Best Online Colleges in Louisiana

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As a member of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), Louisiana has access to a bevy of resources and research regarding online and distance education. These resources include policy experts who advocate for key issues facing higher education today on behalf of the 16 states that make up the SREB. According to the College Board, Louisiana in-state tuition has increased 64 percent for public two-year colleges and 53 percent for public four-year colleges over the past five years, the largest percentage increases in the nation. Due to this trend in the state — and across the country — online learning opportunities may prove to be attractive affordable alternatives for students.

As demand for online learning continues to grow, Louisiana has risen to meet student needs. One of the ways the state has done this is through a comprehensive database of online and hybrid programs called Louisiana Online. The Louisiana Board of Regents is committed to helping students decide whether online and distance learning is the right choice for them. They offer an online assessment tool called SmarterMeasure, which analyzes students’ skills and provides suggestions on what students should do to prepare for online learning success.

For many students, online education presents the most affordable option for pursuing an advanced degree. Students who choose distance learning programs can often more easily balance their studies with family and full- or part-time careers.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1Louisiana Tech University72.002/547%Ruston, LA

Founded in Ruston in 1894, Louisiana Tech University is a public institution committed to quality teaching and research. It is selective in its admissions and encourages creativity and public service among its students and faculty. Louisiana Tech, which is a member of the University of Louisiana System, offers fully online degree programs through its online distance learning portal, the Global_Campus. These offerings include a bachelor's degree in health informatics and information management and online master's degree programs in English, business administration, health informatics, history, and two engineering degree programs – one in engineering and technology management and the other with an industrial engineering concentration. The Tech Global_Campus also offers several certificate programs.

As one of the best online colleges in Louisiana, the university's interactive eLearning programs utilize modern technology to deliver education that circumvents time and location barriers. The university holds accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and School.

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2University of Louisiana at Lafayette70.002/544%Lafayette, LA

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the second largest university in the state of Louisiana. The selective admissions university offers three online bachelor's degree programs –- all of which are centered on the healthcare field. These offerings include an online RN-to-BSN program and bachelor of science degrees in health services administration and kinesiology-health promotion and wellness. The university also offers three online graduate degrees focusing on the healthcare field -- a master of nursing, master of science in systems technology, and a doctor of nursing practice (DNP).

In addition, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers two online master's degree programs in education -- master of education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in instructional specialist is a fully online program while the Master of Education in educational leadership is a hybrid program that combines online learning with face-to-face courses taught on campus. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is one of the best online colleges in Louisiana and holds accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

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3University of New Orleans66.552/534%New Orleans, LA

The University of New Orleans, founded in 1958, is a research institution located on Lake Pontchartrain. As one of the best Louisiana online colleges, the university offers asynchronous online degrees for both undergraduates and graduates. It offers two online undergraduate degree programs and five online graduate degree programs, including one hybrid program that blends online learning with a traditional on-campus experience. The undergrad offerings include bachelor's degrees in interdisciplinary studies and in philosophy. The graduate programs include master's degrees in English, engineering management, romance languages, hospitality and tourism management and a hybrid master's degree in transportation. The university provides course content via the Moodle course management system. In addition, through a partnership with Proctor U, the university offers a live proctoring service that assists faculty with verifying students' identities during online examinations.

Online students can take advantage of a variety of services through the university, including online academic advising, career and counseling services, student health services, library services and online tutoring.

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4McNeese State University64.003/538%Lake Charles, LA

Located in Lake Charles, McNeese State University is a selective admissions university and a member of the University of Louisiana System. The University, which was established in 1939 as the Lake Charles Junior College, is one of the best online colleges in Louisiana.

McNeese offers a selection of fully online graduate and undergraduate degree programs in addition to online certificates and hybrid degree programs that blend online learning with a traditional on-campus academic experience. Graduate students can choose from master's degree programs in psychology with a concentration in applied behavior analysis, business administration, nursing, criminal justice, and health and human performance with a concentration in health promotion. Undergraduates can choose from bachelor's degree programs in nursing, psychology, general studies, family and child studies and sociology -- as well as associate's degree programs in paralegal studies and general studies. Online students are eligible to receive a Non-Traditional Student Academic Scholarship, which is merit-based and ranges from $200 to $700 per semester.

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5Nicholls State University63.503/539%Thibodaux, LA

Founded in 1948 in Thibodaux, Nicholls State University is part of the University of Louisiana System and accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. As one of the best Louisiana online colleges, Nicholls State offers 15 fully online degree programs, including associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs. These offerings include associate's degrees in petroleum services and in safety technology; bachelor's degrees in history, English, sociology, interdisciplinary studies, general family and consumer sciences, nursing and business administration; and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction.

Online students at Nicholls State take classes in an accelerated eight-week sessions, which allows them to complete degrees in much less time than in traditional programs. For example, bachelor's degrees can be earned in just three years. There are five start dates throughout the year -- January, March, June, August and October. Students complete coursework through the Moodle course management system and have the option of participating in virtual advising via Google Hangout.

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6University of Louisiana at Monroe62.502/537%Monroe, LA

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is located on the scenic Bayou DeSiard. ULM, which is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, was established in 1931 as the Ouachita Parish Junior College. Today, ULM is one of the best online colleges in Louisiana and offers more than 30 fully online programs -- including associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degree programs.

