North Carolina is known throughout the country for its stellar colleges and universities. The Raleigh-Durham metro area is home to several of the nation’s best institutions, like Duke University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Other popular college towns include Asheville in the mountains, Wilmington near the coast, and Charlotte, one of the state’s major urban areas. The rising cost of higher education has been a major concern for students and university administrators in recent years. State colleges and universities are receiving less state funding, causing a significant increase in tuition. Students considering colleges and universities in North Carolina may want to monitor state legislation affecting college funding.