New Orleans is internationally known for its abundance of culture, different cuisines, parties, and, of course, Mardi Grass. New Orleans is the biggest city in the state of Louisiana with a population of around 400,000 inhabitants. The city is the economic and commercial hub for the Gulf Coast of the United States as it houses a major port. The heart of the city, the French Quarter, is world-famous for its architecture and exciting nightlife, particularly along the famed Bourbon Street. There are many flavors and stories to the city of New Orleans which will never stop evolving. The city has the highest number of institutions of higher education in the state of Louisiana. We will go over the top five universities with the most affordable tuition rates, both for in-state, out-of-state and international students.

Cheapest Universities in New Orleans

1. Southern University at New Orleans

Starting off our list is the Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) is a public university that is historically black. Because of this, after its founding in 1956, the university was primarily focused on providing the African-American community in New Orleans with a certificate of higher education. The university is also a member of the Southern University System, which is a system of historically black universities in the state of Louisiana. In the last 60 years, the institution has grown to now house around 2,700 students, the majority of which are undergraduate students.

Students at SUNO are also known as Knights and Lady Knights. On-campus living facilities include fully furnished apartments with one, two, or four bedrooms, with a lot of different amenities such as a gym, telephones, a separate laundry room for each apartment, and shuttle services. The undergraduate programmes that SUNO offers are provided by the School of Social Work, the College of Business and Public Administration, and the College of Education and Human Development. This cheap university in New Orleans offers a vast amount of bachelor’s programmes, after which students can opt to pursue a master’s degree in the School of Graduate Studies. Notable alumni of SUNO include several civil rights activists, such as Avery C. Alexander and Oretha Castle Haley. Tuition fees for Louisiana students are particularly low at SUNO and higher for out-of-state students.

The average costs per year

  • In-state tuition fee: USD$ 4,483
  • Out-of-state tuition fee: USD$ 13,384
  • International students tuition fee: USD$ 13,384

2. University of New Orleans

Next up on our list of cheapest universities in New Orleans is the University of New Orleans (UNO). The university is quite a young institution as it was founded in 1956, the first classes took place two years later in the summer of 1958. The university is public and has approximately 8,000 students under its wing, most of which are undergraduates that are studying for a bachelor’s degree at the university. The programmes that the university hosts are housed by four different colleges, being the College of Business Administration, the College of Engineering, the College of Sciences, and the College of Liberal Arts, Education, and Human Development. These colleges all run different bachelor’s programmes. The Study Abroad programme that is organised by the university also allows students to embark on academic adventures in all parts of the world, as far away as Africa and Australia. It is possible to do a semester abroad in the programmes or just during the period of summer. Students are offered a variety of options when it comes to on-campus housing and recreational facilities. There are three different housing facilities to choose from, which all vary in the facilities they offer. The apartments in Lafitte Village are even suitable for students that are married or have families, as they feature one or two bedrooms.

The average costs per year

  • In-state tuition fee: USD$ 9,108
  • Out-of-state tuition fee: USD$ 13,678
  • International students tuition fee: USD$ 13,990

3. University of Holy Cross

Founded in 1916, the University of Holy Cross, also known as UOHC, is a private liberal arts college that was established by the Marianites of Holy Cross (MSC). The MSC is a Roman Catholic Congregation of nuns, dating back to 1841. The university is still affiliated with this congregation to this day. Up until January 2016, the university was known under the name of Our Lady of Holy Cross College. Currently, UOHC houses over a thousand students, which makes the University of Holy Cross one of the smaller universities on our shortlist. This cheap university in New Orleans is located very close to downtown and lies on the west bank of the Mississippi River. Even though the university houses a smaller number of students, the school still offers a wide variety of programmes. These include 22 bachelor’s degrees, seven master’s degrees, two doctoral degrees, and six associate’s degrees. Both international students from outside of the United States are able to study at UOHC and American students are able to study abroad.

The average costs per year

  • In-state tuition fee: USD$ 14,180
  • Out-of-state tuition fee: USD$ 14,180
  • International students tuition fee: USD$ 14,180

4. Dillard University

We have come to Dillard University which, like the Southern University at New Orleans, is a historically black university in Louisiana. However, this cheap university in New Orleans is a private institution that was founded in 1869, which makes it one of the oldest universities on our shortlist. The university is affiliated with two religious denominations, being the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church. Dillard University operates under the Latin motto of “Ex Fide, Fortis”, which translates to “Strong Through Faith”. Dillard University houses different colleges, the College of Business, the College of Nursing, and the College of Arts and Sciences. These colleges all include different schools and departments, who in turn provide students with an abundance of majors and programmes to take their pick from. The College of Nursing at Dillard University was the first in Louisiana to offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The department features various high-tech facilities, such as six different laboratories, which are designed to best fit the needs of each individual specialty area. The high-tech simulation laboratory allows students to practice with different scenarios to be as prepared as possible in the difficult world of nursing.

The average costs per year

  • In-state tuition fee: USD$ 17,410
  • Out-of-state tuition fee: USD$ 17,410
  • International students tuition fee: USD$ 17,410

5. Xavier University of Louisiana

Closing off our shortlist is Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA). This private, liberal arts university is a special institution in the United State since it is the only historically black Roman Catholic institution of higher education in the country. Xavier University was founded in 1925 by Saint Katharine Drexel and the Roman Catholic order of nuns, The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. XULA’s campus is located in the Gert Town section of the city. This neighbourhood has played a big part in the industrial development of New Orleans. The university’s curriculum has both humanitarian and medical and scientific programmes.

XULA houses two different colleges, being the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Pharmacy. These two colleges offer students a lot of different academic options, such as Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Business, Social Behaviour Sciences, and Pharmacy. The College of Pharmacy houses two different divisions, Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Clinical and Administrative Sciences. It is also possible to pursue a master’s or doctorate degree at XULA through their Graduate School. University life at XULA offers an abundance of honour societies, Greek organizations, academic clubs, athletic clubs, and performing groups. No matter what your interests or hobbies are, you will be sure to make connections that will last a lifetime at this cheap university in New Orleans. Students that compete in one of the university’s nine varsity teams are also known as the Xavier Gold Rush or Gold Nuggets.

The average costs per year

  • Out-of-state tuition fee: USD$ 22,503 – USD$ 34,638 (depending on the programme of your choosing)
  • In-state tuition fee: USD$ 22,503 – USD$ 34,638 (depending on the programme of your choosing)
  • International students tuition fee: USD$ 22,503 – USD$ 34,638 (depending on the programme of your choosing)


I hope that this article on cheap universities in New Orleans was helpful. If you are interested in studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!