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2021 Best Colleges in North Carolina by Salary Score

By the GradReports team | Updated 3/1/2021

We ranked the top 25 schools in North Carolina based on Salary Score to show how alumni salaries at these schools compare to alumni salaries across the country. We know that future salary isn’t the primary consideration for every student, but we do believe this information is useful alongside other metrics, like cost of tuition, financial aid packages, and the overall quality of a program. To calculate our Salary Score, we compared median alumni earnings a year after graduating from a major at one college to alumni earnings for the same major at other universities. The results were compiled into one bachelor's Salary Score for each college, which indicates the salary potential for graduates based on real alumni outcomes. The top six North Carolina universities below have a higher Salary Score than the median for all U.S. colleges and universities. The top three schools in North Carolina — Elon University, Duke University, and Wake Forest University — also earned a spot on our 2021 list of the best colleges in the country.

To be considered for our state rankings, schools must offer and provide data for at least 8 bachelor's programs. You can click on a school's name to view individual program scores. Read our methodology to learn more about how schools were ranked.

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Our Salary Score™ is based on data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Salary Score
#1 #1 Elon University Elon Elon $38,725 94.87
#2 #2 Duke University Durham Durham $60,244 92.72
#3 #3 Wake Forest University Winston Salem Winston Salem $59,770 90.41
#4 #4 North Carolina State University Raleigh Raleigh $9,131 60.91
#5 #5 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill Chapel Hill $9,028 60.45
#6 #6 Meredith College Raleigh Raleigh $41,224 51.79
#7 #7 High Point University High Point High Point $39,752 48.72
#8 #8 Belmont Abbey College Belmont Belmont $18,500 47.05
#9 #9 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte Charlotte $7,188 46.45
#10 #10 University of Mount Olive Mount Olive Mount Olive $22,618 43.64
#11 #11 East Carolina University Greenville Greenville $7,297 43.25
#12 #12 William Peace University Raleigh Raleigh $32,450 41.29
#13 #13 Wingate University Wingate Wingate $40,170 40.67
#14 #14 Pfeiffer University Misenheimer Misenheimer $32,480 40.56
#15 #15 Campbell University Buies Creek Buies Creek $38,160 39.47
#16 #16 University of North Carolina at Wilmington Wilmington Wilmington $7,238 38.86
#17 #17 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro Greensboro $7,468 35.31
#18 #18 Queens University of Charlotte Charlotte Charlotte $38,726 33.54
#19 #19 North Carolina Wesleyan College Rocky Mount Rocky Mount $33,371 32.64
#20 #20 Barton College Wilson Wilson $33,430 30.19
#21 #21 Fayetteville State University Fayetteville Fayetteville $5,379 29.25
#22 #22 Methodist University Fayetteville Fayetteville $36,960 28.03
#23 #23 University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke Pembroke $3,495 27.73
#24 #24 Western Carolina University Cullowhee Cullowhee $4,367 27.53
#25 #25 Gardner Webb University Boiling Springs Boiling Springs $32,200 26.63