Best Online Colleges in North Carolina

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A North Carolina online college can enhance a student’s education and give a student access to complete a college education when he or she might otherwise not be able to. It’s beneficial to working adults who are limited to the hours they can attend school. With online education, working adults can take college courses at their own pace, at a time that works for them, and right from the comfort of their own home.

Single parents and parents, in general, can attend a North Carolina online college. They may earn their degrees while their children attend school. On the other hand, parents may opt to complete school while their kids sleep or even when their children are busy. For rural Carolinians, a North Carolina online college brings schooling to the individual. Often, those who live in rural areas are far from school. It’s quite a commute, and it doesn’t help that the student may have to sit in traffic and still have to juggle other responsibilities along with attending college. 

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Ranking the Best Online Colleges in North Carolina

All of the North Carolina institutions on Value Colleges ranking of the Best Online Colleges in North Carolina stands up to VC’s vetting process, including an established return on investment for graduates. Schools must be fully and legitimately accredited. Institutions are ordered by the number of online bachelor’s.

1. East Carolina University

East Carolina University is no stranger to online programs. In fact, it has 24 of them. All of these programs are degree completion programs, so they’re open to eligible transfer students. Many students complete the first two years of their degrees at a local community college before transferring to ECU’s online program. This pathway helps students save money on their degrees. With lots of flexibility and expert professors, ECU is one of the top online colleges in North Carolina. 

East Carolina University is committed to providing the best in education. Students here learn how to reach their fullest potential. An ECU education helps people get the most out of their academics and their lives as a whole. Faculty here help students nurture their passions so that they can accomplish a lot with them. To this day, ECU lives up to the mission of its first president, Robert Wright: “It was built by the people, for the people, and may it ever remain with the people, as a servant of the people.” ECU is one of the top colleges in NC for diversity. 

Number of Online Programs: 24

2. Campbell University

Campbell University’s online programs help learners make the most of their goals. Courses are designed with accelerated terms, combining efficiency and flexibility. These programs include Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Certificate, and minor options. In any case, students receive the same quality education that they would have received on campus. The experienced faculty and development of the programs make Campbell one of the best online colleges in North Carolina. 

Campbell University helps students turn their passions into realities. This private, regional university provides a high-quality education. It teaches people how to build their skills and form the important connections that they’ll need for their careers. As a Christian university, Campbell helps students develop a rich spiritual life. It’s a great environment for those who want to explore their faith and broaden their education at the same time. 
Campbell University, headquartered in Buies Creek, NC, is a military-friendly school with extensive services for veterans and military families. 

Number of Online Programs: 17

3. Gardner-Webb University

Gardner-Webb University’s online programs combine convenience with academic excellence. It has degree completion programs and graduate programs, all of which are taught by talented faculty members. The degree completion program comes with several options, including options that you may not find online at other schools. For example, GWU has an online Fire Service Administration program. Because of all of these options, it’s one of the top online colleges in North Carolina. 

Gardner-Webb University is a Christian school with a professional focus. As a liberal arts school, it provides a well-rounded education for those who want to broaden their academic abilities. This school provides top-level academics while forging connections between peers. This school fosters analysis, deep thought, and  an education that is both academically and spiritually engaging. Gardner-Webb is known for its community engagement. It gives students lots of opportunities to serve their communities. 

Number of Online Programs: 14

4. Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University has online and hybrid programs that add convenience to learning. These transfer programs offer upper-level courses, so they’re best for those who have already taken a couple of years of college classes. Some students complete their freshman and sophomore courses on campus and then finish their junior and senior years online. These programs come with lots of support from faculty members who are always ready to answer student questions. Overall, it’s one of the best online colleges in North Carolina. 

App State combines traditional education with real-world experience. It instills confidence for career-seekers and helps students reach their goals. With an emphasis on inclusion and sustainability, this school teaches people how to lead with social responsibility. It has a low student-to-faculty ratio, so students get personalized attention and always know where to go when they have questions. 98% of full-time faculty at App State have earned Doctorate degrees. 

Number of Online Programs: 11

5. North Carolina A&T University

North Carolina A&T University’s online programs help students with career advancement. Here, students learn vital skills to take their careers up a notch. These programs provide challenging and meaningful academics, but they also provide plenty of flexibility and convenience. Each course comes with supplemental resources that help students succeed in the online learning experience. Thanks to all of its resources and support, A&T is one of the top online colleges in North Carolina. 

