12 Best Small Colleges in North Carolina | Expert List

12 Best Small Colleges in North Carolina | Expert List

We have outlined a well-detailed guide to the best small colleges in North Carolina. This compilation celebrates the diversity and unique attributes of each institution, emphasizing its commitment to fostering close-knit communities and providing personalized education.

From private liberal arts colleges to public institutions with specialized focuses, this guide explores the enriching environments that define these small colleges.

Students seeking transformative experiences, be they in the arts, sciences, or liberal arts, will find valuable insights into the distinctive qualities that make each institution an excellent option in the vibrant educational landscape of North Carolina.

However, if you did not find your choice school here, you can also scout for alternatives in our archive of the best small colleges in other states of the US for small school options.

What are North Carolina’s small schools best known for?

Small schools in North Carolina are best known for fostering intimate and supportive communities where students benefit from close interaction with faculty.

These institutions often excel at providing personalized education, allowing students to actively engage in discussions, receive individualized attention, and form lasting connections.

Many small colleges in North Carolina are recognized for their specialized programs, ranging from the arts and sciences to business and environmental studies.

The emphasis on experiential learning, community engagement, and a holistic approach to education sets these schools apart, making them ideal choices for students seeking a well-rounded and transformative college experience.

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What are the best small colleges in North Carolina?

Without further ado, we lead you to the top colleges with small class sizes and student populations in North Carolina. Our job here at Ziiky is to make school searching easy and seamless for you.

Now here are the top North Carolina small colleges:

1. Davidson College

  • Phone: +1 704-894-2000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,970 (2020–21)
  • Address: 405 N Main St, Davidson, NC 28035, United States
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Davidson College, located in the charming town of Davidson, stands out as a top-tier private liberal arts institution and one of America’s most selective colleges.

With a strong emphasis on academic rigor and a commitment to cultivating leaders, Davidson provides a close-knit community where students engage deeply in their studies. The college’s honor code fosters a sense of trust and responsibility among students.

Davidson’s picturesque campus and its dedication to nurturing intellectual curiosity make it an excellent choice for those seeking a transformative and intellectually stimulating college experience.


2. Meredith College

  • Phone: +1 919-760-8600
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,411 (2020–21)
  • Address: 3800 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607, United States

Meredith College, situated in Raleigh, offers a dynamic and supportive environment for women’s education. As a private institution, Meredith is known for its strong programs in the arts, sciences, and business.

The college’s commitment to empowering women through leadership development and experiential learning sets it apart. Also, Meredith College challenges students to discover what makes them strong, build on those strengths, and prepare to make a positive impact on the world.

With a vibrant campus life and a focus on preparing students for successful careers, Meredith College provides a well-rounded and empowering educational experience.


3. Queens University of Charlotte

  • Phone: +1 704-337-2200
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,418 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1900 Selwyn Ave., Charlotte, NC 28274, United States

The Queens University of Charlotte, located in the heart of Charlotte, is a private institution that blends academic excellence with a commitment to service and global engagement.

Known for its innovative approach to education, Queens University emphasizes experiential learning and offers a personalized academic experience. The university’s strong programs in business, health sciences, and the arts provide students with a solid foundation for their future careers.

With its urban setting and emphasis on community engagement, Queen’s University of Charlotte is an ideal choice for those seeking a diverse and impactful education.


4. The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem

  • Phone: +1 336-770-3399
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 935 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1533 S Main St, Winston-Salem, NC 27127, United States

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem is a public institution that stands out for its specialized focus on arts education.

As one of the seventeen constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina system, UNCSA provides rigorous training in dance, drama, filmmaking, music, and the visual arts.

The school’s collaborative and immersive approach to learning prepares students for successful careers in the arts. With state-of-the-art facilities and a faculty of industry professionals, UNCSA offers a unique and transformative educational experience for aspiring artists.

Keep in mind that UNC School of the Arts is a top-ranked creative and performing arts conservatory in Winston-Salem, N.C.


5. Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer

  • Phone: +1 800-338-2060
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 744 (2020–21)
  • Address: 48380 US-52, Misenheimer, NC 28109, United States

Pfeiffer University, located in Misenheimer, is a private institution known for its commitment to personalized education and community engagement.

With small class sizes and a supportive campus community, Pfeiffer provides a close-knit environment where students can thrive academically and personally.

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The university’s focus on experiential learning, leadership development, and service prepares students for success in their chosen fields.

Pfeiffer’s emphasis on holistic education and its welcoming atmosphere make it an excellent choice for those seeking a transformative and student-centered college experience.


6. The University of North Carolina, Asheville

  • Phone: +1 828-251-6600
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 3,084 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1 University Heights, Asheville, NC 28804, United States

The University of North Carolina at Asheville, nestled in the scenic mountains, is a public institution recognized for its liberal arts education and commitment to sustainability.

