Louisiana is a very unique piece of America. The food, culture, accent, and the extravagance of Mardi Gras all make it feel like a different world. It’s the only state in the country that doesn’t have counties, but parishes. It is also home to the longest bridge in the world, specifically in the city of Metairie, at 24 miles long! It first became a state in 1812, and the first college came in 1825. It still stands today, the Centenary College of Louisiana. Now, there are approximately 110 institutions of higher learning throughout the state. However, even with a long list of options, higher education has faltered in the past decade.
Hurricane Katrina was a devastating event, and it took a drastic toll on education. Louisiana has bounced back incredibly from such a catastrophe, but it did affect a lot of students. In five years after the storm, 40% of children still did not have stable housing. The years after the event, an average of 34% of students were held back. This is an exceptionally high percentage, compared to a 19% baseline across the region. In late 2016, the Council for a Better Louisiana reported that high school graduation had hit an all-time high of 77.5%. Dropouts also have seen a steady decline. While this is good news, in the American Community Survey report that was published the same year, only 34% of the state population had graduated high school. Of that portion, just 50% of them went on to college, and 22.5% of them completed a degree. Everyone deserves an education, and it’s unfortunate to say that Louisiana students are ranked 48th in the nation in the category of “Chance For Success.” In this article, there are hundreds of reasons for Louisiana’s upcoming students to pursue a higher education. Each school has something special to offer their students, from unique course availability, affordable tuition, and more.
In this ranking, we explore the Top 20 Best Online Colleges in Louisiana. We have compiled a list of all the schools in the state that offer distance learning to their students. Using the methodology detailed below, we scored each college and university and then ranked them accordingly. What you’ll read below is the final list, the top 20 schools. With this ranking, we hope to provide prospective students with an accurate depiction of each school so that they can make an informed decision about what academic setting is going to be the best for them according to their goals.
Each school on this list was scored out of a possible 200 points. We have scored all of the schools in Louisiana that offer online school using the following criteria:
- 50%: Freshmen Retention Rates and;
- 50%: Graduation Rates
To gather the information that was required to rank each of these schools, we used the school’s websites whenever possible. In cases where a school did not provide the information on their own site that was required by us, we used the databases of both U.S. News and World Report and of National Center for Education Statistics. These two percentages were added together to get the score for each institution, and then they were ranked out of 20 based on this score.
In any instance where two or more schools would have tied for a spot in this Top 20, we utilized the alphabetical ordering of their names as our designated tie-breaking criteria. We chose these two ranking criteria because when both rates are taken into account, they help to paint an accurate picture of a school’s overall performance.
We also referred to our own ranking of the top 100 best online colleges while researching this ranking.
In order to qualify to be included in this ranking, schools must not be for-profit institutions. Additionally, no school was given any preferential treatment and the methodology stated will allow anyone else to draw the same conclusion.
20: Fletcher Technical Community College
Fletcher Technical Community College was founded in 1948. It’s one of thirteen colleges in the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, and it’s located in Schriever, Louisiana. It awards students with certificates and associates degrees. The college is currently accredited by the Council on Occupational Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The nursing programs available at FTCC also has two programmatic accreditations from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. FTCC is a relatively small institution, with a total enrollment of only 2,063 students. They offer around 25 different programs of study that lead to various certificates, transfer or associates degrees. Of these, three are available entirely online.
The main one that they offer is in General Studies. This program is going to provide students with the broad or open-ended foundation they need to move on to a bachelors degree or higher at another institution. The Criminal Justice program includes courses in criminology, human behavior, and the American Justice System. This degree program prepares students for work as police officers, corrections officers, and much more. Of course, it can also be used to continue your education. The last program they offer online is the Associate Business Administration Program, designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in management.
