Louisiana (LA): University and College Educational System
Louisiana is home to a little more than 50 colleges and universities. See rankings of the best and most affordable schools in Louisiana to determine which schools might be right for you.
School Ranking Overview
Colleges of all types - public, private, for-profit and not-for-profit - are available in the state of Louisiana. This article takes a detailed look at just the traditional public and not-for-profit private schools that offer a range of study options. Those colleges are compared so that the top three can be ranked on the basis of four separate categories:
- Most Program Variety
- Lowest Net Price
- Highest Graduation Rate
- Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Most Program Variety
Some students prefer schools that offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs from which to choose. The three schools below give students a variety of options when it comes to their postsecondary studies.
1 - Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College
Located in Baton Rouge, this school offers students the most variety with 134 programs. The university, more commonly referred to as Louisiana State University, allows students to major in various fields like business, education, engineering, social sciences, biological and biomedical sciences, according to U.S. News & World Report. The school is the 67th top public school and 134th best national university, the report found. On the graduate level, the school's earth sciences program is ranked 58th best while the library and information studies program is 27th best, U.S. News & World Report. Other graduate programs include business, engineering and education.
2 - Tulane University of Louisiana
This New Orleans school offers students 127 undergraduate and graduate programs. In 2011, it was popular for undergraduate students to major in business, social sciences, biological and biomedical sciences, psychology, English language and literature, according to U.S. News & World Report. The school is ranked as the 12th up-and-coming school and high school counselors ranked it as the 33rd best school, the report found. The university is also the 51st top national university. Graduate students can choose from programs in business, engineering, law and medicine. The environmental law program, for example, is ranked 6th best while the public health program is 13th best, U.S. News & World Report found.
3 - Louisiana Tech University
Another option is this Ruston school, which has 125 undergraduate and graduate programs for students. Undergraduate students frequently majored in business, engineering and education while graduate students have options in engineering, health and fine arts, according to U.S. News & World Report. The school is the 115th top public school and high school counselors ranked the school as 167th best, the report found. The graduate program in engineering is 126th best, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Lowest Net Price
The average net price for a college or university is determined by subtracting the amount of government or institutional financial aid a student receives from the total cost of attendance. The figures for these three Louisiana schools are based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the 2010-2011 academic year. Generally, the net price for Louisiana schools varies from about $4,000 a year to almost $31,000 a year. All three of the schools below are community colleges, which frequently give students the most affordable options for a postsecondary education.
1 - Nunez Community College
Located in Chalmette, this school is the most affordable option with its net price of $4,141. During the 2012-13 school year, in-state students paid $2,875 in tuition and fees while out-of-state students paid $5,946, according to NCES. For the 2011-12 school year, 77% of full-time and beginning undergraduate students received financial aid to help cover the costs of school, NCES found. On average, an undergraduate student received $3,300 in grant or scholarship aid during the 2011-12 school year, according to NCES.
2 - South Louisiana Community College
With a net price of $4,737, this Lafayette public school is another affordable option for students. In-state students paid $2,861 in tuition and fees while out-of-state students paid $5,542 during the 2012-13 school year, NCES reported. As for financial aid, 56% of full-time and beginning undergraduate students received assistance during the 2011-12 school year, NCES found. During that same year, an undergraduate student received an average $1,987 in grant or scholarship aid, according to NCES.
3 - Baton Rouge Community College
Another affordable community college is this school with its net price of $5,528. For the 2012-13 school year, Louisiana residents paid $3,091 in tuition and fees, NCES reported. Out-of-state students were charged $6,643 in tuition and fees during the same year. NCES found that 81% of full-time and beginning undergraduate students received some form of financial assistance during the 2011-12 school year. The average amount an undergraduate student was awarded in grant or scholarship aid was $4,210.
Highest Graduation Rate
The overall graduation rate for a school includes the number of students who completed their studies in 150% of 'normal time' (for example, six years would be the 'normal time' for a bachelor's program). Based on NCES figures for full-time students, the following traditional 4-year Louisiana schools had minimum graduation rates of 62% in 2011.
