A Guide to Online Colleges in Louisiana

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Summing up the state of Louisiana could take a while. Let’s just say this state is filled with history, cultures, regions, quirks, and beauty. “The Child of the Mississippi” may be an apt title, though with the Caribbean, Canadian and African influences, is somehow does not feel quite complete. Louisiana is known for its survivors, its extreme wealth and poverty, gripping history line, and as a sportsman’s paradise. This bayou state is filled with ancient cypress trees, mysterious legends, fun accents and dialects, and some of the most inventive cuisine in the entire nation. Not only that, but it is the home to some of America’s most colorful traditions like Carnival and the Mardi Gras Indians. Whether you’re letting the good times roll, at a top football stadium or relaxing with a fishing pole in the bayou, this state once called “home” often stays that way. With all of this culture and quirk it’s no wonder that those who wish to study online choose to remain in state while doing so.

In-state tuition is often applied to public schools offering online programs. Many online programs require some face-to-face time, or more numerous support services at their brick and mortar locations. Intensive study experiences–often on the weekends or in several week long bouts–enable many online students to accelerate their time until graduation. And students looking at online education can drastically expand their educational options if they also look to hybrid degrees (degrees where degrees can be taken partially, or mostly online). Finally, one of the most common stipulations in scholarships is that students be from a certain state or region, often more funds are available to students seeking degrees in-state.

Public School Offerings

Many of the top public schools in Louisiana offer online programs of study at the associates through doctoral level. Louisiana Tech University offers 17 programs completely online including an impressive 10 masters degrees. University of Louisiana – Monroe, offers 33 online programs in a broad range of fields from the associate’s to the doctoral level including a doctoral program in family therapy, an M.A. in Gerontology and others. Louisiana State University offers 6 masters degrees online with a wide range of foci from education to sports management to social work. And for those looking to save money or transfer into a state university, there are a number of online community and state colleges that offer associate’s degrees at an affordable price such as Bossier Parish Community College, Southeastern Louisiana University and Northwestern State University of Louisiana, and Louisiana State University Eunice.

Private School Offerings

There are also a number of private schools offering degrees online. Some of the private degree programs with the largest selection include schools like Tulane University a top 40 school that offers 4 master’s degrees online in areas like disaster management, occupational and environmental health, industrial hygeine and others. There’s also Loyola University, the number 10 school in the region offering a bachelor’s, 3 master’s as well as a doctorate in nursing practice. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary — a small university with Christian origins offers associates and masters degrees in many fields of theology including seminary, biblical studies, apologetics and others.

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Featured Online Schools

Becoming a Resident

Establishing residency is essential for securing that in-state tuition price. In many cases, paying out-of-state tuition can triple the costs of your education. For the state of Louisiana a “resident” is defined as someone who has done the following: abandoned all other prior domiciles, been domiciled in the state of Louisiana for at least one year immediately prior to your first day of class, and has not been enrolled in a Louisiana institution for higher learning. Those who reside in Louisiana solely for educational purposes or those who merely own property and are paying property taxes do not qualify for residency in the state of Louisiana.

In 2015-16 the average published tuition prices for Louisiana four-year universities was $5,601 for in-state tuition that’s over $3,500 below the national average for public schools. University of New Orleans one of the most influential univerities in the biggest city in Louisiana costs $8,094 per year still less than the national average — approximately $9,400 a year. Out-of-State tuition is $21,911 more than twice as much as those who are studying in-state. Louisiana State University, the state’s flagship university with a land, sea, and space grant and a top 150 college in the nation is just $9,842 per year — only about $400 dollars more than the average cost of tuition in the nation while those out of state will pay closer to 30,000 per year — close to the cost of an average private institution. Not to mention, LSU is ranked as the 64th best public school in the nation — in the league with Rutgers and New Jersey Tech offering the same quality of education for thousands of dollars more. Tulane University, our top pick private university, costs $51,000 per year, is a top 40 school in the nation and one of the best values according to U.S. News ons and fees. However, those who learn from home will save over $60,000 for room and board expenses.

