5 college best buys in North Carolina

Help is out there for Carolina students who put paying for college at the top of their concerns with The College Affordability Guide’s 2017 rankings.

Washington, D.C.-based Degree Prospects started CollegeAffordabilityGuide.org in 2013. Its calculations include an affordability score that focuses not only the cost of attending but also factors such as degree attainment and student loan repayment to provide a fuller picture.

The guide’s Top 5 affordable schools in North Carolina and some financial aid high points are:

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • The Carolina Scholars, Pogue Scholars and the Colonel Robinson Scholars programs offer residents $9,000 per year. (Out-of-state students receive the equivalent of tuition, room and board, and fees.)
  • The Johnston Scholarship Program covers recipients’ full demonstrated need.
  • The Moorehead-Cain Scholarship and the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program cover full tuition and fees, room and board, plus enrichment opportunities.

2. Appalachian State University in Boone

  • Chancellor’s scholarships for those seeking graduate or post-baccalaureate degrees cover full tuition and fees plus special housing and travel opportunities.
  • Nine departments also offer their own scholarships.

3. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • Blue & Gold Scholarships range from $1,500 to full tuition coverage, including fees and room and board.
  • The UNC Financial Aid Office administers 139 need-based scholarships on behalf of donors.

4. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

  • The Levine Scholars Program awards full tuition, room and board, and a grant for recipients to implement a service project.
  • North Carolina students with financial need can applly for the Jason Bonsall Promising Potential Scholarship.
  • First-generation college students can seek the Jennie B. and Charles E. Latham Scholarship.

5. Winston-Salem State University

  • The TRIO Student Support Services Program is available for students with disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Its RAMPay Plan is an interest-free way to pay tuition in installments.

See the full list for the state here, and check out South Carolina’s list here.


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