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15 Most Affordable Colleges in Louisiana in 2021

March 8, 2021 | Staff Writers

Cheapest Colleges in Louisiana
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Are you looking for which of the most affordable colleges in Louisiana is within your budget and a school that would provide you with the best bang for your educational buck?

In the fall of 2018, nearly 20 million students entered the many colleges/universities across the United States, with about one-third attending a two-year school and two-thirds attending a four-year school.

For the past few decades, tuition expenses have been on a continuous rise, which has made the task of affording a college degree quite challenging for many. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to mitigate the cost of attending a higher education program that leads to the degree that meets your education goals. This is especially true if you are a Louisiana resident that is researching the most affordable colleges in Louisiana.

Earning a post-secondary degree – an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree requires both money and time. Considering the needed commitment, it is critical to find a college-level program that a) aligns with your career objectives and b) fits your budgetary constraints.

Fortunately, one does not need to attend the most expensive school to experience quality education programming and results. The reality is, selecting a school within your budget offers students these benefits –

  • Students can attend school and be able to smartly start saving for a home purchase, retirement, and/or an emergency fund.
  • Students have the chance to graduate with their desired degree without a tremendous debt load to manage when first beginning a career.
  • Keeping tuition costs low will likely provide students with an opportunity to receive an acceptable/satisfying educational investment return.
  • The ability to afford the other expenses incurred while attending college or university.

First, as most learners looking into the cost of a college education know, choosing a school within the state – as an in-state resident, these higher learning institutions offer the most education value for each dollar spent.

A majority of the most affordable colleges in Louisiana are state run institutions of higher education; however, Louisiana offers a variety of quality education programs that runs the gamut of industries – that are both public & private institutions of higher learning.

If you’re in the market for an affordable education as a Louisiana resident, check out the fifteen higher learning institutions ranked below that are recognized among the most affordable colleges in Louisiana. A few of these schools are two-year colleges, which are often a fantastic place to begin to discover the most affordable education path to meet your career goals.

The 15 Most Affordable Colleges in Louisiana

1

Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College

  • Louisiana

Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College (NLTCC) is a multi-campus institution of higher education that was established in 1952 as a technical school. NLTCC operates campuses serving students in the areas of Minden, Shreveport, and Mansfeld. NLTCC’s rural campuses offer certificate programs and associate degree programs. SmartAsset recognizes NLTCC among the top six community colleges across the United States and one of the most affordable colleges in Louisiana.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 1,607 per semester
Graduate Tuition Fees: Does not apply
Student Enrollment: 1,108
Student/Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
Visit School Website
2

Louisiana State University (LSU Eunice)

  • Eunice, Louisiana

Louisiana State University (LSU Eunice) was established in 1964 as a community college by the state’s legislative body. LSU Eunice holds the distinction of being the only junior college that is a member school of the LSUS – the LA. State University System. From its rural campus in the southwestern portion of the state, Louisiana State University at Eunice boasts that its student body has the highest of all transfer rates of all two-year institutions of higher education in Louisiana, despite the fact that it is recognized among the most affordable colleges in Louisiana.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 2,365 per semester (Resident)
Graduate Tuition Fees: Does not apply
Student Enrollment: 3,074
Student/Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1
Visit School Website
3

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

  • Natchitoches, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 40%

Northwestern State University (NSU) is a multiple campus higher learning institution that is a member school of the University of Louisiana System. Founded in 1884 as a teacher’s training school, it holds the distinction of being the first school in the state to confer nursing & business education degrees and being one of the most affordable colleges in Louisiana. Northwestern State University was selected as one of the first schools to partner with NASA with the program JOVE, a joint venture where students worked alongside scientists at NASA.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 2,590 per semester (Resident)
Graduate Tuition Fees: $ 5,738 per semester (Resident)
Student Enrollment: 10,900
Student/Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
Visit School Website
4