FTCC Website: http://www.fletcher.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 56%
Graduation Rate: 17%
Final Score: 73/200
19: Louisiana State University-Alexandria
Louisiana State University-Alexandria is a public university that is a unit of the LSU System. It is an undergraduate university, and its campus is in Alexandria, Louisiana. This school was founded in 1961 after the Louisiana Legislature approved Louisiana State University’s request to establish a two-year college. The first full degree program offered was an Associate in Nursing. The school offered only associates and certificates programs officially until 1982. Some upper-level coursework was delivered there in 1976, but the first bachelors degree program, in Elementary Education, admitted its first students in 1982. In 2001, LSU and the Louisiana Legislature authorized LSUA to confer baccalaureate degrees. Following that decision, the university was organized into the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Professional Studies.
LSUA now has more than ten different degree programs at the bachelors level, and still offers a handful at the associates level. It serves 3,276 students, and 54% of them participate in the distance education options provided at LSUA. There are also some high-demand certificate programs in Pharmacy Technology, and various levels in the area of education, include specializations in Mild-Moderate Special Education and Health and Physical Education. Aside from general studies, its most popular bachelors degrees earned by distance-learners are the Psychology and Business Administration programs. Both programs can be used to enter into a career, or as a foundation to go on to earn a masters degree at another institution.
LSUA Website: https://www.lsua.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 56%
Graduation Rate: 26%
Final Score: 82/200
18: SOWELA Technical Community College
This institution has existed in at least some form since 1938. The original name is not known, but several names were cycled through over time, all including the SOWELA. SOWELA stands for Southwest Louisiana, as this college serves that area. The main campus is located in Lake Charles, Louisiana. There is an additional location in Jennings, Louisiana. It is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education and has been since 1971. It operated only as a technical school until 1995. It received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges in 2012. It confers technical diplomas, certificates, and associates degrees. Of the nearly 30 programs it offers, the Industrial Instrumentation Technology program is the most popular.
SOWELA is a unique technical school because the majority of their students attend full-time. There are 3,241 students enrolled. They can choose to obtain an education that will allow them to enter directly into their professional life, and there is one program explicitly designed to transfer to one of several state universities in Louisiana. It is an Associate of Science in Physical Science. Almost 100 web-based courses are being offered in the upcoming semester; however, only 24% of the students are taking advantage of the current online options at this time. No specific degree programs are offered entirely online, but because of the broad range of courses offered, there are several different degree programs that can be completed entirely online.
SOWELA Website: https://www.sowela.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 50%
Graduation Rate: 34%
Final Score: 84/200
17: Southern University and A&M College
Southern University and A&M College is a historically black university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; it is part of the only historically black land-grant university system in the country. It’s most often referred to as just Southern University. It was initially established in 1880. At the time, it was located in New Orleans and operated under the name Southern College. It became a land-grant institution in 1890, which precipitated the Agricultural and Mechanical department’s creation. Now, SU is organized into six colleges and one law school. These are the College of Education, Arts, and Humanities; the College of Business; the College of Sciences and Engineering; the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; the College of Sciences and Agriculture; the College of Nursing and Allied Health and; the Southern University Law Center.
The law school is one of only two in the state of Louisiana. Additionally, the College of Nursing and Allied Health has won the nursing school of the year award for the past four consecutive years. The ROTC programs are nationally recognized, and SU is the only HBCU in Louisiana with a degree program in engineering. It’s a very highly reputable institution and is currently accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. They offer degrees at the associates level all the way up to the doctoral level. It has eight online degree programs in fields such as criminal justice, public administration, business management and more.
SUBR Website: http://www.subr.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 29%
Final Score: 91/200
16: Northshore Technical Community College
Northshore Technical Community College is one of the 40 Louisiana Technical Colleges that are spread out across the state. It is usually abbreviated to NTCC and has its main campus in Bogalusa, Louisiana. This is also the main campus of Louisiana Technical College, where it was founded in 1930. At that time, the only training provided was in woodworking and automobile mechanics. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education, and confer certificates and Associate of Applied Technology degrees in around 11 different fields. Students can work towards an associates degree, obtain workforce training, or take courses for university transfer to a state school. NTCC is not affiliated with Louisiana Tech despite the name.
