Louisiana, a state known for jambalaya and jazz, is proving it has a lot to offer when it comes to education, too.
Despite continued budget shortfalls, the state remains focused on improving colleges and universities, encouraging enrollment and degree completion, and providing an even more robust offering of online opportunities.
Overview of Higher Education in Louisiana
There are 56 degree-granting institutions in Louisiana, according to a 2018-2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Of those, 32 are public, 15 are private non-profit and 9 are private for-profit.
To attend one of the state’s 4-year institutions, NCES reports that in-state tuition and fees fall right around the national average, at approximately $9,358. Out of state students will pay closer to $22,208, which is thousands below the average.
Louisiana is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), a 15-state collaboration aimed at bettering higher education. Through this organization, residents of participating states are able to enroll at schools in other participating states while paying in-state tuition rates.
In an effort to move the state aggressively forward, The Louisiana Board of Regents (BoR), which manages all public higher education in the state, has set a goal that calls for 60% of all working-age adults (ages 25-64) in Louisiana to hold a degree or high-value credential by 2030. This will require the state to more than double the number of annual credential recipients from 2018. To reach this goal, the state will focus on expanding accessibility and equity.
The BoR recognizes the impact higher education can have on the state’s economy and quality of life for its citizens, and is focused on bettering the future.
About Online Colleges in Louisiana
Whether you’re finishing a degree you already started or starting fresh, online learning can provide a flexible and affordable way to fulfill your educational goals.
As of 2018, the NCES reported that 11.4% of students in Louisiana were enrolled in fully online degree programs, and another 23.4% were enrolled in a hybrid of online and on-campus courses. Those numbers continue to grow as schools add more online learning options.
At University of Louisiana at Monroe students can choose from more than 35 online degree programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level. Courses are offered in an 8-week format to help students move through the program quickly.
Another excellent school for online students is Northwestern State University of Louisiana, the state’s first and largest electronic campus. They offer more than 40 online degree programs across all levels.
Information about online degree programs and courses offered at public institutions across the state can be accessed through Louisiana Online. The site brings together the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the Louisiana University System, the University of Louisiana System, and Southern University System, greatly expanding course selection for online learners.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Louisiana
If you’re interested in attending a college or university in Louisiana, you should start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will provide you access to federal, state and private financial aid.
It’s important to fill out the FAFSA as early as possible. It becomes available each year on October 1st, and many funds are distributed on a first come, first served basis.
To fill it out, you will need to answer questions about your finances and the finances of your parents (unless you’re considered “independent” according to FAFSA’s standards). The data you provide will help determine which kind and how much aid you receive.
The ideal forms of financial aid are grants and scholarships, because they do not have to be repaid.
In Louisiana, an agency known as the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA), which operates under the Board of Regents, administers the state’s scholarships, grants and savings programs. LOSFA also disseminates college information, with a focus on supporting and guiding low income families and first generation students.
LOSFA oversees the following financial aid programs for residents of the state:
|Scholarship Name||Details||Scholarship amount|
|Louisiana Go Grant||Must have remaining financial need after deducting Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and all federal and state aid||
|Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship||For students pursuing degrees in forestry, wildlife or marine sciences at a Louisiana public college or university||
$2000 per year for undergraduate student, $3000 per year for graduate student
|Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS)||Four types of merit-based awards (Opportunity, Performance, Honors and Tech)||
Award amounts vary by school
|TOPS Tech Early Start||For 11th and 12th grade students at Louisiana public high schools; Must have cumulative GPA of 2.0 and meet ACT/SAT score requirements; Must enroll in a course in an industry-based occupational or vocational education credential program in a top demand occupation||
Up to $600 per year
|John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program||Federal loan repayment program for state and federal public defenders and state prosecutors; Must remain in position for at least 3 years; Must have student loan balance of at least $20,000||
$1950 for Assistant District Attorney, $3900 for Public Defenders
|Chafee Educational and Training Voucher (ETV) Program||Must be age 14-26; Must be in the foster care system, aged out of foster care or have been under the care of a legal guardian and adopted after age 16||
Up to $5000 per year
But LOSFA isn’t the only financial resource available to Louisianans!
To find out about local grants and scholarships, talk to your high school guidance counselor. These programs may be less competitive than those open to students state- or nation-wide.
Also try scholarship search sites like Fastweb.com, where you can enter basic information and be matched up with dozens of scholarship opportunities.
And finally, discuss your financial aid options with the college or university you have chosen. Oftentimes schools have more to offer than what you find online or in an informational packet.
List of Online Colleges in Louisiana
|Online Colleges in Louisiana||Location||Annual Tuition||Accreditation||Application Fee|
|Louisiana State University||Baton Rouge, Louisiana||$10,814||Regional||$40|
|Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University||Baton Rouge, Louisiana||$12,046||Regional||$35|
|Southeastern Louisiana University||Hammond, Louisiana||$7,773||Regional||$20|
|University of Louisiana – Monroe||Monroe, Louisiana||$8,284||Regional||$20|
|Northwestern State University of Louisiana||Natchitoches, Louisiana||$7,620||Regional||$20|
|Loyola University – New Orleans||New Orleans, Louisiana||$38,754||Regional||$20|
|Louisiana Tech University||Ruston, Louisiana||$9,117||Regional||$20|
|Louisiana State University – Shreveport||Shreveport, Louisiana||$7,146||Regional||$20|
The bayou state has a lot to offer.
With top-notch colleges and universities, an impressive list of online degree programs, and exceptional financial aid opportunities, Louisiana is the perfect place to pursue your postsecondary education.