Immediate Returns

From the day they arrive on campus, our students get ready for life beyond it. NC State supplies the education, skills and experience they need to succeed, all at a price they can afford. Our graduates have a head start in their careers for one reason: They started here.

When you start at NC State, you can’t be stopped.

NC State is experiencing unprecedented momentum — in research, education, partnerships and philanthropy. For students who get their start here, NC State offers almost unrivaled value and return on investment. When they head out into the real world, they’re ready to lead in their fields because of what they learned here.

When PayScale ranks early-career earnings for North Carolina college graduates, NC State comes in first among public institutions. And the gap only widens over time: By mid-career, the average NC State graduate earns $8,400 more than her peers from the next university on the list.

Part of that is our historical strength in the fields America needs to fill: science, technology, engineering, math. But it’s also testament to NC State’s “Think and Do” spirit. We encourage all our students to apply their ideas through research; to expand their horizons through service and overseas travel; and to seek out internships and co-operative education with our partners on and off campus.

Across the humanities and social sciences, in education, design, management and more, our graduates are better prepared to take on the world. Whatever their background, they leave here with a well-rounded resume — and they’re well-rewarded in the workplace.


Average Early-Career Salary

1. NC State University $50,600
2. North Carolina A&T State University $50,100
3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $46,200
4. University of North Carolina at Charlotte $45,200
5. Winston-Salem State University $43,900

Source: PayScale

A university education has immeasurable benefits, but we can’t forget that it also costs time and money. College students and their families rightly expect those investments to pay off over time — and then some. As a land-grant university, NC State makes that lifelong payoff part of its mission.

On PayScale’s list of return on investment for North Carolina colleges, NC State’s 20-year return was calculated to be nearly $75,000 higher than that of the next-highest public university. That works out to a 10.3 percent annual return on investment, the highest of any institution — public or private — in the state.

Simply put, our campus is where the smart money is headed. Our students can rest assured that they’re getting bang for their buck on top of all of the benefits of a first-rate education.


20-Year Return on Investment

1. NC State University $472,400
2. University of North Carolina at Charlotte $399,900
3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $304,300
4. North Carolina A&T State $264,000
5. Winston-Salem State University $209,000

Source: PayScale

Quality education at an affordable price: It’s the promise of public universities, and it’s a promise well-kept at NC State. The Princeton Review bases its list of best-value colleges on data that cover academic quality, cost and financial aid. Among the many hundreds of public institutions they survey, NC State placed fourth overall last year.

The university offers a wealth of top-notch programs across its 12 colleges, one of which is the No. 3 veterinary medicine school in the nation. NC State is home to 11 graduate programs that rank in the top 30 of their respective fields, and our online MBA has been listed among the top 20 of its kind worldwide.

The university is increasingly the first choice of elite students. Recent freshman classes have boasted the highest GPAs and SAT scores in NC State history, and the student body has featured more than 100 national scholars and fellows over the past five years. Recruiters have noticed, too: In a Wall Street Journal survey, they named NC State graduates among the most sought-after job candidates in America.


Best-Value Public Colleges

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2. New College of Florida
3. University of Virginia
4. NC State University
5. University of Michigan
6. University of California, Los Angeles
7. University of Florida
8. College of William and Mary
9. Truman State University
10. State University of New York at Binghamton

Source: The Princeton Review

An architectural detail of Talley Student Union.