10 Best Colleges Near The Beach In North Carolina

There are 29 colleges near the beach in North Carolina but which ones are recognized or ranking as the best? In this article, I have shared concrete information on the best colleges near the beach in North Carolina, highlighting on their achievements, tuition fee, acceptance rate, and location. With this information, interested students can easily find a college that suits them best.

There are many reasons why students would love to study at a college that is close to a beach. Firstly, we can all agree that beaches offer some of the best views and aside from that, it is a great place to relax and have a good time and carry out other activities like surfing and fishing. Just like US colleges in the mountains, there are also many outdoor activities to do in colleges near a beach.

Personally, I’ll continue to choose to go to a college that is close to a beach simply because of my love for beaches and the thrill of being close to a large water body. This could be another reason why a student would prefer to go to a college near a beach.

While there are many colleges near a beach in different parts of the US, this article, just like the topic says, concentrates on just the best universities near a beach in North Carolina. With the information shared here, prospective college students who want to enroll in a college near a beach can have options of different schools to choose from.

Talking about having different options, we have helpful articles on cheap colleges in North Carolina and online colleges in North Carolina that offer online degrees that you can look into and have a wider option of schools to apply to.

Having said that, let’s get into the main topic.

colleges near the beach in North Carolina

Best Colleges Near The Beach In North Carolina

Here is a compiled list of the best colleges near the beach in North Carolina that you can apply for:

  • The University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Coastal Carolina University
  • Miller-Motte College Wilmington
  • East Carolina University
  • Duke University
  • Cape Fear Community College
  • North Carolina State University
  • St. Andrews University Laurinburg
  • The University of Mount Olive
  • Southeastern Community College

1.     The University of North Carolina Wilmington

This university is near a beach in North Carolina and is recognized as one of the best with its recognition as one of the top 20 best online bachelor’s programs and the top 105 best public national universities by US News. The institution offers more than 50 majors, 37 master’s degrees, and 6 doctoral degrees to in-state and out-of-state students.

The acceptance rate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington is 68% and the tuition for undergraduates is $27,030 for residents and $42,603 for non-residents. For graduates, the tuition is #28,008 for residents and $43,184 for non-residents. This cost covers housing, fees, health insurance, books and supplies, transportation, personal, food, tuition, and loan original fees.

2.     Coastal Carolina University

Coastal Carolina University is one of the best colleges near the beach in Carolina known for offering over 70 undergraduate majors. Some of its most popular majors are marine sciences, sport science, communication, and psychology. In terms of ranking, the institution is ranked No.38 out of 136 Regional Universities South by the US News.

Over 14,000 undergraduate students apply to Coastal Carolina annually but only 70% are accepted, we can agree that the college is not highly selective nor competitive to gain entry. To gain entry into Coastal Carolina University, candidates are required to have a minimum SAT score of 1270 or a minimum ACT score of 26 or higher and a minimum high school GPA of 3.5 or higher. The tuition for a resident in an undergraduate program is $5,820 while non-resident tuition is $14,245 per year for full-time.

3.     Miller-Motte College Wilmington

Mille-Motte College is a vocational institution offering career-ready certification and diploma courses that will get students ready for the workforce in as little as 15 months. The college also offers undergraduate degree programs leading to associate and bachelor’s degrees. Miller-Motte also has 11 other campuses across US states like Tennessee, Georgia, and Oklahoma. The campus in North Carolina is in Wilmington and is near a beach.

What makes this college stand out is the academic programs it offers. Whether it is a degree or certificate you are seeking, the courses are designed to be practical and career-focused to ready you for employment immediately after you graduate. The programs are offered in full-time and part-time formats but the majority of the students are enrolled in the latter. Students in the full-time program pay $20,890 per year and this covers tuition, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and other fees.

4.     East Carolina University

East Carolina University is a prestigious public research university situated in Greenville, North Carolina. It is the 4th largest university in NC and offers a wide range of academic degree programs at undergraduate and graduate levels. ECU is widely recognized for its achievement as the only public university in NC with a dental school, medical school, and engineering college.

