Correct, they will get better. With time it will become a rival to UNC and Duke; I simply don’t agree that it is the right time. We are ranked 194th in the nation, but we have select departments that are ranked much higher. Also our own merits and appeals is something to strive for, but currently the draw to most future students is going to be that “UNC” until such a time that we are known for something academically.
Also (and this is hindsight) but look at the average debt carried by graduates between UNC and UNCC ($22,214 vs $32,054 respectively yet we cost less to attend). How many of your counterparts are spending 5yrs+ for an undergrad.
UNC vs UNCC avg class size is also drastically different with UNC having (on average lower class sizes UNC has 40% of classes with fewer than 20 students vs UNCCs 25% with fewer than 20).