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North Carolina Colleges and Universities


Are you thinking of attending any North Carolina colleges? If so, you'll be doing so in a state that's rich in higher education history. That's because in 1795, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill became the first state university to open its doors for students. And private higher education in North Carolina has a long history that dates back to 1772 and the founding of Salem College, one of the earliest colleges for women in the United States.

Today there are 36 independently controlled North Carolina colleges and universities accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. These institutions are affiliated with 14 different religious denominations and enroll over 60,000 students. They confer nearly one-third of the bachelor's degrees awarded from North Carolina colleges and universities each year and over half of the state's degrees in law and medicine.

But there's much more to North Carolina than campuses and classrooms. Its largest cities and cultural centers include Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, and Wilmington. Add to that the over 900 miles of hiking trails in North Carolina's mountains, as well as more than 400 majestic waterfalls -- more than anywhere else in the East -- and there's plenty of exploring to do.

Known as the Tar Heel State, North Carolina has transformed from a predominately agricultural state to a major industrial center. Approximately 17 percent of those employed are in manufacturing. Textiles are the top industry in the state, producing cotton and synthetic fabrics, yarns, threads, knitted goods, apparel, and hosiery. North Carolina is also a giant producer of wooden furniture, with about 60 percent of the furniture manufactured in the U.S. made within a 200-mile radius of Hickory.

Of course, textiles and furniture-making isn't all that happens in North Carolina. There is a high-tech industrial area, mainly located in Research Triangle Park, between Raleigh-Durham and Chapel Hill. The area has developed into an international center for research and development. In addition, North Carolina is a cornerstone of aviation ever since the Wright brothers took flight from the Outer Banks in 1903.

So if you want a life changing college experience, check out colleges and universities in North Carolina. Take a look at some highlights...

Number of North Carolina Colleges and Universities: 127

Cool Events Abound at Universities in North Carolina

  • Free music festivals are offered to the public by universities in North Carolina.

  • North Carolina colleges and universities take part in the Triangle Undergraduate Research Symposium, which showcases undergraduate research in the sciences and humanities.

  • Colleges and universities in North Carolina take turns hosting the North Carolina Percussive Arts Society's concerts.

  • Homecoming events bring back alums young and old to reminisce and support the athletes of North Carolina colleges.

  • Students participate in the American Cancer Society's signature fundraising event, Relay for Life.


  • Financial Aid for Students at North Carolina Colleges
  • State Aid Agency: North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority

  • College Prepaid/Savings Program: NC National College Savings Program


  • Popular College Majors
    Health and Allied Services, Education, Business and Commerce, and Engineering and Engineering Technologies.
    Source: College Bound Seniors 2005, The College Board

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