Louisiana Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2016-2017

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Online Learning Landscape in Louisiana

For years, online education in Louisiana was the focus of private, for-profit institutions. Today, online education is an accepted, mainstream part of higher education. Many traditional schools now offer full programs online, with the weight of their impressive history and educational prowess behind the degree. In 2013, 16 four-year colleges and universities in the state offered some type of online courses and a variety of undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs. Continuing education is also a popular aspect of online learning. Many career-minded adults go back to school to earn diplomas or other credentials to accelerate their career development.

Louisiana is known for cultural diversity, and colleges in the Pelican State reflect those strengths, attracting students the world over. Equally diverse are the types of studies offered. To get a glimpse of the exceptional variety in Louisiana online colleges, take a look at the abundance of options in New Orleans.

Higher Education in New Orleans

New Orleans is a rich tapestry of music, cuisine and festivities, making the city a cultural hub. Like most other world-class cities, New Orleans is also home to an array of higher education institutions. Among them is the renowned Tulane University, a private research university that counts itself among the exclusive Association of American Universities. Tulane educates both undergraduate and graduate students in liberal arts, science, engineering, architecture, business, law, social work, medicine, and public health and tropical medicine.

Located close to the famous French Quarter is the University of New Orleans (UNO). UNO prides itself on its knowledgeable faculty; approximately 64 percent hold doctorates. New Orleans is also home to a number of historically black colleges and universities, including Dillard University, Southern University at New Orleans and Xavier University, which is the only historically black Catholic university in the U.S. The largest higher education institution in New Orleans is Delgado Community College. This two year-college has articulation agreements with most of the four-year colleges in Louisiana, allowing students to transfer credits to a baccalaureate program. However, that doesn’t mean that students can’t complete a degree at Delgado—the school offers 35 programs for associate degrees and 73 programs for certificates or technical diplomas.

Online Academic Opportunities in New Orleans

Beyond its campus-based offerings, the city of New Orleans has a number of distance learning options for non-traditional students. For instance, private Jesuit institution Loyola University offers several online graduate degree programs, including master’s degrees in criminal justice administration, nursing, pastoral studies and education, plus a Doctor of Nursing Practice credential. Delgado Community College also has both online and hybrid courses, with a flexible course management system that gives students access to course content 24/7. In addition, UNO offers four asynchronous degree programs—BA in Organizational Leadership, BA in Philosophy, MA in Romance Languages, and Executive MS in hospitality and tourism management—with other online programs in the works. Each semester, UNO provides online courses via Moodle, using hybrid, asynchronous and synchronous formats.

Living Expenses and Tuition at Louisiana Colleges

No matter what state a student chooses for their higher education experience, there is little doubt that college can be costly. In fact, it might be one of the most expensive undertakings a student can walk into. This means that it pays to do serious homework as to the costs of higher education.

The most basic cost for a college education is tuition. Tuition in Louisiana varies widely depending upon the school, the location, the residency requirements, and in some cases, the chosen program. Students who were full-time residents of the state of Louisiana paid tuition of $8,550, on average, in 2012.

In addition to tuition, there are several fees associated with attending a college or university. From parking to technology fees to the costs of recreational facilities, specialized supplies or laboratory equipment, these fees can add up quickly. In Louisiana, students paid an average of $750 in fees per year in 2012, bringing the total of in-state tuition and fees for Louisiana students to $9,300 per year.