There are many courses offered online, which makes constructing a degree plan extremely simple for students. There are also career training programs available online, almost 200 in fact, that are offered in conjunction with ed2go. All of these career training programs are open enrollment and entirely asynchronous. You can complete them at your own pace, on your own time; some can be finished in as little as three months. The instructor-led courses are present in a more traditional format, with lectures, over the course of six weeks. Online courses are led by expert instructors and are available to students for questions all the time. There are several different degrees that can be completed online because of the various courses; you would just need to speak with an academic advisor.
NTCC Website: http://northshorecollege.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 44%
Graduation Rate: 49%
Final Score: 93/200
15: Grambling State University
Grambling State University is a historically black university, and it’s located in Grambling, Louisiana. It is a member of the University of Louisiana System and is usually just called GSU. Prior to 1946, the school cycled through a few names and functioned as an agricultural and industrial school for people of color. In 1946, it became Grambling College. In 1974, the college gained university status and was soon renamed to its present title. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, which was first granted in 1949. Some programs also include special programmatic accreditation from relevant bodies to their fields.
GSU offers degrees at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral level. There are also some certificates available for post-masters. There are 4,863 students at GSU, and while it is a predominantly black school, they, of course, admit students of any race. 45% of those students are enrolled in some distance learning, but only 1% of all students are earning their degree entirely online. Distance learning is available to undergraduate and graduate students, and all four divisions of the school offer a variety of programs and courses via the web. The four colleges that GSU is broken into are the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Business; the College of Education and; the College of Professional and Graduate Studies. Each college is further broken down into specific schools and departments.
Gram State Website: http://www.gram.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 60%
Graduation Rate: 34%
Final Score: 94/200
14: Louisiana State University-Shreveport
Louisiana State University-Shreveport is usually just called LSUS. It’s one of the branches of the Louisiana State University System, located in Shreveport, Louisiana. LSUS originally opened as a two-year community college in 1967 but was quick to become a four-year college just five years later. Now, the university is eligible to award degrees all the way up to the doctoral level; their selection includes 25 bachelors programs, 12 masters programs, and one doctoral program. LSUS is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The university serves almost 5,000 students. 80% of them are attending on a part-time basis, and 48% of them take advantage of the online opportunities.
There are 4 undergraduate degrees available entirely online, bachelors degrees in General Studies, Mass Communications, Management & Administration, and Marketing. These programs are all less than $300 per credit hour and can be completed asynchronously. There are also 15 different masters degrees available entirely online and asynchronously, and some can be completed in as little as one year. 10 of them are MBA’s with a variety of concentrations, and the others include health administration, education, and more. Tuition for these programs varies as it is not calculated per credit hour. The majority of online students at LSUS are pursuing their MBA.
LSUS Website: http://www.lsus.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 61%
Graduation Rate: 36%
Final Score: 97/200
13: University of New Orleans
The University of New Orleans is a public research university in New Orleans. It’s a member of the University of Louisiana System and was founded as the Louisiana State University in New Orleans in 1956. At that time, it was part of the Louisiana State University System, and the transition to the current system was approved in 2011. For the first few years of operation, it was considered a department of the Louisiana State University’s main campus in Baton Rouge. It became a separate entity in 1963 and dropped LSU off its name in 1974. When Hurricane Katrina fell upon Louisiana in 2005, UNO suffered damage due to the high-speed winds and torrential rain. Resilient as ever, UNO was the first university to reopen after the storm. Enrollment decreased drastically after the storm and has yet to return to pre-Katrina numbers but, there are 8,031 students enrolled today.
Students can earn degrees at the bachelors level up to the doctoral level. Several of their degree programs have special accreditation, particularly in more creative fields. The university as a whole is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. There are nine schools and colleges that comprise the university and offer a total of 109 programs. Katrina caused the amount of distance-learning students to increase. Now, 43% of undergraduate students and 30% of graduate students are enrolled in online courses or programs. There are two bachelors degrees, in Interdisciplinary Studies and Philosophy. There are four fully-online masters degrees as well, in Hospitality and Tourism Management, English, Engineering Management, and Romance Languages.