1 - Northeast Louisiana Technical College
Located in West Monroe, this college has the highest overall graduation rate of 98% for students who enrolled in fall 2008. The school recently merged with Louisiana Delta Community College and the school continues to bring together programs and resources for students. Overall, the school is designed to prepare students for the workforce and students can meet with coordinators who can help them transition from school to work. NCES found that 84% of first-time and full-time students who enrolled in fall 2010 returned to continue their studies in fall 2011. The retention rate for part-time students during the same period was 50%, according to NCES.
2 - Central Louisiana Technical Community College
This Alexandria school also has a high overall graduation rate of 67% for students who began their studies in fall 2008. Along with vocational training, the college offers continuing education courses for students who want to transition into new careers. Between fall 2010 and fall 2011, the retention rate was 57% for first-time and full-time students, according to NCES. As for part-time students, the retention rate was 42% during the same period, NCES found.
3 - Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College
Another option for students is this university, which has an overall graduation rate of 62% for students who enrolled in fall 2005. In an effort to help students succeed academically, the university has created an academic support center. Students can meet with tutors and take part in study groups as part of the center's programs. NCES found that 84% of first-time and full-time students who enrolled in fall 2010 returned in fall 2011 to continue their studies. For part-time students, the retention rate was 75% during the same period, according to NCES.
Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
There are students who look for schools with low student-faculty ratios since it can be an indication of a small school atmosphere. The three traditional 4-year Louisiana schools listed below had student-faculty ratios of 12:1 or less as of fall 2011, based on NCES figures. Other schools in the state have student-faculty ratios that are as high as 28:1.
1 - Loyola University - New Orleans
With a little more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, this university has the lowest student-faculty ratio of 10:1. The school relies on a majority of full-time faculty to provide instruction to students. According to NCES, there are 325 full-time faculty and 133 part-time faculty.
2 - Tulane University of Louisiana
This school has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1 for its nearly 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The majority of faculty at this university are hired on a full-time basis. There are a total of 1,136 full-time faculty and 553 part-time faculty, according to NCES. The school also hires some faculty to focus on research and public service. For this, there are 116 full-time faculty and 84 part-time faculty, NCES reported.
3 - Dillard University
Located in New Orleans, this school has a student-faculty ratio of 12:1 for its more than 1,000 undergraduate students. The school hires far fewer faculty than the previous two schools. According to NCES, there are 80 full-time faculty and 51 part-time faculty.
Louisiana Schools At A Glance
|School Name||Location||School Type||Degrees Offered||Area Ranking|
|Baton Rouge Community College||Baton Rouge||2-year; public||1- to <2-year certificates; associate degrees||Third Lowest Net Price|
|Central Louisiana Technical Community College||Alexandria||2-year; public||< 1-year, 1- to <2-year certificates; associate degrees||Second Highest Graduation Rate|
|Dillard University||New Orleans||4-year; private; not-for-profit||Bachelor's degrees||Third Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio|
|Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College||Baton Rouge||4-year, public||Bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees; post-master's certificates|| Most Program Variety, |
Third Highest Graduation Rate
|Louisiana Tech University||Ruston||4-year; public||Associate, bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees; postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates||Third Most Program Variety|
|Loyola University - New Orleans||New Orleans||4-year; public||Bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees; postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates||Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio|
|Northeast Louisiana Technical College||West Monroe||2-year; public||< 1-year, 1- to <2-year certificates; associate degrees||Highest Graduation Rate|
|Nunez Community College||Chalmette||2-year; public||<1-year, 1- to <2-year certificates; associate degrees||Lowest Net Price|
|South Louisiana Community College||Lafayette||2-year; public||< 1-year, 1- to <2-year certificates; associate degrees||Second Lowest Net Price|
|Tulane University of Louisiana||New Orleans||4-year; private; not-for-profit||Associate, bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees; postbaccalaureate certificates|| Second Most Program Variety, |
Second Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
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