What Does it Take to Get Into North Carolina State University—Raleigh?

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North Carolina State University’s acceptance rate is 46%. What does it take to get in?

 

North Carolina State University, located in Raleigh, is a large public research university known for its value and programs dedicated to the state’s key industries, such as natural resources and textiles.

 

With an enrollment of 35,000 students, NC State is one of the largest schools in the country. It is home to 12 colleges offering programs across all disciplines, with more than 100 undergraduate majors. It also offers more than 100 master’s degrees and over 60 doctoral degrees.

 

NC State is respected for the value of its education; it currently holds a top 10 ranking from U.S. News and World Report for Best Value Among U.S. Public Universities. In-state students currently pay just over $9,000 for tuition and fees. It is ranked 32nd for Top Public Schools and lands in the top 15 for its programs in both industry and agriculture. To learn more about how your high schooler can earn acceptance to NC State, don’t miss this post.

 

Applying to NC State: A Quick Overview

 

NC State accepts the Common Application or the Coalition Application. Your student only need to fill out one of the two. If they’re applying to other schools on one of the platforms, it’s usually easiest to continue using that one.

 

There are several different application deadlines that potential applicants should be aware of. Early Action applications are due October 15. In addition, some majors and scholarships have application deadlines of October 15. Most notably, this includes all studio majors. Regular Decision applications are due January 15. For a complete overview, see the NC State Dates and Deadlines page.

 

For a complete application, your high schooler also must submit:

 

 

Teacher recommendations are neither required or recommended for admissions to NC State. Alternatively, students may choose to submit one counselor recommendation, which will be reviewed as supplemental material by the admissions committee.

 

NC State Acceptance Rate:  How Difficult Is It to Get In?

 

NC State is considered a moderately selective college. In 2018, NC State received over 29,000 applications for 4,500 seats. However, because only a fraction of accepted students ultimately enroll, far more students are offered a placed in the incoming class.  In 2018, the acceptance rate at NC State was 46%.

 

The students accepted to NC State represent a diverse body hailing from all across the country. In 2018, accepted students came from all 100 of North Carolina’s counties, all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

So, How Does One Get Into NC State?

 

First of all, to even be considered for admission to NC State, students must fulfill some basic requirements in high school. All applicants must complete at least 15 credit units. These must include four units of English and math, three units of science (at least one of which must be a lab class), two units of a foreign language, and one unit each of social studies and history.

 

Beyond the basic requirements, applicants to NC State must present a strong academic record and solid standardized test scores. In fact, the factors considered most important by the admissions committee are the rigor of your secondary school classes, your class rank, your GPA, and your test scores.

 

Many other factors are also considered, including essays, recommendation, extracurriculars, and personal characteristics. While these factors are weighed in the big picture, they aren’t nearly as important as your child’s academic record and test scores. 

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How to Make Your Application Stand Out

 

Score a 1390 or higher on your SAT, or a 31 or higher on your ACT. Test scores are very important to the admissions committee at NC State. By hitting these out of the park, your student will really shine. In 2018, the average SAT score of accepted students was 1344 and the average ACT score was 29. Average won’t be enough, however, if your high schooler wants to rise above the crowd. To do that, they should aim to achieve a score in the top 25%. For the SAT, the magic number is 1390, and for the ACT, it’s 31. For help preparing for your SAT, consider the benefits of CollegeVine’s customized SAT Tutoring Program, where the brightest tutors in the industry guide students to an average score increase of 250 points.

 

Maintain a strong GPA. Again, we can’t stress enough how important academics are to your teen’s chances. 59% of students admitted to NC State in 2018 achieved an unweighted GPA of 3.75 or above. Weighted GPAs were well over 4.0, as NC State applicants usually take a heavy course load. Of students admitted in 2018, nearly a third took dual enrollment classes and 70% took AP classes. Your student should keep their grades up and take challenging classes if they want a shot at NC State.

 

Apply Early Action. NC State is one of the schools that does admit students at a slightly higher rate when they apply through the early action program. If your student wants to maximize their chances in every way possible, have them apply through early action. The acceptance rate last year through early action was 50%, compared to the overall acceptance rate of 46%.  

 

What If Your Student Gets Rejected?

 

On the one hand, NC State accepts nearly half of all applicants. On the other hand, slightly more than half of all applicants are ultimately rejected. If your high schooler gets rejected, they’re actually among the majority.

 

The bad news is that NC State doesn’t really use its waitlist very actively. In 2018, over 4000 students accepted spots on the waitlist, but only 20 were ultimately accepted. That means less than 1% of students on the waitlist were ultimately accepted.

 

NC State does accept transfer applicants, but the standards for admissions are similar to the standards for first-year students. This means that if a student is rejected during first-year admissions, they’ll need to up their game to be accepted as a transfer. If they can achieve great grades and prove their academic abilities at another college, they might just have a shot at transferring later.

 

That being said, a student’s first priority should be finding another great school to attend where they’re just as likely to thrive. With thousands of options, there is a good fit out there for everyone. For help adjusting to a different school, they can read our post, Envisioning a New Future: Preparing for Life at Your Second-Choice (or Third, or Fourth) School.

 

For more assistance on your teen’s college application to North Carolina State University at Raleigh or anywhere else, consider enlisting the help of CollegeVine’s Applications Guidance service. Here, your high schooler will be paired with a personal admissions specialist from a top college who can provide step-by-step guidance through the entire application process. 

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Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.