ECU accepts non-residents and international students into its undergraduate programs but the admission process is a competitive one, so students must meet the entry requirements if they want to stand above the competition. This university admits 94% of its applicants, this shows that the selection process is not tight. ECU is close to multiple popular beaches in the area such as the Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle which makes it a good choice for those who would love to go to a college near a beach.

5.     Duke University

Duke University is a leading private research university located in Durham, NC, and although you may think it is an Ivy League school, it isn’t but it is on par with the Ivy League colleges. Just like the others on this list, Duke University is close to the coast and is just a 2-hour drive from the coast. Coupled with its excellence in academic quality, it is a great choice for students who want to study in one of the college close to the coast.

US News ranks Duke University at No.10 for best national universities. Duke’s selection process is highly competitive with an acceptance rate of 5.9%, the tuition fee is $62,941. Some of the top programs offered by Duke University include medicine, law, and business.

6.     Cape Fear Community College

If you are looking for a college near a beach in NC that is less competitive, affordable, and offers an associate degree then you may want to consider applying to Cape Fear Community College. It has an acceptance rate of 100% admitting all applicants that meet the entry requirements for their respective programs in each academic year.

Cape Fear Community College is close to several popular beaches like Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach. The college offers top-ranked programs, affordable education, and excellent student life. Tuition for residents is $2,748 and $8,892 for non-residents.

7.     North Carolina State University

NC State is a public research university located in Raleigh, North Carolina offering more than 150 bachelor’s degree programs, over 150 master’s programs, and 60 doctoral programs. It is the largest university in North Carolina ranked #72 out of 443 national universities by US News, #4 for undergraduate entrepreneurship in the South by Princeton Review, and top 1% of global universities according to the Center for World University Rankings.

North Carolina State University is just a 2-hour drive from the beach, which makes it, along with its rankings and achievements, one of the best colleges near the beach in North Carolina. The coast nearby offers opportunities for multiple outdoor activities such as surfing, boating, fishing, etc. The cost of NC State for NC residents is $26,814 and the cost for non-residents is $49,958 and covers tuition, food, housing, transportation, loan fees, personal expenses, books & supplies, and other fees.

8.     St. Andrews University Laurinburg

St. Andrews University is a private college located in Laurinburg, North Carolina ranking #76-99 in 2022-23 best regional colleges south. Its location is in a beautiful setting that overlooks a beach where students can go to cool off after a hectic academic session and do fun activities like surfing and boating. If you are entering an undergraduate program, then you need a minimum of 3.2 high school GPA, among other requirements to be considered for admission.

9.     The University of Mount Olive

The University of Mount Olive is 1 hour and 30 minutes far apart from Carolina Beach, there are also other beaches close to the school like Topsail Beach, Onslow Beach, and Eastern Regional Beach. The college literally surrounded by a beautiful coastline.

The school itself is well known for being the best online university in Eastern North Carolina and a 5-star rated liberal arts college. You have over 100 major and minor degrees to choose from which you can complete 100% online. Some of the most popular majors at UMO include business, early childhood education, and criminal justice. The acceptance rate is 83% and the cost for full-time resident students is $37,162 while the online program is billed at the rate of $455 per hour.

10.  Southeastern Community College

This is a 2-year public college in Whiteville, NC offering associate degree programs, diploma courses, and certificate courses mainly to the locals and residents of North Carolina. The academic programs at Southeastern Community College are career-focused and prepare graduates to be job-ready from the moment they complete their education.

SCC is the 3rd largest public university in NC with over 15,000 students enrolled in more than 150 study programs. The acceptance rate is 100% with tuition charged at $76 per credit hour up to a maximum of $1,216 per credit hour.

Here are the 10 best colleges near the beach in North Carolina at your disposal for you to choose from. Each school has its own unique strengths and programs, so it’s important to research each school and visit its campus to determine which one is the best fit for you.