Louisiana is home to three public university systems, a community and technical college system, and several private and independent higher education institutions. Attending an online college in Louisiana gives you access to excellent academic programs, prepares you for numerous career opportunities, provides a stepping stone to more advanced studies, and allows you to build a professional network in Louisiana.
Higher Learning Initiatives in Louisiana
Increase the Educational Attainment of the State’s Adult Population to the Southern Regional Education Board States’ Average by 2025
Knowing that only 30% of Louisiana’s adults hold a postsecondary degree, the Board works to prepare students for the rapidly growing, knowledge-based economy in Louisiana. In particular, the board focuses on preparing K-12 students for postsecondary education opportunities. According to the board’s master plan, “by increasing the numbers of individuals with postsecondary credentials, [Louisiana] will position itself to better compete in regional, national, and global economies and improve the quality of life of its citizenry.”
Increase Graduation Rates of Transfer Students
Two-year colleges and online schools in Louisiana are increasingly recognized as a successful entry point into postsecondary education for baccalaureate degree, master’s degree, and doctoral degree seekers. In fact, as indicated in a 2010 study by the Southern Regional Education Board, nearly 44% of Louisiana’s first-time college students began their degree path at a two-year, technical, or online college, compared to 21% just a decade earlier.
Many of these two-year colleges employ the use of online and distance-education courses to help students finish their two-year degrees and transfer to four-year institutions and online colleges in Louisiana.
Create a More Balanced Enrollment Mix Between Two-year and Four-year Institutions
In order to meet this goal, the Board plans to create a more balanced enrollment mix between two-year and four-year college students. Some of the Board’s planned objectives to accomplish this balance include increasing the admission standards at public universities; encouraging students to attend community colleges, online colleges, and two-year colleges; and increasing financial aid opportunities. By embracing the use of Louisiana online colleges and distance-education courses, the board believes an enrollment balance between two-year and four-year colleges can be achieved sooner rather than later.
Popular Degree Programs in Louisiana
According to Louisiana Economic Development, some of its top industries include energy, automotive, manufacturing, agribusiness, and software development. Choosing a major that works with these industries can be beneficial if you wish to work in Louisiana.
Business Insider found the following majors to be popular in Louisiana:
- Business Management and Administration: A business management and administration degree provides students with foundational knowledge necessary for running a business. Students often have the option to specialize in fields like supply chain management, marketing, management information systems, finance, and more. This is the most popular major in Louisiana and the nation overall.
- Petroleum Engineering: A petroleum engineering degree prepares students to work in the oil and gas industry. These professionals are usually in charge of designing methods of extracting oil and gas from below the earth’s surface. This major is popular in Louisiana because the energy sector is strong.
Paying for College in Louisiana
College is expensive, and tuition is an important factor when choosing a school. Cost is determined by many factors, most notably residency status. In-state tuition for public schools is considerably more affordable than out-of-state tuition. However, many online programs charge the same tuition rate for both resident and nonresident students; some even offer scholarships for nonresident students.
There are plenty of affordable online colleges in Louisiana. As shown in the table below, the average cost of attendance for an in-state student at a public Louisiana college is slightly less expensive than the average cost of in-state tuition across the nation. When looking at tuition rates, don’t forget to factor in the cost of textbooks, online fees, and course materials.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2017-18
|Public Two Year||Public Four Year|
Source: College Board
Employment Outlook in Louisiana
Graduates from the best online colleges in Louisiana have many job opportunities available to them. While the unemployment rate in Louisiana is higher than the national average, there are still many fields and occupations that are flourishing and expanding. For instance, Louisiana has the fourth highest employment level of petroleum engineers and is one of the top paying states for this profession, an occupation predicted to grow 15% by 2026.
The average annual salary in Louisiana falls below the national average. It is worth noting, however, the cost of living in most Louisiana cities is low. According to Payscale, the cost of living in New Orleans, one of Louisiana’s most populous cities, is 2% lower than the national average.
Accreditation for Colleges in Louisiana
Choosing an accredited college is important because accreditation validates schools and certifies that they meet a set of quality standards. Attending accredited online colleges in Louisiana means students can be assured they are receiving an education comparable to that of other postsecondary institutions across the nation. In general, there are two types of accreditation: regional and national. Regional is considered more prestigious and credits earned at regionally accredited institutions are more widely transferable. The regional accrediting agency that oversees Louisiana institutions of higher education is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
There are many reputable national accrediting agencies, and a nationally accredited school is preferable to an unaccredited one. Many national accrediting bodies specialize in a specific field. For instance, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is officially approved by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accrediting agency and focuses on evaluating nursing programs. Students should look for any field-specific accreditations their program might have. Most online community colleges in Louisiana are accredited since community colleges are designed with transfer students in mind.
