Best Online Colleges in Louisiana

Explore the top colleges in Louisiana with online programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Learn what programs are available, how much they cost and how to find financial aid and scholarships to pay for your program.

Top Louisiana Colleges for Online Programs

Factors that influence a college's ranking include program quality, cost, accreditation, flexibility and transfer credit policies. The best 15 Louisiana colleges with online programs are listed below.

1. Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Natchitoches $7,922 97%

Established in 1884 as a teachers' school, Northwestern State University grew and changed names over the years until it achieved university status (and its current name) in 1970. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the school emphasizes public service and economic development. Students can pursue more than 40 degrees online, including those in nursing, accounting and psychology. The school offers discounted tuition for full-time students; undergraduate students have a tuition rate of $375 per credit (1 to 12 credits) and graduate students have a tuition rate of $475 per credit (1-9 credits), and $100 per credit beyond that amount for all students.

2. University of Louisiana at Monroe

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Monroe $8,554 97%

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is accredited by the SACSCOC and offers more than 35 online programs. The school was founded in 1931 and focuses on preparing students to succeed, compete and contribute in their local and global communities. Undergraduate students have a tuition rate of $400 per credit hour while graduate students have a tuition rate of $500 per credit hour. ULM offers online programs in fields such as business, education, history and nursing.

3. Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Baton Rouge $11,950 96%

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, also known as LSU, has been continuously accredited by the SACSCOC since 1913. The school is the one of the only schools throughout the United States to have a space-grant, land-grant and sea-grant status and is the flagship school of Louisiana. The school offers almost 40 programs online, including associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs as well as certificate programs. Undergraduate students have a tuition rate of $379 per credit hour and graduate students have a tuition rate of $417 to $1,110 depending on their program.

4. Nicholls State University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Thibodaux $7,952 95%

Nicholls State University was founded in 1948 and emphasizes values such as integrity, citizenship, leadership and respectfulness. The school is accredited by the SACSCOC and collaborates with a nearby college in order to offer more resources to students. Undergraduate students have a tuition rate of $275 per credit hour and can choose from 12 online programs. Graduate students have a tuition rate of $385 per credit and can select from 4 online programs, including nursing and mathematics.

5. Herzing University-Kenner

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Kenner $14,000 100%

Herzing University at Kenner offers about 40 online programs, including undergraduate and graduate options. The school was founded in 1965 and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Tuition varies by program, but undergraduate tuition can cost around $585 per credit hour and graduate tuition can cost around $675 per credit hour. The school's online options include programs in business administration, healthcare management, legal studies, computer programming and criminal justice.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 McNeese State University Lake Charles $7,860 93%
7 Loyola University New Orleans New Orleans $39,942 99%
8 Louisiana Tech University Ruston $9,645 98%
9 Grambling State University Grambling $7,435 99%
10 Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond $8,165 94%
11 Louisiana State University-Shreveport Shreveport $7,327 97%
12 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette $9,912 96%
13 Louisiana College Pineville $17,000 94%
14 Louisiana State University-Alexandria Alexandria $6,669 95%
15 University of New Orleans New Orleans $8,771 93%

All table data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics; tuition represents the 2018-2019 undergraduate school year.'s school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Choosing the Right Louisiana College for Online Programs

There are several factors that you should consider when choosing which school in Louisiana to attend for an online program, including accreditation, transfer credits and flexibility.


When looking for a school for your online program, review the accreditation for both schools and your intended programs. Accreditation can provide you with a better educational experience and more career opportunities.


Many of the online programs offered by Louisiana colleges are extremely flexible, allowing you to study full-time or part-time as your schedule permits. However, some programs are only offered in a specific format and/or order. For example, a program may offer the required courses during certain semesters so that students progress through the program according to a schedule.

Type of School

There are both public and private colleges in Louisiana that offer programs online, each of which have their own benefits. Public schools receive public funding, so they're often less expensive, larger, and have more resources available to students. Private colleges on the other hand are usually more expensive but are smaller, offering students more individualized attention.

Programs Available

When narrowing down your school choices, confirm that the programs you're interested in are available online. One school may offer your program completely online while another school might require some on-campus experiences. In addition, some schools allow students to customize their program with electives or concentrations, which can allow you to increase your knowledge of topics that are more applicable to your goals.

Transfer Credits

If you have earned college credits from previous programs or schooling you can usually have those transferred into the curriculum for your online program. Ask each school to review your previous transcripts and determine how many credits you can transfer into your new program.

Credits for Experience

Some schools enable students to earn credits for qualifying life and work experience. For example, if you have work experience in the same field as your college program you might be able to earn a few credits by taking a knowledge assessment or creating a portfolio. These credits can waive one or more foundational courses in your program.

Why Does Accreditation Matter for Online Programs in Louisiana?

There are two types of accreditation that affect many online students in Louisiana: institutional and programmatic.

Institutional Accreditation

Institutional accreditation is accreditation of an entire school and requires a school to meet quality criteria that is set by the accrediting organization. Institutional accreditation can be provided by a regional accrediting body or a nationally accredited agency. Both types of accreditation show that a school has met the required criteria, but there are a few key differences to note. Institutional accreditation of either type is required for students to receive federal financial aid.

