No acceptance in hand? There’s still space available at these Carolina colleges

Photo by Tricia Coyne/Queens University of Charlotte

Is there room at the U?

If your high school senior was caught in the unfortunate position of being denied everywhere they applied or if they’ve now had a change of heart about their plans for next year, the National Association for College Admission Counseling has released its 2018 list of colleges with openings for fall. The current list has over 400 institutions, which is slightly more than last year and substantially more than in years before that.

The list evolves over time, shrinking as colleges and universities fill their freshman classes, and expanding as colleges continue to tally which students have accepted their offers of admission.

Also, a word of caution, not all colleges opt to participate. So if you have a dream school and it is not on the list, contact the school directly to see if there are openings.

Some students review the list looking for a better financial deal. With private school cost of attendance hovering between $40,000 to $75,000 per year, frequently there is too big of a gap between what they are comfortable paying for college and the award offers, if any, from the schools where they were accepted. The NACAC list is diverse, ranging from public to private, large, mid-sized and small, urban, suburban and rural, research institutions, religious colleges, etc.

Below are lists of colleges and universities in North Carolina and South Carolina with openings for freshmen. Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., has opening for transfer students but is closed for freshmen.


  1. Belmont Abbey College:
  2. Chowan University:
  3. Elizabeth City State University:
  4. Gardner Webb University:
  5. Greensboro College:
  6. Guilford College:
  7. Lenoir Rhyne University:
  8. Methodist University:
  9. North Carolina Wesleyan College:
  10. University of Mount Olive:
  11. University of North Carolina at Wilmington:


  1. Anderson University:
  2. Coastal Carolina University:
  3. Converse College:
  4. Presbyterian College:
  5. University of South Carolina Upstate:
  6. Winthrop University:

Things may not have worked out the way you planned, but there are definitely options available for the resourceful family.  The “space availability” list is really a “win-win” for students and colleges. Many colleges operate with a “rolling admissions” process ,which means that they are constantly accepting applications on a year-round basis until their class is filled.

If you can’t find a good academic, social and financial fit, you may want to consider taking a year off and reapplying to colleges in the fall. If you are looking for some creative ways to spend the time off, you should investigate some possibilities at

Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte. Send questions to: