Best Public Colleges in Louisiana 2024

Badge for BEST IN LOUISIANA PUBLIC COLLEGES

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.

10 Best Public Colleges in Louisiana

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  1. Louisiana State University
  2. University of New Orleans
  3. Louisiana Tech University
  4. University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  5. Southern University
  6. Southeastern Louisiana University
  7. Grambling State University
  8. University of Louisiana at Monroe
  9. McNeese State University
  10. Nicholls State University
  1. Louisiana State University
  2. University of New Orleans
  3. Southern University
  4. University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  5. Louisiana Tech University
  6. Southeastern Louisiana University
  7. Grambling State University
  8. Northwestern State University
  9. McNeese State University
  10. University of Louisiana at Monroe
  1. Southeastern Louisiana University 99%
  2. Nicholls State University 98%
  3. Northwestern State University 98%
  4. Southern University at New Orleans 94%
  5. Louisiana State University Shreveport 89%
  6. Louisiana State University 76%
  7. University of Louisiana at Lafayette 75%
  8. McNeese State University 71%
  9. University of Louisiana at Monroe 70%
  10. University of New Orleans 70%
  1. Grambling State University 25 to 1
  2. Louisiana State University Shreveport 24 to 1
  3. Louisiana Tech University 23 to 1
  4. Louisiana State University 22 to 1
  5. McNeese State University 19 to 1
  6. Southeastern Louisiana University 18 to 1
  7. Southern University 18 to 1
  8. University of New Orleans 18 to 1
  9. University of Louisiana at Lafayette 18 to 1
  10. Northwestern State University 17 to 1
  1. Louisiana State University $8,038
  2. Louisiana Tech University $6,401
  3. University of New Orleans $6,090
  4. University of Louisiana at Monroe $5,788
  5. Southeastern Louisiana University $5,777
  6. Louisiana State University Shreveport $5,656
  7. University of Louisiana at Lafayette $5,407
  8. Northwestern State University $5,180
  9. McNeese State University $5,147
  10. Grambling State University $5,140
  1. Louisiana State University $9,132
  2. Southeastern Louisiana University $6,684
  3. University of Louisiana at Monroe $6,490
  4. Louisiana State University Shreveport $6,196
  5. University of New Orleans $6,090
  6. Southern University at New Orleans $6,024
  7. Northwestern State University $5,738
  8. McNeese State University $5,703
  9. Nicholls State University $5,686
  10. University of Louisiana at Lafayette $5,511
  1. Louisiana State University Shreveport
  2. Louisiana State University of Alexandria
  3. Southern University at New Orleans
  4. Northwestern State University
  5. Nicholls State University
  6. McNeese State University
  7. University of Louisiana at Monroe
  8. Grambling State University
  9. Southeastern Louisiana University
  10. Southern University
  1. Louisiana State University of Alexandria
  2. Louisiana State University Shreveport
  3. Southern University at New Orleans
  4. Nicholls State University
  5. University of Louisiana at Monroe
  6. McNeese State University
  7. Northwestern State University
  8. Grambling State University
  9. Southeastern Louisiana University
  10. Louisiana Tech University
  1. Grambling State University 42%
  2. Southern University 54%
  3. Louisiana State University of Alexandria 58%
  4. Louisiana Tech University 62%
  5. University of New Orleans 70%
  6. University of Louisiana at Monroe 70%
  7. McNeese State University 71%
  8. University of Louisiana at Lafayette 75%
  9. Louisiana State University 76%
  10. Louisiana State University Shreveport 89%
  1. Southern University at New Orleans 13 to 1
  2. Louisiana State University of Alexandria 14 to 1
  3. Northwestern State University 17 to 1
  4. University of Louisiana at Monroe 17 to 1
  5. Nicholls State University 17 to 1
  6. Southeastern Louisiana University 18 to 1
  7. Southern University 18 to 1
  8. University of New Orleans 18 to 1
  9. University of Louisiana at Lafayette 18 to 1
  10. McNeese State University 19 to 1
  1. Southern University at New Orleans $4,483
  2. Nicholls State University $4,922
  3. Louisiana State University of Alexandria $4,950
  4. Southern University $4,973
  5. Grambling State University $5,140
  6. McNeese State University $5,147
  7. Northwestern State University $5,180
  8. University of Louisiana at Lafayette $5,407
  9. Louisiana State University Shreveport $5,656
  10. Southeastern Louisiana University $5,777
  1. Grambling State University $5,110
  2. Southern University $5,336
  3. Louisiana Tech University $5,416
  4. University of Louisiana at Lafayette $5,511
  5. Nicholls State University $5,686
  6. McNeese State University $5,703
  7. Northwestern State University $5,738
  8. Southern University at New Orleans $6,024
  9. University of New Orleans $6,090
  10. Louisiana State University Shreveport $6,196

Colleges and Universities in Louisiana

With a wide range of brick-and-mortar and online colleges in Louisiana, students can choose from numerous excellent and highly respected undergraduate and graduate programs. Many of the top Louisiana schools are noted for their affordability as well.

