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Online Colleges in Louisiana

Most Affordable Online Colleges
   Page Contents

The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 just may be the savviest investment ever made on U.S. soil. It nearly doubled the size of the United States, and 13 states were eventually formed from the land purchased from the French for $15 million.

Louisiana students wishing to write their own history often get their start at online colleges in Louisiana. The state offers many options for online education.

The Louisiana State University System has a presence in each of the state's 64 parishes. Total fall enrollment at LSU in 2015 was 31,527, the system reports. The University of Louisiana System comprises nine colleges in all parts of the state and serves approximately 90,000 students annually.

The Southern University System has main campuses serving the cities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport. The Louisiana Community and Technical College System oversees 13 public community colleges in the state, and many colleges have multiple locations.

Louisiana also is home to many well-known private colleges and universities, including Xavier and Tulane. Both schools are members of the 10-univeristy Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges & Universities system, which enrolls more than 28,000 students annually.

The chart below shows the total number of degree-granting institutions for online students in the state of Louisiana:

Degree LevelNumber of Online ProgramsNumber of Colleges
Associate4516
Bachelor's11620
Master's9318

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Louisiana was home to 4.67 million people in July of 2015. Just over 22 percent of the state's residents had obtained a minimum education of a bachelor's degree by 2014, the bureau notes. Median annual income for residents with bachelor's degrees in 2014 was $47,451, while residents with graduate or professional degrees earned a medium income of $57,218, the Census Bureau reports. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 1.94 million people employed in Louisiana, and they earned median annual wages of $31,990 in May of 2015.

Most Affordable Online Colleges in Louisiana

Below are rankings of the most affordable two- and four-year online colleges in Louisiana. Institutions were ranked by the cost of their in-state tuition. In the case of a tie, the school with the lowest average net price broke the tie. The average net price is defined as the cost of attendance after any grants and scholarships are applied.

For Louisiana schools ranked by quality and other factors, use our Top Collegestool.

Most Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in Louisiana

1

Central Louisiana Technical Community College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$1,461
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8.93%
Institution Type
Public

About

Central Louisiana Technical Community College has a main campus in Alexandria, plus six smaller branch campuses. The college serves more than 1,600 students each semester. Program offerings vary by campus location. CLTCC offers many online or hybrid degree programs, including study in building technology, business office administration, forest technology, criminal justice, nursing, industrial manufacturing technology and other areas crucial to the state's economy. Online classes at CLTCC typically follow the same 16-week timeframe as on-campus classes, but some online classes may be slightly compressed, the college notes. CLTCC uses Canvas as its online course management tool.

School Website: 
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2

South Central Louisiana Technical College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$1,811
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Institution Type
Public

About

South Louisiana Technical College has three campuses serving the communities of Morgan City, Reserve and Lafourche. SCLTC has many programs that are unique to the state of Louisiana, including industrial marine electronics technology, marine transportation and similar offerings. Although much of the classwork for these programs is expected to be completed on campus, SCLTC is a member of Louisiana Online. Students can access more than 245 online programs at member schools that culminate in associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees, as well as many post-master's certificates. Classes are delivered from member organizations, which include schools in all major statewide university systems.

School Website: 
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3

Louisiana State University-Eunice

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$2,618
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
35.39%
Institution Type
Public

About

LSU Eunice is a two-year college in the LSU System. More than 2,500 students enrolled at LSU Eunice in fall of 2015. LSU Eunice is part of the Louisiana Online Initiative. Students can take a variety of online classes as they work toward fully online associate degrees in criminal justice or fire and emergency services. LSU Eunice also offers two "2+2" degrees, where they can earn bachelor's degrees in elementary education by attending online classes at University of Louisiana at Lafayette after completing requirements for associate degrees at LSU Eunice. The university also is implementing online degrees in business and medical billing and coding. Additionally, traditional on-campus students can choose from dozens of online classes as they work to complete degree requirements.

