Education in New Orleans

K-12 Education

The top goal of K-12 institutions is to provide students with the educational foundation needed to thrive in college or successfully enter the workforce.

New Orleans is the U.S. leader in K-12 education reform. Post-Katrina, New Orleans embarked on a radical overhaul of the city’s K-12 educational system, led by charter magnet organizations. Today, New Orleans is recognized as a thought leader in the school reform movement and has experienced a dramatic turnaround:

  • 90 percent of all public school students attend a Charter School
  • #1 school district on the Brookings Choice and Competition Index, providing parents the greatest school choice in the nation
  • Top 5 most improved in both reading and math according to Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes

In addition to top performing charters, New Orleans is also home to two of the nation’s top magnet schools — Ben Franklin and Lusher — which, combined, produced nearly 40 National Merit Scholars in 2013.

School performance in New Orleans, measured by District Performance Score, increased by 18.5 percent from 2005 to 2010, more than doubling the improvement reported statewide. Critical educational enhancements have been implemented in New Orleans high schools in recent years, and in 2011, 94 percent of seniors graduated – a 4 percentage point increase from 2010 and a 15 percentage point improvement from 2005.

For further information:
Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives
Educate Now
Recovery School District
Archdiocese of New Orleans


Higher Education

There are seven colleges and universities in Orleans Parish, several of which are nationally recognized for their graduate and undergraduate programs. In addition to outstanding business and academic curricula, some schools offer special training programs tailor-made for fast-growing industries such as shipping and advanced manufacturing. Enamored with the city’s vitality and all of its offerings, graduates from these higher education institutions routinely decide to remain and begin their promising career journeys in New Orleans.

An overview of the city’s high education institutions follows. Visit our Higher Education page for more details.

  • Delgado Community College’s Workforce Development and Education Unit provides local employers with a way to retrain, advance, and attract talented professionals, through their continuing education courses and Incumbent Worker Training Program.
  • In 2011, Washington Monthly ranked Dillard University as the 25th best Liberal Arts College.
  • The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center operates the only Level 1 Trauma Center in New Orleans.
  • Loyola University’s College of Business was ranked as among the nation’s Best Business Schools for 2012 by The Princeton Review.
  • Tulane University has consistently received high rankings including:
    • 50thU.S. News & World Report America’s Best Colleges 2012
    • 14th – A.B. Freeman School of Business: The Princeton Review Top Graduate Programs for Entrepreneurs
    • 30thBloomberg Business Week ranks the MBA program 30th in the nation
    • 32nd overall and 17th among private universities in income received through technology transfers
  • The University of New Orleans (UNO), a 195-acre research university, has been listed in Forbes’ America’s Best Colleges list, U.S. News & World Report America’s Best Colleges 2012 list and Washington Monthly National University Rankings.
    • Top 10 ranked Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering Program
    • Top Tier Masters of Public Administration Program by U.S. News & World Report
  • Xavier University is recognized for its programs in the fields of physics, biology and life sciences, and physical sciences, and is a top three producer in the nation of African Americans with Doctor of Pharmacy degrees.