Top 6 Reasons to Attend College in New Orleans

New Orleans, the birthplace of cultural icons like Louis Armstrong and Truman Capote, has made a significant impact on American society. However, it’s not just its cultural heritage that is captivating young minds.

In recent years, New Orleans has emerged as a popular destination for high school students seeking higher education. With its wide range of colleges and universities, a thriving local economy, and a vibrant community, it’s no wonder that more students are flocking to this “Big Easy” city to earn their degrees.

1. A Mecca for Higher Education

While New Orleans may be renowned for its annual Mardi Gras festivities, it also boasts an impressive number of educational institutions. From prestigious private colleges to research-driven universities, students have a wealth of options available to them. Dillard, Tulane, the University of New Orleans, Loyola, and Xavier of Louisiana are just a few of the top-ranked colleges and universities that offer undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in an intellectually stimulating environment.

With a complex comprising 12 public and private colleges and universities, including schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, and theological seminaries, New Orleans provides students with unparalleled research opportunities. The city itself serves as an immersive classroom where academic research meets cultural experiences.

2. Apply Knowledge Beyond the Classroom

New Orleans, with its diverse array of businesses and industries, offers students the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world scenarios. Whether it’s bioinnovation, entrepreneurship, film, or technology, New Orleans provides incredible opportunities to extend learning beyond traditional academic settings.

Students can collaborate with local businesses, participate in internships, and gain practical experience that complements their studies. The University Medical Center, a state-of-the-art medical complex that provides advanced research and Level 1 trauma care, further amplifies the city’s appeal for health care professionals.

Moreover, New Orleans is rapidly developing into a hub for technology and entrepreneurship, drawing national attention to fields like software development and video game design. Loyola University, at the forefront of experiential education, takes full advantage of the city’s creative and entrepreneurial environment.

3. Engaging with the Community

Transitioning to college life can be challenging, but New Orleans offers an ideal environment for students to get involved in the community. The city’s emphasis on public service and the opportunity to make a meaningful difference sets it apart.

Tulane University, for instance, requires all seniors to design and implement a project that applies their major to benefit the community. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Tulane became the first school in the United States to incorporate public service as part of graduation.

The spirit of public service extends to other institutions as well. New Orleans, with its rich history and diverse population, provides a unique setting for students to engage with nonprofit organizations and contribute to the city’s ongoing revitalization.

4. A Cultural Gumbo

Immersing oneself in New Orleans means delving into a cultural mosaic that shaped the city. Exploring the vibrant past and understanding the emergence of jazz and other art forms enhances the college experience.

New Orleans is internationally acclaimed for its food, music, festivals, and diverse people. It creatively fuses the cultural traditions of African Americans, Native Americans, and Old World Europe, creating a rich tapestry.

The city’s living history can be seen in its bustling port commerce, growing financial sector, and expanding tourist and convention activity. New Orleans is a place where the past seamlessly blends with the present.

5. Abundant Entertainment and Recreation

New Orleans ensures that students strike the perfect balance between work and play. The city offers an array of entertainment options, from cheering for professional sports teams to enjoying the great outdoors. Its expansive parks, including Audubon and City Parks, provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities.

The Audubon Zoo offers unique wildlife experiences, while sports enthusiasts can root for the NFL Super Bowl Champion Saints, or watch the NBA’s Pelicans. Festivals and parades are a way of life in New Orleans, ensuring students are constantly immersed in the city’s vibrant social fabric.

6. The Intangibles

New Orleans possesses intangible qualities that make it an extraordinary place to live and learn. The concept of “lagniappe,” (Lan-Yap) receiving an unexpected gift or a little something extra, permeates the city’s spirit.

New Orleans offers a plethora of architectural wonders, museums, art galleries, riverboats, festivals, and historic landmarks for students to explore. This unique blend of history, culture, and daily experiences makes living in New Orleans an unparalleled adventure. Additionally, the city’s tropical climate allows students to forego the bitter cold months experienced in other regions.


In summary, New Orleans presents an irresistible combination of academic excellence, vibrant community engagement, rich cultural heritage, and abundant recreational opportunities.

With its diverse college and university offerings, real-world learning experiences, and an inviting social scene, it’s no surprise that more and more high school students are considering New Orleans as their top choice for higher education.

As the birthplace of legendary art forms and a city that vibrates with life, New Orleans has solidified its position as a leading destination for students ready to embark on an extraordinary academic journey. So, as the college application season approaches, adding a New Orleans-based institution to your list may just be the key to unlocking an education like no other.

Also see: Top 6 Reasons to Attend College in Austin

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