Louisiana Tech University

  • Ruston, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

Louisiana Tech University is a higher learning institution located in Ruston that is home to the yearly Peach Festival in Northern rural Louisiana. Established as an industrial school in 1894, Louisiana Tech University is organized into five colleges/schools that offer certificate and degree programs in the field of business, education, liberal arts, engineering/science, and applied/natural sciences. The school, one of the most affordable colleges in Louisiana, operates using a quarter system, of which three quarters are equivalent to two semesters at other schools.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 2,776.50 (adjusted for a standard two-semester system) per semester (Resident or Online)
Graduate Tuition Fees: $ 2,920.50 (adjusted for a standard two-semester system) per semester (Resident or Online)
Student Enrollment: 11,510
Student/Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1.
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5

Louisiana State University

  • Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 42%

Louisiana State University (LSU Shreveport) began as a two-year junior school but is now a comprehensive four-year institution of higher education. Established in 1967, LSU Shreveport, considered one of the most affordable colleges in Louisiana, confers degrees at the baccalaureate level at the Shreveport campus in International Studies, Human Resource Education, Petroleum Engineering or Sports Administration. However, Louisiana State University at Shreveport offers more than two dozen undergraduate and graduate degree programs through their distance learning platform.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 2,827.96 per semester (Resident On-campus)
Graduate Tuition Fees: $ 3,097.98 per semester (Resident On-campus)
Student Enrollment: 8,579
Student/Faculty Ratio: 27 to 1
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6

Louisiana State University of Alexandria

  • Alexandria, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 23%

Louisiana State University (LSU Alexandria) offers a variety of undergraduate and certificate programs from its near-rural campus in Alexandria. Established in 1959 and recognized among the finest and most affordable of all Louisiana’s institutions of higher education, LSU Alexandria’s campus was a former plantation with many stately oak trees from the 18th century, located several miles from Alexandria proper.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 3,463.95 per semester (Resident – On-campus)
Online Tuition Fees: Bachelor’s Level – $ 3,000 per semester; Associate’s Level – $2,808 per semester
Student Enrollment: 3,381
Student/Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
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7

Grambling State University

  • Grambling, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 41%

Grambling State University (GSU) is a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) that was established in 1901 as a public college. Grambling State Univdersity’s rural campus in Northern Louisiana focuses on both agricultural, industrial and teacher-training education. Grambling State University, Where Everybody is Somebody, provides more than three dozen undergraduate and graduate degree/certificate programs as one of the most affordable colleges in Louisiana. Grambling State University’s marching band, known as the Tigers, is world-famous.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 3,817.50 per semester (Resident)
Graduate Tuition Fees: $ 3,787.50 per semester (Resident)
Student Enrollment: 5,232
Student/Faculty Ratio: 24 to 1
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8

Nicholls State University

  • Thibodaux, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 47%

Nicholls State University (NSU) is a member school of the state’s university system (ULS) that was established in 1948 as a junior college, named to honor a former state supreme court judge and state governor, Francis Nicholls. Nicholls State University, among the most affordable colleges in Louisiana, offers its students more than 100 academic programs of study online and from its 250+-acre campus in the Mississippi River Delta, about equidistant from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, in Thibodaux.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 3,949 per semester (Resident)
Graduate Tuition Fees: $ 5,686 per semester (In-state Average)
Student Enrollment: 6,491
Student/Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
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9

Southeastern Louisiana University

  • Hammond, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 38%

Southeastern Louisiana University (Southeastern) operates as the parent institution of several non-college level schools in the state. Established in 1925, Southeastern Louisiana University is recognized as the state’s third-largest higher learning institution, with the school’s campus located about an hour to the northwest of New Orleans, in Natchitoches. The school offers more than 55 academic degree programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 4,164.50 per semester (Resident)
Graduate Tuition Fees: $ 6,684 per semester (Resident, Average)
Student Enrollment: 14,220
Student/Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
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10

The University of New Orleans

  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 35%

The University of New Orleans (UNO) was founded in 1956 and is a member school of the state’s university system with a campus in the city of New Orleans alongside lake Pontchartrain. The University of New Orleans operates four colleges/schools offering degrees and programs in engineering, science, business, and liberal arts/education/human development. The University of New Orleans’ alumni span the globe and include Ellen Degeneres, John Laroquette, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jericho Brown, among others.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 4,386 per semester (Resident)
Graduate Tuition Fees: $ 6,090 per semester (Resident, Average)
Student Enrollment: 8,231
Student/Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
Visit School Website
11