School Website: 
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4

Southern University at Shreveport

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$2,618
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
14.5%
Institution Type
Public

About

Southern University at Shreveport, a historically black university, is a member of the Southern University System. The Southern University System offers many fully online associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Students who wish to earn an associate degree can study health information technology or business management. Students who want to enter the workforce with a bachelor's degree can choose to study psychology, criminal justice, computer science, general studies or interdisciplinary studies. Graduate students can pursue online master's degrees in business administration, public administration or criminal justice.

School Website: 
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5

Baton Rouge Community College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$2,877
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
19.35%
Institution Type
Public

About

Enrollment at Baton Rouge Community College exceeded 8,200 students in 2012. BRCC offers many programs that prepare students with the technical skills needed to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year university and further their educational journey. BRCC offers many hybrid or fully online classes. Students can earn 75 percent or more of the credits needed to graduate with associate degrees in biological sciences, entrepreneurship, management or general studies. BRCC also offers fully online certificate programs in accounting, business technology, customer service and general studies.

School Website: 
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Most Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in Louisiana

1

Southern University at New Orleans

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,501
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
45.89%
Institution Type
Public

About

A small, private, historically black college, Southern University at New Orleans serves more than 2,400 students each academic year from its two New Orleans campuses. A member of the Southern University System, the college at New Orleans offers online associate degree programs in business management and health information technology. It offers bachelor's degree programs in general studies, criminal justice, computer science, interdisciplinary studies and psychology. There are three online master's degree programs: public administration, criminal justice and business administration.

School Website: 
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2

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$4,638
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Institution Type
Public

About

LSU Health New Orleans consists of six schools: public health, medicine, graduate studies, dentistry, nursing, and allied health. Students can pursue bachelor's or master's degrees in various areas of public health and medicine. Due to the nature of these areas of study, students are expected to complete much of their coursework at on-campus locations. However, students can complete certain classes online. LSU Health New Orleans uses Moodle as its online content delivery platform.

School Website: 
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3

McNeese State University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$4,679
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
47.35%
Institution Type
Public

About

Founded in 1939, McNeese State University serves more than 7,500 students each academic year. Students can choose from more than 75 degree programs. McNeese State University offers 14 fully online associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs. Associate degree paths include paralegal studies and general studies. Students can pursue bachelor's degrees in criminal justice, management, nursing, psychology, general studies, family and child studies and sociology. Online master's degree options include business administration, nursing, criminal justice and psychology. McNeese State also has numerous online certificate and specialist programs, as well as many hybrid study options for students interested in education or educational leadership. It's also a member of Louisiana Online, and students can access fully online programs offered by numerous Louisiana colleges and universities.

School Website: 
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4

Louisiana State University-Alexandria

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$4,734
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
48.15%
Institution Type
Public

About

LSU of Alexandria served 3,277 students in fall of 2015. The university offers 10 fully online accelerated degree programs. Accelerated programs run in seven-week cycles. Students can earn online associate degrees in arts and science as well as online bachelor's degrees in English, criminal justice, elder care administration, nursing, psychology, disaster science, medical lab science or emergency management. Each degree program consists of 120 credit hours. Students who enroll in fully online degree programs must complete an online orientation. LSU of Alexandria uses Moodle as its online content management platform. Some classes require proctored exams. LSU of Alexandria uses ProctorU to monitor proctored exams.

School Website: 
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5

Southeastern Louisiana University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$4,798
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
27.02%
Institution Type
Public

About

Southeastern Louisiana University, the state's third-largest public university, served just under 15,600 students in fall of 2015. Students can choose from more than 60 degree programs. SLU offers a fully online bachelor degree program in nursing, as well as 100 percent online master's degree programs in nursing or doctor of nursing practice. The school has more than 280 distance learning options for on-campus students. Online degree paths that require some on-campus participation include bachelor's degrees in family and consumer science and general studies. Southeastern Louisiana University also has two fully online post-master's certificate programs for family nurse practitioners and psychiatric nurse practitioners. As a member of Louisiana Online, SLU offers dozens of online degree programs from Louisiana Online member organizations.

School Website: 
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College Accreditation in Louisiana

When researching prospective colleges, students should keep an eye toward accreditation. Earning a degree from an accredited institution means that degree is valid because coursework was completed under predetermined quality standards.

