Best Accredited Online Colleges in Louisiana

Doug Wintemute
Updated June 25, 2024
Edited by
Are you interested in an online college in Louisiana? Discover why you should look for accreditation and where to find accredited online colleges in the state.
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Louisiana has implemented several programs to improve support and access to higher education in the state, along with financial aid initiatives like the M.J. Foster Promise Program. This initiative funds adult students pursuing associate degrees in healthcare and information technology.

Many of the state’s schools have also designed programs that align with local and state needs to improve student outcomes and employment opportunities. To make studies more flexible and accessible, schools have also introduced online programs in many of the most in-demand disciplines.

This page explores some considerations when choosing an online college in Louisiana, including the importance of accreditation. Discover some of the best online colleges in the state in this helpful guide.

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What Colleges Are Accredited in Louisiana?

Accreditation should play an important role in every school search because it can affect your access to financial aid, transfer credits, and employment. Accreditation exists at both the programmatic and institutional levels, with each offering quality assurance to students, schools, and other organizations.

Louisiana schools can pursue institutional accreditation from any organization approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education (ED), but the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredits many of the state’s schools.

Institutional Accreditation

The institutional accreditation process involves a thorough review of a school’s operations, programs, faculty, and student outcomes. For many years, institutional accreditation for nonprofit schools operated with regional boundaries.

In 2020, ED removed the borders and allowed schools to pursue accreditation from any approved institutional accrediting organization, regardless of location. This shift allowed Louisiana’s nonprofit schools to work with accreditors other than SACSCOC.

Subject-Specific Accreditation

Programmatic accreditation works similarly to institutional accreditation but on a subject-specific basis. This type of accreditation also comes from CHEA- or ED-approved organizations and can affect employment outcomes. In nationally or state-licensed professions, for example, programmatic accreditation may be required for programs to qualify for licensure.

Common programmatic accreditors include ABET, Inc., the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, and the Council on Social Work Education.

Top Accredited Online Colleges in Louisiana

#1 Best Accredited Online Colleges in Louisiana

Louisiana Tech University

  • Location-markerRuston, LA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,400
  • Out-of-state$13,141
  • Retention Rate80%
  • Acceptance Rate64%
  • Students Enrolled11,510
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment17%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Accredited Online Colleges in Louisiana

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

  • Location-markerLafayette, LA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,407
  • Out-of-state$19,135
  • Retention Rate76%
  • Acceptance Rate68%
  • Students Enrolled16,933
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment39%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best Accredited Online Colleges in Louisiana

McNeese State University

  • Location-markerLake Charles, LA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,147
  • Out-of-state$13,185
  • Retention Rate70%
  • Acceptance Rate81%
  • Students Enrolled7,295
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment56%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Best Accredited Online Colleges in Louisiana

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

  • Location-markerBaton Rouge, LA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$8,038
  • Out-of-state$8,038
  • Retention Rate83%
  • Acceptance Rate75%
  • Students Enrolled31,756
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment28%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Best Accredited Online Colleges in Louisiana

University of Louisiana at Monroe

  • Location-markerMonroe, LA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,788
  • Out-of-state$17,888
  • Retention Rate73%
  • Acceptance Rate80%
  • Students Enrolled8,673
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment43%
  • AccreditationYes

How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited

Most accredited schools and programs feature their accreditation status on their website. Ensure that the school or program holds accreditation from an agency recognized by ED or CHEA. Use ED’s and CHEA’s searchable databases to check any prospective school’s accreditation status.

The Impact of Accreditation When Transferring Credits

The accreditation process provides quality assurance to you, your future employers, and other schools. As a result, accredited schools usually only offer you transfer credits if you transfer from another accredited school. Programmatic accreditation may also be required when transferring between programs in disciplines like nursing and education.

Accreditation Criteria for Licensing

In certain fields, you need to graduate from an accredited program to qualify for the next stage in the licensure process. For example, in engineering, your program must be accredited for you to sit for the licensing exam. The programmatic accreditation process ensures that each program meets the profession’s strict course and practical prerequisites.

Choosing the Right Online College in Louisiana

When choosing an online college in Louisiana, try to find an option that accommodates your needs and supports your interests and goals. When sorting through your choices, consider the following steps.

1. Check Accreditation Status

In most cases, you can find institutional and programmatic accreditation information on the school and program websites. You can also browse CHEA’s databases and directories for a list of accredited schools and programs nationwide.

2. Examine the Delivery Format

Every college has its own way of delivering online programs. Some run programs entirely asynchronously online with no campus requirements, while others offer synchronous delivery on nights and weekends. Hybrid delivery blends online and in-person learning. Consider the schedule you need, how you learn best, and the type of experience you want when choosing.

3. Research the Faculty

Your school’s faculty can significantly affect the quality of education and mentorship you receive, so they should play a role in your decision. For best results, consider looking for a faculty that specializes in a niche that interests you.

4. Look into Support Services

You may rely on your school’s academic support, career, and mental health services at various times during your education. Before making a decision, compare what each school offers its enrollees and how that translates into student outcomes.

5. Explore Financial Aid

Comparing school tuition rates is a good place to start, but you should also consider available financial aid opportunities at each college. Many schools offer guaranteed scholarships and tuition discounts for qualifying students.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in Louisiana

How many universities does Louisiana have?

Louisiana has 39 four-year universities, including nonprofit and for-profit institutions, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This consists of 21 public four-year universities and 18 private four-year universities. Many of these schools offer online degree programs.

How long does it take to earn an online degree in Louisiana?

Online degrees take a similar amount of time and require a similar number of credits as traditional degrees. To earn a bachelor’s degree online at the University of Louisiana, for example, you’ll need 120 credits. For a master’s degree, you need 30-39 credits to graduate, depending on your major.

How long do you have to live in Louisiana to get in-state tuition?

In most cases, you need to live in Louisiana for at least one full year to qualify for in-state tuition. At LSU, for example, you must live in the state for 12 consecutive months, or 365 days, before the first day of the semester to be considered an in-state student.

Does LSU have an online degree program?

Yes — LSU offers more than 100 online degrees and certificates. You can choose from online bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and professional certificates in fields like technology, healthcare, education, human services, and liberal arts.

What is the cheapest college in Louisiana?

According to NCES tuition data, some of the cheapest colleges in Louisiana are Infinity College, Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College, Fletcher Technical Community College, Bossier Parish Community College, River Parishes Community College, and Central Louisiana Technical Community College.

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