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Online Degrees in Louisiana (LA)


Article Sources

Methodology

To be included in our ranking of the best colleges for online degree programs, all colleges had to meet the following five criteria:

  1. Be an accredited U.S. institution
  2. Offer either 2- or 4-year degree programs
  3. Have at least 1 percent of students taking at least some of their classes via distance education
  4. Be active in the 2015-16 school year
  5. Report data for all 15 specific ranking variables included in our methodology

We then ranked the remaining 2,169 colleges and universities and scored each on a 100-point scale on these specific. Our data points include:

  • The in-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • The average amount of federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Full-time Retention rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of students participating fully or partially in distance education to total enrollment, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Graduation rate within six years, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • No. of degree programs offered via distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of students working and not enrolled 6 years after entry, College Scorecard, 2013-14
  • Open admissions policy for all or most entering first-time undergraduate-level students, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
    • Dual credit
    • Credit for life experience
    • Advanced Placement credit
    • Academic and career counseling
    • Job placement services for graduates
    • Offers credit for military training

Sources:

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • About Tulane, Tulane University, accessed May 29, 2018, http://tulane.edu/about-tulane
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  • English As A Second Language (ESL) Placement Test, Delgado Community College, accessed May 30, 2018,http://www.dcc.edu/student-services/testing/esl.aspx
  • Economy at a Glance: Louisiana, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 23, 2018,https://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.la.htm
  • FAQs about Accreditation, U.S. Department of Education, accessed May 29, 2018,https://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/faqaccr.aspx
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  • Grants and Scholarships, Federal Student Aid, an Office of the U.S. Department of Education, accessed May 29, 2018,https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships
  • How the CLEP Program Works, The College Board, accessed May 30, 2018, https://clep.collegeboard.org/about-clep/how-clep-works
  • Know Your Tests: College Entrance Exams, FastWeb, July 17, 2017, https://www.fastweb.com/college-search/articles/know-your-tests-college-entrance-exams
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  • "Louisiana Community and Technical College System's plan to build 29 new facilities halted to halfway mark because of state budget constraints," by Rebekah Allen, The Advocate, March 28, 2016,http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/education/article_af9a5dcc-d69a-5cea-888c-6627c96be679.html
  • Louisiana Distance Learning Association, accessed June 29, https://www.regents.la.gov/assets/docs/Public_Affairs/BUDGET/LAHigherEdLandscapePowerPointDeck2016Updated6.2.pdf
  • "Louisiana High School Graduation Requirement: Complete a FAFSA Form (?)" by Mercedes Schneider, Huffington Post, November 13, 2017,https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/louisiana-high-school-graduation-requirement-complete_us_5a0926afe4b0ee8ec36942ff
  • Louisiana Leading the Way in Post-Secondary Certification, Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance blog, May 23, 2016, http://www.cenla.org/blog/louisiana-leading-the-way-in-post-secondary-certification/
  • Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, Louisiana Board of Regents, accessed May 29, 2018,http://www.osfa.la.gov/index.jsp#prgms
  • LouisianaOnline, Board of Regents, State of Louisiana, accessed June 29, 2018,https://louisianaonline.org/Prior-Learning-Assessment.php
  • "More Louisiana high school graduates are going to college," by Amanda McElfresh, Daily Advertiser, May 23, 2018,https://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/local/education/2018/05/23/more-louisiana-high-school-graduates-going-college/636862002/
  • Number of Louisiana Graduates Entering College Improves by Six Percent, Louisiana Believes, Louisiana Department of Education, April 2, 2015,https://www.louisianabelieves.com/newsroom/news-releases/2015/04/02/number-of-louisiana-graduates-entering-college-improves-by-six-percent
  • "Number of Louisiana students graduating from high school reaches all-time high," Nikki Henderson, May 10, 2018,http://www.arklatexhomepage.com/news/local-news/number-of-louisiana-students-graduating-from-high-school-reaches-all-time-high/1171506227
  • "Online Education is Booming at Delgado; Record Growth in Online Enrollment Reported by U.S. Department of Education," Delgado Community College, January 9, 2018,http://www.dcc.edu/news_center/online-boom.aspx
  • Online Programs, Southeastern Louisiana University,https://www.southeastern.edu/acad_research/programs/online_learning/, accessed August 2018
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  • Rankings + Honors, Loyola University New Orleans, accessed May 29, 2018,http://www.loyno.edu/jump/about/loyola-at-a-glance/rankings-and-honors.php
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  • SARA, Board of Regents, State of Louisiana, accessed June 29, 2018, https://regents.la.gov/divisions/planning-research-and-academic-affairs/institutional-licensure/sara/
  • Student Services and Support, Online Programs, University of Louisiana at Lafayette,https://online.louisiana.edu/student-support/student-services-resources/student-services-support, accessed August 2018
  • The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs, U.S. Department of Education, accessed May 29, 2018,https://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/
  • The Landscape of Louisiana Higher Education, Louisiana Board of Regents, May 2016,https://www.regents.la.gov/assets/docs/Public_Affairs/BUDGET/LAHigherEdLandscapePowerPointDeck2016Updated6.2.pdf
  • The Louisiana Health Care Landscape, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, June 8, 2016, https://www.kff.org/health-reform/fact-sheet/the-louisiana-health-care-landscape/
  • The State of Financial Aid in Louisiana: A Report of the Louisiana Financial Aid Working Group, Louisiana Department of Education, October 2017, https://www.louisianabelieves.com/docs/default-source/course-choice/the-state-of-financial-aid-in-louisiana.pdf?sfvrsn=4
  • ULM Online, The University of Louisiana at Monroe,http://www.ulm.edu/onlinedegrees/, accessed August 2018
  • What are my benefits as a student?, National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, accessed June 29, 2018, http://www.nc-sara.org/what-are-student-benefits
  • Workforce & Innovation for a Stronger Economy, accessed May 29, 2018,https://wisefundla.org/
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louisiana online degrees _icon

