North Carolina State University – Acceptance Rate, GPA, and Requirements

North Carolina State University is a stand-out institution based on several of its exceptional programs. 

Located in Raleigh, NC, the institution offers a wealth of opportunities for students interested in the quintessential college experiences.

NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked #4 in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report. In addition to training undergraduates to prepare to be future veterinarians, the CVM also offers programs that teach current veterinary doctors how to specialize in reducing disease among animal populations.

Voted as the #1 school for student entrepreneurship in the Southeast by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur, NC State has helped undergraduates catapult their dreams into reality. Students compete annually in interdepartmental entrepreneurship competitions, as well as the Design Challenge Series

In the series, students compete individually or in teams to submit an idea for a given challenge. In February of 2022, for example, the challenge focuses on environmental impact and how we can create and be environmentally conscious at the same time.

With over 200 study-abroad programs, NCSU students also have the ability to deepen their knowledge and skills in immersive environments. 

Future marine biologists can conduct research at the Great Barrier Reef, emerging environmental scientists can explore the Amazon rainforest, and soon-to-be architects can spend a summer in Prague.

In the article ahead, we’ll explore North Carolina State University’s admission requirements and acceptance statistics – specifically, their in-state and out-of-state acceptance rates and average SAT scores, ACT scores, and high school GPAs of incoming students.

North Carolina State University Acceptance Rate

North Carolina State University
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

In the fall of 2021, the school received 32,907 first-year applications and accepted 47.4% of them; combined with transfer students, this amounted to an incoming first-year class of 5,011 students. 

NC State has a total undergraduate and graduate student population of over 36,000 students, and the student body continues to become more diverse at a gradual rate.

North Carolina State University Out-of-State Acceptance Rate

Of the 5,000+ first-year students admitted to NCSU in 2021, 15.6% of them came from out of state. NC State University is a member of the UNC System, a multi-campus institution made up of 16 public universities granting four-year degrees and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

Why does this matter? Members of the UNC System are limited to accepting no more than 18% of their enrolling first-year class from states outside of North Carolina. 

NC State’s current undergraduate study body is made up of 26,150 students, and only 9% are from out-of-state.

This out-of-state acceptance cap has existed since 1986, with the intent being to make sure that there were enough placements for qualified North Carolina students in the state’s public universities, which are well-endowed by state and taxpayer funds.

North Carolina State University GPA

While NC State does not have a minimum GPA for admittance, the middle half of first-year enrolled students maintained a weighted GPA between 4.17 to 4.48, and the exact average was 4.28

Converted to an unweighted scale, this range amounts to 3.75 to 3.97, and an exact average of 3.83, which is quite competitive!

65% of admitted students to NC State were ranked in the top 10% of their high school graduating class, while 93% of admitted students held a position in the top 25% of their senior class.

Based on these statistics, North Carolina State University is considered to be one of the top three most competitive public universities in the UNC System.

North Carolina State SAT & ACT Requirements

NC State College of Engineering
Cgb628, College of Engineering Building II, North Carolina State University (2013), CC BY-SA 3.0

NC State does not require that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores – for the incoming first-year class of 2021, 52% of admitted students applied without submitting test scores. 

In the university’s history, the class of 2025 had the highest ACT and SAT scores of any incoming freshmen class.

With regards to the SAT, half of the admitted applicants who submit scores have a “Superscore” (combined Mathematics and Evidence-based Reading and Writing scores) from 1230 and 1410. The first-year class of 2020 maintained an average SAT Superscore of 1344.

Applicants can also opt to submit their ACT composite scores (a combination of Reading, Writing, English, and Mathematics scores). Half of the applicants who submit ACT scores fall between 27 and 32, while the ACT composite average of the fall 2020 incoming class was 29.65.

Other Requirements and Admission Tips for NC State

Hopeful students may apply online using either the Common Application or the Coalition Application. There is a nonrefundable $85 application fee (which can be waived based on certain criteria).

Applicants may select up to two majors based on their interests – if they are not as competitive for their first indicated major, they can be reviewed for their second choice. 

Candidates can report their SAC or ACT scores as part of their application, and only those who are admitted to the university will be expected to share their official scores before they enroll.

Application requirements are similar for most students, but those interested in a studio-based major have additional materials to submit, including a 10-piece portfolio and design-focused essay.

Those applicants hoping to receive an early decision should submit all of their materials by November 1, while regular decision applicants have until January 15. NC State’s priority filing date for the FAFSA is March 1, though the university recommends that students apply as soon as possible.

Is North Carolina State University Right for You?

For many college hopefuls, geographic location is one of the top considerations impacting the list of schools they hope to attend. Raleigh, North Carolina – where NC State is situated – is perhaps one of the most appealing college cities in the United States.

Raleigh was recently ranked #3 among large-size college cities in America by WalletHub and as the #3 best city for young professionals by Forbes. In 2016, Time named Raleigh the best city in the entire Southeast, and the U.S. News & World Report ranked it as the #13 best place to live.

Students interested in pursuing careers in technology will feel right at home at NC State. Raleigh was recently named as a Google Fiber expansion city, and the #2 hot spot for tech jobs by Forbes.

Tuition is also an important consideration for college applicants. As previously mentioned, the UNC System stipulates a cap of 18% for enrolling out-of-state students. 

In the 2022-2023 academic year, tuition fees were $9,128 for North Carolina residents and $30,896 for out-of-state residents. Housing costs were nearly $7,500 for both groups of students.

There are many options available for students to obtain financial aid based on need and/or merit. 44% of first-year students received need-based financial aid in the fall of 2019, and the average award to a recipient was $3,214. 

The average merit-based award for recipients was $6,455. Overall, NC State was able to meet 75% of its students’ financial aid requests.

Students interested in attending a research university situated in one of the best cities for young people will love NC State. 

For North Carolina residents, in particular, the university offers top-notch programs at affordable tuition costs.