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East Carolina University (ECU) is a large, state supported university in North Carolina. The campus supports a large undergraduate population which exceeds 23,000. There are approximately 5,000 graduate students on campus, as well. The school is located in the small town of Greenville between the state capitol, Raleigh, and the North Carolina seaside. ECU's eight colleges and schools form the backbone of the university with programs in arts & sciences, education, engineering & technology, fine arts & communication, and nursing, to name a few. There is an academic path for everyone at ECU.

Overview of East Carolina University (ECU)

Students can spend their downtime engaged in enriching activities including athletics, physical recreation, clubs and organizations, or entertainment options. The Eakin Student Recreation Center is a major hub on campus where students can find a pickup game of basketball, lift weights, or take a swim. The campus also supports two other recreational centers: North Recreational Complex and the Health Sciences Complex. On top of an informal workout, non-varsity student athletes can participate in over 30 intramural sports and 31 club sports. Intramural sports include table tennis, dodgeball, 5x5 basketball, and golf. Club sports are more competitive and offer the chance for students to compete against other schools. Club sports include rugby, wrestling, ultimate Frisbee, martial arts, lacrosse, and figure skating, among many options.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Small
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 18:1
Graduation Rate 65%
Year Founded 1907

Student Enrollment

Total Students28,651


Undergraduate Student

Male 9,925
Female 13,156

Graduate Student

Male 2,395
Female 3,175

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ECU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 7,543
Female 12,770


Male 6,487
Female 11,365

Acceptance Rate88%

Male 86%
Female 89%

Enrollment 4,111

Male 1,617
Female 2,494
Application Fee $75
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline March 1
Common Application Accepted Yes

ECU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

As a publicly funded institution of higher learning, East Carolina University is able to offer North Carolina residents a tremendous value for their academic programs. The value is naturally more pronounced for state residents who pay taxes that support the school. Those residents see a gross price tag of under $9,000. Non-residents pay a bit more with their gross academic costs running around $25,000. These gross costs are diminished by the financial aid office, however.

Once all applicable grants and scholarships are tallied, the average net price for a year at ECU, inclusive of room, board, and other living expenses, falls to a mere $15,000. For students and their families who fall in the lower end of the earnings scale, the average net price is $11,000, which is quite reasonable. For the top-earning students at East Carolina, the average net price tag is a modest $22,000. Given the high academic quality ECU offers, this is a great value.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $11,026
Average Total Aid $7,231
Students Receiving Financial Aid 81%
Room & Board $10,030

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $7,238
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $23,515
  • Books and Supplies - $1,490
  • Room & Board - $10,030
  • Other - $3,630


Students go to East Carolina University for a variety of reasons. Some may be drawn to the campus by the Pirates athletic program or the phenomenal campus resources, but most make their ultimate decision to enroll based on ECU's academic strength and reputation. This reputation is bolstered by the academic statistics educational researchers use to evaluate the school. These include the retention rate, graduation rate, transfer statistics, and more.

The retention rate is one of the more important statistics researchers use to evaluate an institution's academic strength. It demonstrates how many first-time, full-time students return to campus for a second year. The higher the retention rate, the greater the satisfaction among ECU's students and their families. Since ECU boasts a stellar retention rate of 83%, researchers assess the overall support that students receive at the school as very strong. In fact, this number rivals the nation's most celebrated colleges and universities.

On top of that, ECU's academic strengths are proven by their overall graduation rate and even the transfer out numbers. That is, the campus reports a strong overall graduation rate of 65% alongside a 24% transfer rate. Since most transfer students leave campus to complete more specific degrees on more competitive campuses, it's clear that ECU's strong academics helped these students create a transcript that sets them up for success. Thus, it can be said that ECU prepares up to 89% of its students for academic success.

Student Population Total

Student Population 28,651

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 921 Total Graduates / 18%
Business Administration and Management, General 292 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 212 Graduates
Finance, General 160 Graduates
Accounting 95 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 906 Total Graduates / 18%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 356 Graduates
Public Health Education and Promotion 294 Graduates
Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy 60 Graduates
Dietetics/Dietitian 53 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 394 Total Graduates / 8%
Industrial Technology/Technician 168 Graduates
Engineering/Engineering-Related Technologies/Technicians, Other 149 Graduates
Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician 36 Graduates
Engineering/Industrial Management 29 Graduates
All Education Majors 344 Total Graduates / 7%
Elementary Education and Teaching 179 Graduates
Social Studies Teacher Education 26 Graduates
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching 19 Graduates
Special Education and Teaching, General 19 Graduates
Special Education and Teaching, Other 19 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 300 Total Graduates / 6%
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 300 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 45%

Outcome & Salary

After graduation from East Carolina University, the sky is the limit. The top-earning students tend to come from the university's computer and information sciences department. Those alumni report a strong median income of $67,000 for their first job. Of the top five earning degrees, general engineering students bring up the rear with a median reported salary of $58,000. The rest of the pack is full of technology and nursing students with computer science graduates in the middle of the pack, earning a median wage of $61,000. Given that ECU is in close proximity to North Carolina's Research Triangle Park, STEM grads are sure to find ample opportunities just 1.5 hours away. And their incomes will grow as they gain experience and perhaps further their education at a later date.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $51,000
College Grads Average Salary $62,974
College Grads Mid Career Salary $87,600
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $629,740
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,505,740
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $44,104
10 Year Projected ROI $585,636
20 Year Projected ROI $1,461,636
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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