College enrollment continues to climb in the United States. The National Center of Education Statistics reports that the total number of undergraduate students is expected to grow from 16.8 million in 2017 to 17.2 million in 2028. Learners of all ages and backgrounds increasingly recognize the importance of postsecondary education for career entry and advancement. College-educated individuals typically enjoy greater employment prospects and higher pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), associate degree-holders earn an average of $7,000 more each year than people with only high school diplomas. They also benefit from a lower unemployment rate.
Community colleges represent viable alternatives for students who do not want to pursue their bachelor's degree immediately after graduating high school. These two-year institutions deliver transfer-focused associate tracks that enable students to complete their general education requirements flexibly and affordably. Community colleges routinely maintain articulation agreements with state universities, allowing candidates to seamlessly transition into a bachelor's completion program. For students interested in trade careers, two-year schools also provide technical diplomas and certificates.
Top 5 Community Colleges in Louisiana
- South Louisiana Community College - Lafayette, LA
- River Parishes Community College - Gonzales, LA
- Louisiana Delta Community College - Monroe, LA
- Louisiana State University-Eunice - Eunice, LA
- Baton Rouge Community College - Baton Rouge, LA
This guide can help you find the school that best suits your academic interests and career goals. Below, we rank the top five community colleges in Louisiana, including information about each school's program offerings, general admissions processes, tuition rates, financial aid opportunities, and student resources such as tutoring and internship placement. If any college on this list interests you, contact the appropriate admissions department directly. These counselors can assist you with the application process and help you find scholarships.
Individuals who attend a community college in Louisiana prepare to benefit from the state's growing economy. BLS data shows that Louisiana's unemployment rate sits at 4.5% (as of October 2019), which is above the national average. However, the state has a relatively low cost of living. Even in a major city like New Orleans, the cost of living is 2% lower than the national average.
2020 Best Accredited Community Colleges in Louisiana
South Louisiana Community College
|Lafayette, LA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 30%||
Located in Lafayette, South Louisiana Community College was founded in 1997 and primarily serves the eight civil parishes of the Acadiana region. The school enrolls about 6,300 students through certificate and associate programs that cover over 30 areas of study. For candidates who want to complete degree work at a four-year institution, SLCC offers Louisiana transfer degree tracks; students in these programs complete 60 credits to earn an associate degree in humanities, social sciences, biology, or physical science. Graduates then enjoy guaranteed admission to any public state university.
SLCC also delivers certificate training in high-need fields like aviation maintenance technology, medical laboratory science, and culinary arts and operations. Students can also enroll in a practical nursing program that enables them to obtain their LPN state license. Additionally, the college offers online non-credit programs that prepare candidates to work as medical billers, pharmacy technicians, and office managers. All learners benefit from affordable tuition, scholarship and grant funding opportunities, and comprehensive career services.
River Parishes Community College
|Gonzales, LA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 18%||
River Parishes Community College is based in Gonzales and serves about 3,500 students every semester. RPCC provides low tuition prices based on a student's residency status and program type. Financial aid opportunities include state grants, institutional scholarships, and funding for non-credit training through the Workforce Tuition Assistance initiative. The college delivers coursework through Canvas, allowing students who have completed at least 12 credits on campus to take online coursework in a flexible hybrid learning format.
RPCC operates 17 academic programs, including transfer-oriented associate of arts and science degrees. Students who want to complete core requirements before declaring a major can enroll in the general studies track. RPCC also offers an associate of process technology that prepares graduates to work in refinery operations and chemical processing. Additionally, the college provides technical training in high-need industries like industrial maintenance technology, medical coding, and air conditioning and refrigeration.
Louisiana Delta Community College
|Monroe, LA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 27%||
Established in 1998, Louisiana Delta Community College provides career-relevant certificates and associate degrees through six campuses and a workforce development center. The college also offers dual-enrollment options to high school juniors and seniors. To apply, candidates need a minimum 2.5 GPA for academic pathways and a minimum 1.75 GPA to take technical/career classes. On top of low tuition rates, all students can apply for financial support, including the Norene Smith Scholarship for business majors and the Graphic Packaging International Scholarship for learners interested in industrial technology.
LDCC delivers academic programming through four schools, including dedicated transfer tracks in general studies, computer science, and general business. Students interested in allied health careers can train to become nurse assistants, paramedics, and patient care technicians. They can also enroll in an RN program that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission of Education in Nursing. Like many other community colleges in Louisiana, LDCC delivers remote learning through Canvas.
Louisiana State University-Eunice
|Eunice, LA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 11%||
Louisiana State University at Eunice was founded in 1966 and is the only comprehensive two-year institution in the LSU system. The school serves over 3,200 students and provides affordable tuition based on residency status. In addition to federal aid programs, LSUE delivers ample scholarship opportunities for candidates with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students can renew many of these awards if they maintain adequate academic performance.
Unlike other community colleges in Louisiana, LSUE focuses almost entirely on associate-level training with options for guaranteed transfer to partner institutions. Students can pick from over 100 transfer programs, including a 2+2 track in care and development of young children; participants complete their bachelor's degree at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Additional transfer options include criminal justice, biological sciences, mass communication, and fine arts. Candidates can enroll in a transfer-oriented business program and take core classes such as applied statistics and interpersonal communication. LSUE also offers technical career training in areas like fire and emergency services, diagnostic medical sonography, and respiratory care.
Baton Rouge Community College
|Baton Rouge, LA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 11%||
Baton Rouge Community College is dedicated to offering adaptable and career-relevant programming to its students. As one of the largest community colleges in Louisiana, BRCC supports more than 8,200 learners every semester. The school operates an open-door admission policy and offers state residents and online students low tuition rates. Learners may also reduce costs by earning college credit through prior learning examinations and professional certification/licensure.
BRCC operates 54 academic programs, including technical certificate tracks that prepare individuals to work as customer service representatives, pharmacy technicians, and powerplant mechanics. Students can also earn a 30-credit certificate of business technology, which includes coursework in topics like financial accounting and microcomputer business applications. Additional certificate and diploma options are available in culinary arts, practical nursing, and welding.
The school's academic catalog contains associate programs in fields like automotive technology, teaching, and computer science. Students can also enroll in transfer-focused pre-engineering tracks that lead to an associate of science. BRCC delivers online and hybrid coursework through Canvas.