The majority of college and university systems in Louisiana, as in other southern states, are accredited through one nationally recognized accrediting body:

  • The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Technical schools in Louisiana often are accredited by the following accrediting body:

  • The Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE)

Students can check to see how their prospective institution is accredited by looking up the institution on the Department of Education's website.

School Interviews

Want to know what it's like to attend an online school in Louisiana? Read on -- the interviews below are from leading educators in the state who know the ins and outs of college life in Louisiana.

 Darlene Williams
The concept of on campus vs. online becomes a thing of the past – it just becomes characterized as learning.

Darlene Williams

Vice President for Technology, Research, and Economic Development

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at your school?

Northwestern State University of Louisiana has met educational needs with quality academic programming for over 130 years. Recognizing the power of technology to bring educational opportunity to all students, Northwestern now delivers 35 fully accredited online degree programs and 13 add-on certifications. Northwestern maintains the highest standards for online degree programs. Courses are interactive, engaging, and designed to optimize online learning.

Northwestern State University was recognized as the most popular online school in Louisiana by the SR Education Group in 2014 and ranked with the 2014 Best Online Programs for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report. NSU is designated as an Adult Friendly Learning Institution and received national recognition for its Adult Learner Program from the Lumina Foundation. It was also named a Military Friendly School for 2015 by G.I. Jobs Magazine, ranking it in the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

Online degrees provide a great deal of flexibility for all students but particularly for working adults. While students may not meet face to face in a physical classroom space or at a specific time, the requirements for participation and completion of assignments are just as rigorous in an online class.

Explore your career and personal goals with a career counselor when giving consideration to a degree program. Engage in discussion with an academic adviser to discuss the online program that you are interested in or have selected as a program of study. You may consider completing an online learning readiness assessment. There are tools available that can provide insight into your abilities when it comes to online learning, and knowing this information may be extremely helpful. Time management will be important. Plan to spend the same if not more time engaged in online coursework, and establishing a schedule is advisable. Online classes provide an excellent opportunity to engage in interactive discussions and activities with your professor and peers. Your counselor, academic adviser, professors and your classmates are your support team. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them if you need guidance or support. Finally, enjoy the experience, and look forward to earning the degree or credential that will help you to achieve your life’s goals.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

“ELearning” has evolved tremendously in recent years, and with the capabilities provided by technology this evolution continues. Opportunities to engage in true lifelong learning experiences through the availability of online content will be even more accessible and obtainable. Technology is transforming eLearning. The concept of on campus vs. online becomes a thing of the past – it just becomes characterized as learning.


 Paul Sisson, Ph.D.
I think the future of education clearly lies in the direction of increased customization and flexible formats …

Paul Sisson, Ph.D.

Dean of Graduate Studies, Associate Vice Chancellor for Sponsored Research

Louisiana State University Shreveport

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at your school?

First, we've focused initially on redesigning selected graduate programs in the 100 percent online format. The six degree programs currently fully online are:

  • ONLINE Master of Business Administration
  • ONLINE Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction
  • ONLINE Master of Science in Nonprofit Administration
  • ONLINE Master of Health Administration
  • Online MEDCI with Concentration in Educational Technology
  • Online MEDCI with Concentration in AG

These can all be found at http://www.lsus.edu/academics/ecampus. We chose to focus on graduate programs first because of feedback from existing and prospective students that indicated the online format was either necessary or highly desirable for them as they sought to further their education. The reasons for this varied from person to person, but almost always included family and work obligations that made the traditional onsite format either impossible or very difficult. We've taken a systematic approach to reformatting existing graduate degrees and putting them online, and it has paid off. We've retained the high quality of our programs, but made them much more accessible. The results have been increases in enrollment in each program, up to a factor of 10 in one case. And at the same time, our graduation rate has either remained stable or increased.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

While the online format makes it possible to pursue a degree in a much more convenient manner, it's very important to realize that quality online education is just as academically demanding as traditional education and requires at least as much dedication and focus. If anything, the discipline required by the student is greater, but the advantage comes in being able to manage the times of day in which you learn. It's just as important as ever to confer with your adviser and map out a program of study, but in general you have more control over the pace at which you progress through the program.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

I think the future of education clearly lies in the direction of increased customization and flexible formats, which for the foreseeable future means online learning will continue its rapid growth. We anticipate continuing to adapt more programs in this fashion and expect to see the same enthusiastic response among students.