One other very important financial aspect of Louisiana higher education is room and board, as well as other necessary living expenses. The state of Louisiana has a cost of living that is approximately 4 percent lower than the national average. In the table below, the national average cost of living (COL) is shown as 100 percent, and the cost of living in Louisiana’s major metro areas is listed in comparison:

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Monroe -7.3% -17.0% -4.2% -10.9% -2.5% -4.0% -0.7%
Alexandria -4.9% -7.3% -4.0% -10.1% -2.8% -7.1% -1.8%
Shreveport-Bossier City -4.7% -6.5% -4.8% -10.6% -6.6% -6.9% -0.4%
Hammond -4.1% -4.2% -1.0% -15.2% -7.0% -2.6% -1.1%
Baton Rouge -3.9% 2.2% 0.4% -21.8% -9.6% -2.3% -4.2%
Slidell-St. Tammany Parish -3.0% 1.0% -4.9% -17.8% -3.8% -6.6% -0.6%
Lake Charles -2.6% 3.4% -0.2% -10.5% -2.9% -15.6% -4.6%
Lafayette -0.8% 10.1% -6.5% -18.8% 4.0% -11.2% -2.7%

College Accreditation in Louisiana

When narrowing down the list of potential schools in Louisiana, accreditation status should be a key consideration. Accreditation means that a college or university has met the standards of academic excellence expected from the educational institutions in the state, region or nation. Accreditation is also necessary for other reasons: Students who might want to transfer credits could find that only accredited college credits will transfer. In addition, financial aid is only awarded to schools that have earned accreditation, and employers might not consider someone who has graduated from a school that does not have accreditation in good standing. More details on regional accreditation in Louisiana are provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Best Online Colleges In Louisiana For 2016-2017

Louisiana offers a wide variety of opportunities for the online academic experience, including individual courses and complete degree programs at community and junior colleges, religious institutions and four-year universities, both public and private. To help students make sound choices in their online education is the goal of this guide. Considering variables such as tuition, types of degrees and student support services, certain schools tower above the rest. In honor of their proven achievements in online education, the following schools are rated as the Best Online Colleges in Louisiana for 2016-2017.

Rank School Name Location Score Tution & Fees # of Online Programs More Info
1 Bossier Parish Community College Bossier City, LA 92.59 18
  • Financial
    Aid %
    12%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    36:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    11%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Bossier Parish Community College offers a variety of online associate degrees in general studies, business administration, criminal justice, and health care management, as well as several certificates and free online non-credit courses. Hybrid courses are also available to students who desire some traditional classroom learning in combination with their online experience. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and offers federal student aid including grants and student loans to students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Additionally, institutional scholarships and state grants may be available for students who qualify.

2 Louisiana State University-Eunice Eunice, LA 92.25 9
  • Financial
    Aid %
    15%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    21:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    10%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    Yes
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Earn an online associate degree through Louisiana State University Eunice in general studies, criminal justice, fire and emergency services, or an Associate of Arts Louisiana Transfer degree to help gain admission into one of the state's four year colleges that offer bachelor degree programs. Online degrees allow students the flexibility to work on their own schedules from anywhere with internet access. The college offers generous scholarships, state and federal grants, and student loans for eligible students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If additional information or help is needed, students can attend one of the financial aid workshops for assistance.

3 Southern University Shreveport Shreveport, LA 91.56 6
  • Financial
    Aid %
    2%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    11:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    16%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Southern University Shreveport is one of the nation's historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) that is based in Shreveport, Louisiana. Formation of the university started on May 11, 1964. On October 28, 1974, the university was approved to confer its first six degrees. Today, the school confers more than 20 associate degrees in business, technical, general studies and sciences. Accounting, business management, psychology, computer science and nursing are areas that two-year degrees are offered in at the university. In addition to associate degrees, the school awards technical and science certificates.

4 Northshore Technical Community College Bogalusa, LA 90.94 3
  • Financial
    Aid %
    18%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    21:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    41%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    Yes
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

As many as 24 programs of study are open to adults at Northshore Technical Community College. Associate degrees, certificates and diplomas are awarded by the college. Culinary arts, air conditioning, information technology and medical assistant are types of programs taught at the school's Greensburg, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, Mandeville and Bogalusa campuses. Degree audits track how well students are progressing in the programs. The college operates an adult education, distance learning and workforce division. Through Youth Build, the school helps students to prepare for college, including gaining skills to pass college entrance exams.

