Louisiana is home to numerous schools, including 10 public universities spread across several campuses, 10 independent colleges, 13 community colleges, and various trade and vocational schools. Here we take a closer look at Louisiana’s higher education scene, including how much it costs, what graduates earn once they enter the workforce, how much debt they incur, and what programs are available for students seeking assistance. If you’re considering attending college in Louisiana, keep reading to find out more.

Best Louisiana Colleges: 2017 Rankings

Louisiana Louisiana

With so much information available about potential colleges, it can be frustrating to keep it all straight. Choosing a school goes beyond looking at statistics, but rankings can be a great place to start to narrow the options. Our rankings of the best Louisiana colleges take into account several factors, including tuition cost, financial aid, student-teacher ratio and more.

Rank School Name Score Tuition Fees Alumni Earnings Student/Teacher Ratio Gift Financial AidGraduation Rate Acceptance Rate # Online Programs # Total Programs Placement Services Credit for Experience
1
Louisiana State University-Eunice
99.83
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$31,500
21:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
15%
10% N/A 3 28 Yes Yes
2
Delgado Community College
99.14
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$28,200
19:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
2%
10% N/A 1 94 Yes Yes
3
Southern University-Shreveport
98.46
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$22,500
11:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
2%
16% N/A 2 31 Yes No
4
Bossier Parish Community College
98.15
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$29,200
36:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
12%
11% N/A 6 74 Yes No
5
Northwest Louisiana Technical College
98.07
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$27,000
24:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
3%
48% N/A 0 53 Yes Yes
6
Fletcher Technical Community College
97.56
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$28,700
20:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
2%
15% N/A 2 40 Yes No
7
SOWELA Technical Community College
97.26
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$27,300
23:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
5%
33% N/A 0 52 Yes No
8
Louisiana Delta Community College
97.17
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
N/A
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
1%
6% N/A 0 57 Yes Yes
9
Baton Rouge Community College
96.53
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
N/A
28:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
2%
5% N/A 0 32 Yes No
10
South Louisiana Community College
96.51
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
N/A
26:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
5%
22% N/A 0 73 Yes Yes
11
Remington College-Lafayette Campus
96.48
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$22,500
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
75%
58% 74% 0 10 Yes No
12
Remington College-Baton Rouge Campus
96.16
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$22,500
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
72%
56% 77% 0 7 Yes No
13
Nunez Community College
95.23
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$24,500
23:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
N/A
11% N/A 0 29 Yes Yes
14
Central Louisiana Technical Community College
90.88
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$27,000
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
20%
60% N/A 0 63 Yes Yes
15
Northshore Technical Community College
88.82
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$27,000
21:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
18%
41% N/A 1 51 Yes Yes
16
Capital Area Technical College (Baton Rouge Community College)
88.51
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$27,000
28:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
89%
41% N/A 0 47 Yes No
17
South Central Louisiana Technical College-Young Memorial Campus
88.48
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$27,000
18:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
2%
54% N/A 0 45 Yes No
18
River Parishes Community College
86.00
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
N/A
27:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
3%
7% N/A 0 20 No Yes
Rank School Name Score Tuition Fees Alumni Earnings Student/Teacher Ratio Gift Financial AidGraduation Rate Acceptance Rate # Online Programs # Total Programs Placement Services Credit for Experience
1
Tulane University
99.74
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$52,400
9:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
70%
75% 28% 2 145 Yes No
2
Loyola University New Orleans
97.84
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$41,300
11:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
98%
59% 90% 7 75 Yes No
3
Xavier University of Louisiana
97.38
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$46,500
14:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
85%
47% 66% 3 70 Yes No
4
Louisiana College
96.66
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$39,600
11:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
99%
39% 61% 0 75 Yes No
5
Louisiana State University
94.74
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$45,900
22:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
53%
65% 77% 7 151 Yes No
6
Centenary College of Louisiana
94.56
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$39,300
8:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
96%
56% 66% 0 29 No No
7
Louisiana Tech University
94.12
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$41,100
24:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
70%
47% 65% 7 95 Yes No
8
McNeese State University
92.71
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$36,800
21:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
36%
38% 75% 9 61 Yes Yes
9
University of New Orleans
91.53
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$38,400
21:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
42%
34% 44% 6 75 Yes Yes
10
University of Louisiana at Monroe
91.47
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$35,700
21:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
56%
37% 77% 37 72 Yes No
11
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
90.72
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$35,000
20:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
48%
36% 73% 28 54 Yes Yes
12
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
90.71
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$37,900
23:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
38%
44% 56% 6 102 Yes No
13
Louisiana State University-Shreveport
90.45
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$36,700
20:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
53%
27% 77% 5 50 Yes No
14
Dillard University
89.76
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$34,000
14:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
95%
31% 41% 0 31 Yes No
15
Southern University and A & M College
89.73
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$31,600
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
31%
28% 54% 8 73 Yes No
16
Nicholls State University
88.53
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$35,000
20:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
32%
39% 88% 12 55 Yes No
17
Our Lady of the Lake College
88.16
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$44,200
18:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
38%
25% 73% 1 11 No No
18
Southeastern Louisiana University
87.90
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$35,400
22:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
30%
34% 84% 2 59 Yes No
19
Grambling State University
87.67
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$28,300
20:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
21%
31% 44% 2 65 Yes No
20
Southern University at New Orleans
87.21
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$29,000
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
4%
17% 21% 3 21 Yes Yes
21
University of Holy Cross
87.08
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$39,100
16:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
25%
24% 56% 1 35 Yes No
22
Louisiana State University-Alexandria
86.00
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$30,500
19:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
23%
14% 55% 2 13 Yes Yes