UNO Website: http://www.uno.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 64%
Graduation Rate: 36%
Final Score: 100/200
12: Southeastern Louisiana University
Southeastern Louisiana University is a public university in Hammond, Louisiana. It was founded as a junior college in 1925, but the principal of Hammond High School. It was a two-year college that only awarded teaching certificates, much like a Normal School. It began to confer more degrees slowly over time with the addition of baccalaureate degrees in 1939, and it was accredited as a four-year, degree-granting institution in 1946. It has maintained accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges since that time, with a small variety of programmatic certifications as well. The first masters degrees came in 1960. Since 2005, the almost 15,000 students can earn all the way up to a doctorate.
Five colleges comprise Southeastern, which is what the university is usually referred to as. These are the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; the College of Business; the College of Education; the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and; the College of Science and Technology. It’s further broken down into 18 different departments. Through these, the university offers well over 50 different degree programs. 27% of Southeastern’s undergraduate students are enrolled in at least one distance course, and 37% of graduate students are as well. Courses are delivered through the popular system called Moodle, and there are five full programs available, all of them in the field of nursing. They are the RN to BSN program, Master of Science in Nursing program, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Two programs are specialized certificates.
Southeastern Website: https://www.southeastern.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 40%
Final Score: 102/200
11: University of Holy Cross
The University of Holy Cross is a Roman-Catholic affiliated private liberal arts college in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was established in 1916 and served a normal school for women called Holy Cross Normal School. In 1938, it became a four-year institution; in 1967, it began admitting men. It just recently changed to its current title, in 2016; before that, it was known as Our Lady of Holy Cross College. The university is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and has been since 1972, with a brief probation in 2011. There are two programs in the medical field that have specialized endorsement by agencies relevant to the field as well. Students can earn degrees from the associates to doctoral levels, and there are 1,040 enrolled.
51% of undergraduate students and 23% of graduate students are taking part in web-based courses or programs. There are over 50 degree programs available, and 5 of those can be completed entirely online; however, there are an additional 50 courses available that aren’t part of a specific program. Web courses are delivered in an asynchronous format via Blackboard. There is a RN to BSN program, a Masters in Catholic Theology, and three different Masters in Education concentrations: English as a Second Language, Reading, and Religious Education. There are also several hybrid options for those of you who would like to complete part of your degree in a more traditional setting.
UOHC Website: http://uhcno.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 75%
Graduation Rate: 35%
Final Score: 103/200
10: Northwestern State University
Northwestern State University of Louisiana, usually just Northwestern State University or further shortened to NSU is in Natchitoches, Louisiana. It is a public university and was established in 1884. It is among the oldest schools in the state and was the first in Louisiana ever to offer degree programs in nursing and business education. It started out as Louisiana State Normal School and spent some time as Louisiana State Normal College, and Northwestern State College of Louisiana. The first masters and doctorates were awarded in 1954 and 1966 respectively. The school gained university status and assumed the current name in 1970. Degrees are offered at all levels in almost 20 different fields! NSU currently serves 9,819 students.
NSU does a lot of work to make distance-learning more accessible. Students pay the in-state tuition rate regardless of residency when doing their schooling online. Their distance-learning initiative is called eNSU Global Campus. This university was the first in Louisiana to offer online learning to their students, and still, maintain the largest selection of online degree programs. There are 70 fully-online degrees and 17 different certificates available. On top of this, eNSU also has four hybrid or blended programs that are presented partially on campus. There are some fast-track courses, and Louisiana Transfer degree programs as well. eNSU is exceptionally committed to flexibility.