NCA&T helps students forge connections and make a difference all while getting a deep education. This school has a rich history of public service that reaches all around the world. Students who want to make the world a better place feel right at home at this school. This historically Black university helps students reach their goals in science, technology, leadership, and beyond. NCA&T is the number 1 producer of undergraduate engineering degrees for African Americans. 

Number of Online Programs: 10

6. Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University’s degree completion program lets students take their upper-level classes online. FSU also has an online graduate program. This school has options for business, psychological studies, and much more. It provides the flexibility that a lot of busy students need, but it doesn’t skimp on educational quality. As a matter of fact, students in this program get a challenging and fulfilling education. That’s what makes FSU one of the best online colleges in North Carolina. 

Fayetteville State University helps students forge pathways and get results. Faculty and staff here know that students have goals for their future. This school helps them achieve those goals. This highly diverse school educates students from all races and backgrounds. Students here come from all across the globe. FSU is also one of the most affordable schools in the US, with relatively low tuition costs and plenty of financial aid opportunities. With an FSU education, students become empowered. A quarter of FSU’s students are military. Faculty and staff know how to provide support for military students and their families. 

Number of Online Programs: 10

7. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

UNC Greensboro has many exceptional online programs. Not only are these programs more flexible than their on-campus counterparts, they’re also more affordable. However, that’s not the only thing that sets UNC Greensboro apart from other schools. Online classes here are challenging and high quality. Classes are taught by exceptional faculty and staff, and students here get lots of support. With all of its support and resources, UNC Greensboro is one of the top online colleges in North Carolina. 

As part of the UNC system, UNC Greensboro equips students with everything they need to achieve their goals and advance their careers. This school combines academics and research for innovative education. It has a community full of engaged and focused students, and faculty members help those students create their own pathways to success. UNC Greensboro has been included in Princeton Review’s Best Colleges for 16 years in a row. 

Number of Online Programs: 9

8. William Peace University

William Peace University’s online programs are specifically designed for adult learners. We offer online, evening, and hybrid options, that are accelerated so that students can quickly attain their degree and continue career success. Programs are flexible and straightforward with the goal of accommodating an active adult that needs to maintain a work-life balance. With a variety of degree options from marketing to nursing, William Peace University is one of the best online colleges in North Carolina.

WPU is a dynamic, diverse school that values hands-on experiences in education. Students gain the professional and critical thinking skills that they’ll need for success after graduation. WPU focuses on the journey and passion of the student and our goal is to influence and nurture each student to achieve career success. We meet you where you are and provide flexible options, accelerated schedules, and degree and licensure programs that have partnerships with Wake Med, UNC Rex Hospital, UNC Healthcare Physicians, and Wake County Public Schools.

Number of Online Programs: 9

9. University of North Carolina at Wilmington

UNC Wilmington has numerous online programs in which students sharpen their research skills while getting the flexibility they need to earn their degrees. Online learners here get lots of support, and online education at UNCW is just as robust as on-campus education. These programs are challenging, meaningful, and help students gain the tools they need for success. That’s what makes UNCW one of the top online colleges in North Carolina. 

UNCW offers all of the benefits of the UNC system with all of the personalization of a smaller school. This school takes a students-first approach to academics. It helps students bring their visions and goals to life, helping them find the step-by-step plans that will get them where they want to go. This diverse, mentor-based college offers a top-quality education. US News has ranked UNCW as one of the best online Bachelor programs. 

Number of Online Programs: varies

10. Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University’s online programs come in fully online and hybrid options. These programs were designed to fit within the lives of busy adult learners. They were also designed to be affordable, so students get high quality at a relatively low price. These programs include undergrad, graduate, and certificate-based education. In any case, students gain the skills that they need with the flexibility that helps them get it done. Overall, WCU is one of the best online colleges in North Carolina. 

WCU provides a challenging education with lots of student support. Students come from all around the globe to gain from what WCU has to offer. Here, students sharpen the tools that they need to make their career goals happen. This school has a diverse community and lots of opportunities for students to make the most of their educational experiences. WCU is ranked one of the top 5 universities in the US for undergraduate research. 

Number of Online Programs: 8

What is the Value of Online Colleges in North Carolina? 