5 Fletcher Technical Community College Schriever, LA 89.61 6
  • Financial
    Aid %
    2%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    20:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    15%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

The Fletcher Technical Community College campus is located in Schriever, Louisiana. The school is known for its marine and petroleum divisions. Manufacturing, nursing and allied health, business and arts and sciences are other divisions at the two-year college. Career services, advising and student affairs are services that support the study body. Professional certifications are made possible via partnerships that the college has with state organizations like the Louisiana Contractor's Accreditation Institute, Louisiana Economic Development and the Louisiana Community & Technical College System. People with a high school diploma or equivalent can apply to the school via its open admissions policy.

6 Delgado Community College New Orleans, LA 89.48 3
  • Financial
    Aid %
    2%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    19:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    10%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    Yes
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Located in New Orleans, Louisiana, Delgado Community College is a two-year, semester based educational institution that confers degrees in fields like communications, technology, humanities and arts and sciences. Shorter credentials like certificates and diplomas are also awarded. Online classes are taught via Canvas. If adults have work experience, they could earn college credits for work experience that aligns with classes in their major. Under its continuing education offerings, adults can complete non-credit professional studies. Approximately 15,000 students take advantage of at least one of these classes a year. Although a large portion of the school's students are from Louisiana, the school accepts international students.

Rank School Name Location Score Tution & Fees # of Online Programs More Info
1 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA 99.78 60
  • Financial
    Aid %
    56%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    21:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    41%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is home of the Warhawks. Located in Monroe, Louisiana, the university provides services and academic training that enrich students and members of the surrounding community. Academic majors and minors are in the arts, sciences, business, health and pharmaceutical services. The graduate school operates separately from the undergraduate school. As part of its community initiatives, the school as an autism center, marriage and family therapy clinic, speech-language pathology clinic and a dental hygiene clinic. High school seniors and adults continuing their education are invited to take a virtual or in-person tour of the campus. Career fairs and special events are regularly held on campus.

2 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA 99.60 47
  • Financial
    Aid %
    48%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    20:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    38%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    Yes
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Northwestern State University of Louisiana was established overlooking the scenic port city of Natchitoches 130 years ago. It has since added campuses in Fort Polk, Shreveport, and Alexandria. Degree programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels through twenty academic departments. eNSU was created to serve distance students with 39 online degree programs, gaining national recognition for its online Master’s in Special Education, and online Master’s in Education. The broad selection of online degree programs lead to associate, baccalaureate, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees. There are also online post-baccalaureate and post-graduate professional certifications.

3 McNeese State University Lake Charles, LA 99.13 21
  • Financial
    Aid %
    36%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    21:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    41%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    Yes
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Founded at Lake Charles in 1939, McNeese State University offers students more than 75 degree programs at the associate, baccalaureate and graduate levels. Programs are offered through the Colleges of Business, Engineering and Computer Science, Nursing and Health Professions, Education, the Division of General and Basic Studies, and the Doré School of Graduate Studies. Online students can choose from two associate degrees, six bachelor programs, and five master’s degrees. For distance students looking to benchmark their career proficiency, there are Specialist, Post Baccalaureate, Post Master's, and Graduate Certificates offered entirely online.

4 Nicholls State University Thibodaux, LA 98.57 28
  • Financial
    Aid %
    32%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    20:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    40%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Nicholls State University was founded on 287 acres in the Mississippi Delta in 1948 and charged to develop a comprehensive general education program. Today NSU offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, and certification programs. Students who cannot attend college on campus have a selection of online degrees, including two associates, seven baccalaureates, and a reading-specialist Master’s in Education program. Technology students can also complete an online Post Baccalaureate Certification in Applied Business Administration. Registered nurses seeking advancement may also complete Nicholls’ online RN-to-BSN degree program. Clinical requirements are completed off campus.

