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Known for Creole and Cajun culture, jazz, and French-inspired architecture, Louisiana is also home to many reputable colleges and universities. Louisiana maintains four main public school systems through Louisiana State University, Southern University, the University of Louisiana, and Louisiana Community and Technical College. The state is also famous for many of its private institutions, such as New Orleans's Tulane University. A major research university, Tulane is also the wealthiest private postsecondary institution in Louisiana.
Many Louisiana colleges, universities, and community colleges offer rigorous online courses and degrees that parallel their on-campus counterparts. Convenient and affordable, distance education provides a flexible alternative to expensive, time-consuming traditional degrees. In this guide, we take a look at some of the best online colleges in Louisiana, along with popular majors, career paths for graduates, and financial aid opportunities like scholarships and grants.
Job Outlook for Students with College Degrees in Louisiana
According to a report from Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce , 24% of all jobs require a bachelor's degree, including positions in financial services, government, education, and healthcare. In general, an individual's job outlook and earning potential grow as their educational attainment increases. However, growing trends highlighted in Georgetown's report suggest that obtaining a college degree plays a necessary role in landing any type of job. Researchers predict that by 2020, 53% of jobs in Louisiana will require a college degree. The Louisiana job market appears far more amenable to college graduates than individuals with only a high school diploma.
While Louisiana's annual mean salary for all workers falls below the national average, it is worth noting that the state's cost of living is significantly lower than that of many other states. Although New Orleans is one of Louisiana's most expensive cities, its cost of living is still 2% lower than the national average. Louisiana is an affordable place to attend college, but it also provides graduates with many opportunities to explore their career options in a variety of industries and settings.
Cost of Online Colleges in Louisiana
While tuition rates at online colleges in Louisiana are generally similar to those of traditional, on-campus schools, students often find that online programs are more affordable. Traditional students are required to cover many additional costs associated with living on or near campus, including room and board, meal plans, campus facilities, and transportation. Although candidates taking online college courses in Louisiana may need to pay a small technology fee, they typically avoid paying for campus features such as parking and dining.
Although resident students at public two-year online colleges in Louisiana pay tuition rates above the national average, the cost of attendance at public four-year institutions in the state is much lower than average. Louisiana students attending public four-year schools pay roughly $680 less each year than learners in most other states. However, candidates at public two-year institutions in the state pay around $530 more per school year. While these differences in cost often carry over to distance learning programs and online community colleges in Louisiana, the state is known for providing generous financial aid packages to students attending public schools.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year||Public Four-Year|
Source: The College Board
In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition in Louisiana
State colleges and universities nationwide typically charge higher tuition rates for nonresident students than in-state learners, largely because residents contribute to state educational funding by paying taxes. For instance, out-of-state students in Louisiana generally pay more than double the tuition and fees that resident students pay. However, discrepancies between in- and out-of-state tuition at accredited online colleges in Louisiana depend on individual school policies. Many online programs offer one flat tuition rate for both state residents and nonresidents, while some states participate in reciprocity programs that allow students living in bordering states to pay in-state tuition or receive special discounts. To find out more about these and similar opportunities, contact your prospective school's financial aid adviser or check the state-sponsored educational resources listed later in this guide.
Average Tuition and Fees, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year In-State||Public Four-Year Out-of-State|
Source: The College Board
Financial Aid in Louisiana
Most students fund their degrees with some type of financial aid, and many begin by submitting their FAFSA online. The FAFSA helps determine candidates' eligibility to receive federal and state funding, including student loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study opportunities. Students attending online colleges in Louisiana may also qualify for state grant aid. During the 2015-2016 school year, states disbursed between $200 and $2,100 in grant money to full-time students, and Louisiana provided candidates with the fourth highest amount of funding in the nation. Generous state-sponsored financial aid packages make online colleges in Louisiana even more affordable for prospective students. Many schools also offer merit- and need-based funding opportunities.
In addition to federal, state, and institutional aid, students should explore loan forgiveness and tuition reimbursement programs. Many online colleges offer tuition discounts for military members, veterans, and their spouses. Some schools also provide nonresident students and distance learners with tuition waivers or discounts. External scholarships from organizations, companies, and special interest groups are another great way to help offset tuition costs. Read on to learn more about some of the diverse scholarship and grant opportunities available to Louisiana students.