Louisiana is resilient. Touting its unique cultural assets, this boot-shaped state is committed to economic diversification and doubling down on economic development efforts — and those efforts have started to pay off. According to the Economic Policy Institute, as of May 2018, Louisiana's job growth rate of 1.1 percent is higher than any other state. This is great news for those looking to start careers in the Bayou State.

With such promising job growth and growing demand for an educated workforce, now is an excellent time to explore Louisiana colleges that offer online degree programs.

Online degree programs in Louisiana can address the needs of high school graduates, professionals and adult learners seeking to advance in their careers. Online programs can be accessed from any place where there's a computer, and can fit into your schedule. This is especially helpful in Louisiana, where most of the state's residents live in just three of the state's 64 parishes; those in rural areas simply may not be close enough to attend a desired class on a college campus.

The Louisiana Department of Education says that 51 percent of the state's jobs require postsecondary education, but currently only 44.7 percent of the state's working adults have attained such an education, with either a high-quality credential or a college degree. State officials know that in order to continue its economic growth, the state's education attainment rate must grow. And the Louisiana Workforce Commission Long-Term Occupational Forecast indicates that a whopping 84 percent of the state's top jobs require some postsecondary credential, leaving 1.1 million Louisianans currently unable to meet the basic requirements to apply for those jobs.

Plus, postsecondary education pays dividends: According to a 2017 State of Working Louisiana report, "In 2016, the median wage for a Louisiana high school graduate was only 57 percent of the median wage for a college grad."

Whether you're fresh out of high school, a working adult looking for an advanced degree or a parent trying to finish a degree while raising a family, you'll have a lot to consider about any online degree programs in Louisiana. We've tried to do some of that work for you by developing a ranking methodology, using metrics such as number of online programs, tuition, graduation rate and more to prepare this list of the top Louisiana colleges that offer online degree programs.