5 Southern University and A & M College Baton Rouge, LA 98.56 12
  • Financial
    Aid %
    31%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    17:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    32%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Founded in 1879, Southern University and A & M College is the largest Historically Black College in Louisiana. In addition to its public law school in Baton Rouge, SUBR offers programs through The College of Education, Arts, and Humanities; College of Business; College of Nursing and Allied Health; College of Engineering and Computer Science; College of Sciences and Agriculture; and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Distance students have options of completing two online associate, six baccalaureates, and three online master’s degrees. Two executive online masters programs lead to the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA), and Executive Master of Science in Criminal Justice (EMSCJ).

6 Xavier University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA 98.38 6
  • Financial
    Aid %
    85%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    14:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    44%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Xavier University of Louisiana is the only designated Catholic and Historically Black College in the nation. Xavier was founded in New Orleans in 1915 by the St. Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and sisters still are part of the campus community. Half of the enrolled 3,338 students are from the New Orleans area, with XULA drawing students from around the country. Students have the option of completing selected coursework online in 100 percent online and hybrid (mix of campus/online) formats through XULA Online. Online classes are delivered through the Blackboard course management system.

7 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA 98.26 9
  • Financial
    Aid %
    70%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    24:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    52%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Louisiana Tech University opened in Ruston, LA in 1894 and today hosts 12,414 students hailing from 48 states and around the world. LTU’s academic programs lead to bachelor, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university reports that financial aid is extended to 84 percent of all its students. The university’s Global Campus is home to distance learning and the ten online degree programs offered at the undergraduate, graduate, and certificate levels. Undergraduate distance students in technology can complete an online BS in Health Informatics and Information Management or a Certificate of Completion in Information Technology.

8 Louisiana State University-Shreveport Shreveport, LA 98.03 3
  • Financial
    Aid %
    53%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    20:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    31%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Founded in 1962 to serve the Shreveport-Bossier area, Louisiana State University-Shreveport today offers students a selection of 20 undergraduate degree programs, 12 master’s degrees, and the Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies (EdD). The university has recently offered courses in accelerated eight-week semesters to shorten the time to completing a degree. Graduate students can complete one of eight, 100 percent online master’s degree programs. Each online graduate degree requires from 30-36 hours of credits for graduation. Three online master’s degrees (MEd) are offered in the educational field, with the other five distance master’s degrees focusing on business administration.

9 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, LA 97.94 9
  • Financial
    Aid %
    38%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    23:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    48%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Before there was a University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the original Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute began serving the community in July 1898. Today, the university has grown into the second-largest public educational institution in the Bayou State. ULL has selected its academic offerings as “areas of excellence”: Louisiana arts, culture, and heritage programs; nursing and health care systems; computing, informatics, and smart systems; and environment, energy, and economics programs. Online students can complete undergraduate, graduate, doctorate, and graduate certificate programs in business, nursing, education, healthcare, professional writing, and systems technology.

10 Southern University at New Orleans New Orleans, LA 97.90 6
  • Financial
    Aid %
    4%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    15:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    12%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    Yes
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

The first students to attend the Southern University at New Orleans walked through the school’s doors for the first time on September 21, 1959. It is a semester based four-year public higher learning institution that enrolls approximately 2,700 students annually. Associate, bachelor and master’s degrees are awarded at the school in academic programs like natural sciences, health information management systems, business administration and computer information systems. The university is seven miles from downtown New Orleans and has athletic teams, work study programs and on campus housing.

11 Louisiana State University-Alexandria Alexandria, LA 97.81 6
  • Financial
    Aid %
    23%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    19:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    21%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    Yes
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Louisiana State University-Alexandria offers two associate degrees and more than half a dozen bachelor's degrees completely online. The undergraduate programs are offered in seven different fields of study. Distance learners are required to participate in an online learning orientation, which takes roughly three hours to complete, but can be spread out over the course of several days if necessary. The orientation, which is free, is delivered through Moodle, which is the school's learning management system. Students can manage their information, access library resources, utilize training and tutoring services, and connect with the bookstore online.