Source: The College Board
Scholarships and Grants for Louisiana College Students
Many Louisiana students fund their studies through scholarships and grants. Schools, companies, nonprofit groups, churches, and other organizations sponsor need- and merit-based scholarships to help learners attend an online college in Louisiana.
Louisiana Go Grant
- Who Can Apply: Applicants should be Louisiana residents and federal Pell Grant recipients studying full or part time at an eligible Louisiana university or college.
- Amount: $300-$3,000
Society of Louisiana CPA Scholarship
- Who Can Apply: Qualifying LCPA student members must be enrolled in a four-year accounting program at a Louisiana school and maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher.
- Amount: $500-$2,000
Associated Grocers Sam P. Politz Scholarship
- Who Can Apply: Eligible Louisiana high school seniors or graduates who have completed honors or advanced placement courses. Applicants must be enrolled full time at an accredited institution and maintain at least a 3.5 GPA.
- Amount: $1,000 per semester for up to eight semesters
Louisiana Workers Compensation Corporation Stephen W. Cavanaugh Scholarship
- Who Can Apply: Students majoring in an insurance-related field at an accredited Louisiana university, college, or community college.
- Amount: $1,000/semester for up to eight semesters
Cheryl D. Conkling Memorial Scholarship
- Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports students with hearing disabilities in several regions, including Baton Rouge and West Feliciana Parish. Candidates must be enrolled at an accredited postsecondary institution.
- Amount: $1,500 per semester for up to eight semesters
David and Jeannie Price Scholarship
- Who Can Apply: Full-time undergraduate juniors or seniors majoring in business at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge or the University of Missouri in Columbia who maintain a 3.5 GPA or better.
- Amount: $3,000
Grocery Manufacturers Representatives Association Scholarship
- Who Can Apply: Candidates must be part-time employees at an Associated Grocers store and full-time Louisiana college students.
- Amount: $500-$1,500 per semester
Patrick F. Taylor Scholarship
- Who Can Apply: Eligible Louisiana residents must demonstrate a 2.5 high school GPA or better, complete an advanced TOPS curriculum, and gain acceptance at a Louisiana college or university.
- Amount: $500-$2,500 per semester
Boudreaux Family Scholarship
- Who Can Apply: Graduating seniors at Zachary High School who have been accepted as full-time students at an accredited college or university.
- Amount: $2,000 per semester for two semesters
Claud L. Cockerham III Scholarship
- Who Can Apply: Applicants must be graduating seniors and ROTC participants at East Ascension High School who are pursuing a criminal justice or military career, and who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Amount: $500
Best Majors for Online Students in Louisiana
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Louisiana's largest occupational areas include office and administrative support, sales, food preparation and serving, transportation, healthcare, and construction and extraction. Many positions within these fields are projected to experience additional demand in the coming decade. The job growth rate for administrative service managers , for example, is expected to increase 10% by 2026. In 2017, administrative service managers enjoyed a median annual salary of $94,020. Nurses can also look forward to increased employment prospects over the next 10 years as healthcare professions experience a 15% projected job growth rate. On average, nurses earn around $70,000 every year.
Each of Louisiana's top industries encompasses a broad spectrum of career opportunities in many different settings. Students who wish to pursue in-state employment upon graduation may be interested in exploring one of the following high-demand majors.
Resources for Online College Students in Louisiana
Offering everything from scholarship opportunities to textbooks, the following websites and organizations are great sources of information and support for online college students in Louisiana.
- Louisiana Government : The official state website provides news about distance learning courses and programs, financial aid and grant opportunities, and a list of colleges, universities, community colleges, and technical schools.
- States of Louisiana Board of Regents : The Louisiana Board of Regents website contains a wealth of information about higher education in the state, including research reports, data and statistics, and news concerning recent developments in postsecondary education. They also have a directory of Louisiana universities and colleges and an annual survey of tuition and fees across these institutions.
- Louisiana Believes : The Louisiana Department of Education website contains many helpful resources for students, teachers, and families. Visitors can learn more about childhood education, pathways to graduation, choosing a school, funding college, learning English as a second language, and education for students with disabilities.
- Affordable Learning Louisiana : This organization partners with state libraries to make educational resources and instructional materials accessible and affordable for all students. Along with textbooks and online learning materials for both students and teachers, the group's website features training seminars, reports and presentations, and event announcements.
- Work Ready U : Created by Louisiana's Community and Technical Colleges, Work Ready U is an adult education agency. The organization offers free online courses to help students obtain high school equivalency certificates, pursue higher education, and enter the workforce.
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