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McNeese State University (MSU) is a medium-size public institution located in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Since its founding as a two-year junior college in 1939, McNeese State has grown from a campus with only three buildings and 140 students. Later, in 1950, McNeese State became a four-year college and then, in 1970, a university. Today, campus educates over 6,500 undergraduate students and over 600 master's degree candidates. The McNeese campus now supports a wide range of undergraduate degrees, and they also have a robust roster of online degree options as well.

Overview of McNeese State University (MSU)

McNeese students not only study hard but they have the chance to become well-rounded citizens outside of the classroom. The Lake Charles campus supports a range of athletics, from varsity options to intramurals to informal pick-up games in the Recreational Sports Complex. Intramural options include, but are not limited to, volleyball, flag football, basketball, table tennis, and badminton. The fitness center also supports students who want to take fitness classes, pump iron, enjoy a sauna, or play racquetball.

Students also find loads of other opportunities for expanding on their classroom learning by way of over 100 campus organizations. Students can join social organizations, such as a Greek society or clubs that focus on academics, professions, social issues, or politics. Each of these organizations can offer students opportunities for fellowship but also leadership and learning.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Small
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 19:1
Graduation Rate 42%
Year Founded 1939

Student Enrollment

Total Students6,454


Undergraduate Student

Male 2,298
Female 3,595

Graduate Student

Male 219
Female 342

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MSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 1,049
Female 1,550


Male 745
Female 1,039

Acceptance Rate69%

Male 71%
Female 67%

Enrollment 1,022

Male 462
Female 561
Application Fee $20
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline August 1
Common Application Accepted No

MSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

McNeese State University is a public university. As such, it offers a tremendous value to Louisiana state residents while charging a premium to its out-of-state scholars. Those who live in Louisiana see gross costs hovering around $9,500 for a year of tuition, books, and fees. Non-residents, on the other hand, pay nearly $18,000 for the same academic experience. Once all applicable room, board, and other living costs are tallied, Louisianans pay close to $25,000. Non-residents pay nearly $33,000. However, gross costs are not the whole story.

The financial aid office is able to contain costs by finding grants and scholarships that help tame costs. Their work pays off quite well for students who see an average net price tag of only $10,000. This figure falls to $7,500 for the lowest earning households and barely tops $14,000 for homes that earn in excess of $110,001. Households that fall in the median income range only pay an average net price of $12,000.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $10,487
Average Total Aid $10,030
Students Receiving Financial Aid 97%
Room & Board $9,344

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $8,380
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $16,418
  • Books and Supplies - $1,300
  • Room & Board - $9,344
  • Other - $5,190


McNeese State University attracts students for a variety of reasons. Some are interested in following in their parent's footsteps or they might be attracted to the varsity football games. However, there are more substantial, academic reasons to apply and enroll in McNeese State. Our researchers took a look at academic statistics such as the retention rate, graduation rate, and other metrics to determine its fitness as an institution of higher learning.

The retention rate is a key statistic that indicates the percent of first-time, full-time students who return for a second year. A high percent indicates that both students and their families are pleased with the school's faculty, curriculum, and campus resources. Since McNeese reports a strong retention rate of 72%, it's clear that students are happy to study in the Lake Charles university.

Researchers also note that the school reports an overall graduation rate of 42%, with 30% transferring to graduate elsewhere. Transfer students are seen as highly motivated individuals who apply to, and are accepted in, more competitive institutions or in universities that offer programs that McNeese State does not currently support. Since it can be presumed that most of those transfer students will graduate, it can be said that McNeese prepares up to 72% of its students for a college diploma.

Student Population Total

Student Population 6,454

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 211 Total Graduates / 19%
Business Administration and Management, General 111 Graduates
Accounting 47 Graduates
Finance, General 31 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 22 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 170 Total Graduates / 15%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 118 Graduates
Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer 21 Graduates
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist 17 Graduates
Health Services Administration 14 Graduates
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanitie 137 Total Graduates / 13%
General Studies 122 Graduates
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 15 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 104 Total Graduates / 9%
Engineering, General 63 Graduates
Mechanical Engineering 41 Graduates
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness, and Kinesiology 63 Total Graduates / 6%
Exercise Science and Kinesiology 63 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 38%

Outcome & Salary

While there are no guaranteed outcomes when it comes to higher education, the terrific academic value at McNeese State University will surely pay personal and professional dividends for years to come. When we reviewed alumni earnings, our researchers discovered very positive things. Their top-earning alumni come from the engineering school, and they report a median, entry-level salary of nearly $77,000. Meanwhile, the fifth top-earning degree, according to self-reported numbers, came from the teacher education students, who reported a median salary of $45,000. In the middle of the pack were the computer science graduates who started their careers with median earnings of $60,000.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $46,200
College Grads Average Salary $69,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $67,500
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $690,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,365,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $41,948
10 Year Projected ROI $648,052
20 Year Projected ROI $1,323,052
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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