The Community College Collaboration (C3) is a dual-admission program between NC State and 13 community college partners.

What is C3?

As a land-grant institution, NC State has always believed that all North Carolinians should have access to the opportunities and benefits of higher education and not everyone’s college career starts at NC State. Nearly 1,700 students transfer to NC State each year to complete their bachelor’s degree and NC State is committed to providing affordable pathways while providing access to quality education that produces career-ready graduates.

C3  seeks students who demonstrate potential for academic success through previous high school or community college performance and exhibit a high level of motivation and perseverance in the face of challenges (as may be evidenced by their ability to overcome obstacles; manage family, work, and/or military responsibilities; and/or showcase their entrepreneurial spirit).

Who can apply?

C3 is open to students immediately after completing high school or for community college students who have completed less than 30 credit hours of college work.

Participants should be from low-to-moderate income households.

To be eligible for C3, students must be classified as a resident for tuition purposes through the North Carolina Residency Determination Service (RDS).

First-generation students, students from rural communities and military veterans are also encouraged to apply.

C3 is open to students considering any major that NC State offers. However, we do not recommend that students considering a studio-based major within the College of Design apply for C3. Students may apply for C3 if they are interested in the Design Studies major.

Additionally, students who are interested in majoring in Biomedical Engineering at NC State will be required to submit additional application information and go through an additional review process prior to their consideration for that program. Admission into this joint degree program with UNC-Chapel Hill is very competitive and space is limited.


C3 students will have up to three years to complete their Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), or Associate of Engineering (A.E.) degree at the partner community college.

Guaranteed Admission

After completion of the A.A., A.S., or A.E. degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better,  C3 participants are guaranteed admission to NC State. Entry into specific majors may be more competitive.

Why C3?

NC State values your success as a student, and C3 pairs your path to an NC State degree with academic and social support to enhance your experience. C3 provides the following tools and activities to ensure your experience along the way.

Academic Advisor

C3 students will be assigned an NC State advisor upon admission to the program. The advisor will help students identify majors that are aligned with their interests and academic abilities, map a comprehensive course plan, and ensure that courses taken at the community college will transfer to the student’s intended major. Students will also receive financial aid advising to maximize aid eligibility and minimize student debt.

Online Planning Tools

Students will have direct access to NC State’s specialized online advising and course planning tools. These tools will help develop a comprehensive academic course plan to enhance timely completion of both the associate and bachelor’s degrees.

Networking Programs

While enrolled at the community college, students will have opportunities to visit NC State’s campus for specialized C3 activities and programs to network with C3 students from NC State as well as other community college campuses. Students will develop social connections to ease their transition to NC State.

C3 and other NC State representatives will also visit the community college campuses several times during the regular academic year to meet with C3 students and make sure they are progressing toward their goals and staying connected with one another.