Getting to Know North Carolina State University
Back in December I did an interview with Jalen McGee, a recent graduate of North Carolina State University, who told me about how the university helped him on his way to an engineering career. More recently, I had an opportunity to attend a virtual Out-of-State Counselors session hosted by the university. I did some homework about North Carolina State University and collected a few photos on Pinterest for you. I have been to Raleigh before to take a visit to Meredith College, and have favorable impressions of the city.
North Carolina State University is the Land Grant University for the state of North Carolina.
It offers more majors than UNC-Chapel Hill, the higher profile school in the Tarheel State. These include programs in Agriculture, Architecture, Engineering and Textiles, among others, that you will not find at Chapel Hill. North Carolina State has more than 26,000 undergraduates, about 8,000 more than you would find in Chapel Hill. Unlike Rutgers or Penn State, NC State’s largest undergraduate enrollment is in the College of Engineering. One nice plus: NC State has a large Exploratory Studies program that draws in 10 to 15 percent of the freshmen. It can help to facilitate successful transfers into any college of the university for the sophomore year.
While North Carolina law allows up to 18 percent of an undergraduate student body come from other states, North Carolina State University is only nine percent non-residents. However, the university does a better job at housing than one might expect for a city-based school. Prior to the pandemic, North Carolina State housed 97 percent of the freshmen, and about 40 percent of all undergrads. Greek life is not overly popular for a Southern flagship, attracting just over ten percent of the men and less than a fifth of the women.
Getting into North Carolina State is not like getting into UNC-Chapel Hill. But it’s not easy either.
Only 46 percent of the applicants for the Class of 2024 were accepted. But the university also waitlisted nearly 4,600 applicants, about the same size as the freshman class. Just over 200 waitlisted students were admitted. Over 35 percent of the students in the Class of 2024 who took the SAT scored over 700 on the Math section of the test. Only 14 percent scored below 600. In addition, only 15 percent scored below 600 on the Critical Reading portion of the test.
Admissions were no less competitive for the Class of 2025. But about half of the students who will be in the incoming fall class did not submit test scores. If you’re from New Jersey, and you submit scores, you’ll probably need to score higher than the average for Rutgers or Penn State (better than 1320 would be safe) to get into North Carolina State.
NC State has mentioned that admissions will be test optional for the upcoming admissions cycle.
But test scores are likely to be considered to be very important towards making an admissions decision, if they’re submitted. If you have many strengths that qualify you for admissions, but not the scores, don’t be discouraged if you like NC State, and apply by November 1st (Early Action). Some majors, such as the design fields and textiles will require an early application, as well as the scholarship programs that require separate applications.
This school is a decent value for the money.
The non-resident tuition and fees will be just below $30,000 next year. That’s less than a New Jersey resident would pay to go to Maryland, Penn State, UConn, Pitt or UDel. North Carolina residents fare really well. They will be asked to pay just over $9,100. That’s probably a reason why over 30 percent of the freshmen admits to North Caroline State decide to come, high for a state university. Just over half of the students who graduated in 2019 left with no debt. Those who took out loans owed, on average, $25,300. That’s less than the maximum they could borrow ($27,000) from the Federal Student Loan program.
Those who do get into North Carolina State tend to stay.
The freshman retention rate for the Class of 2023 was 94 percent, about the same as it is for Rutgers. Most recently the four-year grad rate hit 64 percent. My hunch is that North Carolina State will attract better students and that graduation rates will continue to rise. The more selective schools considered versus North Carolina State such as the University of Maryland-College Park, University of Virginia, Georgia Tech and UNC-Chapel Hill will become even more selective.
When someone who watches sports thinks about the Atlantic Coast Conference, their first thoughts could likely go to basketball.
Only three of the seven original schools in the ACC have won more than one NCAA title in Men’s College Basketball: Duke, North Carolina–and North Carolina State. The first National Championship came in 1974, the second in 1983. I’m a fan of the ’83 team because it was coached by Jim Valvano, a Rutgers grad. The women took their first conference tournament title last season, though they have regularly made the NCAA Tournament since 2013. The Wolfpack have not been a major player in college football. They last ranked in the top 25 in 2017. However, they can claim credit for preparing four quarterbacks for the NFL: Russell Wilson, Mike Glennon, Jacoby Brissett and Ryan Finley. And the ‘Pack just made it into the Elite Eight in the NCAA College Baseball World Series.
The university also hosts the Krispy Kreme Challenge, 5 mile run from the Memorial Bell Tower (pictured above) to a nearby Krispy Kreme,and back that attracted over 5,400 runners of varied athletic ability.
North Carolina State University might be a good value for New Jersey residents, as long as they know what they want from the school.
New Jersey does not have a city like Raleigh, North Carolina, the capital and largest city in the Tarheel State. North Carolina has become an attractive employment destination for transplants from other states and countries. The job market, especially in biotechnology and information technology, is growing. The weather is warmer and living costs are lower than they are around Boston, New York, Philadelphia and especially Silicon Valley. The Research Triangle is one of America’s leading technology centers and incubators. I’d put it second after Silicon Valley. For movie buffs this was the venue for the 1983 sci fi movie Brainstorm, starring Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood.
North Carolina State has a huge alumni base.
In and around the Big Apple there are more than 4,200 members of the ‘Pack registered on LinkedIn.com. That’s enough for a nice watch party for an ACC Tournament game in basketball or lacrosse. There’s an equal number of alumni in the San Francisco Bay area, too, plus over 5,000 in or around Washington DC. However, you’re more than likely to see your football team lose to Clemson and your basketball team lose to Virginia and the other two ACC schools in the Research Triangle.
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