Search & Compare Colleges in Louisiana

Different students have different priorities and requirements for selecting a school. Our search tool makes it possible to sort through the choices using specific criteria, such as the size of the student population and type of institution. Prospective students can then compare the results side-by-side to help make a more informed decision.

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College Planning, Assistance and Outreach Programs in Louisiana

Whether it’s a high school student planning on moving into the college world, a college student striking out into the workforce, or someone returning to school after years of being away from the classroom, good resources are the key to making sure the college experience is smooth and productive. These state programs aim to provide students with a helping hand.

TOPS:

The Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, a scholarship opportunity for Louisiana residents, is aimed at those who plan to attend a public Louisiana college or university, including those that are part of the community and technical college system; an approved proprietary or cosmetology school; or one of the member institutions of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. There are four main awards under the TOPS umbrella: the opportunity, performance, honors and tech awards. The amount of money awarded varies from year to year.

Trailblazer Leadership Program:

This program, at work in high schools across the state, encourages students to work closely with their high school counselors to learn about the college application process and assist fellow students, and to earn scholarships in the process. Students learn what tasks are required in order to apply and gain admittance into college, receive financial assistance, and succeed in their educational and professional goals.

Go Grant:

The state of Louisiana offers this grant program to nontraditional students and those with low or moderate incomes. Those who receive a Pell grant and still have financial need after all other sources have been exhausted are ideal candidates for the grant, which provides from $300 to $3,000 per year to each eligible student. Students can be either full-time or part-time, and the grant can be renewed every year.

Jump Start:

This program focuses on career and technical education (CTE), preparing students to earn certifications in high-wage professions and get into the workforce as soon as possible upon graduation. Students who participate in the program are required to attain certain credentials in order to graduate with a career diploma; the plan is to provide students with the training necessary to work in skilled positions throughout the state.

Evaluating the Cost of College in Louisiana

With uncertainty in the state budget trickling down to affect the budgets of its universities and financial aid awards, it’s important for aspiring college students in Louisiana to take a close look at the costs of an education. The following charts break down the average tuition rates, availability of financial aid, and the average amount offered to students at Louisiana colleges. We’ve also compared the numbers to the national average for a more well-rounded view.

Average Louisiana Tuition & Fees at 4-Year Public Colleges

Source: CollegeBoard

% of Louisiana Students Receiving Financial Aid

Source: IPEDS

Average Financial Aid Award for Louisiana Students

Source: IPEDS

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a postsecondary institution.

* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Most Affordable Colleges in Louisiana

Seeing the cost of tuition can be enough to make anyone gasp. But keep in mind that tuition is not the bottom line: net price is. Net price is the cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, and other expenses, minus any financial aid received. We compared Louisiana colleges on net price and these six came out on top of all other institutions in the state.

Average
Annual Net
Price

Cost for students awarded federal financial aid, after school and government aid is deducted. At public colleges, only applies to in-state students.

Louisiana College Net Price vs. National Average
LOUISIANA $13,884 Average
Annual Net Price
$18,073

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Louisiana Colleges with Highest-Paid Alumni

The salary that students can expect once they graduate from college varies greatly depending upon the line of work they choose; however, some colleges in Louisiana boast alumni that make more than others. We looked at colleges that produce the highest-paid alumni ten years after they entered college, with the following ranking the highest:

Annual
Median Earnings
10 Years
After Entering
College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

Louisiana Alumni Salaries vs. National Average
LOUISIANA $37,956 Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After Entering College
$42,759

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Colleges in Louisiana With Least Student Debt

A great paycheck is nice, but the amount taken out to repay student loans can put a damper on the savings account. These Louisiana colleges produce alumni with the lowest student debt in the state; we’ve also compared them with the national average for a broader perspective.

Median
Federal Student
Loan Debt After
Graduation

Only for undergraduates who completed college; does not include Parent-PLUS loans.