1
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Natchitoches, LA
Average in-state tuition
$5,180
No. of online programs
55
% of students in distance education
66%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,161
Admissions Rate
80%
Graduation Rate
39%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
McNeese State University
Lake Charles, LA
Average in-state tuition
$5,148
No. of online programs
21
% of students in distance education
52%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,691
Admissions Rate
62%
Graduation Rate
42%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Nicholls State University
Thibodaux, LA
Average in-state tuition
$4,922
No. of online programs
13
% of students in distance education
52%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,881
Admissions Rate
94%
Graduation Rate
47%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Monroe, LA
Average in-state tuition
$5,788
No. of online programs
36
% of students in distance education
34%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,310
Admissions Rate
75%
Graduation Rate
41%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Louisiana Tech University
Ruston, LA
Average in-state tuition
$6,400
No. of online programs
16
% of students in distance education
28%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,688
Admissions Rate
65%
Graduation Rate
53%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
Baton Rouge, LA
Average in-state tuition
$8,038
No. of online programs
17
% of students in distance education
19%
Avg. amount of Aid
$9,229
Admissions Rate
74%
Graduation Rate
67%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Grambling State University
Grambling, LA
Average in-state tuition
$5,140
No. of online programs
7
% of students in distance education
51%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,369
Admissions Rate
43%
Graduation Rate
35%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Louisiana State University-Shreveport
Shreveport, LA
Average in-state tuition
$5,656
No. of online programs
5
% of students in distance education
67%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,637
Admissions Rate
84%
Graduation Rate
30%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
University of New Orleans
New Orleans, LA
Average in-state tuition
$6,090
No. of online programs
5
% of students in distance education
41%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,694
Admissions Rate
57%
Graduation Rate
32%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Delgado Community College
New Orleans, LA
Average in-state tuition
$3,335
No. of online programs
16
% of students in distance education
78%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,243
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes

Colleges and universities generally address workplace shortages and meet the demands of industries in the state by developing certificate and degree programs aligned with those industries. By reviewing the most popular programs, you can often see where the state's employment is most concentrated. Utilizing data from the National Center for Education Statistics, we've pulled together this list of the top online degree programs in Louisiana.

Program Name
No. of online programs
Business Administration and Management, General
17
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies
15
General Studies
14
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
13
Psychology, General
6
Curriculum and Instruction
5
English Language and Literature, General
5
Health Information/Medical Records Administration/Administrator
5
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other
4
Educational Leadership and Administration, General
4

The Louisiana Distance Learning Association is a nonprofit professional organization that was developed to offer leadership for the field of distance learning in the state. The goal is to promote best practices, advocate for distance-learning students and programs, share information about statewide regulatory issues pertaining to distance education, promote scholarship among those working in the field and more.

To ensure the quality of online education in Louisiana, several efforts are underway in the state. First, the state became a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) in 2014. This voluntary agreement among accredited member states enables students to complete distance education programs across state lines without paying out-of-state tuition, which expands students' options while helping to enhance the overall quality of distance education by ensuring that schools meet a baseline standard of rigor.

Efforts to Improve Higher Education Attainment in Louisiana

Numerous initiatives are in place to make a college education, both on-campus and online, affordable and accessible to residents. And they're working: Not only did the 2017 four-year high school graduation rate break state records, but the percentage of students with high-quality postsecondary certificates is now the highest in the nation.

Prospective online students may also be interested to know that Delgado Community College, in the Greater New Orleans region, was recently recognized as one of the fastest-growing online higher education providers in the nation, which may be attributed to its robust number of course offerings. In fall 2016, Delgado boasted 114 different academic programs, with accelerated course and degree schedules available.

At the statewide level, Louisiana's plan to improve the postsecondary education attainment rates of its citizens has involved:

  • Higher academic standards in K-12
  • Access to the ACT college placement test for juniors, regardless of background or income
  • Opportunity to earn college credit through Advanced Placement and dual enrollment
  • Jump Start, the state's new program for school districts, colleges and businesses to collaborate by providing career courses and workplace experiences to high school students
  • A high school accountability system that ensures students are better equipped for college and the workplace

Prospective students may also want to explore LouisianaOnline, a one-stop shop for students to find information about online programs in the state through one location, with details about paying for college, information about receiving credit for prior learning and more.

These efforts have combined to ensure the quality of higher education and rate of attainment in Louisiana are continuously improving.

Whatever your circumstances or career aspirations, there are certain criteria you should consider when evaluating online degree programs in Louisiana.