As part of the University of North Carolina system, UNCA offers a diverse range of academic programs and encourages students to explore interdisciplinary studies.

The university’s focus on environmental stewardship and social responsibility aligns with its mountainous backdrop, providing a unique setting for learning.

With a strong sense of community and a dedication to fostering global citizens, UNCA is an excellent choice for those seeking an intellectually stimulating and socially conscious education.


7. Elizabeth City State University

  • Phone: +1 252-335-3400
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,087 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1704 Weeksville Rd., Elizabeth City, NC 27909, United States

Elizabeth City State University, located in Elizabeth City, is a historically black public institution that plays a crucial role in providing accessible education.

ECSU offers a range of undergraduate programs and emphasizes hands-on learning and community engagement.

The university’s commitment to fostering a supportive environment for underrepresented students contributes to its vibrant campus culture.

With a focus on academic excellence and a strong sense of community, Elizabeth City State University stands as a valuable option for those seeking an inclusive and enriching college experience.


8. Montreat College

  • Phone: +1 828-669-8012
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 851 (2020–21)
  • Address: 310 Gaither Cir., Montreat, NC 28757, United States

Montreat College, situated in the scenic town of Montreat, is a private Christian institution that integrates faith and learning.

Known for its commitment to holistic education, Montreat offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs. The college’s emphasis on spiritual development, service, and outdoor leadership provides a unique and transformative experience.

With a picturesque campus nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Montreat College is an ideal choice for those seeking a Christian-centered education in a serene and inspiring environment.


9. North Carolina Wesleyan University

  • Phone: +1 252-985-5100
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,362 (2020–21)
  • Address: 3400 N Wesleyan Blvd., Rocky Mount, NC 27804, United States

North Carolina Wesleyan University, located in Rocky Mount, is a private institution that focuses on providing a well-rounded education with a strong emphasis on professional preparation.

Wesleyan offers a range of undergraduate programs in liberal arts, business, and sciences. The university’s commitment to experiential learning, internships, and community service enhances students’ practical skills and prepares them for successful careers.

With a dynamic campus life and a supportive learning environment, North Carolina Wesleyan University is an excellent choice for those seeking a comprehensive and career-focused education.


10. Greensboro College

  • Phone: +1 336-272-7102
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 608 (2020–21)
  • Address: 815 W Market St, Greensboro, NC 27401, United States

Greensboro College, situated in Greensboro, is a private institution with a rich history and a commitment to personalized education.

Known for its strong programs in the liberal arts and sciences, Greensboro College provides a supportive community where students can explore their passions.

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The college’s emphasis on experiential learning, service, and global engagement contributes to a well-rounded education.

With a campus rich in tradition and a focus on fostering critical thinking and creativity, Greensboro College stands out as a welcoming and intellectually stimulating option.


11. The University of Mount Olive

  • Phone: +1 919-658-2502
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,891 (2020–21)
  • Address: 634 Henderson St, Mt Olive, NC 28365, United States

The University of Mount Olive, located in Mount Olive, is a private institution affiliated with the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists.

Known for its strong programs in agriculture, business, and education, UMO provides a values-based education with a focus on service and community engagement. The university’s commitment to preparing students for leadership roles and ethical decision-making sets it apart.

With a supportive campus community and a dedication to holistic development, the University of Mount Olive is an excellent choice for those seeking a values-driven education in a close-knit environment.


12. Mars Hill University

  • Phone: +1 828-689-1307
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,018 (2020–21)
  • Address: 100 Athletic St, Mars Hill, NC 28754, United States

Mars Hill University, situated in the town of Mars Hill, is a private liberal arts institution with a focus on providing a transformative and personalized education.

Known for its strong programs in the arts, sciences, and business, Mars Hill emphasizes critical thinking and experiential learning.

The university’s commitment to small class sizes and a close student-faculty relationship creates a supportive environment for academic success.

With a beautiful campus nestled in the mountains and a dedication to nurturing well-rounded individuals, Mars Hill University is an ideal choice for those seeking a comprehensive and empowering college experience.


FAQs on best small colleges in North Carolina

What is the cost of tuition at small colleges in North Carolina?

The school fees at small colleges in North Carolina vary widely, with tuition ranging from around $20,000 to $40,000 per year, depending on factors such as the institution’s status (public or private) and specific programs offered.

What are the application requirements to apply to small schools in North Carolina?

Application requirements for small schools in North Carolina typically include a completed application form, high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, standardized test scores (such as the SAT or ACT), and a personal statement.

Do I need a high school degree to get into any North Carolina small colleges?

Yes, a high school degree or its equivalent is generally a prerequisite for admission to small colleges in North Carolina.

We hope you find your perfect school above.

Good luck!!!



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