12 University of New Orleans New Orleans, LA 97.72 6
  • Financial
    Aid %
    42%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    21:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    34%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    Yes
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Lake Pontchartrain borders the University of New Orleans. The lake is within walking distance of the university that has four colleges and an interdisciplinary studies division. Liberal arts, sciences, human development, business administration and engineering are subjects that students can choose as a major. The full-service Honors Program caters to undergraduates with high academic performance. Benefits that honors students receive include special faculty lectures and the chance to participate in community service events and a Quiz Bowl. Since 1962, the university has awarded more than 70,000 degrees. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

13 Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, LA 97.57 6
  • Financial
    Aid %
    30%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    22:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    37%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

An RN to BSN nursing degree-completion program, as well as two graduate degrees, are available completely online. Another two undergraduate degrees, as well another graduate degree, are available 50-99 percent online. Online students must have the discipline to work at their own pace, and in most cases, apart from their instructors and student peers. Prospective students can take an online quiz to determine whether distance learning is right for them. Student resources for online learners include library services, textbook rental, the university bookstore, the student technology center and the Center for Student Excellence.

14 Grambling State University Grambling, LA 97.40 3
  • Financial
    Aid %
    21%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    20:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    30%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

There are a wide range of both graduate and undergraduate courses that can be taken either fully online or in the hybrid format, which requires some on-campus instruction. Moodle is the online learning management system, and the school offers SmarterMeasure, an online learning assessment for prospective students who are unsure if distance learning is right for them. TurnItIn, an online feedback forum, is designed to help distance learners achieve academic success. Instructors use a variety of technological platforms to deliver coursework, including video tutorials, discussion boards, PowerPoint presentations, web-based learning activities and a combination of library- and web-based research.

15 New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary New Orleans, LA 97.01 3
  • Financial
    Aid %
    8%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    13:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    21%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Undergraduate students can pursue a bachelor of arts in Christian ministry, an associate in Christian ministry and several certificates completely online. There are also nine online graduate degree programs, all of which result in master's degrees. The school and all of its programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Coursework is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. Distance learners have several different options for tech support, as well as a wide range of academic and spiritual enhancement resources, including livestreamed chapel services and archived chapel services available for download.

16 Our Lady of Holy Cross College New Orleans, LA 96.54 3
  • Financial
    Aid %
    25%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    16:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    29%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    Yes
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Undergraduate nursing students can complete their basic degree with an on online RN to BSN program. For graduate students, the college offers a web-based master of health administration degree. The OLOL bookstore is available online, and the library offers a range of online tools, including research, free journals and ebook downloads. Tutorials are available to help distance learners use the library successfully. Students are expected to dedicate between eight and 10 hours per week to each three-hour course. Distance learners are also expected to follow web etiquette. All students will have access to IT helpdesk services.

17 Our Lady of the Lake College Baton Rouge, LA 86.00 4
  • Financial
    Aid %
    38%
  • Student-Teacher
    Ratio
    18:1
  • Grad
    Rate
    31%
  • Credit for
    Experience
    No
  • Placement
    Services
    No
  • Counseling
    Services
    Yes

Northwestern State University of Louisiana consists of five campuses, one which is a virtual campus that is dedicated to managing the university’s online learning options. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are conferred in 20 different academic areas, including business, hospitality and teaching. The public university is located in Natchitoches, Louisiana. From 1884, when the school was established, until 1921, the university operated as a two-year training institution for teachers. In addition to the main Natchitoches campus, the school has satellite locations in Shreveport, Fort Polk and Alexandria. Admission criteria for first time and non-traditional freshmen differ.

