000
Total 4 Year Cost$197,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$26,700
Grant Money Received21%
106.2%6.0%8.0%7.8%$275,000$272,000$310,000$306,000$119,000$123,00043%5$25,20058%
10North Carolina A & T State University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.2%
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI8.0%
Annual ROI7.8%
20 Year Net ROI$275,000
20 Year Net ROI$272,000
20 Year Net ROI$310,000
20 Year Net ROI$306,000
Total 4 Year Cost$119,000
Total 4 Year Cost$123,000
Grad Rate43%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$25,200
Grant Money Received58%
114.9%4.9%9.4%9.4%$258,000$257,000$348,000$347,000$158,000$159,00021%5$25,80055%
11North Carolina Wesleyan College(Private)
Annual ROI4.9%
Annual ROI4.9%
Annual ROI9.4%
Annual ROI9.4%
20 Year Net ROI$258,000
20 Year Net ROI$257,000
20 Year Net ROI$348,000
20 Year Net ROI$347,000
Total 4 Year Cost$158,000
Total 4 Year Cost$159,000
Grad Rate21%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$25,800
Grant Money Received55%
124.4%4.4%6.0%6.0%$252,000$252,000$300,000$300,000$184,000$184,00082%4$32,2007%
12Elon University(Private)
Annual ROI4.4%
Annual ROI4.4%
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI6.0%
20 Year Net ROI$252,000
20 Year Net ROI$252,000
20 Year Net ROI$300,000
20 Year Net ROI$300,000
Total 4 Year Cost$184,000
Total 4 Year Cost$184,000
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$32,200
Grant Money Received7%
137.0%7.0%9.6%9.6%$239,000$239,000$271,000$271,000$83,700$83,70061%5$28,20032%
13East Carolina University(In-State)
Annual ROI7.0%
Annual ROI7.0%
Annual ROI9.6%
Annual ROI9.6%
20 Year Net ROI$239,000
20 Year Net ROI$239,000
20 Year Net ROI$271,000
20 Year Net ROI$271,000
Total 4 Year Cost$83,700
Total 4 Year Cost$83,700
Grad Rate61%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$28,200
Grant Money Received32%
143.2%3.2%7.7%7.7%$220,000$220,000$360,000$360,000$246,000$246,00095%4$24,10014%
14Davidson College(Private)
Annual ROI3.2%
Annual ROI3.2%
Annual ROI7.7%
Annual ROI7.7%
20 Year Net ROI$220,000
20 Year Net ROI$220,000
20 Year Net ROI$360,000
20 Year Net ROI$360,000
Total 4 Year Cost$246,000
Total 4 Year Cost$246,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$24,100
Grant Money Received14%
153.9%4.4%6.8%7.8%$217,000$235,000$296,000$314,000$187,000$169,00053%4$27,10024%
15Queens University of Charlotte(Private)
Annual ROI3.9%
Annual ROI4.4%
Annual ROI6.8%
Annual ROI7.8%
20 Year Net ROI$217,000
20 Year Net ROI$235,000
20 Year Net ROI$296,000
20 Year Net ROI$314,000
Total 4 Year Cost$187,000
Total 4 Year Cost$169,000
Grad Rate53%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$27,100
Grant Money Received24%

* N/A indicates school does not have an on campus living option.

The Tar Heel State is home to the famous Research Triangle, a wide selection high value colleges and universities, as well as hundreds of square miles of rolling hills and mountains and some of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast. PayScale’s data can help you easily pinpoint the best value colleges in North Carolina before you apply.

Prestigious and private Duke University is located in Durham. Founded in 1838, it sprawls across an immense, 8,600-acre campus that is lovingly referred to as the Gothic Wonderland due to its overwhelmingly Collegiate Gothic architecture. Made up of two undergraduate schools, including the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke produces more Fulbright, Rhodes, Goldwater and Truman scholars than any other private university in the nation. Without question, it is one of the best value colleges in North Carolina and a great choice if you can get in. And if you are a basketball fan, Duke’s Blue Devils are one of the most successful college basketball teams in the country year after year. (Just don’t wear the wrong shade of blue to a game!)

As the largest university in the Carolinas, North Carolina State University stands apart from other colleges in many ways. NC State is located in Raleigh and offers more than 100 bachelor’s degrees, more than 100 master’s degrees and more than 60 doctoral degrees. Best known for its programs in engineering, agriculture, textiles and design and the life sciences, NC State offers the value of college education North Carolina residents can use to build strong careers.

With its location just north of downtown Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University provides a return on investment North Carolina students and their families are sure to appreciate. The university is made up of an undergraduate college, a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and four professional schools, and it’s an optimal choice for students who want top-notch educations that deliver the best value for their educational investments.


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