GREENSBORO, N.C. — Three Piedmont Triad universities landed among SmartAsset’s top 10 list of best value schools in North Carolina.
North Carolina A&T State University, in Greensboro, ranked fourth with Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, following at sixth. Winston-Salem State University, in Winston-Salem, came in under the wire at ninth.
SmartAsset’s study looked into average scholarships and grants, average starting salary, college tuition, student living costs and student retention rate.
Duke University, in Durham, topped the list.
According to the study, Duke charges $55,695 in tuition with students facing another $18,644 in living costs. An average of $49,026 in scholarships and grants helps reduce that price tag to $25,313.
Once they graduate–and 98% of students do–they average a starting salary of $72,300.
Tuition at North Carolina A&T State University comes in at about eight times less than Duke, $6,612. Add to that $11,534 in student living costs and factor in $8,607 in average scholarships and grants. The net cost would fall at $9,539.
Despite that significantly lower cost, the 98% of students who graduate are averaging a starting salary of $54,000.
At Wake Forest University, tuition ($61,500), student living costs ($18,316) and average scholarships and grants ($37,534) boil down to an average cost of $42,282. WFU graduates–94% of the students–average a starting salary of $61,500.
Winston-Salem State University clocks in with the lowest tuition of the three at $5,904 with averge student living costs of $14,230 and scholarships and grants of $8,294.
The net comes out to $11,840, not a bad price to pay for a $47,900 starting salary, though a smaller percentage of students, 78%, are graduating.
Each of the schools were ranked by their “College Education Value Index” based on these factors, with Duke at 72.95, NCA&TSU at 59.79, Wake Forest University at 48.06 and Winston-Salem State University at 42.62.
Here’s the full list of NC’s top 10 best value schools:
Duke University: 72.95
UNC-Chapel Hill: 66.41
North Carolina State University: 63.60
North Carolina A&T University: 59.79
Appalachian State University: 52.88
Wake Forest University: 48.06
East Carolina University: 45.01
Winston-Salem State University: 42.62
Western Carolina University: 40.00