Published on
Mar 10th 2022

How to navigate the high school years and make your child stand out in college

Wondering how to navigate the high school years and make your child stand out in the college application process?

Does the child's high school matter for college admissions?

The high school a student comes from, and the school performance statistics, provides an important context to college admission officers as they interpret the student’s application. The following data provides an insight into the current landscape of WCPSS high schools. Some of the indicators that describe the trends and performance of our public schools in Wake county are also shown below:

WCPSS schools with the highest average SAT scores (Class of 2021 Graduating Seniors):

High SchoolAverage SAT Score
Wake STEM Early College1332
William G. Enloe1293
Green Hope High1269
Panther Creek High1269
Apex High1224

Highest ranking WCPSS schools with graduates scoring unweighted GPA 3.0 or higher (2020):

High SchoolGraduates with GPA 3 or Higher (%)
Wake STEM Early College89.1
Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy85.7
Green Hope High77.5
Panther Creek High74.5
Apex Friendship High72.2
WCPSS Mean57.1

Highest ranking WCPSS schools with AP Exams scoring 3 or higher (2021 AP Test Results):

High SchoolAP Exams Scoring 3 or Higher (%)
William G. Enloe73.1
Green Hope High73.1
Panther Creek High69.1
Green Level High63.8
Cary High63.7

WCPSS Class of 2021 Senior Snapshot:

  • 11,892 Seniors in 34 High Schools
  • 90.5% Graduation Rate
  • 69% Enrolled in College After Graduation
  • 109 National Merit Semi-finalists and 15 National Merit Scholars

Landscape of public colleges/universities in North Carolina

The University of North Carolina System comprises 17 public institutions. This portal illustrates where all the campuses are located along with links to each university’s website. Go to the admissions requirements page to find information about the UNC System’s minimum eligibility requirements. You will also find direct links to every institution’s admissions page.
The 82/18 Rule mandates that no more than 18% of out-of-state incoming first-year students may enroll at UNC system schools, ensuring room for 82% in-state enrollment.
  1. UNC Chapel Hill UNC System’s flagship university, UNC-Chapel Hill received 53,775 first-year applications for Fall 2021. The overall acceptance rate was 19.2 percent. Out of this, the acceptance for North Carolina applicants is 42.2% and 10.5 % for out-of-state applicants.
  2. North Carolina State University (NCSU) For Fall 2021, NCSU received 32,907 first-year applications and had a 47.4% acceptance rate. 15.6% of the incoming class (5011 first-year students) was from out-of-state.
Students who meet and maintain permanent residency requirements in North Carolina pay in-state tuition at public colleges, which is lower than what out-of-state and international students pay to attend a public state school. In North Carolina, The Fixed Tuition Program holds the price of tuition constant for students who remain continuously enrolled and on track to graduate on schedule. Additionally, the NC Promise Tuition Plan lowers the cost of tuition at three UNC System institutions to just $500 a semester.

How much does going to college cost typically?

Public college

Approximately cost per year in NC

Private college

Approximate cost per year in NC (*costs vary widely)
College/UniversityIn-State TuitionOut-of-State Tuition
Appalachian State University$4,242$19,049
East Carolina University$3,620$11,758
Elizabeth City State University$1,000$5,000
Fayetteville State University$2,982$14,590
North Carolina A&T State University$9,274$22,784
North Carolina Central University$3,728$16,435
North Carolina State University$9,100$29,220
University of North Carolina Asheville$4,122$20,845
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill$7,019$33,202
University of North Carolina at Charlotte$7,188$20,622
University of North Carolina at Greensboro$7,403$22,562
University of North Carolina at Pembroke$1,000$5,000
University of North Carolina Wilmington$4,510$19,063
Western Carolina University$1,000$5,000
Winston-Salem State University$3,401$13,148
University of North Carolina School of the Arts$6,497$23,731
Private colleges could be quite expensive. For example, Duke university costs about $58000 for undergrad per year. About 60% of students receive some form of grant. So students on average pay about $28,718

So where did the high school graduates of 2020-21 go after finishing school?

Public/community college in NC

If a student did highschool in NC

Public/community college in NC

If a student did highschool in Wake county
Here is a comparison of the future plans of High School graduates from WCPSS vs. North Carolina:
Summary of Future Plans of High School graduates in Wake County Schools:
Future PlansPercentage of Graduating Class (2020-21)
Public 4-year Institution in NC53.7
Public 4-year Institution Out-of-State4.1
Private 4-year Institution in NC3.5
Private 4-year Institution Out-of-State3.3
Community College in NC23.0
Community College Out-of-State0.5
Private 2-year College in NC0.2
Private 2-year College Out-of-State0.0
Trade Business in NC0.6
Trade Business Out-of-State0.1
Summary of Future Plans of High School graduates in the state of North Carolina:
Future PlansPercentage of Graduating Class (2020-21)
Public 4-year Institution in NC32.2
Public 4-year Institution Out-of-State3.4
Private 4-year Institution in NC4.7
Private 4-year Institution Out-of-State2.4
Community College in NC30.5
Community College Out-of-State1.0
Private 2-year College in NC0.2
Private 2-year College Out-of-State0.1
Trade Business in NC0.9
Trade Business Out-of-State0.1


Most of the kids in NC are poised to get good education in our high schools and have a chance to get into top-tier institutions within the state.
For additional insights related to college planning and admissions, join Free Facebook Group, or Whatsapp group or email Preeti Bhatia, Founder and CEO of SoarHQ Admissions, at [email protected]. You can also reach her via WhatsApp
Content for this article is provided to us by Preeti Bhatia, Founder and CEO of SoarHQ Admissions. ChaiBuzz is only providing this as a content that benefits readers. This is not an endorsement of any views. There is no monetary compensation involved.
Tags: education

Preeti Bhatia - SoarHQ

Founder and CEO of SoarHQ Admissions