We’ve got some fantastic universities in North Carolina. There is no question about that. But when I saw Niche’s latest ranking of the most difficult schools to be admitted to I wasn’t expecting to find an NC school ranked so high. But it’s true, a North Carolina college is one of the hardest to get into in the entire country. It’s ranked right between Columbia and Brown which is not bad company to be included in. This list is compiled by Niche and is based on acceptance rates and SAT/ACT test scores using data from the U.S. Department of Education. The top 25 features schools with acceptance rates between 5 and 12%. And while there has been an overall de-emphasis on SAT/ACT scores, you still are looking at scores in the high 1400s or 1500s if you want to attend one of the most elite schools in the country.
Of course, the Universities you’d expect are on this list including the Ivy League schools. And the top spot should come as no surprise to anyone. But I’ll be honest there were several schools on this list that I had never heard of before. Though to have such rigorous standards for admission a lot of people must have. Most of the toughest colleges to get into are in the Northeast with some in California as well. While it’s not a school I could ever get into, nor a sports team I find myself cheering for sans 2 games a year, it’s still something to be proud of that a North Carolina college is one of the hardest to get into in the country.
So which one is it? Below you’ll find the top 25 list, but I’ll let you know that it’s near the top. You can read the full Niche rankings here.
List: The Best Colleges In North Carolina According To US News
What are the best colleges in North Carolina? There’s no perfect college because no one student wants or needs the exact same things. What makes a particular academic institution stand out to one person may be exactly what another doesn’t want. And choosing which school that is can be a daunting task. Even creating a list of universities to visit and apply to can be overwhelming. That’s why U.S. News creates its Best Colleges rankings each year. And last year they released their rankings for 2022-2023.
To create these rankings U.S. News analyzed over 1,850 colleges and placed them in four overall ranking categories. These include National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities, and Regional Colleges. The rankings in each category are based on factors that are indicative of academic quality. This includes such metrics as graduation rates and faculty resources.
Best Colleges In North Carolina
So back to North Carolina. We’ve got some major recognizable names when it comes to universities. In, fact, in the sports world North Carolina has 4 undefeated college football teams right now 3 weeks into the season. Like many states, sports are a big driver for many of the dozens of colleges and universities across the state of North Carolina. It was a huge factor in my college selection. One that was the best decision I ever made. But returning to academics, North Carolina has options of all sizes including large research universities, midsize colleges, and small private liberal arts colleges. You can choose an institution in a big city, a small town, the mountains, or the beach.
Returning to college football for a moment, coincidental the top 4 national universities in North Carolina are those same 4 teams that are undefeated right now. Another interesting statistic is that our state is home to the number one overall regional university in the south. That’s pretty awesome! Keep reading to see where your school made the list. First, you’ll see the list of North Carolina National Universities, then Liberal Arts, and finally Regional Colleges/Universities.