Choosing the Right Online Program in Louisiana

From the mighty Mississippi to bustling New Orleans, this state is home to 132 colleges, universities and career schools, serving more than 355,000 students at all levels, including undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs. A multitude of online educational opportunities are available, but choosing the right one can be daunting. Students need to evaluate all the significant data, including the basics of tuition and fees, accreditation and summaries of academic programs. To make this analysis easier, the search tool below can be customized to filter prospective schools by the factors that count the most.

Degree Level:
Tuition:
Student Population:
School Type:
see map

Best Online Colleges in Louisiana for 2015-2016

RANK COLLEGE ScoreStudent-Teacher RatioFinancial AidCostMORE INFO
1 Southeastern Louisiana University 98.5823:193%

Students at Southeastern Louisiana University can complete a bachelor's of science degree in nursing completely online when they already have registered nurse credentials. The university, accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, allows students to complete the online college program in as little as three semesters.

2 University of Louisiana at Lafayette 98.5722:194%

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's -- ULearn -- online college program has online nursing, health, and education programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Courses are taught using the Moodle platform. The University offers a SmarterMeasure test for those interested in finding out if distance learning with ULearn is right for them.

3 University of Louisiana at Monroe 98.5123:196%

University of Louisiana at Monroe's online program, eULM, offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs online. Courses are taught in four, eight, or 16-week formats and students are expected to participate five to seven days per week. Some degrees can be obtained on accelerated track. Classes are run using the Moodle platform.

4 Northwestern State University of Louisiana 95.9120:195%

Northwestern State University of Louisiana's distance learning program, known as eNSU, offers 34 accredited online college degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can also obtain certificates and specialist degrees through eNSU. There are also five degree programs specifically for mature adults that can be taken at an accelerated pace. Some classes require students to come to campus for midterm or final exams.

5 New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary 94.3913:173%

The New Orleans Baptist Theological Online Seminary provides students with accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as certificates. Students can get their degree completely online or can choose to take some in-person courses. No enrollment is required and students can take online college courses on a non-credit or credit basis. The Seminary also offers Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOC, for free.

6 University of New Orleans 92.9421:190%

The University of New Orleans offers a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy program online with more programs coming soon. The University also offers individual online courses. Online college classes may include web conferencing or a virtual campus with Second Life. Students can also participate in compressed videos, meaning that students at remote classroom sites can interact live with students at other classrooms and the instructor via television. The majority of classes utilize the Moodle platform.

7 Louisiana Tech University 92.3323:194%

Louisiana Tech University offers undergraduate and graduate level education to students who want to advance their knowledge through online college learning. Bachelor's and master's degrees can be found in subjects such as English, general studies, and organizational leadership. The school, which is accredited through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, also provides various e-learning certificates.

8 Our Lady of Holy Cross College 89.8711:181%

Our Lady of Holy Cross College offers an online R.N. to B.S.N. degree program in addition to a variety of individual online college courses from different departments. Courses are run using Blackboard software. Our Lady of Holy Cross College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

9 Loyola University New Orleans 86.5910:198%

Loyola University New Orleans Online provides regionally accredited bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. The school also offers a BLEND, or Bridge to Leadership Education for Nurses at a Distance, an online college program for students who plan to pursue a graduate degree at Loyola in the Health Care Systems Management program.

Inside Look at Louisiana Online Colleges

Tuition and fees may be among the crucial considerations when choosing a college, but there are myriad other criteria to examine as well. What makes different distance learning programs unique? In the interviews below, officials from online colleges in Louisiana describe what makes their schools stand out from the rest.

Online Departments in Louisiana

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

Our approach is to utilize our LSU teaching faculty and, working together, become the premier provider of online education delivery in the state of Louisiana by offering the highest quality programs. By leveraging the LSU brand and our highly qualified faculty, we are proud to provide distance-learning opportunities to students all around the globe.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

LSU Online extends access to higher education by offering the highest quality online programs, taught by highly qualified LSU faculty. LSU Online seeks to provide distance-learning opportunities to students regardless of geographic location. Extending the opportunity to earn a LSU degree is invaluable to the marketplace.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

I believe in the next five years, and beyond, LSU will be offering many more online degrees at both the graduate and undergraduate level. We will also see growth in hybrid programs and the ability to take our highly rated LSU programs to all corners of the world with multiple delivery methods.