  • Access to faculty: It's important that you have the desired amount of access to and feedback from your faculty. For those who might be nervous about taking classes from home rather than in a classroom, a lot of one-on-one interaction with teachers could mean the difference between a discouraging college experience and a supportive one.
  • Campus life: Nearly 75 percent of online college students select colleges close to home. This is likely due to the fact that online students still can take advantage of resources such as academic advisors, libraries, computer labs, career advisement centers and extracurricular activities such as sporting events and clubs. It may be wise to consider the benefits of these options, if you are considering enrolling in a hybrid program in Louisiana.
  • Student support services: Does your prospective online school offer academic assistance, such as tutoring, study groups or advisers? Counseling services? Financial aid counseling? These services can impact your college experience, especially if you've been away from school a while or are juggling many responsibilities. Colleges like the University of Louisiana at Lafayette offer online tutoring help and academic counseling for online students. Southeastern Louisiana University offers free peer consultation when you need help on a paper, as well as a 24x7 chat with a librarian.
  • Accreditation: The goal of accreditation is to ensure that the school maintains a standard level of educational quality. It ensures that graduates leave with relevant knowledge that's valued in the workplace. Transferring credits, receiving financial aid and earning career certifications are reliant upon accreditation, so any school you plan to attend should be accredited. Take a look at our top 10 online colleges - all of which are accredited. [jump to top ranking]

Finally, consider the experiences of others. Read reviews, visit the campus if possible and speak with admissions officers to learn as much as you can about what the school can offer you.

Louisiana's location is responsible for much of its economy. Being situated on the oil-rich Gulf Coast means that trade, transportation and utilities are the industries employing the most Louisianans. Manufacturing and leisure and hospitality are also important economic sectors. As the state strives to diversify its economy and lessen its reliance on oil and gas, other sectors are likely to grow in importance. We've drawn from Bureau of Labor Statistics data to craft this list of the state's top occupations, to help you align your postsecondary education with career prospects.

Occupation
Number of Workers
(2016)
Average Salary
(2016)
Office and Administrative Support Occupations269,380$32,630
Sales and Related Occupations209,520$31,540
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations185,570$20,510
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations152,120$36,760
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations133,380$64,850
Construction and Extraction Occupations119,170$45,250
Education, Training, and Library Occupations114,450$45,240
Production Occupations111,860$44,960
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations94,280$44,170
Management Occupations79,780$97,170
Personal Care and Service Occupations71,290$21,910
Cashiers70,510$19,080
Business and Financial Operations Occupations68,480$60,590
Retail Salespersons59,480$24,860
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations57,510$22,960
Source: 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2016-26 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Fortunately, Louisiana agencies and higher education institutions are working hard to keep costs down in order to encourage more students to enroll in college. In fact, the Louisiana Department of Education so badly wants students to be able to afford college that the state started making completion of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) a mandatory requirement for high school graduation.

Certainly, completing the FAFSA is the only way to access such federal student aid as the Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant or the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant.

But this form also is needed in order to be eligible for Louisiana's renowned scholarship program, TOPS, as well as other financial aid programs.

TOPS: The Taylor Opportunity Program for Students is a collection of student scholarships for Louisiana residents. With four different awards -- Opportunity, Performance, Honors and Tech awards -- TOPS monies are awarded based on GPA and ACT scores. The program is credited with significantly improving college enrollments in the state.

LA Go Grant: This need-based grant supports nontraditional and low- to moderate-income students who need additional aid in order to afford college.

Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship: This scholarship awards $2,000 annually for an undergraduate student and $3,000 annually for a graduate student to pursue a degree in forestry, wildlife or marine science at one of the state's public colleges or universities.

Chafee Educational Training Voucher (ETV) Program: This program awards up to $5,000 (based on need) annually during the academic year to qualified students who have been in the foster care system and wish to pursue a college education.

Additionally, other financial assistance opportunities exist in the state for college savings and loan forgiveness. And be sure to check to see whether the schools that offer the online degree programs in Louisiana that you're considering offer their own grant or scholarship opportunities.

