Best small colleges in north carolina

Last Updated on May 31, 2022

North Carolina is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States. The state is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the 50 United States. It is bordered by Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west. Raleigh is the state’s capital and Charlotte is its largest city.

The state of North Carolina has a relatively small size but boasts of numerous colleges that offer a variety of programs including the best small colleges in North Carolina . This is to say that North Carolina is not left wanting when it comes to colleges and their quality.

Right here on infolearners, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on best small colleges in north carolina, private colleges in nc, best colleges in north carolina, university of south carolina, davidson college, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Best small colleges in north carolina


Enrollment: 438

This small, private institution in Concord, NC is the best small college in the state, when you look at the unbiased data.

Cabarrus College graduates earn the 2nd-highest salaries in the state for all small colleges – even a decade after graduation. A 31% admission rate means it’s exclusive (a good sign), and the cost is the 3rd lowest, too. Meaning you get a big bang for your buck.

A bonus: It’s a great place for women to study, as about 9 in 10 students is a female.


Enrollment: 385

Located in High Point, Laurel is one of many private, Christian colleges to make this list. What makes it so great here?

For starters, it’s the most affordable small college in the state, by far. The admission rate is very low (under 40%), and its graduation rate is the 3rd-highest in the state of all small colleges we measured.


Enrollment: 1,770

Most people in the state know Davidson as being a top-notch basketball program. But this small, private liberal arts college outside of Charlotte isn’t just a great place for hoops.

Davidson’s graduation rate of 93% is by far the highest in North Carolina, which is certainly something to brag about. So is a 25% admission rate, also the highest in the state.’


Enrollment: 169

By far the smallest secondary institution on this list, Mid-Atlantic Christian University in Elizabeth City gets high marks for a low admission rate and a high graduation rate. Additionally, for those lucky enough to get in, this is the 5th least expensive place to learn in the state.

Mid-Atlantic Christian was also ranked as the top online school in the state as well.


Enrollment: 425

If you want up-close personal attention at a private Bible-centered institution, than it’d be hard to beat Piedmont International, located in Winston-Salem.

Besides high marks in several categories, what really stands out is the annual salaries that its graduates command. There isn’t a place in the state where graduates earn more money once leaving school than here at Piedmont.


Enrollment: 1,467

This private, liberal arts college in Rocky Mount gets high marks for cost (it’s the 9th least expensive small college in NC), and for post-graduation earnings, where former students command the 9th-highest incomes in the state.


Enrollment: 1,309

Only 40% of the young minds who apply to Catawba are accepted, which is a sign of greatness. After all, when you turn so many students away, that means there’s high demand. In addition, graduates earn the 12-highest salaries.

Catawba also has the 9th-highest graduation rate of all small colleges in the Tar Heel State.

This private school is about halfway between Charlotte and Winston-Salem.


Enrollment: 730

Not only is Brevard in one of the prettiest parts of North Carolina, its students get the benefit of several leading categories. For instance, if you’re lucky enough to be accepted here, you’ll have the 3rd-lowest debt of all small college graduates in the state.

And the whole reason you go to college is to earn the big bucks, right? Brevard grads command the 4th-highest salaries in the state.


Enrollment: 1,082

If you love the mountains, you can’t do better than little Montreat College, located in the hills north of Asheville. Besides being overwhelmed by natural beauty, students will appreciate the high graduation rate, lower-than-average costs and high salaries that graduates earn.


Enrollment: 853

UNCSA is one of a few public schools to make this list. Only 4 in 10 students are admitted, but this is the 2nd-least expensive small college at which to learn in the state. Additionally, UNCSA has the 5th-highest graduation rank in the state.

Davidson college

Davidson College is a private liberal arts college in Davidson, North Carolina. It enrolls 1,983 students from 48 states and 47 countries. Of those students, 95 percent live on campus, 73 percent study abroad  and about 25 percent participate in 21 NCAA Division I sports. The college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars.

Students may choose from 29 majors and 40 minors, as well as other interdisciplinary studies. The college is governed by an honor code.


For the class of 2023 (enrolled fall 2019), Davidson received 5,973 applications and accepted 1,091 (18.3%). The yield rate (the percentage of accepted students who enroll) was 48.4%. The middle 50% range of SAT scores for enrolled students was 650–720 for Evidence-Based Reading & Writing, and 660–750 for Math, while the ACT Composite range was 30–33. Enrolled freshmen represent 41 states and 18 countries; 43.1% were from the U.S. South.


The 2021 annual ranking by U.S. News & World Report rates Davidson College as tied for the 13th best among “National Liberal Arts Colleges” in America, 2nd in “Best Undergraduate Teaching” and 18th for “Best Value”. For 2019, Davidson College was ranked 48th overall on Forbes ‘ list of “America’s Top Colleges,” 17th best liberal arts college, and 8th in the South. In 2018, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance rated Davidson College as the #1 best college for value across all colleges and universities in America.

According to The Princeton Review, Davidson is ranked among the top twenty colleges nationally for the following categories: “Best Overall Academic Experience For Undergraduates,” “Professors Get High Marks” (1st), “Professors Make Themselves Accessible” (16th), “Students Study the Most” (10th), “School Runs Like Butter” (4th), “Town-Gown Relations are Great” (3rd), “Easiest Campus to Get Around” (3rd), and “Best Quality of Life (16th).”

Private colleges in nc

Apex School of TheologyDurham, North Carolina$4,800NANA
Barton CollegeWilson, North Carolina$31,7324226
Belmont Abbey CollegeBelmont, North Carolina$18,500314
Bennett College for WomenGreensboro, North Carolina$15,964NANA
Brevard CollegeBrevard, North Carolina$28,400NANA
Cabarrus College of Health SciencesConcord, North Carolina$13,0546970
Campbell UniversityBuies Creek, North Carolina$32,3805561
Carolina Bible CollegeFayetteville, North Carolina$5,040NANA
Carolina Christian CollegeWinston Salem, North Carolina$7,600NANA
Catawba CollegeSalisbury, North Carolina$30,5204671
Chowan UniversityMurfreesboro, North Carolina$25,480151
Davidson CollegeDavidson, North Carolina$52,4669396
DeVry University North CarolinaCharlotte, North Carolina$15,835NANA
Duke UniversityDurham, North Carolina$55,8809998
Elon UniversityElon, North Carolina$36,0827640
Gardner Webb UniversityBoiling Springs, North Carolina$31,6104854
Grace College of DivinityFayetteville, North Carolina$6,000NANA
Greensboro CollegeGreensboro, North Carolina$18,5002932
Guilford CollegeGreensboro, North Carolina$37,9204643
Harrison CollegeMorrisville, North Carolina$14,400NANA

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