Louisiana State University-Shreveport

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

We recognize the importance of online learning that's why we have a designated department for two years. "Center for Online Learning& Faculty Development" under LSUS Continuing Education. My role is to prepare faculty to teach online courses and degree programs. I teach How to Teach Online Course each semester and certify faculty so they can offer online courses for LSUS. We use MOODLE online course learning management software. I train faculty on MOODLE if they lack technical skills. I offer brown bag lunch sessions and offer a variety of training and development programs to faculty. We increased our online course offerings and 100% online degree programs tremendously. I work closely with the departments and help them transition their face-to-face classes into 100 % online courses. Faculty members are eager to take on this task and develop their online courses. During 2012 and 2013, our number of online courses grew from 147 to 299. I add all our online course offerings into Electronic Campus website so, students can find us all over the world because we offer a very high quality of online courses and degree programs with a very affordable price.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Our experienced faculty are now offering their courses in online format with a very reasonable price that our students can afford and register anywhere anytime. We constantly evaluate the needs of our students and offer degree programs to meet their needs. Currently we are offering eight week accelerated on campus and 100% online courses and degree programs to our online students. This way, our students can complete their degree programs lot shorter time period and attain a profession in their field of study. We have a partnership with Academic Partnerships Inc. and currently have two accelerated Masters Degrees offered and students can graduate within a year with a very affordable price. These degrees are in Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and Masters in MBA.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

I see our online degree programs grow in numbers of students and new degree programs to meet the demand in our region. We do not want to duplicate programs, but offer very competitive degree programs to meet the economic needs of our region so our students can get a high paying jobs and be part of the economic growth. We know that online learning starts way before higher education, therefore, we will continue to offer variety of degree programs that are innovative and in demand occupations.

Nicholls State University

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

The Nicholls approach to online learning is to offer students an accelerated, affordable and accessible alternative to a traditional education—one that allows them to adapt their educational experience to their life, not the other way around.

Our accredited online degree programs offer students the same high-quality education and personal attention for which our university is so well known. All faculty members who teach online courses must first complete training so that they can better understand and are better prepared for the unique challenges and teaching practices of the online classroom.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

At Nicholls, we understand that students have obligations and challenges to meet in their daily lives, so we’ve developed flexible online degree programs that help them achieve their education goals while living life. Five, 8-week sessions are offered each year and students can start and stop classes as life allows. The 8-week format allows students to see the "light at the end of the session tunnel" as they make progress toward course completion and, ultimately, their degree.

By taking just two classes each 8-week session, a student can complete a 120-hour bachelor’s degree in four years. Students taking three classes per session can earn the same degree in less than three years!

To help relieve student anxiety in the enrollment, scheduling and payment process, Nicholls Online provides a "one stop shop" for advising, registration and financial aid. There are no hidden fees, as the cost is set per credit hour ($250/credit hour for undergraduate courses and $350/credit hour for graduate courses for the 2013-14 year). Textbook and class material costs vary, depending on course.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

With technology and higher ed changing so rapidly, it's difficult to predict exactly where online programs will be in the future, but providing accessible, accredited education with a personal touch will always be Nicholls number one priority. The university’s online programs will continue to develop to meet the needs of our students.

Student Resources for Louisiana Online Colleges

Online students depend upon reliable resources for school and personal research at their colleges — and in the larger education community. Students should know where to apply for need-based Go Grants, how to file for federal financial aid and how much money their families must contribute toward tuition. The resources below are 100 percent free to use and include links to pertinent governmental organizations that serve college students.

Major Louisiana Educational Resources: