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North Carolina overview?

CaliforniaMommaCaliforniaMomma 19 replies17 postsRegistered User Junior Member
Am not familiar with NC schools but did have a quick look at the stats...

How would you compare Wake Forest vs NCSU Raleigh vs Elon?

Want to avoid commuter schools and schools that are in big cities where crime is an issue.

Pretty campuses
residence halls for freshman year at least and possibly more
Easy to get the classes you need so the odds of graduating in 4 years are better

We will be out of state and not asking for tuition info, more the campus feel.

In the beginning phases of planning and trying to figure out which campuses to go visit....

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Replies to: North Carolina overview?

  • jllmtwjllmtw 66 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    None of these are commuter schools, and all three are in 'large' cities in NC. Elon and Wake Forest are in smaller cities (around 200K) and I would say have prettier campuses although NCSU's Centennial Campus is very nice. NCSU is in the state capital Raleigh and is the second largest city in NC (500K). I don't think crime is a big issue at any of these.

    My specific knowledge is much better about NCSU (a graduate, with one child graduated and another attending). Pretty sure all have residence halls for freshmen and my kids both stayed on campus their first two years. At NCSU most all the dorms are co-ed, but the first floor of every dorm is all-male. The also have allot of 'villages' where they groups similar students who want to be with their groups. These include Honors, WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), Engineering, International, Scholars, Arts, etc. Greek life, while present is not as prominent as it is at Wake.

    NCSU is a large school, one of the largest in the south, where as the others are much smaller. As a 'state university' degrees in NC are mandated to a maximum of around 126 hours. Therefore, four years is very doable. Both of my sons only needed 3-6 hours their last semester. It is easy to get your classes, but not always exactly when you want them.

    NCSU has two main campuses, main campus and Centennial however they are side by side. Both are very nice but Centennial is much newer and is primarily for Engineering.

    NCSU is set up that you apply directly to your major. If you visit, be sure to also schedule to visit the school (college) you think you may apply. The size of the university can overwhelm, but the individual colleges make it feel much smaller.

    Good Luck
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  • TS0104TS0104 832 replies26 postsRegistered User Member
    We visited Elon and Wake Forest, as out of staters. Both are beautiful and I think similar campus looks. Wake Forest seemed larger and a bit more "majestic". Elon's town is TINY...we struggled to find a place for lunch, I think there was one diner and one coffee shop. There is a more commercial town about 15 min away I think, Burlington, with retail stores, restaurants, movies, etc. I don't think it's correct to say that it is in a 'large' city by any stretch, even including Burlington. Wake says it is in Winston Salem which is a much bigger city, and Wake and Winston Salem just had a bit more of an upscale and affluent look. Not knocking Elon campus, it was beautiful, or the town, but there were significant size differences to our perspective. I honestly don't remember hearing or reading anything about problems with dorms for upper class students, this could be found easily on the web sites I think.
    I don't know that we picked up on huge differences in "feel" on our tours but I have heard and read that WF is more intense, and it is definitely more selective academically. It's possible we got a bit more of a preppy and or Greek life vibe there or I could be mixing that up with what I've read since. They aren't too far apart and we visited one one day and one the next, but depending on timing it could be possible to visit them both on the same day.
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  • RuralAmericaRuralAmerica 196 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    We live in NC and visited Elon this Fall. The campus is beautiful and easy to maneuver. The smaller size of the student body mixed with the large amount of class offerings would make it fairly easy to get into the classes wanted. They also require finishing in four years, so there is that plus side. My daughter really liked the unique offerings this school had and after our visit it was placed near the top of her list. The residence halls on campus were many and the ones we saw were very nice. The town is small as mentioned before, but the campus makes up for it with multiple events they put on right there on campus. They draw new releases for their on site movie theatre, concerts, and a lot more to choose from.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7598 replies79 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    WFU is in Winston-Salem. Not the nicest of cities, but not the worst either. Raleigh tends to be the safest of the three research triangle cities, but Chapel Hill (UNC) is great too.

    Is the student's planning to major in business ? Or ?

