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.

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.  Read More

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31Appalachian State University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$121,000
Total 4 Year Cost$126,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,200
32North Carolina Central University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$114,000
Total 4 Year Cost$75,400
Grad Rate47%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,000
33University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$106,000
Total 4 Year Cost$135,000
Grad Rate71%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,800
34Methodist University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$102,000
Total 4 Year Cost$194,000
Grad Rate34%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$52,100
35Catawba College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$95,100
Total 4 Year Cost$165,000
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,900
36Wingate University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$93,700
Total 4 Year Cost$157,000
Grad Rate51%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,900
37Pfeiffer University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$90,200
Total 4 Year Cost$153,000
Grad Rate35%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,200
38Lenoir-Rhyne University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$79,700
Total 4 Year Cost$177,000
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,900
39University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$76,400
Total 4 Year Cost$133,000
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,200
40North Carolina Central University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$69,800
Total 4 Year Cost$120,000
Grad Rate47%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,000
41University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$68,200
Total 4 Year Cost$76,700
Grad Rate64%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,400
42Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte, NC(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$67,500
Total 4 Year Cost$171,000
Grad Rate60%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$36,600
43Barton College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$55,600
Total 4 Year Cost$161,000
Grad Rate44%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,800
44University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$48,400
Total 4 Year Cost$70,600
Grad Rate34%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$20,900
45Greensboro College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$46,100
Total 4 Year Cost$156,000
Grad Rate37%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,800

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

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.