Undergraduate courses are offered in eight-week sessions in order to help students progress quickly within their degree programs. There are five start dates for these sessions throughout the academic year -- August, October, January, March and May. Graduate courses follow a traditional semester format with start dates in the spring and fall. Online degree course content is delivered through Moodle and students have online access to university tools and resources such as the library, book store, help desk, and career services. ULM offers credit for prior learning and professional experiences. Students can test out of individual courses through standardized exams or through portfolio assessments.

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7Northwestern State University of Louisiana58.003/536%Natchitoches, LA

Located in Natchitoches, the Northwestern State University of Louisiana was established more than 130 years ago. Today it is one of the best Louisiana online colleges, offering a total of 29 fully online associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degree programs through eNSU, the state's first electronic campus. Northwestern State University, which has accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, also offers a number of online certificates and hybrid degree programs. Online coursework is delivered via the Moodle course management system.

Online degrees through eNSU are competitively priced and students enrolled in fully online degree programs do not pay any out-of-state fees. Online students are eligible for financial aid services through the university. In addition, online undergraduate and graduate students at NSU have access to career and professional development services as well as counseling and outreach services.

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8Louisiana State University – Alexandria49.503/514%Alexandria, LA

Located in Central Louisiana, Louisiana State University-Alexandria is a public higher education institution and part of the LSU System. Established in 1959, LSUA is a selective admissions university holding accreditation through the Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. As one of the best online colleges in Louisiana, LSUA offers 11 online undergraduate degree programs. Students interested in pursuing an online associate's degree at LSUA can choose from an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science. Online bachelor's degree programs are offered in English, psychology, business administration, elder care administration, criminal justice, medical laboratory science and general studies with concentrations in psychology and disaster science/emergency management, as well as a RN to BSN program.

Online students have access to vast resources such as LSUA's online library, academic advising and career placement and planning services. Coursework is offered online through the Moodle course management system, which allows students to access their course materials wherever they have Internet access.

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9Southern University and A&M College47.753/528%Baton Rouge, LA

Located in Baton Rouge, Southern University and A & M College is part of the country's only historically black land-grant university system. A member of the State of Louisiana University System, the university holds accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. As one of the best Louisiana online colleges, Southern University offers seven online undergraduate degree programs and three online graduate programs. Undergraduates looking to further their education online can choose from associate's degrees in business management or health information technology and bachelor's degrees in general studies, criminal justice, computer science, interdisciplinary studies and psychology. Southern University and A & M College also offers an online master of business administration, executive master of public administration, and an executive master of science in criminal justice.

Through Southern University's online learning portal, students enrolled in online degree programs can access their coursework, grades and numerous resources -- from student services to library and bookstore.

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9Southeastern Louisiana University47.753/534%Hammond, LA

Located in Hammond, Southeastern Louisiana University was established in 1925 via a grassroots movement by community members seeking to further the development of the area's education, economy and culture. As one of the best online colleges in Louisiana, Southern Louisiana University offers a variety of online learning programs and certificates. SLU offers a fully online RN to BSN degree, a master's in nursing, and a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP). It also offers two fully online post-master's certificates and several hybrid degree programs that combine online learning with some traditional face-to-face coursework on campus. These hybrid offerings include bachelor's degrees in general studies and family and consumer science and a master's degree in teaching/special education. Online coursework is delivered via the Moodle course management platform.

Through SLU's Center for Student Excellence, students have access to academic counseling, career services, tutoring and supplemental instruction. SLU holds accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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More About Online Colleges in Louisiana

Online and distance learning programs at the postsecondary level continue to be a popular option for many students. According to a recent 2014 study, the growth rate of students taking online classes is slowing, but it is still much greater compared to the average growth rate for the overall postsecondary population. In 2012, 11,037 students in Louisiana attended online programs exclusively. In the 2012-2013 academic year, the average in-state tuition was $5,817, far lower than the national average of $8,070.

Louisiana has ramped up its online learning presence and programs, recognizing the value in accessibility and affordability for students both in and out of state. The Board of Regents hosts Louisiana Online, which which offers potential students access to courses and programs through the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the Louisiana State University System, the University of Louisiana System and Southern University System. As funding and interest in distance learning grows in Louisiana, so will the amount of offerings and enrollment rates.

Browse our list of the best online colleges in Louisiana for more insight into distance learning programs in this state.

NCES Report

Recent NCES reports indicate that 3.3% (7,708) of undergraduate students enrolled in Louisiana’s Title IV institutions were in exclusively online programs.

  • 4.3% of students at public four-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 2.9% of students at two-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 91.5% were living in Louisiana
  • 8.2% were living elsewhere in the United States
Best Online Colleges in Louisiana of 2016
Rank School Location
1 Trulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA
2 Lousiana State University Baton Rouge, LA
3 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, LA
4 University of Holy Cross New Orleans, LA
5 Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, LA
6 Nicholls State University Thibodaux, LA
7 University of New Orleans New Orleans, LA
8 McNeese State University Lake Charles, IA
9 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA
10 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA
11 Southern University and A&M College Baton Rouge, LA
12 Centenary College of Louisiana Shreveport, LA
13 Loyola University - New Orleans New Orleans, LA
14 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA
15 Our Lady of the Lake College Baton Rouge, LA
16 Xavier University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA
17 Lousiana State University - Shreveport Shreveport, LA
18 Southern University at New Orleans New Orleans, LA
19 Grambling State University Grambling, LA
20 Lousiana State University - Alexandria Alexandria, LA