This is because Louisiana offers residents low in state tuition rates for access to its 26 public colleges. If your school search includes public colleges in Louisiana, you’ll have a number of great options. The cost to attend a public college in Louisiana typically ranges from $5,000 to $12,000.

Out of state students will typically pay more. However, Louisiana residents who attend public online schools will be eligible for the instate tuition discount.

With just shy of 27,000 students, the Louisiana State University system is the largest public school system in the state. With an annual tuition rate of $12,000, LSU provides a full spectrum of both traditional and online degree programs in areas like engineering, education, theater, and landscape architecture.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

Other reputable public schools in Louisiana include the University of Louisiana, Northwestern State University, and Southern University and A&M College. Southern University is a highly regarded historically black land-grant university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Students attending public universities in Louisiana can earn both on-campus and online degrees in popular subjects like business management, health services administration, health sciences, and criminal justice.

Louisiana is also noted for an extensive technical college system, where students can pursue a wide range of on-campus and online degree programs. Likewise, the average tuition for a year at one of Louisiana’s seven community colleges is $4,000.

For students looking to merge their faith with their education, Louisiana is also home to 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. Based in the culturally rich city of New Orleans, Tulane 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-based financial aid 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 through an array of traditional and online schools.

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 the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, 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 bachelor’s 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. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

Louisiana's Best Public Colleges Badge
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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 14 public universities in Louisiana. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in Louisiana, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

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Best Public Colleges in Louisiana 2023

  1. #1

    Louisiana State University

    Baton Rouge , LA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    39K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/25

    Career Outlook for degree at Louisiana State University

    Cost of Degree: $11,954
    Expenses: $22,924
    Starting Salary: $60,100
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  2. #5

    Southern University

    Baton Rouge , LA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    54%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    910/17

    Career Outlook for degree at Southern University

    Cost of Degree: $9,842
    Expenses: $16,136
    Starting Salary: $39,600
    Cost Recoup Time: 12 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    42%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    915/17

    Career Outlook for degree at Grambling State University

    Cost of Degree: $7,683
    Expenses: $17,980
    Starting Salary: $32,800
    Cost Recoup Time: 14 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  4. #9

    McNeese State University

    Lake Charles , LA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/21

    Career Outlook for degree at McNeese State University

    Cost of Degree: $8,440
    Expenses: $16,648
    Starting Salary: $45,000
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is McNeese State University known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #10

    Nicholls State University

    Thibodaux , LA

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1034/21

    Career Outlook for degree at Nicholls State University

    Cost of Degree: $8,156
    Expenses: $16,294
    Starting Salary: $43,800
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Nicholls State University known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #11

    Northwestern State University

    Natchitoches , LA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/20

    Career Outlook for degree at Northwestern State University

    Cost of Degree: $8,672
    Expenses: $17,039
    Starting Salary: $39,600
    Cost Recoup Time: 12 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    17%

    Student body

    3K

    Career Outlook for degree at Southern University at New Orleans

    Cost of Degree: $7,470
    Expenses: $15,010
    Starting Salary: $32,100
    Cost Recoup Time: 13 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Southern University at New Orleans known for?

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

  8. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1010/19

    Career Outlook for degree at Louisiana State University of Alexandria

    Cost of Degree: $7,050
    Expenses: $14,130
    Starting Salary: $36,300
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Louisiana State University of Alexandria known for?

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

  9. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/21

    Career Outlook for degree at Louisiana State University Shreveport

    Cost of Degree: $7,327
    Expenses: $16,047
    Starting Salary: $41,000
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Louisiana State University Shreveport known for?

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

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Louisiana’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2024 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2023. That’s because we took a fundamentally different approach. For 2024 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Louisiana Tech University
  2. University of New Orleans
  3. Louisiana State University
  4. University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  5. Southeastern Louisiana University
  6. Louisiana State University Shreveport
  7. McNeese State University
  8. Nicholls State University
  9. Northwestern State University
  10. Grambling State University
  11. University of Louisiana at Monroe

Check out our directory of public colleges throughout the U.S. for a look at the top public colleges in every state.

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