B students, there’s still hope among N.C. colleges

Heidi Finley

Carolina College Bound file photo

North Carolina students graduating with a 3.0 GPA face a tougher in-state college admissions landscape, but plenty of options remain.

College Simply collects data, rankings and reviews on U.S. colleges, and provides searchable lists linked to SAT or ACT scores, selectivity, GPAs and other factors. In North Carolina, the website found 13 colleges likely to accept students with a B average. They are:

Barton College

Barton in Wilson, N.C., is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It recommends an unweighted grade point average of 2.3 and an 890 SAT or 19 ACT.

Belmont Abbey College

Belmont Abbey in Belmont, N.C., is a Catholic, Benedictine college. Applicants with an unweighted GPA equal to or greater than 3.0 can waive the requirement for a minimum 850 SAT. However, students who submit test scores will have a greater advantage for scholarships.

Brevard College

Brevard in Brevard, N.C., is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It is a test-optional school, meaning SAT/ACT scores are not required. College Simply reported its admitted students had an average GPA of 2.97.

Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State in Fayetteville, N.C., says applications will be evaluated comprehensively based on high school courses and GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and college transcript. College Simply said its average GPA of admitted freshmen was 2.95.

Guilford College

Guilford in Greensboro, N.C., is affiliated with the Quakers. An academic portfolio of two writing samples, one of which must be graded expository work, can be substituted in lieu of SAT/ACT scores. The average GPA of admitted freshmen was 3.16, College Simply said.

Johnson C. Smith University

Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte is an HBCU, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities. It says it accepts students based on testing, GPA and other factors such as activities, achievements and personal stories. The average GPA of admitted freshman was 2.97, College Simply said.

Johnson & Wales University

Johnson & Wales in Charlotte is test optional, although home schooled students are required to submit SAT or ACT scores. The school says certain majors may have individual requirements for grade point averages, courses and academics. College Simply reports the school’s average admitted freshman GPA as 3.15.

Lees McRae College

Lees McRae in Banner Elk, N.C., is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. College Simply reported its average GPA for admitted freshmen was 3.14. It is a test-optional school, and its admissions website notes: “If there are special circumstances to consider regarding your academic and/or personal background, please submit a brief essay with an explanation. In addition, academic recommendations or an interview may be required.”

Mid Atlantic Christian University

Mid Atlantic Christian in Elizabeth City, N.C., was founded with ties to the Churches of Christ. It requires a GPA of 2.0 or above, or standing in the top half of the student’s graduating class, or a GED with a composite score of 2250 with 410 minimums per segment. Its minimum combined SAT-I score is 860, and its minimum ACT is 18. Its website notes, “candidates who deeply desire an education from a Christian world view; yet who may not meet all of the criteria as outlined above may be admitted to the University in a provisional status and are encouraged to apply.”

Montreat College

Montreat in Montreat, N.C., is a Christian college with ties to the Presbyterian Church. Standard admission requirements include a 2.75 minimum GPA and a 21 on the ACT or an SAT score of 1000 (combined Critical Reading and Math sections on SAT prior to March 2016; Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math on SAT after March 2016). It adds, “Students who do not meet these standards are required to submit a letter of recommendation and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for possible conditional acceptance.”

North Carolina Central University

NC Central in Durham has the same minimum course requirements as all UNC System institutions, meaning a minimum SAT score of 880 or minimum ACT score of 17. Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA or higher and must successfully complete minimum course requirements.

William Peace University

William Peace in Raleigh, N.C., says its first-year students’ average GPA is 3.3. It also says admissions counselors look at the “whole student,” not just numbers and data when considering admissions.

Winston Salem State University

Winston Salem State in Winston-Salem, N.C., is part of the UNC system, which requires a minimum SAT score of 880 or minimum ACT score of 17. Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA or higher and must successfully complete minimum course requirements.


Heidi Finley is the editor of Carolina College Bound. Sends questions or suggestions to hfinley@charlotteobserver.com.