Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in Louisiana

Does Louisiana have good online colleges and universities?

Yes and no. Louisiana’s online degree programs are not particularly highly ranked, but they are affordable. While the programs are modestly ranked overall, there are nonetheless some universities that earn high rankings for specific online degrees, according to U.S. News & World Report. For instance, Loyola University New Orleans ranks No. 9 in the nation for Online Bachelor’s in Psychology; Louisiana State University–Baton Rouge ranks No. 37 for Online Master’s in Criminal Justice; and University of Louisiana at Lafayette ranks No. 26 for Online Master’s in Nursing. At the community college level, Louisiana also offers extensive online course, certificate, and degree options. For example, South Louisiana Community College offers online, hybrid, and video-conferencing courses, along with three online associate degree programs.

Do online college credits in Louisiana cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some colleges offer discounted rates for online courses regardless of where you live, while others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. Most online degree programs in Louisiana charge the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. That’s why an online program can be particularly affordable for out-of-state students. At the community college level, in-state students tend to pay less than out-of-state students.

Why should you choose Louisiana for online higher education?

Louisiana has decent online bachelor’s and graduate degree programs that stand out for their affordability. Certain programs are particularly highly ranked, such as Loyola University New Orleans’s Online Bachelor’s in Psychology and University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Online Master’s in Nursing.

The Cost of Online College in Louisiana

How much does an online degree in Louisiana cost?

The cost of an online degree in Louisiana depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you choose to pursue. For example, undergraduate courses are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you may find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save a lot of money on indirect expenses, such as transportation and housing, by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the current rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in Louisiana below:

  • Most affordable online college in Louisiana: Louisiana Tech University, $185 per credit
  • Most expensive online college in Louisiana: Loyola University New Orleans, $450 per credit

Average College Tuition Cost

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in Louisiana to get in-state tuition rates?

Louisiana requires you to live in the state for 12 consecutive months prior to the term for which you are declaring Louisiana residency. In order to qualify for in-state tuition, you must prove that you came to the state for a reason other than education. This requires, for instance, working and paying income taxes in the state, refraining from enrolling in college courses during the year you are establishing residency, changing your driver’s license, etc.

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in Louisiana?

Louisiana offers several ways to reduce your tuition costs. One is through participation in the Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market, which enables residents of southern states to pay in-state tuition at institutions located in the south. This can end up saving you thousands, even tens of thousands, on your degree.

The state also sponsors the Louisiana GO Grant, which awards need-based aid of $300 to $3,000 per year to Louisiana students who attend accredited postsecondary institutions in the state and have unmet financial need. Eligibility for the GO Grant is determined based on FAFSA application data, so it’s important to file early and accurately. The FAFSA will also show if you are eligible for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and other financial aid awards.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in Louisiana

In addition to the Academic Common Market and GO Grant, there are a number of other programs available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are also based on financial need, while others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent financial aid options for you below:

Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Scholarships

This is a suite of state scholarships for Louisiana residents who attend a Louisiana public college or university, a school in the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, a Louisiana-approved proprietary and cosmetology school, or an institution that’s a part of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges & Universities. Award amounts differ by school, but are typically $3,000 to $8,500 per year.

Who’s eligible? Louisiana students who will attend an accredited two- or four-year institution. Specific requirements vary by scholarship.

Contact information: [email protected] | 800-259-5626

Learn more

TOPS Tech Award

This state-sponsored award was created by the Louisiana Legislature with the sole intention of promoting a skilled workforce in the state. The award supports Louisiana high school graduates who attend eligible vocational and/or technical schools and pursue a certificate or diploma in a technical field. Award amounts differ depending on which school you attend.

Who’s eligible? Students who meet TOPS Louisiana residency requirements, have a high school degree, and will pursue a certificate or degree program in a technical field.

Contact information: [email protected] | 800-259-5626

Learn more

Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship

This is a competitive scholarship that awards $2,000 per year to an undergraduate student and $3,000 per year to a graduate student pursuing a degree in forestry, wildlife, or marine science at a Louisiana public college or university.

Who’s eligible? Louisiana residents enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in forestry, wildlife, or marine science at a Louisiana public college or university.

Contact information: [email protected] | 800-259-5626

Learn more

M.J. Foster Promise Program Scholarship

This state-sponsored program awards need-based funding to students at two-year community colleges, technical colleges, and select universities who are majoring in certain high-demand, high-wage occupations aligned with Louisiana’s workforce priorities.

Who’s eligible? Louisiana residents (21 years or older) who will earn a certificate or associate degree in high-demand, high-wage occupations such as construction, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, or transportation and logistics.

Contact information: [email protected] | 800-259-5626

Learn more

5 Fastest Growing Industries in Louisiana

If you’re still in the process of assessing your college options, you may also be undecided on your major. When selecting a major, one of the most important factors to consider is your future employability. Thinking about which industries and careers are growing the fastest in Louisiana can make it easier to find a job once you graduate, and being in demand should also help you earn a higher salary.

By consulting the U.S. Department of Labor’s Long-Term Occupational Projections 2018–2028, we’ve determined that the following five careers have some of the highest projected growth rates in Louisiana:

Locomotive Engineers

Louisiana is in the process of dramatically expanding its railway offerings, so professionals in this arena are in high demand. In fact, demand for locomotive engineers, who work on moving locomotives, is expected to soar 192.8% over the next decade. In Louisiana, these professionals earn an average salary of $70,633 per year.

  • Growth: 192.8%
  • Degree options: Certificate in Railroad Engineering, Associate in Railroad Engineering, Bachelor’s in Railroad Engineering, Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering

Personal Care Aides

As Louisiana’s population ages and chronic and acute medical conditions become more prevalent, the state is in increasing need of personal care aides to assist patients, often older adults or disabled people, with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing. In Louisiana, personal care aides make an average annual salary of $20,500.

Child Care Workers

Child care workers are employed in places like daycares and nursery schools. They help care for children’s basic needs, engage them in play, and ensure their safety. In Louisiana, child care workers earn an average salary of ​​$20,910 per year.

Sewing Machine Operators

As the name suggests, sewing machine operators ensure the smooth operation of industrial sewing machines. They are key members of textile production companies and other similar manufacturers. In Louisiana, they earn an average annual salary of $26,980, and demand is expected to increase a whopping 159% in the next decade.

  • Growth: 159%
  • Degree options: Certificate in Sewing Machine Operation

Actors

Louisiana is expecting a surprising increase in demand for actors as the state expands its artistic and cultural offerings. The work of an actor tends to take place seasonally and is related to specific projects, so rather than providing an average annual salary, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics gives the average hourly wage paid to actors in Louisiana: $15.90. Although a degree is not required, most actors benefit from earning a bachelor’s at an acting school or conservatory.

  • Projected growth: 50.8%
  • Degree options: Certificate in Acting, Associate in Acting, Bachelor’s in Acting, Bachelor’s in Musical Theatre, Bachelor’s in Drama, Bachelor’s in Performance Studies

Our Research

This list represents a carefully curated collection of the best online colleges in Louisiana. From small private colleges to larger public universities, our list includes colleges reviewed based on tuition, credits required to graduate, and the method of delivery for the coursework (in-person or online).

We only looked at colleges that are accredited to ensure they adhere to high educational standards established by the accrediting body. For most of the Louisiana colleges on our list, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) serves as the accrediting agency. Its mission is educational quality and improved effectiveness of its member institutions.

  • 36 hours to write this article
  • 44 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 52 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Louisiana

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