North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located in Raleigh, North Carolina State University is a public school that offers undergraduate and graduate programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Is North Carolina State University the School for You?

North Carolina State University (NCSU) is located in downtown Raleigh, NC. This public university offers associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral and certificate programs within 12 colleges. With nearly 300 academic programs, it is the largest university in North Carolina. Read the pros and cons below to decide if you should attend NCSU.


  • Several graduate academic programs ranked among top 25
  • Room and board cost is $901 lower than the national average
  • High number of academic programs
  • Student debt following graduation is $4,034 lower than the national average
  • Accepts AP and dual credits


  • Total cost (including all school and living expenses) is $2,784 higher than the national average for in-state students and $4,106 higher for out-of-state students
  • Acceptance rate is 10.8 percentage points lower than the national average
  • Student-faculty ratio is 18:1, which is higher than the national average

Rankings & School Analysis

As an NCSU student, you'll be able to choose from more than 110 bachelor's degree programs, 110 master's degree programs and 60 doctoral programs. In 2013, the university was named a 'Best Southeastern' school by The Princeton Review and ranked #51 among top public schools by U.S. News & World Report. The school was also ranked #40 for best value and #16 among up-and-coming schools. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report ranked a number of NCSU's academic programs in the top 25, including its graduate programs in veterinary medicine (#3), nuclear engineering (#6), industrial/manufacturing engineering (#8), biological/agricultural engineering (#9), statistics (#12) and nonprofit management (#21).

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that 89% of full-time and 55% of part-time students returned to the university after their first year. In 2011, NCSU accepted 53% of applicants, which is lower than the national average of 63.8%. The school's 4-year graduation rate was 41%, similar to the national average; 72% of students graduated within 6 years. You can expect a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1, slightly above the 16:1 national average.

The total cost of attendance for 2012-2013 (including all tuition and living costs) was $20,644 for North Carolina residents, which was higher than the national average of $17,860 for public 4-year universities. Out-of-state students paid $33,809, compared to the national average of $30,911. Room and board costs started at $5,240 according to the school's website, although NCES reported its average room and board costs were $8,414 for 2012-13, below the national average of $9,315. The College Board reported that NCSU students graduated with an average of $22,626 in debt, lower than the national average of $26,660.

Getting In & Financial Aid at NCSU

The NCES reported that roughly 44% of accepted students chose to attend the university in 2010. To apply, you'll need to submit the school's application, your high school transcript and standardized test scores. Approximately 93% of students submitted SAT scores, while 24% sent in ACT scores in 2010. The middle 50% of admitted students scored between 23 and 28 on the composite ACT and had a combined SAT score of 1600 to 1890. Test scores are due at the school by February 1.

If you need assistance paying for school, you may be eligible for scholarships based on need, alumni affiliation, state residency or success in academics, athletics, leadership or ROTC. About 70% of first-year undergraduates received some type of financial aid in 2010-2011, according to the NCES, and 24% of all undergraduates had their full need met, College Board reported. If you're a graduate student, you may qualify for research assistantships or fellowships at the university.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2013) February 1***
Financial Aid Priority Application Deadline (2013) March 1***
Application Fee (2013) $70***
Acceptance Rate (2011) 53%*
All Tuition & Living Expenses (2012-2013) $20,644 for in-state, $33,809 for out-of-state students*
Average Financial Aid Package (2011) $12,223****
Percent of Students with Need Met (2011) 24%***
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2011) $22,626***
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 3.2%*

Student Life at NCSU

According to 2011 figures from the NCES, 44% of students at the university were female, 89% were North Carolina residents and 1% came from foreign countries. The largest racial/ethnic groups were White (75%), Black/African-American (8%), Asian (5%) and Hispanic/Latino (4%). If you decide to live on campus, you'll be able to choose from a variety of residence halls and apartment complexes, as well as 12 academic special interest communities and 25 Greek houses.

If you want to get involved outside of class, NCSU offers more than 400 student organizations, 52 Greek chapters and 50 club sports teams. You'll have access to 5 libraries, including ones for design and veterinary medicine. The university also has a number of academic resources, including electron microscopes, a stable isotope laboratory and more than 80,000 acres of forest and farmlands for teaching and research.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Large city*
Student Population (2011) 25,176 undergraduates, 9,591 graduate students*
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 56% to 44%*
% of Full-Time Students (2011) 88%*
% of In-State Students (2011) 89%*
Retention Rate (2010-2011) 89% for full-time and 55% for part-time students*
Campus Housing Available Yes*
% of Students Living on Campus 32%***
Number of Libraries 5**
Extracurricular Activities More than 400**
Noteworthy Largest university in North Carolina**

Article Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **North Carolina State University, ***College Board, ****U.S. News & World Report.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Campus Box 7103, Raleigh, NC 27695
  • Phone: (919) 515-2434