2020 Best Online Colleges in North Carolina

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 2/18/2020
2020 Best Online Colleges in North Carolina Badge

The colleges on the following list are the best online schools in North Carolina. While over half of the ranked schools offer tuition below $10,000 per year, the #7 rank school, Western Carolina University, offers the lowest annual tuition at $1,616. Those seeking a career in the agricultural sector should consider the #2-ranked school, North Carolina A&T State University, which offers 16 concentrations in agricultural education and a reported alumni salary of $80,800.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 North Carolina State University $5,525 $93,900
# 2 #2 North Carolina A&T State University $3,600 $80,800
# 3 #3 East Carolina University $4,512 $72,500
# 4 #4 Appalachian State University $4,290 $70,200
# 5 #5 Campbell University $13,950 $68,700
# 6 #6 University of North Carolina at Wilmington $4,503 $67,100
# 7 #7 Western Carolina University $1,616 $65,900
# 8 #8 University of North Carolina at Greensboro $5,580 $65,700
# 9 #9 Johnson C Smith University $15,975 $66,400
# 10 #10 University of North Carolina at Pembroke $2,698 $63,200
# 11 #11 Winston-Salem State University $1,953 $62,700
# 12 #12 Montreat College $11,850 $61,900
# 13 #13 Gardner Webb University $14,336 $60,400
# 14 #14 University of Mount Olive $14,560 $59,600
# 15 #15 Pfeiffer University $29,800 $60,500
# 16 #16 William Peace University $31,200 $60,300
# 17 #17 Fayetteville State University $3,022 $56,400
# 18 #18 Lees-McRae College $10,200 $57,200
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges in North Carolina Ranking Details

For each school, we conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the schools' online programs. Explore online degrees offered and accreditation information below.

#1 North Carolina State University

  • Annual Tuition: $5,525
  • Median Salary: $93,900
  • Locations: Raleigh
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

North Carolina State University is a public research institution in the UNC system. NC State serves over 35,000 students with online programs that mirror the campus-based options and share the same faculty members. Students successfully completing a degree from NC State will join a globally recognized UNC alumni network. Online students can choose from over 350 online courses and degrees at the certificate, undergraduate, and graduate levels. NC State hosts nationally ranked programs in engineering, business, and the liberal arts.

#2 North Carolina A&T State University

  • Annual Tuition: $3,600
  • Median Salary: $80,800
  • Locations: Greensboro
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University is a member institution of the UNC system found in Greensboro, North Carolina. A&T Online’s certificate and degree programs share the same experienced faculty as its campus-based classes. Online programs offer specialized support including remote registration, credit transfers, and a program-specific coordinator for assistance in course selection and accessing student support services. Online courses are designed with a number of teaching methodologies including lectures, assessments, and collaborative features such as video software and discussion boards. Programs are offered in agriculture education, business, teaching, leadership studies, and more.

#3 East Carolina University

  • Annual Tuition: $4,512
  • Median Salary: $72,500
  • Locations: Greenville
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

East Carolina University is a public research university in the vibrant city of Greenville, North Carolina that serves nearly 30,000 students. ECU values diversity, innovation, and community engagement. ECU Online offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs in fields of study including business, health care, technology, education, and more. Online courses are flexible and taught by the same faculty as the on-campus options. ECU Online students have access to many of the same resources as campus-based students, including career services, tutoring, library research databases, and writing assistance.

#4 Appalachian State University

  • Annual Tuition: $4,290
  • Median Salary: $70,200
  • Locations: Boone
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Appalachian State, in Boone, North Carolina, values the arts, athletics, diversity, global learning, and sustainability; it is recognized as a top choice for outdoor enthusiasts. Undergraduate online degrees are offered in fields including business, communication, and nursing. Graduate programs are offered in a variety of fields including education, health administration, and library science. Online courses are offered in both a hybrid format, with some classroom-based work, or entirely online; classes are taught by the same faculty that teach on campus. App State offers tools for transfer students to better support credit transfer analysis.

