A junior college is bursting with opportunities. Obtaining a degree from a two-year community college can increase your earning power, save money on costly tuition from a four-year degree school, offer a quicker path to achieving a career goal and boost your grade point average.

The best community colleges in NC have a few traits in common. They offer streamlined basic college courses for those looking to springboard to a four-year college, premiere faculty, a rich campus experience and community involvement.

There are 58 colleges in the North Carolina Community College system. Whether you plan to live on campus and immerse yourself in college life or further your academic career with a quick stop at a two-year college, there are many top schools in North Carolina.

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Junior Colleges in NC

College of the Albemarle

Located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, this historic college has an exceptional educational program that offers certificate, diploma and associate degrees. Tuition runs about $2,500 for North Carolina residents and around $8,000 for out-of-state students. It is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Albemarle has campuses in Edenton, Manteo/Roanoke Island and an aviation technology center in Currituck County. Students can transfer up to 60 credits from Albemarle and be accepted with a 2.0 GPA. They have a healthy transfer rate, accepting transfer students nearly 100 percent of the time to their population of around 2,500 students.

Albemarle’s course work is designed to assist students in obtaining a job in their chosen career field upon graduation with plenty of workforce development opportunities.

Gaston College

This is a small school in Dallas, North Carolina, with a population of around 1,600 students. It offers majors in nursing, licensed practical nurse training and has a strong liberal arts and humanities program.

Graduating students enter the workforce with a starting salary of around $21,000. It has a 100 percent acceptance rate and tuition runs around $10,000 a year for in-state students. The student body is diverse and tight-knit, according to numerous alumni.

Gaston’s Transfer Advising Center helps students who are transferring to the college or on to a four-year university.

Community Colleges with Dorms in NC

Students who live on campus tend to be more engaged and have higher retention rates than students who don’t live in a dorm or on-site housing. If you are looking for on campus housing, there are a few community colleges with dorms in NC to choose from as well.

Louisburg College

Louisburg College is a prime example of students who benefit from on-campus living. A historic private Christian college, Louisburg is rated highly among alumni for its experienced faculty and extensive courses. The acceptance rate is around 75 percent, and the transfer out rate is just over 40 percent.

Located in the Raleigh area of North Carolina, Louisburg is a competitive college with a small enrollment of less than 700 students. More than 90 percent of Louisburg students choose to live on campus. The school has a rich athletics program and community life.

Students attend Louisburg for its biology, business and liberal arts programs. The tuition is steeper than other junior colleges in NC at around $17,000 a year. Students rate the faculty as effective and experienced in the class subjects.

Central Carolina Community College

This Sanford, North Carolina, college focuses on educational leadership, community service and overall student success in and out of the classroom. Central Carolina Community College is known for its innovative programs, close-knit campus community and experienced faculty.

It has less than 2,000 students enrolled annually with a tuition of around $2,000 for North Carolina residents and more than $8,000 for out-of-state students. It offers degrees in health professions, marketing, business, management and engineering. Central Carolina has a transfer-out rate of 16 percent.

About the Author

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.