Best Online Colleges in Louisiana

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Badge (Online) with 2-Line TitleBest Collegesin Louisiana2017
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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.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Louisiana Tech University 72.00 47% 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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2 University of Louisiana at Lafayette 70.00 44% 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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3 University of New Orleans 66.50 34% 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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4 McNeese State University 64.00 38% 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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5 Nicholls State University 63.50 39% 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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6 University of Louisiana at Monroe 62.50 37% 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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7 Northwestern State University of Louisiana 58.00 36% 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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8 Louisiana State University-Alexandria 49.50 26% 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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9 Southeastern Louisiana University 47.75 34% 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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10 Southern University and A & M College 47.75 28% 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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Young college students and experienced professionals alike can benefit from attending an online college. Whether you’re seeking a higher income, greater expertise, or a more rewarding career, an online program can help you pursue your academic interests and professional ambitions. Today, with so many online options available, it is important for prospective distance learners to consider both their educational goals and their budget to help them find the right program.

Our affordability methodology considers value-driven metrics and ranks schools that have low tuition rates, as well as proven graduation rates and employment outcomes that provide a high ROI for students. For students in Louisiana, there are plenty of opportunities to find an affordable program locally. While distance education provides more flexibility than an exclusively residential curriculum, there are still plenty of advantages to attending a local online college, including access to lower tuition prices and local scholarships. If you’re considering going back to school, and are thinking about studying online, the following list of cheap accredited online colleges in Louisiana will help you start your search.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 University of Louisiana at Lafayette 84.50 47% Lafayette, LA

ULL, the largest of the nine schools in the University of Louisiana System, is a public, research institution that provides online education. The school offers four undergraduate and five graduate degrees in general studies, business, nursing, and other healthcare disciplines. Online students pay in-state tuition, making Lafayette one of the most affordable online colleges in Louisiana.

The Office of Distance Learning administers online instruction through a mostly asynchronous format; some classes are taught in a hybrid format. Some courses require proctoring. Distance learners can transfer up to 60 credits. New students must take a free online orientation class.

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2 University of New Orleans 81.50 N/A New Orleans, LA

The University of New Orleans is among the colleges in Louisiana to offer online programs through its virtual campus. The public research institution offers three undergraduate degrees: interdisciplinary studies, philosophy, and urban studies and planning. The school's six master's programs include English, romance languages, creative writing, engineering management, transportation, and hospitality and tourism. Eight of the nine online programs are taught through an asynchronous format; the master of science in transportation is a hybrid program.

Students can complete most programs in two to three years. UNO partners with Proctor University, a live, web-based proctoring site, to deliver exams. Online students have access to many of the same services as on-campus learners, including the Writing Center, the library, the bookstore, tutoring, advising, and career counseling.

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3 Louisiana Tech University 79.00 51% Ruston, LA

Louisiana Tech’s Global Campus is largely a graduate school, but it does host one bachelor’s program in health informatics. The Ruston-based university offers a half dozen master’s degrees along with a handful of certificates. Graduate programs include engineering, English, history, business, and health informatics.

The school is among colleges in Louisiana to teach courses through an asynchronous format, and distance learners follow the same quarterly terms as on-campus students. Online and on-campus students pay the same tuition. The school is accredited by The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Louisiana Tech allows a maximum of 60 transfer credits.

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4 University of Louisiana at Monroe 68.00 40% Monroe, LA

The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s online campus – eULM – is among the most comprehensive of any school in the state. The school offers more than 30 online degrees. Program subjects include behavioral science, business, health science, the humanities, and general studies. Students can earn online degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Distance learners receive tuition discounts, making eULM among the most affordable online colleges in Louisiana.

Most classes run on an asynchronous schedule, following eight-week terms, and students typically take two courses at a time. The school offers five start dates per year. This allows them to quickly progress through their program. Through the prior learning assessment tool, students can earn credit for past work experience.

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5 McNeese State University 58.50 40% Lake Charles, LA

McNeese State, a public university located in Lake Charles, offers more than two dozen online degrees. Program subjects include education, nursing, business, behavioral science, and general studies. The school offers degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master’s level. Most programs are taught asynchronously, though McNeese State does host a master of education through a hybrid format. The university participates in Louisiana Online, a consortium of schools that offer online education that is sponsored by the Louisiana Board of Regents, which allows learners to access even more programs.

McNeese State also partners with StraighterLine, an online education company that offers inexpensive internet-based instruction. Students can earn 75% of their credits using the low-cost subscription service and finish their last 30 hours at McNeese State to earn an accredited diploma from MSU, making the university one of the most affordable online colleges in Louisiana.

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6 Louisiana State University-Alexandria 53.00 17% Alexandria, LA

Louisiana State at Alexandria is experiencing record enrollment, and the school’s online campus is one of the many reasons why. The small, public university offers two associate and nine bachelor’s degrees through its website. LSUA has hosted internet classes for more than 15 years. Students can choose from programs in business, the behavioral sciences, English, healthcare, and emergency management.

LSUA keeps class sizes small, and most courses follow a seven-week cycle. Online classes are taught through an asynchronous format. Distance learners must take an orientation class that is available online. The university is among the most affordable online colleges in Louisiana.

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7 Southeastern Louisiana University 49.00 37% Hammond, LA

Southeastern Louisiana University, based in Hammond, is among colleges in Louisiana to offer completely-online nursing programs, which includes degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate level. The school also offers three hybrid programs, which includes BAs in general studies and family and computer science and an MA in teaching.

Most of the university’s online courses are taught asynchronously through the Moodle platform, providing distance learners with flexibility in scheduling classes. The school adheres to the standards of Quality Matters. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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8 Nicholls State University 44.50 40% Thibodaux, LA

Nicholls State, part of the University of Louisiana System, is a small public institution in Thibodaux that provides several online degree options. The school’s virtual campus offers programs in education, nursing, sociology, and interdisciplinary studies. Unique programs include an associate in safety technology and petroleum services and a bachelor’s in consumer sciences. Nicholls State hosts 15 programs in total, all entirely online.

Courses are taught asynchronously in an accelerated, eight-week format. The school offers five start dates per year. Students have the ability to complete a bachelor's program in three years. Admission is on a rolling basis. Online students pay in-state tuition, and the university works to keep rates low, making Nicholls State one of the most affordable online colleges in Louisiana.

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9 Northwestern State University of Louisiana 25.00 38% Natchitoches, LA

Northwestern State is home to the oldest and largest electronic campus in Louisiana, eNSU. The school’s online arm provides access to 39 programs at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level. Students can complete most courses completely online; some classes require learners to travel for midterms and finals.

Northwestern State schedules classes in real-time and asynchronous formats, and they are offered in accelerated eight-week terms, which allows distance learners to concentrate on one or two courses at a time. Students can earn credits for work experience using the prior learning assessment tool. Internet-only students do not pay any out-of-state fees.

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10 Southern University and A & M College 25.00 32% Baton Rouge, LA

Southern University, one of the only historically black land grant university systems in the U.S., offers online programs. The online arm of the Baton Rouge research institution hosts associate programs in business management and health information technology; bachelor’s degrees in general studies, interdisciplinary studies, criminal justice, and psychology; and master’s degrees in public administration and criminal justice.

Southern administers its coursework in accelerated, eight-week sessions. Most programs are taught asynchronously using the Moodle platform. Online learners pay a slightly lower tuition than their on-campus counterparts. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation. Many of the bachelor’s programs require that students complete the Louisiana Board of Regents core of 19 credits prior to enrolling.

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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