#5 Campbell University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,950
  • Median Salary: $68,700
  • Locations: Buies Creek
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Campbell University is a private institution in Buies Creek, North Carolina, that values service and leadership. Considered an inclusive Christian university, Campbell has an extensive online education inventory with over 20 bachelor’s degrees, eight associate degrees, and one certificate program with fields of study including business, criminal justice, education, health care, information technology, and more. Courses are delivered in an accelerated eight-week format. Campbell University online students can access learning assistance, career guidance, and financial aid services.

#6 University of North Carolina at Wilmington

  • Annual Tuition: $4,503
  • Median Salary: $67,100
  • Locations: Wilmington
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington is a regional campus of the University of North Carolina system and has roughly 17,000 students. UNCW Online hosts a number of nationally ranked programs, including its bachelor of nursing, bachelor of criminology, master in liberal arts, and master in history. Online students who successfully complete their degrees will join the globally recognized UNC alumni network. Students also benefit from UNCW’s extensive support services, which include career counseling, math and writing support, and library resources.

#7 Western Carolina University

  • Annual Tuition: $1,616
  • Median Salary: $65,900
  • Locations: Cullowhee
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, is a member of the UNC system serving more than 11,000 students. Online students who successfully complete their degree will join the vast UNC alumni network. WCU’s distance education options include 100 percent online and hybrid programs, with nationally ranked degrees in nursing and education. Transfer students can access online tools to determine credit transfer, and students can also test for credit to fulfill course requirements. WCU professors design each course individually, and online students have access to academic advising, tutoring, and library resources.

#8 University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • Annual Tuition: $5,580
  • Median Salary: $65,700
  • Locations: Greensboro
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

One of the University of North Carolina’s 17 member institutions, UNC Greensboro serves a population of approximately 20,000 students. Notably, UNCG awards its own degrees, separate from the UNC system. UNCG Online prides itself on courses that use new technology and innovative design. Fields of study include business, information technology, education, nursing, public health, and humanities. Online students can access a published list of learning outcomes so as to better understand the skills and knowledge gained upon degree completion and career potential.

#9 Johnson C Smith University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,975
  • Median Salary: $66,400
  • Locations: Charlotte
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Johnson C. Smith University is a private institution in Charlotte, North Carolina. JCSU’s online courses have the same learning outcomes as campus-based courses; online students can access a published list of learning outcomes to better understand the expected skills and career preparation attained in each course. Online classes are delivered through lectures, discussions, writing assignments, projects, and exams, and courses are taught in an eight- or 16-week format. JCSU’s online students are expected to participate in scheduled class discussions in real-time to facilitate a peer network. Programs are offered in fields such as criminology and interdisciplinary studies.

#10 University of North Carolina at Pembroke

  • Annual Tuition: $2,698
  • Median Salary: $63,200
  • Locations: Pembroke
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

A member of the UNC system, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke serves over 7,000 students. Originally founded as a school for American Indians, UNC Pembroke values a diverse student body. Online courses are taught by the same faculty as campus-based courses, and undergraduate fields of study include criminal justice, sociology, interdisciplinary studies, and business administration. Certificates and graduate degrees are also available, with an accelerated, low-cost MBA option that can be completed in 12 months. Students can access online tutoring services, academic advising, and library databases. Online students who successfully complete their degree will join the globally recognized UNC alumni network.

#11 Winston-Salem State University

  • Annual Tuition: $1,953
  • Median Salary: $62,700
  • Locations: Winston-Salem
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

A member of the UNC system, Winston-Salem State University serves over 5,000 students. Winston-Salem State University values access to higher education for minorities, military members, and first-generation students, and its online courses are designed for those who have little opportunity to experience a traditional college education. As such, it offers timely, engaging, and relevant online certificate, undergraduate, and graduate degree programs. Fields of study include healthcare, education, and interdisciplinary studies. Online students can access library resources and even chat with a librarian in real-time for research assistance.