McNeese State University

  • Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 41%

Once a divisional center of the Louisiana State University, McNeese State University (MSU) was officially established as a junior college in 1939 and then became a four-year higher learning institution in 1950. MSU, located in Lake Charles, is currently ranked among US News and World Report’s best southern schools for its tenth consecutive year and is ranked among the most affordable colleges in Louisiana. McNeese State University’s graduates are recognized as having the fourth-highest salary of all public and private higher learning institutions in the state.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 4,400 per semester (Resident)
Graduate Tuition Fees: $ 5,703 per semester (Resident, Average)
Student Enrollment: 7,295
Student/Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
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12

Southern University and A&M College

  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 29%

Southern University (SU) is a publicly-run Historically Black College/University (HBCU) that is also the flagship higher learning institution of the Southern University System. Although initially established in New Orleans in 1880, SU maintains dual campuses about five miles from one another in Baton Rouge. Southern University offers hundreds of degree and certificate programs from its seven colleges/schools and is recognized as the first HBCU to become a Google-partner in the area of digital training.

School Overview

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 4,621 per semester
Graduate Tuition Fees: $ 5,311 per semester
Student Enrollment: 7,140
Student/Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1
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13

The University of Louisiana

  • Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 44%

The University of Louisiana (UL Lafayette) is the second largest of higher learning institutions in the state that was established in 1898. The school’s 1200+-acre campus serves degree candidates seeking undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level academic degrees. UL Lafayette is organized into fifteen colleges/schools with more than 2,500 faculty members and administrative support employees. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, one of the most affordable colleges in Louisiana, offers more than 400 hybrid/online courses, available to all students attending classes.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 5,185 per semester (Resident); Online $4560
Graduate Tuition Fees: $ 5,557 per semester (Resident); Online $5,760
Student Enrollment: 19,403
Student/Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
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14

The University of Holy Cross

  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 32%

The University of Holy Cross (UOHC) was originally established as a teacher’s training school exclusively for women. The University of Holy Cross, situated in a suburban section of New Orleans – alongside the western Mississippi River, is a Roman Catholic institution of higher education that was established in 1916. The University of Holy Cross offers military members attending classes a discounted tuition option.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $ 6,720 per semester; $3,000 per semester for Active-duty Military Members
Graduate Tuition Fees: $ 8,440 per semester
Student Enrollment: 1,102
Student/Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1
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15

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University

  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 66%

Located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (FranU)  is a small, private faith-based, not-for-profit institution with a healthcare emphasis. The University began in 1923 as a school of nursing with the purpose of serving the workforce needs of its affiliated hospital. The school of nursing has since become a university that educates and forms service -minded professionals in a broad array of high demand fields.  Today FranU offers degrees in nursing, health sciences, humanities, behavioral sciences and natural sciences. With 17 degree programs and 6 certificate programs, the University is organized among three schools, the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Nursing, and the School of Health Professions. The enrollment of about 1400, consists primarily of Louisiana residents, though graduate programs attract a growing number of students throughout the country.

School Overview

Undergraduate Tuition Fees: $8,380.95 per semester
Graduate Tuition Fees: $9,287.83 (Average) per semester *rate varies by program
Student Enrollment: 1,350
Student/Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1
Visit School Website

Our Ranking Methodology

The above notes the most affordable institutions of higher learning that are all located in the state of Louisiana. Schools were ranked from the most affordable, which in this instance, is defined as the lowest per semester tuition rates pulled from the latest available tuition data – which was either from the school year that includes 2019/2020 or 2020/2021.

The relevant data used to compile and rank the most affordable colleges in Louisiana has been extracted from the information listed on each school’s proprietary website and the data detailed on the College Navigator website as provided by the NCES – the National Center for Education Statistics.

The data and information included in the ranking methodology included –

  • Undergraduate and graduate tuition fees assume a 12-credit hour full-time status unless otherwise noted. Where schools operate on quarters, tuition was readjusted to a two-semester year.
  • Student enrollment is indicative of the school’s overall size.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio is helpful for students whose learning style aligns with smaller class sizes or for those students who perform well at schools with larger class sizes.
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