By David West

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University was named the fourth Most Affordable Online College for 2016 in the U.S., according to the website

The site’s research team applied a strict set of filters to narrow down a list of more than 3,000 schools currently offering distance programs to 20 institutions. Rather than simply rank each school by tuition cost, the team assembled five core metrics, containing 15 individual data points, to score each school against. In addition to price, those data points measured each institution’s commitment to online students, as well as the quality of their academics and admissions.

“Completing a degree is often a dream for many people because the cost may be preventing it from becoming a reality,” said Dr. Darlene Williams, vice president for technology, innovation and economic development. “Northwestern State University’s quality online programs provide flexibility and convenience but also maintain affordability to ensure that anyone with the desire can achieve their dream of completing a degree.”

Northwestern State has Louisiana’s first and largest electronic campus at The university offers 38 online degree programs. Internet-only students do not pay out of state fees. Northwestern State is currently developing several competency-based programs specifically for online students, some of which can be applied to a full baccalaureate degree.

Several online degree programs at Northwestern State have been ranked among the best in the nation. Northwestern State’s online RN to BSN program, along with bachelor’s programs in computer information systems, criminal justice and psychology were ranked first in the country by Nonprofit Colleges Online. The bachelor’s in accounting was ranked second and the master’s in education was seventh. The bachelor’s in addiction studies was chosen as the fifth best in the country by works with industry experts to rank and award the top products and resources in every area, from the commercial marketplace to the communities in which we live. The site’s fully-transparent, objective testing process is guided by strictly data-driven methodologies, created in conjunction with experts and unique to each ranking.