Northwestern State University of Louisiana: Academics, Admissions & Tuition

Learn about the Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Read about its admission info, financial aid and degree programs to make an informed education decision.

About Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Northwestern State University of Louisiana was founded in 1884 as the Louisiana State Normal School, a 2-year teaching college. It acquired its current name in 1970 and is now a 4-year institution and a member of the University of Louisiana System. NSU's athletic program offers football, soccer, track and field, baseball, basketball, cross-country, softball, and tennis. The school mascot is the Demons.


Northwestern State University of Louisiana enrolls over 8,000 undergraduates and 1,100 graduate students in six schools and colleges, including the College of Education and Human Development; the College of Nursing and Allied Health; the College of Science, Technology and Business; the College of Arts, Letters, Graduate Studies and Research; the Graduate School; and the Louisiana Scholar's College. The Louisiana Scholar's College, the only honors college in the state, is an elite academic program for the liberal arts. Applicants for this special program must have an ACT composite score of at least 27 or an SAT composite score of at least 1220 and a minimum 3.3 grade point average.

In addition to its main location in Natchitoches, NSU offers distance learning at campuses in Alexandria, Leesville, Jonesville, and Shreveport, as well as an electronic campus for Internet programs. NSU offers 31 different accredited degree programs entirely online. The school also has a relationship with Hodges Gardens State Park, allowing students to participate in biological field experiences.


Prospective freshmen must apply online at the LSU website and pay a $20 application fee. Undergraduates must submit ACT, SAT, or COMPASS test scores, an official high school transcript, and an immunization form. Male applicants must submit proof that they have registered for the Selective Service. Successful applicants will have completed the Louisiana Regent's Core Curriculum with a cumulative GPA of no less than 2.35 and a core GPA of no less than 2.0. They'll also need no more than one developmental course to be academically prepared for college. In 2011, the middle 50% of incoming students had a composite ACT score between 19 and 24, and 82% of applicants were admitted. The application deadline is July 6 for the fall semester, November 2 for the spring semester, and April 5 for the summer semester.

Tuition & Financial Aid

During the fall semester of 2012, an undergraduate on the Natchitoches campus taking 12 credit hours paid $2,480.80 in tuition. Nonresident students taking 12 or more credit hours paid an additional out-of-state fee of $4,683. Meal plans in 2011 ran from $460 per semester for the 'Sodexo 25 Plus' program to $1,425 per semester for the 'Sodexo 14' plan. Nonresident students taking Internet courses are not charged the out-of-state fee, but they are required to pay an Electronic Learning Course Fee of $50 per online course taken. The university provides tuition exemption and or/fee waivers to students who fall into particular categories, including dependents of policemen and firemen, senior citizens, active duty military, and faculty and staff.

Undergraduates may apply online for four different kinds of institutional scholarships, including academic scholarships (determined entirely by grades and test scores), foundation scholarships (determined by leadership ability), performance scholarships (awarded by academic departments), and athletic scholarships. The TEACH grant program offers a stipend of up to $4,000 a year to students who intend to teach high-need subjects to students from low-income school districts for at least four years. Any LSU graduates who receive this grant and do not complete the teaching obligation within eight years of graduation will be required to pay back the grant as if it were a loan. General grants, loans, and student employment opportunities are also available. Approximately 94% of all NSU students received some kind of financial aid during the 2010-2011 academic year.

School Type 4-year, public**
Degrees Offered Associate's, bachelor's, postbaccalaureate certificates, master's, post-master's certificates**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar 4-week sessions*
School Setting Remote town**
Student Body 8,080 undergraduates and 1,111 graduate students in 2011**
Student Housing Unmarried full-time undergraduates must live on campus; available housing includes University Columns, University Place, and Varnado Hall*
Schools and Programs Six colleges; nearly 70 degree programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 21 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010 - 2011:
Associate's: General Studies (526)
Bachelor's: General Studies (165)
Master's: Registered Nursing (57)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 17% in four years
36% in six years
39% in eight years**
Admission Rate 82% in 2011**
Entering Class Size Approximately 2,043 in 2011*
First-Year Retention Rates 69% (full-time students)
53% (part-time students)**
Average ACT Score of Admitted Students: In 2011, the middle 50% of students had a composite ACT score between 19 and 24**
Application Due Date July 6 for the fall semester*
Tuition $5,501 per year for in-state students, $14,867 per year for nonresidents (estimated cost for 2012-2013, including fees)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010-2011: Federal grants (50%), Pell grants (50%), other federal grants (40%), state and local grants/scholarships (71%), institutional grants/scholarships (56%), federal loans (54%), other student loans (1%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 94% in 2010-2011**

Sources: *Northwestern State University, **IES Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Northwestern State University, Office of Admissions, 175 Sam Sibley Drive, Student Services Center, Suite 235, Natchitoches, Louisiana 71497
  • Phone: (318) 357-4078
  • Website:

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