NSULA Website: https://www.nsula.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 70%
Graduation Rate: 56%
Final Score: 105/200
9: Franciscan University
Franciscan University is the more common name of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, a private Catholic university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was originally Our Lady of the Lake School of Nursing, which opened in 1923. It only offered what is equivalent to a technical diploma in nursing, until the transition to a more collegiate institution was made in 1989. Curriculum expanded to include a wider variety of degrees in the medical field. It was renamed to Our Lady of the Lake College in 1995. It wasn’t until 2016 that it assumed its current title. True to its roots, the university offers predominantly medical degree programs but has introduced more diverse options in recent years, such as writing and business. Fran U is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
There are 1,409 students at Fran U, and they have the option to pursue certifications, or a degree at the associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorate levels. The majority of the students are full time, with 26% of undergraduates being distance-learners, and 11% of graduate students. The most popular online degree option is the RN to BSN degree program, with hundreds of graduates each year. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc and can be taken at your own pace. It can be completed in as little as one year and allows students to transfer as much as 90 credits.
Fran U Website: https://www.franu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 60%
Graduation Rate: 47%
Final Score: 107/200
8: McNeese State University
McNeese State University is a public university in Lake Charles, Louisiana. It is a member of the University of Louisiana System and was established in 1939 as a junior college. It was part of Louisiana State University at that time and took on the name McNeese State College when the two separated in 1950. The first masters degree program was added in 1966, though the name wouldn’t change until 1970 to MSU. MSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and has been since 1954, just four years after becoming independent of LSU. Even though MSU is classified as a small school, there are almost 10,000 students that attend. The majority of students are full time, and a little more than half are distance-learners.
MSU is organized into seven different colleges. These are the Burton College of Education; the College of Business; the College of Engineering and Computer Science; the College of Liberal Arts; the College of Nursing and Health Professions; the College of Science and Agriculture and; the William J. Dore, Sr., School of Graduate Studies. There is also the Department of Basic and General Studies that is separate from the other divisions. MSU has a diverse selection of online degree programs, including two associates programs, seven bachelors programs, eight masters programs, and seven certificate programs. Aside from general studies, the two most popular online degree programs are the RN to BSN program, and the Business Management program.
McNeese Website: https://www.mcneese.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 66%
Graduation Rate: 42%
Final Score: 108/200
7: Xavier University of Louisiana
Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically black Roman Catholic institution in the country, is a private liberal arts college that is headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s usually abbreviated to just XULA and was founded in 1925 by Saint Katharine Drexel. She sought out New Orleans to create an institution where people of color could receive a strong Catholic education. It was a normal school until 1927 with the additions of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the College of Pharmacy. The first degrees were awarded in 1928. Now, XULA awards hundreds of degrees each year from bachelors to doctoral degrees. There are almost 3,000 students overall, predominantly full time. All of the university’s offerings are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and its music program is recognized by the National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation.
XULA is nationally recognized for how many people of color get placed in medical school from the university. U.S. News & World Report and
XULA Website: http://www.xula.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 42%
Final Score: 114/200
6: University of Louisiana at Monroe
University of Louisiana at Monroe is a public institution that is part of the University of Louisiana System. Its main campus is located in Monroe, Louisiana, and currently serves 9,038 students. It’s often referred to as just ULM, but it had cycled through five prior names before becoming ULM. It opened in 1931 as the Ouachita Parish Junior College and spent some time operating under the titles Northeast Center of Louisiana State University, Northeast Junior College of Louisiana State University, Northeast Louisiana State College, and Northeast Louisiana University. It wasn’t until becoming Northeast Louisiana University that is was granted university status, in 1969, despite using the title in the past. In the 60’s and 70’s, ULM was known for the most educated and well-paid faculty, and the highest accreditations. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges accredits them to this day, and they have field-specific endorsement for seven programs. That’s an impressive number.
ULM is comprised of the College of Arts, Education, & Sciences; the College of Business & Social Science and; the College of Health and Pharmaceutical Studies. Through these, students can pursue degrees from the bachelors to doctorate in a wide array of fields. The online education programs are presented to students through eULM. eULM has one online associates degree program, 14 online bachelors degree programs, 18 online masters degree programs, and even three online doctorate programs. They cover five areas of study and help students prepare for their professional lives in high-demand careers in education or criminal justice. The most popular online programs the eULM provides are the RN to BSN program, and the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. eULM features accelerated 8-week courses and flat rate tuition.