Scholarship Listing

TOPS - Opportunity Award
No. of Awards
24,331
Deadline
Jul-01
Max. Award Amount
4,006
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be a Louisiana resident or the child of a parent who has been a Louisiana resident for at least two years prior to high school graduation. Applicant must be receiving a diploma from a public or state-approved high school, have completed 17.5 units of core curriculum courses with a minimum 2.5 GPA over the core courses only, and have scored a minimum combined SAT Reasoning score of 940 or a composite ACT score of 20. FAFSA must be filed between January 1 and July 1, 2012 (for 2011 high school graduates). Alternate eligibility requirements issued for home-schooled and Louisiana applicants from out-of-state high schools.
More
TOPS - Performance Award
No. of Awards
9,712
Deadline
Jul-01
Max. Award Amount
4,406
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be a Louisiana resident or the child of a parent who has been a Louisiana resident for at least two years prior to high school graduation. Applicant must be receiving a diploma from a public or state-approved private high school and have completed 17.5 units of core curriculum courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA over the core courses only. Minimum combined SAT Reasoning score of 1060 or composite ACT score of 23 required. FAFSA must be filed between January 1 and July 1, 2012 (for 2011 high school graduates). Alternate eligibility requirements for home-schooled and Louisiana applicants from out-of-state schools.
More
TOPS - Honors Award
No. of Awards
7,601
Deadline
Jul-01
Max. Award Amount
4,806
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be a Louisiana resident or the child of a parent who has been a Louisiana resident for at least two years prior to high school graduation. Applicant must be receiving a diploma from a public or state-approved high school and have completed 17.5 units of core curriculum courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA over the core courses only. Minimum combined SAT Reasoning score of 1210 or composite ACT score of 27 required. FAFSA must be filed between January 1 and July 1, 2012 (for 2011 high school graduates). Alternate eligibility requirements for home-schooled and Louisiana applicants from out-of-state high schools.
More
Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP)
No. of Awards
4,000
Deadline
July 1
Max. Award Amount
2,000
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must have a minimum 2.0 GPA, GED score of 45, or have a minimum composite ACT score of 20 (combined SAT Reasoning score of 940). Selection is made by post-secondary institution, which may have additional requirements.
More
TOPS - Tech Award
No. of Awards
906
Deadline
Jul-01
Max. Award Amount
1,688
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be a Louisiana resident or the child of a parent who has been a Louisiana resident for at least two years prior to high school graduation. Applicant must be receiving a diploma from a public or state-approved high school and have completed TOPS Opportunity 17.5 option or TOPS Tech 17 (option 1) or TOPS Tech 19 (option 2) core curriculum units with a minimum 2.5 GPA over the core courses only. Minimum combined SAT Reasoning score of 810 (composite ACT score of 17) required. FAFSA must be filed between January 1 and July 1, 2012 (for 2011 high school graduates). Alternate eligibility requirements for home-schooled and Louisiana applicants from out-of-state high schools.
More

Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. Copyright © 2017-19 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.

Though there is no standard college entrance exam that must be taken by all students in order to attend Louisiana colleges, each individual school has its own admissions requirements, which often includes a score from one or more of the following exams:

  • ACT: More than most states, Louisiana heavily emphasizes the ACT, even going so far as to require minimum ACT scores in order to qualify for and receive TOPS funding. Many colleges in Louisiana require an ACT score as part of the application, and some offer the option to submit an ACT or an SAT score.
  • SAT: The SAT is offered to students as both a Reasoning Test, which considers evidence-based reading, writing, math and an essay; as well as a Subject Test, which is a one-hour test that assesses mastery of a specific subject (English, math, history, science or foreign language).

Because many schools take the highest scores or a cumulative score of all tests taken, students usually benefit from taking each of the above exams more than once.

In rarer cases, you may want or need to take the following exams:

  • Classic Learning Test :Louisiana College is one of a growing number of schools now accepting the CLT as an alternative to the SAT and ACT. The CLT is a 120-question test that must be completed in 120 minutes and is distinctly western in content, presenting students with readings from great thinkers of western traditions (for example, C.S. Lewis, Flannery O'Connor, Gregory Mendel and others), as well as pure aptitude-type questions of logic and reason.
  • CLEP: The College Board's College-Level Examination Program offers students the opportunity to demonstrate prior knowledge of introductory college-level materials in order to earn college credit.
  • ESL Placement Test: Many schools in Louisiana, including Delgado Community College, ask students with limited English proficiency to take the ESL test to determine what courses they are best suited to start with (for example, English 101 or a more developmental-level English course).

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