Financial Aid in Louisiana

The state of Louisiana is a strong proponent of education, as evidenced by its state financial aid programs and its educational outreach. In addition to a number of scholarships and grants designed to help offset the cost of college, the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) publishes LOSFA LOOP, a free resource for students, parents and more.

Although the Institute for College Access and Success reports an average student loan debt of $23,025 in Louisiana, state financial aid programs can help bridge the gap between cost and burden. .

Take a look at how some Louisiana financial aid programs are fueling college pursuits.

Louisiana Scholarships

Louisiana's state scholarship programs are all part of TOPS (Taylor Opportunity Program for Students). Each unique award is aimed to help families afford college. Recipients are chosen based on a combination of merit and need. Here are some examples.

Louisiana residents are eligible to apply for the TOPS Opportunity Award to pay for their tuition at any Louisiana Public Colleges and Universities. However, students may choose to attend a school under the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities instead. In that case, the amount awarded will be the weighted average of the tuition among public degree-granting schools.

  • Application deadline:  File the FAFSA by July 1 (or may apply online without the FAFSA if student can provide proof that they are ineligible to receive federal grants)
  • Award amount:  Full tuition and some fees
  • Number of scholarships awarded: Not specified
  • Renewable: Yes
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Merit vs. need-based:  Both
  • Ethnicity: All
  • Academic status:  High school senior or recent graduate with 19 core units and minimum ACT score of prior year's state average (or SAT equivalent)
  • Residency required: Yes
Eligible Louisiana residents applying for the TOPS Performance Award can receive full tuition at any Louisiana Public Colleges and Universities, plus a $400 stipend awarded annually. Students may choose to attend a school under the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, but in that case, the amount awarded will be the weighted average of the tuition among public degree-granting schools, plus the annual $400 stipend.

  • Application deadline:  File the FAFSA by July 1 (or may apply online without the FAFSA if student can provide proof that they are ineligible to receive federal grants)
  • Award amount:  Full tuition and some fees, plus $400 stipend
  • Number of scholarships awarded: Not specified
  • Renewable: Yes
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Merit vs. need-based:  Both
  • Ethnicity: All
  • Academic status:  High school senior or recent graduate with 19 core units and minimum ACT score of 23 (or SAT equivalent)
  • Residency required:  Yes
Louisiana residents are eligible to apply for the TOPS Honors Award to pay for their tuition at any Louisiana Public Colleges and Universities, plus an annual stipend of $800. However, recipients who choose to attend a school under the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities will instead receive an awarded amount that is the weighted average of the tuition among public degree-granting schools. These students will also receive the $800 stipend.

  • Application deadline:  File the FAFSA by July 1 (or may apply online without the FAFSA if student can provide proof that they are ineligible to receive federal grants)
  • Award amount:  Full tuition and some fees, plus $800 stipend
  • Number of scholarships awarded: Not specified
  • Renewable:  Yes
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Merit vs. need-based: Both
  • Ethnicity: All
  • Academic status:  High school senior or recent graduate with 19 core units and minimum ACT score of 27 (or SAT equivalent)
  • Residency required:  Yes

For more strategies on how to find and score scholarships, check out our Ultimate Guide to Scholarships.

Louisiana Grants

Students who can demonstrate financial need in Louisiana have the opportunity to receive a renewable grant to help them throughout college.

Students must file the FAFSA and receive a federal Pell grant in order to apply for this need-based, renewable grant. The student must also be a Louisiana resident attending an eligible Louisiana institution for at least 6 hours at a semester-based school or 4 hours at a quarter-based school.