Scholarships for Louisiana Online College Students
There are scholarships available for all types of students. Some are created to help minority or first-generation college students; others are founded to support students majoring in a particular field. Some are merit-based, while others are need-based. All students applying to college should search for scholarships they may be eligible for. Below, are ten scholarships available to students attending accredited online colleges in Louisiana.
- Associated Grocers Sam P. Politz Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Applicants should be Louisiana high school seniors or graduates who are enrolled full time at an accredited university or college, have at least a 3.5 GPA, and have taken honors or advanced placement courses.
Amount: $1,000/semester for up to 8 semesters
- David and Jeannie Price Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Applicants should be full-time undergraduate juniors or seniors majoring in business at either Louisiana State University or the University of Missouri with at least a 3.5 GPA.
- Louisiana Go Grant
Who Can Apply: Applicants must be residents of Louisiana, be a recipient of a federal Pell Grant, demonstrate financial need, and be enrolled at an eligible Louisiana university or college.
Amount: $300 to $3,000
- Society of Louisiana CPA Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Applicants must be current LCPA student/candidate members, residents of Louisiana, enrolled in an accounting program at a four-year institution in Louisiana, and maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA.
Amount: $500 to $2,000
- Louisiana Workers Compensation Corporation Stephen W. Cavanaugh Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Applicants must be students majoring in an insurance-related field at an accredited Louisiana university, college, or community college.
Amount: $1,000/semester for up to 8 semesters
- Cheryl D. Conkling Memorial Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This scholarship is designed to support students with hearing disabilities or other hardships who live in Windsor, Colorado; Wilkinson County, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; or West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. They must be enrolled at an accredited college or university.
Amount: $1,500/semester for up to 8 semesters
- Grocery Manufacturers Representatives Association Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Applicants must be part-time employees of an Associated Grocers store and be enrolled full time in a college or university.
Amount: $500 to $1,500 per semester
- Patrick F. Taylor Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Applicants should be U.S. citizens and residents of Louisiana, have at least a 2.5 GPA, completed an advanced 19-unit TOPS curriculum, have graduated from a Louisiana high school, and be accepted at a Louisiana college or university.
Amount: $500 to $2,500 per semester
- Claude L. Cockerham III Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Applicants should be graduating seniors from East Ascension High School in Gonzales, Louisiana, be pursuing postsecondary education in criminal justice or the United States Armed Forces, have at least a 3.0 GPA, and have participated in ROTC in high school.
Resources for Students in Louisiana
Listed below are five resources for students attending online colleges in Louisiana.
- States of Louisiana Board of Regents: The Louisiana Board of Regents website provides students, parents, and educators with resources concerning higher education, including research reports, data and statistics, and news of the latest developments in postsecondary education. They also provide a directory of Louisiana universities and colleges and an annual survey of tuition and fees.
- Louisiana Government: The State of Louisiana Government website contains several resources on higher education, including links to distance learning courses and programs; financial aid and grant opportunities; and information on colleges, universities, community colleges, and technical schools in Louisiana.
- Affordable Learning Louisiana: Affordable Learning Louisiana partners with libraries to make educational resources and instructional materials more accessible and affordable. Their website contains textbooks and online learning materials for students to use and teachers to adopt. They also provide training seminars, reports and presentations, and events.
- Louisiana Believes: The Louisiana Department of Education website has helpful information for learners of all types, including resources on early childhood education, pathways to graduation, choosing a college, obtaining financial aid, learning English as a second language, and education for students with disabilities.
- Work Ready U: Created by Louisiana’s community and technical colleges, Work Ready U is a state adult education agency. They provide free online courses to help nontraditional students obtain a high school equivalency certificate and gain admission to a college of their choice. They also provide online courses to prepare students for the job market.
Online Schools in Louisiana
Louisiana Tech University
- Graduation Rate: 47%
- Average Net Price: $9,743
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
- Graduation Rate: 44%
- Average Net Price: $9,711
Louisiana State University-Alexandria
- Graduation Rate: 14%
- Average Net Price: $11,299
Louisiana State University-Shreveport
- Graduation Rate: 27%
- Average Net Price: $8,648
McNeese State University
Lake Charles, LA
- Graduation Rate: 38%
- Average Net Price: $10,264
Nicholls State University
- Graduation Rate: 39%
- Average Net Price: $10,929
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
New Orleans, LA
- Graduation Rate: 14%
- Average Net Price: N/A
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
- Graduation Rate: 36%
- Average Net Price: $12,140
Southeastern Louisiana University
- Graduation Rate: 34%
- Average Net Price: $10,931
Southern University and A & M College
Baton Rouge, LA
- Graduation Rate: 28%
- Average Net Price: $13,945
University of Holy Cross
New Orleans, LA
- Graduation Rate: 24%
- Average Net Price: $10,950
University of Louisiana at Monroe
- Graduation Rate: 37%
- Average Net Price: $9,811
University of New Orleans
New Orleans, LA
- Graduation Rate: 34%
- Average Net Price: $9,536