Now 11 years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is making an incredible comeback. The Big Easy is rebuilding, revamping previously derelict neighborhoods, and offering some of the most coveted property space in the nation. The birthplace of jazz is back in full swing and live music is available in almost every ward (city district) on almost every night. Crescent City (taking this nickname from its shape) is one of the most colorful and unique cities in America. Whether you’re celebrating Mardi Gras, enjoying one of the hundreds of festivals (there are almost as many festivals in New Orleans than days in a year) or just kicking back and soaking up the wildlife in city park, as a resident you are proud to call New Orleans home. Add that to the fact that New Orleans is also home to the 39th best school in the nation (Tulane University) and the 10th best school in the region (Loyola University) and a unique public school (The University of New Orleans) and you may never want to live anywhere else.

Baton Rouge, French for “red stick” was named by Sieur d’Iberville upon seeing a red pole between the Houma and Bayalouga hunting grounds. Modern Baton Rouge is an amazing port town. In fact, it’s the tenth largest in the United States and remains an important port for several reasons including its location on the Mississippi River and its ability to ship massive tonnage. Baton Rouge has a quaint walkable downtown with pubs, restaurants, and music halls. As with most of Louisiana, Baton Rouge is also home to amazing food and festivals. With a population that rose rapidly after Katrina, this university town and capitol city harnessed its intellectual capitol and has become a vibrant economic community with opportunities in technology, science, and logistics. It’s also home to Louisiana State University — many of its natives’ beloved purple and gold Tigers and all the traditions that come with attending a big Southern state (and SEC sports) school.

Shreveport is the third-largest city in Louisiana located in Caddo Parish and is the cultural center of the Ark-La_Tex area where Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas meet. Locals of Shreveport enjoy fishing, golfing, biking, and boating. It is, after all, situated along the Red River and Old River Lake. Like much of Louisiana people living in Shreveport know how to cut loose and stop and smell the roses. In this case, more roses than anywhere else in the America (20,000 rose bushes) at the American Rose Society, and if you’re convinced New Orleans is the only place to celebrate Mardi Gras, think again as Shreveport has its own version. There are also a number of tech startups happening now in Shreveport thanks in part to CoHabitat Foundation. Louisiana State also holds a campus in Shreveport offering 7 fully online master’s degrees while Bossier Parish Community College provides 7 associates degrees.

Lafayette is a city filled with dense Cajun and Creole culture. From Zydeco to Boudin (a rice-filled sausage) to Cajun Mardi Gras (the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in Louisiana) this city has got spirit, tradition, and spunk! Lafayette is central to Acadiana and is also home to several festivals highlighting French culture, music, dancing, and of course food. One of the best-known festivals is the Festival International de Louisianne and its four straight days of free music. The natural beauty surrounding Lafayette is breath-taking — the Atchafalaya Basin are the bottom legs of the Mississippi creating winding views of Cypress trees and Spanish moss. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is housed here and provides 8 online programs that range from a bachelor’s degrees to a doctoral program.

New Orleans


Population: 384,320
Cost of Living: 98.6%
Top Industries: Accommodation and food service, health care and social assistance, educational services, professional scientific and technical services
Local Online Degrees: 4

Baton Rogue


Population: 228,895
Cost of Living: 91%
Top Industries: Construction, healthcare and social assistance, retail and trade, accommodation and food service
Local Online Degrees: 3

Shreveport


Population: 199,311
Cost of Living: 85.6%
Top Industries: Retail and trade, healthcare and social assistance, accommodation and food service, education
Local Online Degrees: 7

Lafayette


Population: 120,623
Cost of Living: 85.9%
Top Industries: Manufacturing, healthcare and social services, mining quarrying and oil and gas extraction, accommodation and food service, educational
Local Online Degrees: 3

Lake Charles


Population: 71,993
Cost of Living: 86.9%
Top Industries: Construction, healthcare and social assistance, retail and trade, accommodation and food service
Local Online Degrees: 3

Kenner


Population: 66,702
Cost of Living: 96.9%
Top Industries: Construction, healthcare and social assistance, retail and trade, accommodation and food service
Local Online Degrees: 4

The Best Online Colleges in Louisiana

  • 1. Louisiana Tech University

    Online Programs: 17
    Type: Public
    Website

    Louisiana Tech University is a tier one public university located in rural Ruston, Louisiana and has a space grant. The area of Ruston provides terrific options for outdoor recreational like hiking and cycling and has a quaint and historic downtown area. Research is conducted with the aid of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation, Department of efense and the Federal Aviation Administrations. Louisiana Tech is also a doctoral university according to the Carnegie Foundation and has several notable programs ranked through the U.S. News including its High School Counselor program, business program and engineering program at the doctoral level. Many of the phenomenal programs available on-campus can also be found online. In fact, Louisiana Tech offers 17 online programs that range from the associates level through to a master’s degree. In-state tuition remains affordable at just $8,853 per academic year. We love Louisiana Tech for its range of available online programming, its low tuition cost, and its high level of academic research activity.

