North Carolina State University is a school with deep-rooted tradition and local pride. In fact, many current students have parents and grandparents who are NC State alumni. Best known for its agricultural science program, as well as its science research majors, NC State offers its nearly 37,000 students some 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in about 70 departments. Take your pick from animal science, forest management, meteorology, textile engineering and more.

Tuition is under $10,000 for in-state students, making the university more affordable than many. In fact, it falls in the top 50 most affordable colleges on Money’s 2023-2024 list.

With its location in Raleigh, there's always plenty to do, both on campus and off. Hundreds of student clubs are constantly recruiting on the Brickyard, NC State's central quad, and Greek parties run late into the night. But nothing brings the community together as much as cheering for NC State's Division I sports teams, embroiled in a century-old rivalry with nearby UNC. Students and professors go all out, dressing in red, roasting pigs at tailgating sessions and pitching tents in parking lots before games.

When it's time to study, the Learning Commons offers a quiet escape. Undergrads say that professors are attentive and almost always available.