2023 Top Colleges in Louisiana

Louisiana Colleges of Distinction

Published: September 1, 2022

By: Colleges of Distinction Staff

Jump to: Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University | Louisiana Tech University | Tulane University | University of Holy Cross | University of Louisiana at Lafayette | University of New Orleans | Xavier University of Louisiana | Frequently Asked Questions

Colleges of Distinction has hand-picked a selection of top schools that are well equipped to provide a personalized education catered to students’ interests. Through a rigorous vetting and interview process for the 2022-2023 academic year, we have refreshed and reaffirmed that these institutions strive for excellence in line with the four overarching distinctions—Student Engagement, Teaching, Community, and Outcomes.

These schools vary in size, cost, location, academic offerings, and more, but they are all distinguished by their commitment to the undergraduate experience. The diversity of the college list is intentional, giving students and parents a variety of public and private universities to consider. No matter what, they all exhibit the foundational qualities of a fulfilling undergraduate education.

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University FranU logo

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University

Baton Rouge, LA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

Located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is a small, Catholic, not-for-profit institution with a healthcare emphasis. The University offers degrees in nursing, health sciences, humanities, behavioral sciences and natural sciences. The University is sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady and is faithful to its mission grounded in Franciscan values. The University is a student-centered academic community committed to the pursuit of truth and common good and devoted to excellence in teaching and learning.

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University has an extensive and growing tradition of service to the community. From 2009-2014, over 3,883 students completed service-learning courses at the University, dedicating more than 68,000 service hours to communities in 16 parishes throughout central and southern Louisiana. 

Acceptance rate 47%      •      Net price $14,531
Total Undergrad Population 1,366      •      Setting City: Midsize      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 33%      •      Retention rate 80%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 10:1

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Louisiana Tech University LA Tech logo

Louisiana Tech University

Ruston, LA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

Louisiana Tech University offers an innovative academic experience that prepares students for the next step in their careers. Students at Louisiana Tech forge their own unique paths, with research, community service, internships, and entrepreneurship supplementing a strong foundation in the classroom. Tech students are well equipped to tackle any challenge that comes their way.

Louisiana Tech partners with industry leaders in every field to offer an up-to-date view of the world students are preparing to enter. Working with these professionals ensures that, from the moment classes start, students build upon their network of support every day.

Acceptance rate 64%      •      Net price $11,630      •      SAT Range 1060-1270      •      Students submitting SAT scores 8%
Total Undergrad Population 11,126      •      Setting Town      •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 61%      •      Retention rate 81%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 23:1

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Tulane University logo

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA ‧ Private ‧ 4-year

Tulane University is located in the picturesque city of New Orleans. The University is hailed for its research initiatives, as well as its commitment to developing students into leaders. Tulane’s motto, ‘Not for one’s self, but for one’s own,’ is an educational philosophy that drives academic and personal growth in a collegiate setting.

Tulane’s first year program is known as TIDES, which stands for Tulane Interdisciplinary Experience Seminar. TIDES gathers students in small groups and promotes the exchange of ideas and bonding among peers. Tulane offers 70 different seminar courses, meaning students have countless options when it comes to selecting a class that speaks to their interests. In small groups, students learn by interacting. Faculty promote engagement with coursework and encourage students to work with one another.

Acceptance rate 11%      •      Net price $47,413      •      SAT Range 1340-1500      •      Students submitting SAT scores 30%
Total Undergrad Population 13,927      •      Setting City: Large      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 86%      •      Retention rate 92%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 8:1

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University of Holy Cross logo

University of Holy Cross

New Orleans, LA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

The University of Holy Cross differs from other institutions in the greater New Orleans area by way of its small classes, individual attention and support, and overall welcoming environment. Teaching and learning are always guided by the University’s mission to educate “the mind, but not at the expense of the heart.” The University nurtures the development of its students through adherence to five fundamental values: excellence, respect, integrity, inclusion, and passionate service. 

University of Holy Cross exemplifies the core tenets of a Marianite education, which is to educate the “Whole Person” in both the heart and the mind. Students graduate with a deep understanding of how to use their knowledge, experience, and Christian values in their careers and beyond. Such success is thanks to the University’s rigorous and comprehensive curriculum that pushes students to think deeply and reason wisely about their place in the world. Graduates of Holy Cross are prepared to conduct meaningful work and service to make their communities a better place.