#12 Montreat College

  • Annual Tuition: $11,850
  • Median Salary: $61,900
  • Locations: Montreat
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Montreat College is a private Christian institution that values intellectual inquiry, spiritual formation, and career preparation. The School of Adult and Graduate Studies hosts 100 percent online certificate and degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels in fields of study including business, psychology, criminal justice, and religion. Distance learners can complete their MBA in two years by taking just one class weekly. Montreat College’s online program offers flexibility and specialized tracks, along with access to resources such as academic advising and graduate school counseling.

#13 Gardner Webb University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,336
  • Median Salary: $60,400
  • Locations: Boiling Springs
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Gardner Webb University is a private, Baptist institution in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, with one-third of its students enrolled in online programs. Gardner-Webb values a quality academic core curriculum and is committed to community engagement. Gardner Webb University online degrees are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in fields such as business administration, education, computer information systems, nursing, and Christian ministry. The Gardner-Webb Library offers online students video conference-based research consultations for research assistance on assignments.

#14 University of Mount Olive

  • Annual Tuition: $14,560
  • Median Salary: $59,600
  • Locations: Mount Olive
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of Mount Olive in Mount Olive, North Carolina, is a private Christian institution that values diverse programs and affordable tuition. Distance learners have innovative 100 percent online options at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels in fields of study including business, health care, education, criminal justice, general studies, and more. Online students can access several library databases and have the ability to chat in real-time with a librarian. Students can find an inventory of research guides, tutorials, and webinars online to maximize their university resources.

#15 Pfeiffer University

  • Annual Tuition: $29,800
  • Median Salary: $60,500
  • Locations: Misenheimer
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

A private Methodist institution in Misenheimer, North Carolina, Pfeiffer University offers affordable and flexible online education options. Adult learners and transfer students can access credit-by-examination or submit career portfolios and military service experience for college-level credit. Undergraduate degrees are offered 100 percent online, and fields of study include business, criminal justice, nursing, and health care. Graduate-level programs are offered predominantly online or with some classroom-based work at the Charlotte or Raleigh campuses. Pfeiffer Online students have access to 24/7 online support.

#16 William Peace University

  • Annual Tuition: $31,200
  • Median Salary: $60,300
  • Locations: Raleigh
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

William Peace University is a private, career-driven institution in Raleigh, North Carolina, that ranks nationally in effective teaching practices. WPU values diversity and inclusion, affordability, and innovation. The School of Professional Studies offers hybrid online/classroom degree options with multiple disciplines and accelerated tracks. Fields of study include marketing, criminal justice, education, nursing, liberal studies, and more. Online courses include enhanced discussions with classmates, video conferencing technology, and webinars, and nearly all of the campus resources are available to online students.

#17 Fayetteville State University

  • Annual Tuition: $3,022
  • Median Salary: $56,400
  • Locations: Fayetteville
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

One of the 17 institutions in the UNC system, Fayetteville State University serves over 6,000 students, and 25% of its student population are active military, veterans, or members of military families. FSU offers 10 online degree completion programs for undergraduates and fields of study include business, nursing, psychology, education, criminal justice, and more. In addition, FSU hosts online graduate programs in criminal justice, psychology, and business administration. Online students have flexible scheduling and no set class time, though all assignments, exams, and discussion postings have completion deadlines.

#18 Lees-McRae College

  • Annual Tuition: $10,200
  • Median Salary: $57,200
  • Locations: Banner Elk
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Serving a population of approximately 1,000 students, Lees-McRae College is a private institution in Banner Elk, North Carolina. Lees-McRae College has affordable distance-learning options that provide practical skills and course flexibility, with courses that begin four times throughout the year. Online students can earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration, criminal justice, elementary education, human services, and nursing. Additionally, Lees McRae College offers an online master’s degree in teaching. Distance learners have access to online tutoring and career service programs, as well as library resources such as video tutorials and research databases.

References

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