ULM Website: http://www.ulm.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 74%
Graduation Rate: 43%
Final Score: 117/200
5: Nicholls State University
Nicholls State University is a public university and University of Louisiana System member institution. Founded in 1948, it is headquartered in Thibodaux, Louisiana. The University of Louisiana System has recognized Nicholls State University for excellence in almost ten different fields and given special commendation to 8 more of their degree programs. One of their most highly recognized programs is one that they pioneered in the United States, the culinary arts programs at Chef John Folse Culinary Institute. It is the only American institution that is part of the Institut Paul Bocuse and has a unique Bachelor of Culinary Arts to MBA style program for aspiring restaurant owners. These programs, as well as the rest of those offered at Nicholls, are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
Nicholls is the alma mater of some diversely successful people, including ten professional athletes. The university enrolls 6,255 students, and confers hundreds of degrees annually; they offer programs culminating in associates degrees up to masters degrees, with some certificates available as well. Its distance-learning program took off in 2000; since then, in smaller publications, four programs have ranked in the top 10 for their value and quality, and Nicholls ranked in the 9th place in the country for affordability. This could be attributed to the unique fee structure, allowing students to pay flat rates for almost all of the programs. There are currently almost 20 different online degree programs, each of which presented in the accelerated 8-week format. The Associate of Science in Petroleum Services is the most popular online program, followed closely by the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Nicholls Website: https://www.nicholls.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 70%
Graduation Rate: 47%
Final Score: 117/200
4: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
University of Louisiana at Lafayette is a public research university in Lafayette Louisiana. It is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a national research university. It’s often abbreviated as just ULL but went by three other names since its founding in 1898. Today, ULL is the largest institution by enrollment in the University of Louisiana System, with 17,519 students; it’s the second largest in the entire state. Other ways ULL has been number one, is that it was the first southern university to desegregate in 1954; ULL is also the pioneer of the first Master of Computer Science in the country. Not many publications have ranked ULL in the past, but it has high-quality programs and a highly dedicated, well-trained faculty. Graduates have gone on to become Pulitzer and Nobel nominees, and even a few winners. Two very interesting alumni are world-title trampolinist Leigh Hennessy, and the choreographer of the classic Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. His name is Marc Breaux.
ULL is comprised of nine colleges. These are the College of the Arts; the College of Business Administration; the College of Education; the College of Engineering; the University College; the College of Liberal Arts; the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions; the College of Sciences and; the Graduate School. ULL offers nearly 100 undergraduate programs, and more than 30 graduate degree programs. Online degree programs offered to students span seven different fields. There are 22 specific programs available, and there are 9 different specialized MBA tracks available whether you’d like to work in Health Care Administration, Hospitality Management, or even solidify your skills in Entrepreneurship.
Louisiana Website: https://louisiana.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 75%
Graduation Rate: 45%
Final Score: 120/200
3: Louisiana Tech University
Louisiana Tech University is best known as just Louisiana Tech, and it’s a space-grant public research university based in Ruston, Louisiana. It was founded in 1894 and is the only Tier One national university recognized by U.S. News & World Report in the University of Louisiana System. It is also recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for research, with some efforts funded by NASA, the NIH, NSF, Department of Defense, and the Federal Aviation Administration. Louisiana Tech is among less than 50 research universities that have been recognized for excellence by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Alumni include senators, athletes, CEOs, and entertainers. A name you may not know is Will Wright, and he’s the creator of the best-selling videogame of all time (The Sims), and he is a graduate of LA Tech as well.
The next generation of alumni to come, the current students enrolled at Louisiana Tech, have reached a record high of 12,672. The majority of them are undergraduate students; however, LA Tech has associates through doctorate degrees. It is accredited as a whole by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and holds an astounding eight specialized accreditations as well. The most popular web-based degree that they confer is the MBA, but they have several online masters degree programs that are quite unique, such as the Engineering & Technology Management program, and History program. The only undergraduate options provided for distance-learners are a Certificate of Completion in Information Technology and a bachelors program in Health Informatics and Information..
