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Wilmington, North Carolina (NC) Colleges and Universities

While there are only four schools in Wilmington, NC, there is one other school located within a 25-mile radius. Read about the top schools in several categories, including most program variety and lowest cost, to find the school for you.

View 14 Popular Schools »

Most Program Variety

Students in the Wilmington area have limited options when selecting a school, since there are only three traditional, not-for-profit schools within a 25-mile radius. Colleges with a variety of programs may be advantageous for students who are not quite sure what career path they want to pursue. Not-for-profit schools in the region have from around 40 to 95 areas of study.

1 - University of North Carolina - Wilmington

The University of North Carolina - Wilmington offers about 96 programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can pursue programs through the Cameron School of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health and Human Services, Graduate School, and Watson College of Education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in 2011-2012, business administration and psychology were the most popular bachelor's degrees, while the most common master's degree programs included accounting, business administration, and public administration. U.S. News & World Report ranked this school at #14 on its 2013 list of best regional universities in the South.

2 - Cape Fear Community College

Located in Wilmington, students at Cape Fear Community College can pursue about 71 areas of study. Academic programs are offered in a variety of fields, such as social and behavior sciences, humanities and fine arts, math, science, and English. Vocational areas of study include health sciences, business technologies, engineering technology, marine technology, and public service. According to the NCES, the most popular areas of study for certificate recipients in 2011-2012 were criminal justice/police science, truck/bus driver, and cosmetology. Out of the 1,179 associate degrees awarded that year, 764 were in liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities.

3 - Brunswick Community College

Brunswick Community College is based in Bolivia and is located about 23 miles from Wilmington. This 2-year college has about 41 programs. Students can pursue programs in arts and sciences, nursing and allied health, and professional and technical areas. Liberal arts and sciences was the most popular associate degree in 2011-2012, while common certificates awarded that year included criminal justice/police science, applied horticulture, business administration/management, and licensed practical nursing.

Lowest Net Price

The net price is determined by taking the total cost of attendance and subtracting the amount of financial aid the average in-state student received. In 2010-2011, net prices at traditional schools in the Wilmington area ranged from about $6,200 to $16,200, according to NCES figures.

1 - Brunswick Community College

Brunswick Community College had a net price of $6,196, which was the lowest figure among all traditional schools in the area. The NCES found that 65% of full-time beginning undergraduates received some form of financial aid in 2010-2011, and 61% received grants or scholarships. According to the NCES, in-state tuition and fees for undergraduates were $2,308 in 2012-2013, while out-of-state undergraduates paid $8,452.

2 - Cape Fear Community College

The net price at Cape Fear Community College was $8,400, which was second-best among schools near Wilmington. In-state undergraduates paid $2,345 in tuition and fees, and out-of-state undergraduates were charged $8,489, according to the NCES in 2012-2013. The NCES reported that 59% of full-time beginning students received an average of $4,240 in grants and scholarships in 2010-2011.

3 - University of North Carolina - Wilmington

The University of North Carolina - Wilmington had a net price of $9,855. According to the NCES, tuition and fees in 2012-2013 were estimated at $6,199 for in-state undergraduates and $18,302 for out-of-state undergraduates. Graduate tuition was $3,880 for in-state students and $15,781 for out-of-state students that same year. In 2010-2011, 45% of full-time beginning undergraduates received grants or scholarships; the average amount awarded was $6,367 per student.

Highest Graduation Rates

The NCES lists the graduation and retention rates of each school in the Wilmington area. The graduation rate represents the percentage of students who completed their programs within 150% of 'normal time' (e.g. three years for an associate degree). Graduation rates at traditional schools in the area ranged from 13% to 67% in 2011.

1 - University of North Carolina - Wilmington

With a graduation rate of 67%, the University of North Carolina - Wilmington ranked first in the area. Another 14% of students ended up transferring to a different school within 150% of normal time. The NCES also found that 44% of students who started a bachelor's degree program in Fall 2005 were able to graduate within four years. As of Fall 2011, the university was able to retain 86% of full-time and 50% of part-time students who began their studies in Fall 2010.

2 - Cape Fear Community College

Cape Fear Community College had a graduation rate of 20%, and 36% of students transferred to another institution. Only nine percent of students who began in Fall 2008 were able to complete their programs within the normal time. Of those who started at Cape Fear Community College in Fall 2010, 65% of full-time and 48% of part-time students returned in Fall 2011.

3 - Brunswick Community College

The graduation rate at Brunswick Community College was 13%, which was third-best among traditional, not-for-profit schools in the Wilmington area. The NCES also noted that 10% of students who started in Fall 2008 graduated within the normal time. From Fall 2010 to Fall 2011, this school was able to retain 52% of full-time students and 48% of part-time learners.

Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

The student-faculty ratio for a school may be a good indicator of class size and how much individual attention a student can expect to receive. The NCES reports the student-faculty ratios for schools in the Wilmington area, which range from 11:1 to more than 35:1. The following schools featured the lowest ratios among traditional, not-for-profit schools in the region.

1 - Cape Fear Community College

Cape Fear Community College had a student-faculty ratio of 14:1. The college had a population of about 9,200 students in 2011, and they were instructed by 287 full-time and 436 part-time faculty members.

2 - University of North Carolina - Wilmington

This school comes in second with a student-faculty ratio of 16:1. The University of North Carolina - Wilmington had a student population of about 13,000 in 2011. In addition to 624 full-time and 232 part-time faculty members in Fall 2011, the college employed 383 instructional graduate assistants.

3 - Brunswick Community College

The student-faculty ratio at Brunswick Community College was 20:1. As of 2011, 50 full-time and 179 part-time faculty members instructed the 1,587 students who attended the school.

Wilmington Schools at a Glance

School Name Location School Type Degree Levels Offered Area Ranking
Brunswick Community College Bolivia, NC (about 23 miles from Wilmington) 2-year, public Less than 1-year and between 1- and 2-year certificates; associate degrees Lowest Net Price,
3rd Most Program Variety,
3rd Highest Graduation Rate,
3rd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Cape Fear Community College Wilmington, NC 2-year, public Less than 1-year and between 1- and 2-year certificates; associate degrees Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
2nd Most Program Variety,
2nd Lowest Net Price,
2nd Highest Graduation Rate
University of North Carolina - Wilmington Wilmington, NC 4-year, public Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates Most Program Variety,
Highest Graduation Rate,
2nd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
3rd Lowest Net Price
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