Acceptance rate 53%      •      Net price $13,236
Total Undergrad Population 1,137      •      Setting City: Large      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 38%      •      Retention rate 67%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 10:1

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University of Louisiana at Lafayette logo

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Lafayette, LA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

Give yourself the opportunity to thrive at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. UL Lafayette is a public institution in Lafayette, Louisiana. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is harnessing the spirit of collaboration. Faculty and students work together to unlock the potential in technology, explore the edge of innovation, and find new ways to solve problems.

The campus community keeps the Ragin’ Cajun spirit alive, too—by honoring the past, living fully in the present, and mapping out a bold future.

Acceptance rate 67%      •      Net price $12,706      •      SAT Range 1000-1210      •      Students submitting SAT scores 4%
Total Undergrad Population 16,450      •      Setting City: Midsize      •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 51%      •      Retention rate 79%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 19:1

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University of New Orleans logo

University of New Orleans

New Orleans, LA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

The University of New Orleans is the only public research university in greater New Orleans. It has educated students from all 50 states and more than 140 countries. The University grants bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in four academic colleges and interdisciplinary studies.

The University of New Orleans is located along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain in a quiet residential section of New Orleans. It is a 15-minute drive from the French Quarter and downtown New Orleans.

University of New Orleans students and faculty engage in four major community initiatives including: Spotlight on Music, Arts and Culture; The Quality of Life Project; Recovery and Renaissance; and Global Community Impact. Students connect research, teaching, and community to address social justice issues, including youth and education, homelessness and housing, and food insecurity.

Students have the opportunity to mentor New Orleans youth or assist teachers in after-school programs within New Orleans’ schools; teach workshops on financial literacy, art, or engineering; work with international nongovernmental organizations; create documentary films for nonprofits; conduct oral history interviews and public history projects; compile road conditions, blight, and crime data for the City of New Orleans; or complete marketing analysis for local organizations.

Acceptance rate 83%      •      Net price $11,256      •      SAT Range 1000-1270      •      Students submitting SAT scores 6%
Total Undergrad Population 8,375      •      Setting City: Large      •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 41%      •      Retention rate 70%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 20:1

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xavier u louisiana seal

Xavier University of Louisiana

New Orleans, LA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

At Xavier University of Louisiana, students are prepared to create a more just and humane society through efforts of leadership and service. XULA’s 50 undergraduate programs and a rigorous core curriculum all encourage students to think critically about their life’s work within the greater context of the world.

Xavier University of Louisiana is proud to be the nation’s only Catholic Historically Black College/University. While XULA’s mission and excellence is rooted in its foundational identity as Black and Catholic, students of all races, identities, and religions are welcomed and celebrated.

Xavier University of Louisiana’s Core Curriculum emphasizes the importance of a breadth of knowledge in the liberal arts. This sequence, known as the XCore, supplements a student’s major by encouraging thoughtful and critical exploration of the fundamentals of a well-rounded education. Focus areas include writing, rhetoric and composition, quantitative reasoning, theology and philosophy, and scientific reasoning. The XCore experience culminates in a senior capstone project, which challenges students to demonstrate the full body of knowledge they gained at Xavier. 

Acceptance rate 81%      •      Net price $19,066      •      SAT Range 1000-1150      •      Students submitting SAT scores 41%
Total Undergrad Population 3,383      •      Setting City: Large      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 47%      •      Retention rate 77%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 13:1

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What it’s like to attend schools in Louisiana and other FAQ:

What are average tuition costs in Louisiana?

The average undergraduate tuition & fees for colleges in Louisiana is $6,564 for in-state students at public institutions, $15,617 for out-of-state students at public institutions, and $17,093 for students at private institutions.

Cheapest degree program in Louisiana

University of New Orleans has an average net price of $11,256, making it the least expensive institution in Louisiana that made our list.

Easiest degree program to get into in Louisiana

University of New Orleans has an acceptance rate of 83%, making it the least exclusive college in Louisiana on our list.

Degree program with lowest student debt in Louisiana

University of New Orleans has a median total debt after graduation of $17,541. This is the typical debt for a student who completed their undergraduate degree.

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