    Are you considering any schools in Virginia ?
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  • moooopmoooop 2205 replies17 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Wake Forest is in a nice quiet residential neighborhood. Seemed really safe when I visited a couple yrs ago. Don't know about the other two.
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  • EconPopEconPop 87 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited June 2
    NC resident here. All three schools are on my son's radar for 2020 and we've recently visited each of these schools.

    NCSU is in Raleigh, which is a city of 460K+ in a metro area of 1.21M+. It is a large campus with over 25K students. I go to campus a few times a year and never feel threatened. I attended NCSU a lifetime ago and have no complaints about the campus or surrounding area. NCSU is the largest university in the NC public university system and well regarded. The downtown area has lots to do. The area in and around NCSU has a lot to keep a young person busy.

    Wake Forest the university is not located in the small city of Wake Forest (which is just outside of Raleigh.) WF the school is located in Winston-Salem, a good-sized city of 250K+. The downtown area is revitalizing and has a lot to offer young people. The further you get from downtown, WS begins to feel more like a small town. A 15-minute drive might make you feel you've stepped into Mayberry. Not a bad or good observation, simply an observation. My brother went to college in WS and enjoyed his time there. My s-i-l has worked and lived in WS for the past decade and loves it.

    Elon is located in the very tiny town of Elon. Just a few thousand people. A very short drive puts you in Burlington which is also a small town, but not tiny like Elon. There are more dining and shopping opportunities in Burlington. Another 20 miles in one direction puts you in Greensboro which is nearly 300K people and offers the chance for concerts, touring Broadway plays, and more to do. Go 25 miles from Burlington in the opposite direction and you end up in Durham which is about the same as Greensboro.

    IMO, all the campuses are nice, each of the colleges has a good reputation, though for different reasons. NCSU is a very fine large public university known for STEM and veterinary studies, but is more than adequate in just about everything. Wake Forest is a top-35 school nationally, with an "elite" feel. Elon is a well-respected LAC that is approximately the same size as WF.

    Depending on what is wanted, your child could do well at any of these three schools/cities. The only caveat is, if your child really does not want to be in a rural setting, being at Elon might be too rural. FWIW, my son would rather not be in a rural setting, but he liked Elon so much he said he would be okay with going to school there.
    edited June 2
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  • SchadretSchadret 131 replies19 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Any comments on Appalachian State?
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  • chb088chb088 935 replies31 postsRegistered User Member
    I live in NC and my S18 attends NCSU. He loves it. All three schools fit your criteria so I think you should visit all of them.
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  • chb088chb088 935 replies31 postsRegistered User Member
    @Schadret App is beautiful and the kids I know that go there love it.
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  • EconPopEconPop 87 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @CaliforniaMomma , as you have already probably researched, it is a straight shot drive from Raleigh to Elon to Winston Salem. Driving non-stop from Raleigh to Winston Salem is about 2:15. Definitely easy enough to visit all three in a weekend and still sight-see a little and maybe squeeze in one or two more schools.

    It's not on your list, but your trip could include UNC-Greensboro which is in between Elon and Wake Forest. It's not as highly ranked as the other schools, but it fits the three wants you mentioned, pretty campus, on-campus dorms, and ease of getting to class from residence halls. My niece is graduating in December and loves it there. My son did not have it on his list initially, but after we toured the campus and talked to some of the students, he liked it enough to put it into consideration.

    UNC-Asheville and Appalachian State might be too far to include on this tour. They have pretty campuses and are good schools, but may not rank high enough on national lists to appeal to you.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33094 replies358 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    You can often get an idea of a school's look by googling a college's viewbook. Or looking at pictures and videos they post.

    Of course, those views can be selective. I remember one college where nearly every shot was a variation of the one prominent centerpiece building.
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  • ParisAstaParisAsta 6 replies4 postsRegistered User New Member
    Have you thought about Pfeiffer University, it is in a small community. They have first-year students on-campus housing, you can have your car, and a few of the dorms are pet-friendly. It is a few hours away from larger cities just in case you need something that only a city can provide. It is a small school, not sure about classes, as I have never attended. I know that it meets some of your requirements.


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