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North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU)

Original title as published in the Encylopedia of North Carolina: North Carolina Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

by Lloyd Johnson, 2006; Revised December 2021

A. Hope Williams, president of the NCICU. Image from North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.The North Carolina Association of Independent Colleges and Universities was established in 1969 by North Carolina's regionally accredited private four-year colleges and universities as an advocate for private higher education in the state. The establishment of this organization was critical to the survival of North Carolina's private institutions of higher learning, which faced 5,000 vacancies at a time when enrollment in the state's public university system expanded. To shore up this imbalance, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities successfully lobbied the General Assembly in 1971 to pass a law offering North Carolina residents enrolled in private institutions the opportunity to receive legislative tuition grants of $200 a year. Over the years these grants have made tuition for North Carolinians more affordable, enabling more students to enroll in private schools. Full-time North Carolina residents are eligible for the North Carolina Need Based Scholarship, and financially needy state residents can receive funds through the State Contractual Scholarship Fund.

The North Carolina Association of Independent Colleges and Universities represents all of the state's 36 independent institutions, providing information and research for its member schools in areas including public policy and government activities. A sister organization, the North Carolina Center for Independent Higher Education, promotes independent institutions to prospective students and others.

Today North Carolina's NCICU campuses confer 1 in 4 bachelors degrees and 1 in 3 professional degrees awarded in North Carolina. As of 2017, NCICU campuses together enroll 68,046 undergraduates and 21,892 graduates across the state.

Additional Resources:

North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities website: (accessed November 19, 2012).

"State Fund Focus: North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities." The Council of Independent Colleges. (accessed November 19, 2012).

"North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Distributes $97,200 in UPS Scholarships to North Carolina Private Colleges." Catawba College. (accessed November 19, 2012).

Image Credits:

"A. Hope Williams President." North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. (accessed November 19, 2012).

Origin - location: 

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