  • 2. University of Louisiana-Monroe

    Online Programs: 33
    Type: Public
    Website

    The University of Louisiana Monroe is a public university located in the city of Monroe with Bayou DeSiard flowing through it and straddling the Ouachita River. Though it originated as a junior college, the University of Louisiana Monroe became a full-fledged four-year university by 1950. The university enrolls nearly 9,000 students and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1. Some of the University of Louisiana Monroe’s accolades include its state-funded pharmacy program, wide variety of majors and minors, and highly ranked nursing program. Nearly half of all students receive scholarships and the tuition rate is just $7,658 for in-state residents. The online school offers comprehensive programming from the associate to doctoral level including a doctoral program in curriculum and instruction and 32 other degrees!

  • 3. Northwestern State University of Louisiana

    Online Programs: 26
    Type: Public
    Website

    Northwestern State University of Louisiana is a public school located in the rural setting of Nachitoches- home of the Cane River Scenic Byway and several historic plantation homes. There are a wide range of academic programs from nursing, military science, to new media journalism and communication. U.S. News ranks NSU for its busines program and it also has a notable department of biological sciences. Online, students have a great array of choices. In fact, there are a total of 26 online degrees ranging from associates to the doctoral level. Twelve of those options are master’s degrees in nearly all areas of education, and even an M.S. in homeland security. The doctorate program is in nursing practice. We love this school for its vast range of programs online, its quite and safe campus life, as well as the cost of in-state tuition which is thousands of dollars lower than the average tuition rate in the nation.

  • 4. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

    Online Programs: 10
    Type: Private
    Website

    The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is a private non-profit university located in New Orleans — home to creole culture, jazz music, and mardi gras. This seminary offers comprehensive programming with a focus on christian ministry, music, divinity, and theology as it breaks down into several majors. The doctor of philosophy is offered in 12 areas of study. Online, there are 10 degree programs. Undergraduates may focus on christian ministry while graduates have a wider range of options including divinity, apologetics, cross cultural studies and others. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schoools Commission on Colleges to award comprehensive degree programs.

  • 5. Louisiana State University

    Online Programs: 6
    Type: Public
    Website

    Louisiana State University (LSU) is located in Baton Rouge — the state capital and a major port city for the Mississippi River. This public institution is home to the purple and gold Tigers, a highly aclaimed football team in the SEC. LSU is known for more than just sports, according to U.S. News LSU is 135th in the nation, 64th best public school and has highly acclaimed high school counselor, business, engineering, and physics and astronomy programs. In fact, professor Gabriela Gonzalez hs been named among the world’s top 10 scientists according to Nature magazine for her work with the LIGO program — a program that detects gravitational waves in the cosmos. Online, LSU offers 6 master’s degree programs in fields like Kinesiology, Higher Education, and Human Resources.

  • 6. University of Louisiana at Lafayette

    Online Programs: 8
    Type: Public
    Website

    The University of Louisiana Lafayette is a public institution that enrolls over 17,500 students. In-state tuition remains below the national average at just $8,256 per year. The city of Lafayette is home to Acadian culture, the mix of french creole and cajun, is filled with zydeco music, bayous for kayaking, and much more. The student-to-faculty ratio is 23:1. This large public school offers over 80 undergraduate majors and more than 30 graduate programs. In terms of research activity, the Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Louisiana Lafayette as a school with high research activity putting it in the same league as Auburn, Clemson, and Baylor. Online, Lafayette offers a range of programs from bachelor’s degrees to doctoral programs.

  • 7. Louisiana State University-Shreveport

    Online Programs: 7
    Type: Public
    Website

    Louisiana State University Shreveport is located in Shreveport — a boating, golfing, and fishing port town that is the cultural center of Tex_Ar_LA. There are just 4,428 students attending. However, the student-to-faculty ratio is higher at 21:1. The in-state tuition price is nearly $3,000 below the national average at just $6,903 dollars per year! LSUS recently introduced an 8 week semester to allow students more flexibility and acceleration to their programming. One of LSUS’ focuses lies in something known as “metacognition” a method that trains students to not only learn but understand how they are learning. The aim is to better preparing graduates for the workforce. This methodology centers around developing plans, monitoring progess, and evaluating success.Online, LSUS offers 7 master’s degrees in business administration, non-profit administration, curriculum development and others.

  • 8. University of New Orleans

    Online Programs: 7
    Type: Public
    Website

    The University of New Orleans is a public university and an integral contributer to New Orleans public higher education. This cross-cultural school offers a wide-range of programs for all types of interests including film studies, naval architecture and marine engineering, healthcare management, jazz studies, coastal restoration, and many others! The Carnegie Foundation ranks UNO as a “High Research University” and the U.S. News report ranks its engineering and business schools. The male and female distribution is 50/50 which is very rare for many universities; where the vast majority of students live off-campus. Online, there are a total of 7 degrees available at both the bachelor’s and master’s level incluing their M.A. in Arts Administration.

  • 9. Bossier Parish Community College

    Online Programs: 7
    Type: Public
    Website

    Bossier Parish Community College is a public institution located in Bossier City and enrolls over 8,500 students. Bossier Parish offers free open-source remedial programming known as “Open Campus”. Open Campus offers course materials at any time of the day and have been accessed by over 35,000 learners. There are 16 different degrees available including the humanities, management, marketing and health. BPCC also makes available workforce development programs like Command Spanish, traning services for businesses and workforce partners. There are 7 associates degrees available online in business administration, cyber technology, computer information systems and others. The in-state tuition for BPCC is less than $4,000 per year. We like BPCC for its innovation and affordability.

  • 10. Southeastern Louisiana University

    Online Programs: 6
    Type: Public
    Website

    Southeastern Louisiana University is a public university located in Hammond just one hour outside of the city of New Orleans between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. This university enrolls nearly 15,000 students and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award comprehensive degree programs. There are several programs available at SLU some unique offerings include their B.S. in athletic training and their M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Online, there are 6 programs available from a bachelor’s to a doctoral program. Students can choose from degree programs like a B.A. in organizational leardership – health and wellness, a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences – family studies,an M.A. in Special Education, and a doctor of nursing practice among others.

  • 11. Tulane University of Louisiana

    Online Programs: 4
    Type: Private
    Website

    Tulane University is the highest ranked school on our list- ranking as the 39th best school in the nation according to U.S. News. Tulane is located in the heart of uptown New Orleans- surrounded by Audubon Park and blocks of historic New Orleans mansions and has a campus downtown for its center for health science program. This top-notch university has world-renowned programming such as the pottery program at Newcomb college and its School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine — the only program of its kind in the nation. Tulane also goes above and beyond when it comes to flexibility. Undergraduate students can literally take classes from any of their undergradute schools — leading many to double and triple their majors. This historic school that was founded nearly 300 years ago has so much to offer. As for their online programming, Tulane offers 4 master’s degrees.

  • 12. Loyola University-New Orleans

    Online Programs: 5
    Type: Private
    Website

    Loyola University is a private university located in New Orleans — just off the green street car line on St. Charles Avenue uptown. This over 100 year old institution is the 10th best school in the region according to U.S. News. and also ranked 12th as a “Best Value School.” There are only 2,691 student enrolled at Loyola and the student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1 — providing an excellent learning envrionrment or its students. This Jesuit university offers some unique programs and majors including forensic chemistry, music therapy, global sociology, jazz studies, and theatre arts & musical theatre. The online programming ranges from a bachelor’s degree in nursing to a doctoral degree in nursing practice.

  • 13. Louisiana State University Eunice

    Online Programs: 4
    Type: Public
    Website

    Louisiana State University Eunice is a junior college located in Eunice — a town known for its rich cajun traditions and unique mardi gras celebration. There are 2,673 students ranging from age 15-64 attending LSUE who enjoy a low in-state tuition of just $3,189 — that is one third the average price of state universities! Though the vast majority of students are from Louisiana this campus represents 14 states and 7 countries around the world. Students have 8 fields to choose from for their degree programs indluding the following: liberal arts and sciences, general studies and humanities, health professions, homeland security, law enforcement, and firefighting and related protective services. Graduate from LSUE have an above average pass rate for the nursing licensure examination and a 100% pass rate for respiratory care. The online presence includes four associates degrees.