LA Tech Website: http://www.latech.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 81%
Graduation Rate: 52%
Final Score: 133/200
2: Loyola University New Orleans
Loyola University New Orleans is, of course, located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private Jesuit university, that was founded all the way back in 1904 by Saint Ignatius of Loyola. There are only 28 institutions in the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, and Loyola is one of the larger ones. In the earlier days, it was home to a school of law, a school of dentistry, and a school of music. Loyola received its accreditation as early as 1929 and is still accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Many of the former schools closed as demand dwindled, only to be revamped and added back to the curriculum later. Today, Loyola is comprised of the College of Arts & Sciences; the College of Business; the College of Graduate and Professional Studies; the College of Law and; the College of Music and Fine Arts.
Loyola offers 90 undergraduate degree programs, 17 graduate degree programs, and 15 of what they call professional or dual degrees. Loyola Online offers graduate degree programs in a variety of fields, and 40% of graduate students are purely distance-learners, but there are no specific undergraduate programs provided by the university at this time. There is a broad range of courses available, which may lead to students being able to complete an undergraduate degree online with the help of an advisor. The online offerings are in the fields of nursing, and religion. The online Master of Science in Nursing or MSN is the most popular program, and the Master of Religious Education trails drastically behind. All of Loyola’s online programs have dynamic tuition rates, but students can complete them asynchronously.
LUNO Website: http://www.loyno.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 79%
Graduation Rate: 55%
Final Score: 134/200
1: Tulane University of Louisiana
Tulane University of Louisiana is usually just referred to as Tulane University, and it is a private, nonsectarian research university. U.S. News & World Report has previously ranked this New Orleans based institution as the top university in the state of Louisiana. It also considered highly selective and has a narrow acceptance rate of 23%. For comparison, Ivy League university Cornell has an acceptance rate of 15.2%! Tulane is among the top ten oldest schools in the Association of American Universities, an association of major research universities in North America. Additionally, the Law and Medical Schools are considered the 12th and 15th oldest in the nation, respectively. Tulane, as the university is nicknamed, is home to 93 different research centers. Their innovations include a milestone in the safety of childbirth for underdeveloped countries, called SafeSnip; and fun, whimsical products like Theodent, the chocolate-based toothpaste.
The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine is the first of its kind, the pioneer of having a kitchen in a medical school. The doctors receive hands-on training in healthier cooking, which is something that will help improve their patients’ quality of life drastically in the future. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics accredits one of their programs in dietetics as well. The university as a whole is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and has more specialized endorsements from the American Bar Association, the APA, and more. Their student body consists of 12,581 students, each having the option to complete an associates degree, all the way up to a doctorate. Of all the degree-seeking students that entered their first year at Tulane University in 2008, 83% of full-time students earned a degree within eight years, and 13% of them enrolled at another institution within eight years. This leads to an incredibly low dropout rate. In addition, the freshman retention rate of 92% is exponentially higher than the national average of 78%; the same is true with the graduation rate of 83%, a stark difference from the national average of just 59%.
Tulane University’s incredible numbers resulted in its incredible score, beating out the second place school by almost 50 points. This success and strong indication of student satisfaction can be attributed to how dedicated Tulane is to student success. The ten colleges and schools that Tulane is comprised of all provide students with a comprehensive education, from highly educated faculty, and provide dedicated academic support to all students. Notable alumni include 155 Fulbright Scholars, 18 Rhodes Scholars, and many others. Astronauts, politicians, athletes, Nobel prize winners, and even the controversially legendary Jerry Springer are among the extensive list of alumni. There are thousands of courses offered at the undergraduate level, and many of them are available in an entirely-online format; however, Tulane doesn’t advertisement any undergraduate degree programs online at this time. They do feature several graduate degrees, in fields such as Social Work, Homeland Security, and their most popular, the Master of Public Health or MPH.
Tulane Website: http://tulane.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 92%
Graduation Rate: 83%
Final Score: 176/200