Louisiana College Grad Debt Vs. National Average
LOUISIANA $23,922 Median Federal Student
Loan Debt After Graduation
$23,145

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Louisiana Cost of Living: College Expenses Beyond Tuition

Fortunately for college students, the cost of living in Louisiana is less than the national average. Some costs-particularly healthcare, utilities and housing-come in significantly lower, which bodes well for those who might be planning to live off-campus. The following chart highlights the major metro areas in Louisiana, details the cost of living in those areas, and compares them to the state as a whole.

area composite index housing groceries utilities transportation health care misc.
Statewide Average 93% 89% 97% 90% 92% 96% 96%
Baton Rouge 93% 89% 100% 81% 86% 105% 98%
Lafayette 88% 70% 97% 102% 91% 97% 93%
Lake Charles 94% 98% 96% 94% 98% 93% 90%
New Orleans 95% 96% 99% 87% 95% 96% 96%
Shreveport-Bossier City 89% 84% 94% 80% 88% 89% 93%

Source: The Council for Community and Economic Research

Accreditation for Louisiana Colleges

Colleges can demonstrate their quality by earning accreditation from independent bodies that evaluate a school based on rigorous standards. Accreditation is vital: students who graduate from non-accredited schools might find that potential employers do not recognize their degree, and credits from non-accredited institutions often do not transfer to accredited ones. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation also matters when it comes to financial aid, as students are often required to attend accredited schools to be eligible for financial assistance.

Louisiana colleges and universities are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In addition to this regional accreditation, many schools seek programmatic accreditation to ensure that a particular program or school within the college also meets the expected standards. Examples are:

Popular College Cities in Louisiana

Baton Rouge

Situated on the Mississippi River, the state capital draws some 57,000 businesses. The influx of business has made Baton Rouge a hub of commerce that includes finance, healthcare, education, research and development, manufacturing, transportation, construction, distribution and renewable energy sources. These employers require skilled, educated workers; following are a few of the city's colleges that are poised to help students take advantage of these opportunities.

College Name School Type Annual Net Price Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

Baton RougeLouisiana State University & Agricultural and Mechanical College Public $11,610 $44,200
The state's largest university, LSU is home to more than 31,000 students who study in 72 baccalaureate programs, 70 master's programs and 46 doctoral programs, with another 22 specialty programs available. Some departments particularly stand out; for example, the Robert S. Reich School of Landscape Architecture is one of the country's top schools for undergraduate education. LSU's proximity to the Gulf of Mexico also makes it a draw for petroleum engineers, who can study at at the Petroleum Engineering Research & Technology Transfer Laboratory.
Baton RougeOur Lady of the Lake College Private not-for-profit $15,756 N/A
Established in 1923, this Catholic college focuses strongly on healthcare. Degree paths include nursing, health sciences, humanities, behavioral sciences and natural sciences. The school is closely affiliated with the Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, one of the largest healthcare facilities in the area. Currently accredited to serve undergraduate and graduate students, by 2023 the college will be a doctoral-granting institution as well, with a projected enrollment of 2,5
Baton RougeBaton Rouge Community College Public $8,745 N/A
New Orleans

The colorful history of New Orleans is well-known, and today the city embraces the blend of cultures in the city with a fun, friendly atmosphere. Students at colleges and universities in the area will have plenty of opportunity for enjoyment outside of their studies, but higher education is still serious business in the Big Easy.

College Name School Type Annual Net Price Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

New OrleansDelgado Community College Public $6,952 $28,200
Delgado is the city's largest institution of higher learning, and the oldest and largest community college in the state. It serves 16,000 students through 35 associate programs, 73 certificate and diploma programs, and over 100 non-credit courses. Transfer articulation agreements are in place with most four-year universities in the state, often allowing students to save money during their first two years of education.
New OrleansTulane University of Louisiana Private not-for-profit $32,220 $52,400
Founded in 1834, Tulane was one of the first educational institutions in the city; in fact, the School of Business is the oldest college of commerce in the United States. Today students can choose from over 70 majors in schools of business, architecture, science and engineering, public health and liberal arts. About a third of students opt for a double-major. More than 13,000 students are enrolled at Tulane, and in 2015 they contributed over 780,000 civic hours to rebuilding in New Orleans, 10 years after Hurricane Katrina decimated the area.
New OrleansUniversity of New Orleans Public $9,012 $38,400
UNO sits on the southern shore of Lake Pontchartrain,

Source: College Scorecard

Louisiana College Resources

Many organizations in Louisiana work together to make college life a reality for students; they also work hard after students graduate to ensure they find the jobs that make them strong, productive members of society. Here are some of those organizations.

Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

This organization of 10 member colleges serves more than 28,000 students in the state, and provides assistance by helping students earn scholarships and grants.

Louisiana Believes

Students, parents and teachers can find numerous resources here to help in college preparation and planning, whether pursuing a certificate, doctorate or anything in between.

Louisiana Board of Regents

This agency coordinates all public higher education in the state, spanning 30 institutions over four systems.

Louisiana Jobs and Career Center

This comprehensive employment resource helps those in Louisiana who are looking for a job, in transition between jobs, or seeking additional training.

Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance

This is the one-stop shop for Louisiana students curious about financial aid at any institution in the state.

Louisiana Workforce Commission

Graduates in Louisiana can turn to the LWC for information on everything from small business help to wage data to top-rated jobs in the state.

START Saving Program

This is Louisiana’s version of the popular 529 investment plan for students. Louisiana’s plan currently ranks first among all states for 10-year performance.