Louisiana’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges of 2021

Liberal arts colleges are a great option for students seeking a well-rounded education in an intimate campus setting. The best liberal arts colleges in Louisiana offer a diverse selection of degree programs with opportunities for a highly individualized educational experience.

Louisiana’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Louisiana

Though the culture in Louisiana is sure to draw you in, the affordability of its 26 public colleges and universities also makes it an appealing place to earn your degree. Seven community colleges average $4,000 for tuition, and the cost to attend its public institutions ranges from $5,000 to $12,000. With just shy of 27,000 students, Louisiana State University (LSU) is the largest public university, boasting a tuition rate of $12,000.

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LSU, located in Baton Rouge, offers degrees in engineering, education, theater, and landscape architecture. For those looking to merge their faith with their education, the state also has eight religious institutions, including Catholic, Methodist, and Baptist schools. Prospective students can also attend one of 10 private colleges, including Tulane University and Louisiana Culinary Institute. Tulane University’s tuition rate is $55,000, and it is best known for its medical and law schools. Attorneys in Louisiana who have debt from law school may be eligible to receive $5,000 annually through the Loan Repayment Assistance Program from the Bar Foundation.

Jazz, beignets, and Mardi Gras — the culture, food, and music of Louisiana make it an irresistible place to indulge. This L-shaped state is nicknamed The Pelican State, but the American alligator is also known to roam its lands. Wildlife aside, Louisiana is home to 36 higher education institutions that award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

Louisiana offers a variety of higher education experiences, serving a full range of budgetary needs and career goals. Find out more about earning your degree from one of Louisiana’s colleges or universities.


What are Louisiana’s Colleges & Universities?

Louisiana’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Louisiana's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

A liberal arts college is a school that puts a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree. We’ve identified a total of 14 liberal arts colleges and universities in Louisiana, 10 of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best liberal arts schools in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 30%.

10 Best Liberal Arts Colleges & Universities in Louisiana

  1. #1

    Dillard University

    #1352 institution's historical influence
    #477 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/21

    New Orleans, LA

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    What is Dillard University known for?

    Dillard University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Sociology
    • Biology
  2. #2

    Louisiana College

    #2785 institution's historical influence
    #1447 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    985/20

    Pineville, LA

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    What is Louisiana College known for?

    Louisiana College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Law
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Xavier University of Louisiana

    #1755 institution's historical influence
    #528 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/23

    New Orleans, LA

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    What is Xavier University of Louisiana known for?

    Xavier University of Louisiana’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Medical
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Literature
  4. #4

    Centenary College of Louisiana

    #2737 institution's historical influence
    #1451 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/25

    Shreveport, LA

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    What is Centenary College of Louisiana known for?

    Centenary College of Louisiana’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Southeastern Louisiana University

    #1538 institution's historical influence
    #1099 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    11K

    Hammond, LA

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    What is Southeastern Louisiana University known for?

    Southeastern Louisiana University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Literature
  6. #6

    Louisiana State University Shreveport

    #6478 institution's historical influence
    #1440 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1089/22

    Shreveport, LA

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    What is Louisiana State University Shreveport known for?

    Louisiana State University Shreveport’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    McNeese State University

    #2391 institution's historical influence
    #233 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/22

    Lake Charles, LA

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    What is McNeese State University known for?

    McNeese State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Medical
  8. #8

    Nicholls State University

    #2912 institution's historical influence
    #1409 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1086/22

    Thibodaux, LA

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    What is Nicholls State University known for?

    Nicholls State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Nursing
    • Chemistry
  9. #9

    Northwestern State University

    #2082 institution's historical influence
    #1470 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/21

    Natchitoches, LA

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    What is Northwestern State University known for?

    Northwestern State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Grambling State University

    #1679 institution's historical influence
    #1305 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    985/18

    Grambling, LA

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    What is Grambling State University known for?

    Grambling State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Law
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry

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Photo By: Infrogmation of New Orleans - Photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans, January 2006Own work, CC BY 2.5