Louisiana’s Best Public Colleges & Universities of 2021

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Louisiana provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

Louisiana’s Best Public Colleges & Universities 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.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

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

What is a public college? And what is the difference between a private and public college?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models — one is a private company with private funding; the other is owned by the state and receives both state and federal funding to operate. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of private vs. public college, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a four-year degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a four-year public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually.

Louisiana's Best Public Colleges 2021 badge
Download Badge

How do we determine Louisiana's best public 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.


This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer four-year undergraduate degrees. We’ve identified 14 public universities in Louisiana, 11 of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best public universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must receive direct funding from the state.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It offers a broad range of bachelor’s degree programs.
  4. It must have a graduation rate greater than 30%.

Best Public Colleges & Universities in Louisiana

  1. Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1162/25

    What is Louisiana Tech University known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    University of New Orleans

    New Orleans , LA

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1127/22

    What is University of New Orleans known for?

    University of New Orleans’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    Louisiana State University

    Baton Rouge , LA

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/26

    What is Louisiana State University known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Law
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1144/23

    What is University of Louisiana at Lafayette known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Medical
    REQUEST INFO
  5. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    11K

    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
    REQUEST INFO
  6. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1089/22

    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

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #7

    McNeese State University

    Lake Charles , LA

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/22

    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
    REQUEST INFO
  8. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1086/22

    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
    REQUEST INFO
  9. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/21

    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

    REQUEST INFO
  10. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    985/18

    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
    REQUEST INFO
  11. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    7K

    What is University of Louisiana at Monroe known for?

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

    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO

Find the best public college in Louisiana for your interests

Resources for College-Bound Students

Photo By: Stirlingrb and UpAheadDesign - Own work, CC0