Regional Accreditation National Accreditation
Quality Usually more strict standards for accreditation, meaning higher quality is required Quality standards are not as high as regional accreditation
Cost Can be more expensive Can be less expensive
Transferring Credits Credits from regionally accredited schools can transfer to any other accredited school Credits from nationally accredited schools can transfer only to other nationally accredited schools
Admissions Regionally accredited schools often have more strict admissions requirements Nationally accredited schools usually have more relaxed admissions requirements
Examples of Accrediting Agencies *Middle States Commission on Higher Education
*Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
*New England Association of Schools and Colleges
*Distance Education & Training Council
*Council on Occupational Education
*Distance Education Accrediting Commission

Programmatic Accreditation

Programmatic accreditation applies to programs rather than the schools that offer them. Only some programs have, or need, this specialized accreditation. For example, nurse practitioners must graduate from an accredited program, but businesspeople usually do need to.

How Much Do Online Programs Cost at Louisiana Colleges?

Online programs in Louisiana can cost as little as $8,000 per year, up to $40,000 or even more, depending on the degree level, specific program and student. In addition to those tuition costs, online students will need to pay various fees as well.


Tuition structure varies by school. Some schools charge a flat, discounted tuition rate for online students, usually per credit hour. Other schools offer a lower tuition rate for in-state students (such as $300) and a higher tuition rate for out-of-state students (such as $425). Undergraduate tuition is typically cheaper than graduate tuition, but rates vary by school and field of study. Because most online program tuition is charged per credit hour, the more credits a student is required to complete, the higher the total tuition of their program.

Flat-Rate Discounts

Although many schools charge tuition by the credit hour regardless of the number of credits taken, some schools offer a tuition discount to full-time students. This can be set up a number of ways, such as 12 to 18 credit hours having a 12-credit rate. In this situation, credits 13 through 18 are free of tuition, decreasing the overall cost of the semester and program.

Transferring Credits

Students that transfer credits into their program or earn credits for qualifying life experiences can decrease the credits required for their program. Decreasing the credits required not only cuts down on the program cost but also means that the program will take less time to complete.


In addition to tuition, online students typically have other direct and indirect fees from the school. These can include course materials fees, differential fees (for the specific program or course), distance learning fees and registration fees. While some of these fees may be charged per credit or per course, many are charged per semester. Depending on the school and program, students may have $750 to over $1,900 each semester in fees.

Adding it Up

The table below shows how much programs could cost based on estimated tuition, fees and credits required.

Program Tuition (per credit) Credits Required Total Tuition Fees Total Program Cost
Associate's Degree $400 60 $24,000 $5,500 $29,500
Bachelor's Degree $400 120 $48,000 $11,000 $59,000
Master's Degree $575 40 $23,000 $3,600 $26,600
Doctoral Degree $450 60 $27,000 $5,500 $32,000

Financial Aid for Online Programs in Louisiana

There are countless financial aid options available to online students in Louisiana, including scholarships and student loans. The first thing that interested students should do is fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students can see what types of federal aid that they qualify for, and they can have their results sent directly to the schools that they are considering.


Students of Louisiana online programs can find scholarships through various sources, including their chosen schools and the Department of Labor's Career One Stop scholarship tool.

  • Rochelle Scholarship - This $500 scholarship is awarded to students enrolled in an accredited Louisiana paralegal program with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Gulf Coast Hurricane Scholarship - This scholarship is awarded to students of programs in Louisiana and nearby states who are pursuing qualifying programs in engineering and science.
  • AISC/Southern Association of Steel Fabricators Scholarships - $2,500 is given to selected full-time students who are pursuing a graduate program in civil or architectural engineering.
  • Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest - This $3,500 to $5,000 scholarship is awarded to students who are inspired by African-Americans in celebration of black history month.
  • Horatio Alger Louisiana Scholarships - 25 scholarships are awarded to undergraduate students who are actively involved in community service and have financial need.

Work Study

Work-study programs are available through many schools throughout Louisiana. These programs allow students to earn part of their program costs by working part-time while in school. When possible, students are able to work in roles that are relevant to their field of study.

Student Loans

Students can obtain loans for their programs through private or government lenders, but private lenders should only be used as a last resort. Government loans have fixed interest rates that are lower than those offered by private lenders. In addition, government loans have flexible repayment options and don't require payments while students are completing their programs.

Loan Forgiveness

Students who work in qualifying public service positions after graduation may qualify to have some or all of their loans forgiven. For example, the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness plan forgives loans for graduates who work for government organizations who make 120 regular payments (10 years).

Earnings for Graduates of Online Programs in Louisiana

After completing an online program in Louisiana, graduates may be qualified for one specific career or a multitude of careers, depending on their program. The table below shows some of the careers that are projected to grow higher than the national average as well as the average salaries for each in Louisiana.

Job Title Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028, nationwide) Typical Education for Entry Mean Annual Salary (2018, Louisiana)
General and Operations Managers 7% Bachelor's degree $115,060
Marketing Managers 8% Bachelor's degree $97,540
Computer and Information Systems Managers 11% Bachelor's degree $112,860
Cost Estimators 9% Bachelor's degree $67,650
Management Analysts 14% Bachelor's degree $80,370
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 20% Bachelor's degree 49,460
Computer and Information Research Scientists 17% Master's degree $89,810
Information Security Analysts 32% Bachelor's degree $74,350
Statisticians 31% Master's degree $76,120
Industrial Engineers 8% Bachelor's degree $99,090
Economists 8% Master's degree $103,070
Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists 15% Doctoral/professional degree $86,630
Nurse Practitioners 28% Master's degree $105,340

All career data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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