The 10 Best College Towns In Louisiana For 2020

Editor's Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our time ranking the best college towns in Louisiana.
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Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality

It's actually not even close and Louisiana is home to a handful of them.

While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.

Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in Louisiana are the best.

You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.

Without further ado, here are the best college towns in Louisiana for 2020.

The 10 Best College Towns In Louisiana For 2020

  1. Kenner, LA (Photos | Homes)
  2. Thibodaux, LA (Photos | Homes)
  3. Lake Charles, LA (Photos | Homes)
  4. Natchitoches, LA (Photos | Homes)
  5. Ruston, LA (Photos | Homes)
  6. New Orleans, LA (Photos | Homes)
  7. Baton Rouge, LA (Photos | Homes)
  8. Lafayette, LA (Photos | Homes)
  9. Monroe, LA (Photos | Homes)
  10. Hammond, LA (Photos | Homes)

While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.

And for those who live in Kenner, Thibodaux and Lake Charles - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Kenner ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Read on to find out more or for more on Louisiana check out:

The 10 Best College Towns In Louisiana For 2020

Kenner, LA
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 66,910
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.3% (14th best)
Median Rent: $963 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 528.6% (2nd best)
Crime Rank: 1st best
More on Kenner: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kenner is the sixth-largest city in the U.S. State of Louisiana. It is the largest city in Jefferson Parish, United States, Louisiana's second-most populous parish, and a suburb of New Orleans. The population was 66,702 at the 2010 census.

Colleges: Herzing University-Kenner, John Jay Beauty College, Healthcare Training Institute

Thibodaux, LA
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 14,515
% Undergrad Pop.: 45.2% (4th best)
Median Rent: $762 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 793.7% (7th best)
Crime Rank: 3rd best
More on Thibodaux: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Thibodaux is a city in and the parish seat of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, United States, along the banks of Bayou Lafourche in the northwestern part of the parish. The population was 14,567 at the 2010 census. Thibodaux is a principal city of the Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Colleges: Nicholls State University

Lake Charles, LA
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 76,267
% Undergrad Pop.: 8.8% (9th best)
Median Rent: $803 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 677.8% (4th best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Lake Charles: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lake Charles is the fifth-largest incorporated city in the U.S. state of Louisiana, located on Lake Charles, Prien Lake, and the Calcasieu River. Founded in 1861 in Calcasieu Parish, it is a major industrial, cultural, and educational center in the southwest region of the state.

Colleges: McNeese State University, SOWELA Technical Community College, Delta School of Business and Technology

Natchitoches, LA
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 18,080
% Undergrad Pop.: 45.7% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $670 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1722.7% (14th best)
Crime Rank: 10th best
More on Natchitoches: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Natchitoches is a small city and the parish seat of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, United States. Established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis as part of French Louisiana, the community was named after the indigenous Natchitoches people.

Colleges: Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Ruston, LA
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 22,055
% Undergrad Pop.: 40.4% (5th best)
Median Rent: $704 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 752.9% (6th best)
Crime Rank: 2nd best
More on Ruston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ruston is a small city and the parish seat of Lincoln Parish, Louisiana, United States. it is the largest city in the Eastern Ark-La-Tex region. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 21,859, reflecting an increase of 6.4 percent from the count of 20,546 counted in the 2000 Census. Ruston is near the eastern border of the Ark-La-Tex region and is the home of Louisiana Tech University. Its economy is therefore based on its college population. Ruston hosts the annual Peach Festival.

Colleges: Louisiana Tech University, Pat Goins Ruston Beauty School

New Orleans, LA
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 389,648
% Undergrad Pop.: 8.7% (10th best)
Median Rent: $973 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 841.1% (8th best)
Crime Rank: 6th best
More on New Orleans: Real Estate | Data | Photos

New Orleans ) is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana.

Colleges: Delgado Community College, University of New Orleans, Tulane University of Louisiana

Baton Rouge, LA
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 225,362
% Undergrad Pop.: 15.5% (7th best)
Median Rent: $860 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 852.9% (9th best)
Crime Rank: 9th best
More on Baton Rouge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Baton Rouge ) is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana and its second-largest city. It forms the parish seat of East Baton Rouge Parish and is located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River.

Colleges: Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, Southern University and A & M College, Our Lady of the Lake College

Lafayette, LA
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 126,515
% Undergrad Pop.: 11.1% (8th best)
Median Rent: $874 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 471.9% (1st best)
Crime Rank: 4th best
More on Lafayette: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lafayette is a city located along the Vermilion River in southwestern Louisiana. The city of Lafayette is the fourth-largest in the state, with a population of 127,657 according to 2015 U.S. Census estimates. It is the principal city of the Lafayette, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a 2015 estimated population of 490,488. The larger trade area or Combined Statistical Area of Lafayette-Opelousas-Morgan City CSA was 627,146 in 2015. Lafayette is the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Its nickname is The Hub City.

Colleges: University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Remington College-Lafayette Campus, Cosmetology Training Center

Monroe, LA
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 48,663
% Undergrad Pop.: 16.5% (6th best)
Median Rent: $694 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 983.4% (11th best)
Crime Rank: 13th best
More on Monroe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Monroe is the eighth-largest city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is the parish seat of Ouachita Parish. In the official 2010 census, Monroe had a population of 48,815. The municipal population declined by 8.1 percent over the past decade; it was 53,107 in the 2000 census. After a recheck in 2012, the Census Bureau changed the 2010 population from 48,815 to 49,147. Mayor Jamie Mayo, however, maintains that the Monroe population is more than 50,000 and indicated that he will pursue a continued challenge to the count.

Colleges: University of Louisiana at Monroe, McCann School of Business & Technology, Cloyd's Beauty School 3 Inc

Hammond, LA
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 20,444
% Undergrad Pop.: 63.2% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $807 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1052.6% (13th best)
Crime Rank: 14th best
More on Hammond: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hammond is the largest city in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, United States, located 45 miles east of Baton Rouge and 45 miles northwest of New Orleans. Its population was 20,019 in the 2010 census; Hammond is home to Southeastern Louisiana University and is the principal city of the Hammond Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Tangipahoa Parish.

Colleges: Southeastern Louisiana University, Compass Career College

How'd we figure out the best college towns in Louisiana?

To crunch our data on Louisiana's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.

First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.

You might be surprised to hear that there are only 14 places in Louisiana with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.

Source of data include OpenStreetMaps, the College Scorecard, the U.S. Census, and FBI reporting data to include the following factors:

  • Students Make Up Large % of the Population
  • College-specific Factors
    • Graduation rate
    • Tuition Cost
    • Student Body Diversity
  • Town Characteristics
    • Safety
    • Affordability
    • Income and Employment Opportunities
  • Things to Do
    • Bars
    • Museums & Libraries
    • Population Density

We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.

We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.

Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In Louisiana For 2020".

And it looks like Kenner placed Summa Cum Laude.

There You Have It -- The Best College Towns In The

If you're looking for the best college towns in Louisiana, you came to the right place.

These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.

For more reading, check out:

14 Best College Towns In Louisiana

Rank City Population
1 Kenner, LA 66910
2 Thibodaux, LA 14515
3 Lake Charles, LA 76267
4 Natchitoches, LA 18080
5 Ruston, LA 22055
6 New Orleans, LA 389648
7 Baton Rouge, LA 225362
8 Lafayette, LA 126515
9 Monroe, LA 48663
10 Hammond, LA 20444
11 Grambling, LA 5187
12 Shreveport, LA 193785
13 Alexandria, LA 47539
14 Pineville, LA 14313

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?