  • 14. Grambling State University

    Online Programs: 2
    Type: Public
    Website

    Grambling State University has a fascinating university. In 1896 the North Louisiana Colored Agricultural Relief Association was formed to help to organize a school to meet the educational needs for African Americans in rural north Louisiana. Farmers demanded education for people of color, and the idea of Grambling State University was born. This historically black university is presently providing education for people of all backgrounds. Diversity is not only reflected in its student body, but in its breadth of academic programming. Grambling State offers programs from the bachelor’s through to the doctoral level in everything from accounting to visual arts where over 80% of its students receive need-based financial aid. The in-state tuition price remains well below the national average at just $7,063 per academic year. Online, Grambling State offers both its MS in Developmental Education as well as its Doctorate of Education in Developmental Education.

  • 15. Southern University and A & M College

    Online Programs: 2
    Type: Public
    Website

    Southern University and A&M College is an historically black university located in Baton Rouge — the state capital and important port city along the Mississippi River. This is another university with a grippin history line. The state of Louisiana pre-Civil War had established a clss or “free people of color”. The origins of Southern University were to uphold the standard for educating all people, regardless of segregation laws promoted in other areas of the nation. Southern University is home to another LIGO contributer, professor Stephen C. Mcguire. LIGO stands for Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory and is a reflection of the advanced levels of research activity at the university. In fact, U.S. News ranks its engineering program 191st in the nation. The two online programs are master’s degrees in either business administration or public administration. The annual in-state tuition rate is just $7,346 — much lower than the national average.

Monitoring the accreditation of a university you are interested in attending is incredibly important. Accreditation ensures your credits can transfer that you can receive Federal financial aid, and most importantly that certain standards of educational quality are during your schooling. The highest accreditation standard for most programs in the United States is provided by regional accreditation agencies. The regional accrediting agency for Louisiana is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, one of six regional accrediting agencies responsible for accrediting schools in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, as well as schools for US students in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

Making sure that a University you’re hoping to attend is regionally accredited — or accredited by a real and respected accrediting agency — is one of the most important choices you can make in ensuring the quality of your education.

Three Steps for Securing Financial Aid

  • Submit your FAFSA.
  • Check to see if additional forms are needed at your university of choice.
  • Search and apply for private scholarships.

Through the previous three steps most students find themselves offered some sort of federal grant, work study, private grant, scholarship, or stipend.

Great Louisiana Higher Education Resources

Louisiana State Department of Education
The Louisiana State Department of Education provides information for the certification process for educators, state initiatives in education, and others.
Louisiana Communinity and Technical Colleges
Louisiana’s Community and Technical Colleges help students find practical, affordable, and achievalble education in the state as well as empowers individuals to take the necessary steps towards job security.
Louisiana Board of Regents
The Louisiana Board of Regents aims to close the gap for individuals in the state of Louisiana who have no postsecondary degree. For information on admission standards, legislation, a directory of colleges and universities, along with many useful facts about educational legislation in the state, go here.
Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA)
LOSFA aims to promote and provide college access and affordability through scholarships and information for new and current students.
College Scholarships
This database includes a comprehensive list of scholarships both federal and state for Louisiana residents.
Tulane University Scholarships
Congratulations! You got accepted to one of the top schools in the nation. Here’s a complete list of grants, scholarships and other forms of funding for its students.
The University of New Orleans
For a comprehensive list of UNO scholarships and awards this is the place to go.
Rockerfeller State Wildlife Scholarship
Awarded to students enrolled in forestry, wildlife, or marine science at a Louisiana public college or university.
Taylor Opportunity Program for Students
The TOPS awards are four-fold: for Tech students, honors students, a performance-based award, and an opportunity award. To see if you qualify for any of these awards check the following links.
Go Grant
A Go Grant is a state grant that does not have to be repaid. To see whether or not you are eligible go here.
The Gulf Restoration Network
This is a phenomenal organization that supports the rapidly erroding and deteriorating gulf, and is hiring! Check here for more information.
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Located in the Central Business District in New Orleans, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art (The O) promotes and archives the rich art culture and history of the south including gallery space for young students in the New Orleans area.
Louisiana Flood Recovery
Want to take part in the recovery of the Louisiana Floods of 2016 and others? Head here for more information on how you can make a difference.
Mardi Gras New Orleans
Need the insider’s scoop for parades, times, and routes? Head here! There’s even a countdown clock- for those of you who simply can’t wait. Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!​

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