As a highly diverse state, North Carolina’s online colleges offer something for everyone. Once primarily rural, North Carolina is a tech, banking, and educational center thanks to development in the Triangle and Charlotte regions, especially the Research Triangle Park. Urban and suburban professionals who want to improve their career options can benefit from online programs across the state, while working-class rural residents looking for a leg up can take online courses without having to leave home.

What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn Online in North Carolina?

Online education is becoming a respected and viable option for students from all walks of life across the globe, and the universities and colleges in North Carolina are leaders in distance learning nationwide when it comes to offering fully online degree and certificate programs. Whether you are interested in obtaining an associate, bachelors, masters, doctorate, or professional certificate, there are options that meet most students’ needs from value to cost to flexibility to program offerings.

Students will notice when they choose from North Carolina online college degrees that some programs aren’t available as online associate’s degree paths. However, the option to earn North Carolina online college degrees for that program becomes available as bachelor’s degrees, online masters programs in North Carolina, or online doctoral programs in North Carolina. For instance, nursing is one of these fields. A person must first complete their initial nursing program and undergo clinicals before being able to earn a BSN, online masters in North Carolina, or any online doctoral programs in North Carolina. 

One interesting aspect of choosing online masters in North Carolina is the ability to specialize. For instance, a student may opt for one of the online master’s programs in North Carolina for criminal justice and specialize in emergency management. If a student is currently a teacher, he or she may choose from online degree programs in North Carolina and specialize in an online master’s in North Carolina in reading and literacy. Business administration is another of the most popular online program.

How Can I Save Money on an Online Degree in North Carolina?

One common concern of students looking to earn a degree either on-campus or online is the expense. Some students don’t have the financial means to attend school without loans and don’t want to drown in debt once they’re out of school. One option to save a student money is to apply for scholarships through the school and organizations. It’s also possible to cut costs by choosing the cheapest online colleges in NC. You can still obtain a legitimate degree and a quality education even from the cheaper schools. When selecting a school, keep in mind that regional public institutions are the cheapest online colleges in NC when compared to private schools and well-known public ones.

 A student doesn’t have to complete his or her coursework from the same institution. Therefore, it’s possible to search “online community colleges NC” and take general electives or complete one’s associate before going on to a four-year degree. Besides looking for “online community colleges NC,” a student should also look into financial aid through the federal or state government since both offer grants based on the degree program and a person’s financial need. Another option is employer reimbursement, which is when an employer agrees to reimburse a student for their education if they work at the facility for a designated amount of time. 

Keep in mind as well that in-state tuition is lower for distance learners as well, so enrollment in a North Carolina school as a resident saves online students money, whether they are part-time or full-time students. Nonprofit public schools are cheaper than for-profit as well. Whichever school offers the concentrations you want for online bachelor’s degrees, at a price you can pay, is the right school for you. The National Center for Education Statistics shows that an online degree is better for workers than a high school diploma no matter where it comes from.

You’ve also saved when you move on to your master’s degree or other graduate degrees from one of NC’s great online schools.

Why Choose an Online Public University in North Carolina?

If a person decides to earn a degree from one of the North Carolina accredited online colleges, it’s important to consider the option of a public university in North Carolina. These schools are often well known, and a student can easily figure out if the institution is one of the North Carolina accredited online colleges. Often, the school classifies as one of the accredited online colleges in North Carolina and also has programs that received accreditation. Two of NC’s HBCUs, North Carolina Central University and North Carolina A&T State University, also offer numerous online programs. North Carolina State University (NCSU) in the state capital of Raleigh is one of the nation’s top STEM schools and a great source of online programs.

The University of North Carolina System is much more than the flagship in Chapel Hill; the University of North Carolina Wilmington, UNC Asheville, ASU in Boone, NC, UNCG, WCU in Cullowhee, NC, and ECU in Greenville, NC, and UNCG in Greensboro all have well-known online degree programs. North Carolina schools are known as some of the best higher education institutions in the nation.

Duke University in Durham, NC is known as an elite institution, but it also offers highly acclaimed distance education programs.

Many online public universities are accredited online colleges in North Carolina and offer the same programs they supply at their campus online. The school alters the program slightly to accommodate the online setup. 

In many cases, public universities have unique degree paths and a wide range of degrees in general when compared to schools that only offer online instruction. Plus, they’re often less expensive than private schools. A student can also benefit from all the resources they have access to at a public university.

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Aya Andrews


Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.

Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.

In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.

With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.

Find your perfect value college is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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