  • Application deadline:  N/A, but March 2017 is FAFSA priority date, so earlier is best
  • Award amount:  Varies from $300 to $3,000

Looking for more grant information? Be sure to read the Ultimate Guide to Grants for expert tips on how to find grants.

Louisiana Loans

Although Louisiana financial aid is primarily focused on scholarship and grant programs, students are encouraged to look into federal and private student loan programs to find the solution that's best for them. Ideally, scholarships and grants will cover a portion of your college costs since those funds do not have to be repaid. However, if you need further help in paying for college, loans are available.

Get the scoop on how student loans work in the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Louisiana

Top Cities For Students In Louisiana

Louisiana is steeped in history and Southern tradition. The cities listed below are just a few of the places where students who graduate from online colleges in Louisiana can potentially find a great place to work that features good living conditions and other beneficial factors.

New Orleans-Metairie, LA

Total Population

1,226,440

Median salary for high school grads

$27,521

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$47,762

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

9%

Median rent

$766

Economics

New Orleans, the economic heart of Orleans parish, is located on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River. The city is a conflux of modern-day architecture and centuries-old mansions set in nationally recognized historic districts. Tourism drives its economy, along with transportation, energy, trade, and manufacturing, the Greater New Orleans Regional Economic Development authority reports. Emerging industries include film and digital media, the authority notes.

Demographics

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were more than 389,000 people living in New Orleans in 2015. Just over 34 percent of city residents had a minimum educational obtainment of a bachelor's degree in 2014, the bureau adds. In that year, the median annual salary for residents with bachelor's degrees was $43,430, while residents with graduate degrees earned a median salary of $58,113, the bureau reports. According to the BLS, there were 557,700 people working in the greater New Orleans-Metairie metropolitan region at median annual wages of $32,926 in May of 2015.

Fun Facts

New Orleans was founded in 1718 as a trading camp on the Mississippi River. A city steeped in history and tradition, New Orleans has more than 20 nationally registered historic districts, more than any other city in the U.S.

Baton Rouge, LA

Total Population

814,805

Median salary for high school grads

$30,835

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$51,072

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

10.9%

Median rent

$665

Economics

Baton Rouge has a diverse economy. Traditionally, the city's economy relied on chemical and gas manufacturing and production, but in recent decades it has shifted more toward finance, education, health care, research and development, renewable energy, construction and distribution, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber reports.

Demographics

The city of Baton Rouge was home to 228,590 people in 2015, the Census Bureau reports. More than 32 percent of city residents over age 25 had earned bachelor's degrees by 2014, the bureau notes. The median annual earning for residents with bachelor's degrees in 2014 was $44,824, while median earnings for residents with advanced or professional degrees was $56,155, the Census Bureau reports. According to the BLS, there were more than 391,000 people working in the greater Baton Rouge metropolitan in May of 2015 at median annual wages of $35,131.

Fun Facts

Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana. Baton Rouge is the most populous city on the Mississippi River, Visit Baton Rouge reports. Its name means "red stick" in French.

Shreveport-Bossier City, LA

Total Population

445,305

Median salary for high school grads

$27,062

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$47,646

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

7.6%

Median rent

$581

Economics

The Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan region serves as the economic hub for northwest Louisiana, Southwest Arkansas and east Texas, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reports. Major employers include the Louisiana Department of Civil Services and Barksdale Air Force Base. Main industries in the region include advanced manufacturing, defense, biotechnology and life sciences, oil and gas production, health care and the film industry, Discover Shreveport-Bossier City reports.

Demographics

The City of Shreveport was home to more than 197,000 people in 2015, the U.S. Census bureau reports. Twenty-five percent of the city's population over the age of 25 held bachelor's degrees in 2014, the bureau notes. Shreveport residents with bachelor's degrees earned median salaries of $45,743 in 2014, the bureau reports, while residents with advanced degrees earned median salaries of $61,195. According to the BLS, the Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan region housed 181,720 workers in May of 2015. Average median wages in that time was $29,452.

Fun Facts

Shreveport and Bossier City are synonymous with riverboat casinos. There are six riverboat casinos along the Red River.

 
Article Sources

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