Accredited Online Colleges in North Carolina

best_online_colleges_north_carolinaNorth Carolina is home to 36 private institutions, 58 community colleges, and the University of North Carolina system of schools. North Carolina’s membership in the Southern Regional Education Board allows students participating in select out-of-state programs to pay in-state tuition prices. In-state tuition is also available to active-duty military members and their families. This availability provides ample opportunities for students in and out of state to attain degrees from several prestigious universities remotely and at their convenience.

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Rankings | Overview | List of Accredited Online Colleges in NC


EDsmart has dug through the data trenches to bring you a simplified overview of the best online colleges in NC.

Schools are ranked based on

  • Affordability (financial aid, net price)
  • Student Satisfaction (retention rate)
  • Student Outcome (4-year graduation rate)

Each data point is ranked with equal weight. Schools received a weighted overall ranking score for each individual point mentioned above. The highest score possible being 100.

In the case of a tie in scoring, the average net price was the determining factor for which school received the higher rank–the lower the net price, the higher the ranking.

All data was gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics website and is accurate at the time of this writing [April 2019].

Best Online Colleges in NC

#1 Grace College of Divinity

Score: 100

Financial Aid: 100%
Average Net Price: $15,072
Retention Rate: 100%
Graduation Rate: 71%

If you are looking to attend colleges in North Carolina, but do not have the time or money that most educational institutions there require, you may want to consider applying for online schools in NC. While there are a variety of online programs offered by institutions in North Carolina, the Grace College of Divinity provides a unique experience to its students, regardless of their location. While some online institutions may require a small portion of in-person work or mandatory meetings to complete degree programs, the Grace College of Divinity degrees can be completed entirely online. Additionally, students may choose from a wide array of degree options, including bachelor degrees, associate degrees, and certificate programs within the areas of Christian leadership, divinity, intercultural studies, and worship ministry. This private, non-denominational college located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, also plays an active role in the local community. So if you are considering a degree in Bible studies, the Grace College of Divinity offers flexible online courses to suit every lifestyle.

Additionally, there are a variety of benefits to taking online courses at the Grace College of Divinity. For example, the school has an excellent reputation as an educational institution. Therefore, you are guaranteed a quality education, regardless of your chosen degree program. Furthermore, the college’s online courses allow students to work at their own pace. This flexibility may be extremely beneficial for adult learners who may have other commitments. While you may be a full-time employee or business owner, these courses will allow you to attend to your other obligations while learning valuable skills that can further your professional development.

#2 North Carolina State University

Score: 100

Financial Aid: 69%
Average Net Price: $13,442
Retention Rate: 94%
Graduation Rate: 79%

North Carolina State University is one of the leading universities in public research and online schools in NC. Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, NCSU is respected internationally as one of the top universities in the world. Additionally, North Carolina State University provides its community with a variation of resources. Whether you are enrolled at the main campus or taking courses online, NCSU provides students with an abundance of resources to help them throughout their enrollment. For example, students can enjoy one on one counseling with counselors and professors to ensure they are on track. In addition to having a strong academics department, NC State also has an abundant online course catalog, with over 350 courses from which its students may choose.

NC State also offers more than 90 degrees, certificates, and license programs through online education. Through these programs, NC State students may experience a flexible delivery of the university’s rigorous academics. While there are a wide variety of benefits to taking online courses, there is a significant difference between online courses and traditional courses that you may want to consider before signing up. For example, online courses allow students to work at their own pace with minimal supervision. While this can be very beneficial for students with other commitments, not everyone can manage the course load on their own. Depending on your learning style, online courses may not be the best fit for you since online courses require a significant amount of self-discipline to complete. If you are looking for an online educational program and can manage the course load, NSCU can offer you a quality education to push you further in your career.

#3 North Carolina Central University

Score: 98.4

Financial Aid: 69%
Average Net Price: $12,687
Retention Rate: 77%
Graduation Rate: 44%

Another university you may want to consider for their online courses is North Carolina Central University. As one of the nation’s preeminent community-engaged universities, NCCU offers its students a wide variety of resources to aid in the development of their careers. For example, both online and traditional students receive access to exceptional and supportive faculty. Additionally, the university has an online program dedicated to offering its students a flexible schedule with an abundance of support and access to jobs and internships. Furthermore, the online options at NCCU are more cost-efficient. With a top-ranked degree from this reputable university, there will be many doors and opportunities opening up for you.

While the NCCU campus is located in Durham, North Carolina, their online programs allow students to access their educational courses from virtually anywhere. Students enrolled in North Carolina Central University’s online programs have a variety of degree options from which they may choose. Students can earn a bachelor’s, a master’s, a certificate, or a hybrid degree in behavioral and social sciences, criminal justice, early childhood education, hospitality and tourism, nursing, or psychology. Regardless of which degree you choose to pursue, you are guaranteed a quality education from NCCU.

#4 Piedmont International University

Score: 98.2

Financial Aid: 97%
Average Net Price: $12,054
Retention Rate: 77%
Graduation Rate: 44%

The Bible college, Piedmont International University, offers a wide array of cost-efficient courses through it’s Spurgeon Online School. In addition to having an abundance of class options, the Spurgeon online school provides its students with an unmatched quality education. The school is ranked number one in online programs for North Carolina for several reasons.

The conveyance of online courses at PIU is through unique teaching methods. While some students find it easier to learn with an integrated model of teaching, where they can interact and participate while being taught, others feel more comfortable with a traditional model approach, where they watch videos and lectures of the material and participate in discussion boards. This school incorporates a variety of teaching methods to fit the needs of their students.

#5 University of Mount Olive