Why This Matters

  • 67 NORTH CAROLINA ASSOCIATE DEGREE PROGRAMS

    Data from College Navigator shows that there are 67 educational institutions in North Carolina offering two-year associate degree programs.

  • $2,445 AVERAGE IN-DISTRICT TUITION IN NORTH CAROLINA

    According to College Board, community college students in North Carolina paid an average of $2,445 for in-district tuition and fees during the 2020-21 school year.

  • 76.9% OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS RECEIVED FINANCIAL AID

    At two-year colleges in the United States, 437,899 enrolled students used some type of financial aid during the 2018-19 school year to help cover their tuition and fees.

Our Research

For our list of the best community colleges in North Carolina, we looked at two-year programs throughout the state, including public and private institutions. The data used to select schools included the cost of tuition, the number of credits required to graduate, and whether the program is offered online or in-person.

All of the community colleges on our list are accredited to ensure they meet high academic standards. Most of these community colleges are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). A regional accreditor focusing on the southern states, SACSCOC holds schools to high standards for student learning and quality improvement.

  • 85hours to write this article
  • 67universities and colleges we assessed
  • 168education programs we compared

The Top 50 Community Colleges in North Carolina

Best Community Colleges in North Carolina Badge
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What You Should Know About Graduating From Community College in North Carolina

Your career options should be part of the decision process when choosing a North Carolina community college. Based on 2020 data, the five careers in North Carolina requiring only an associate degree that pay the most were air traffic controllers, radiation therapists, funeral home managers, dental hygienists, and magnetic resonance imaging technologists.

Another important factor is the number of available jobs in North Carolina that require an associate degree. The five careers with the most available job openings are preschool teachers, paralegals and legal assistants, dental hygienists, computer network support specialists, and radiologic technologists.

It’s also important to consider which jobs are on the decline. In North Carolina, the five jobs requiring an associate degree that are expected to have the greatest decline include respiratory therapy technicians, desktop publishers, nuclear technicians, human resources assistants, and mechanical drafters.

What’s Next?

Another part of choosing a North Carolina community college is understanding your financial aid options. The state and federal resources listed below give you a starting point for exploring the scholarships, grants, and loans that are available to community college students in North Carolina.

  • College Foundation of North Carolina. Learn more about the grants, scholarships, and loans available for North Carolina college students. There are also resources for planning your future and applying to college.
  • Federal Student Aid. Offering over $120 billion in financial aid each year, the office of Federal Student Aid provides grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study opportunities. Visit FAFSA4caster to check your eligibility, then submit the online FAFSA form to apply.
  • CareerOneStop. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop breaks down scholarship, grant, and other financial aid options by state, degree type, and other criteria. It includes details on qualifications, application processes, and contact info.