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Nicholls State University (NSU) is a public higher education institution located in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Founded in 1948, it is part of the University of Louisiana System. It’s also the only university that serves the Bayou Region and capitalizes on the area’s rich culture by offering distinctive academic programs in culinary arts, geomatics, maritime management, marine and environmental science, petroleum services, and safety technology. The school is known to serve a large population of first-generation college students and is regularly designated as friendly to military members and their families.

Overview of Nicholls State University (NSU)

NSU is dedicated to fostering intellectual achievement, personal development, and social responsibility. It is also committed to the human dignity and worth of every single person. With a strong focus on encouraging the development of good character and responsible citizenship, Nicholls State University’s role extends beyond instruction. Those enrolled also have an obligation to the welfare of the community as a whole and are held to the highest standard of personal conduct. The school’s key values include dignity, excellence, wholeness, inclusiveness, and compassion.

The total enrollment is 6,780, with approximately 5,500 pursuing undergraduate degrees. The university employs 267 full-time and 58 part-time faculty members, all of whom focus solely on instruction. This makes the student-to-faculty ratio 16:1, which is better than the national average and means those enrolled are likely to have easy access to professors. There are also 25 graduate assistants maintained by the institution who provide instructional assistance and support.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Small
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 16:1
Graduation Rate 50%
Year Founded 1948

Student Enrollment

Total Students6,225


Undergraduate Student

Male 2,004
Female 3,563

Graduate Student

Male 237
Female 421

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NSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 858
Female 1,309


Male 824
Female 1,283

Acceptance Rate97%

Male 96%
Female 98%

Enrollment 946

Male 379
Female 577
Application Fee $20
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Required
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

NSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Once registered to attend Nicholls State University, students are immediately indebted to the university. However, the total paid varies depending on residential status, degree program type, number of credit hours taken, and term.

Nicholls State University considers any undergraduate student enrolled in 12 or more credit hours to be attending the school full-time. While fees are subject to change, the cost of attendance for residents during typical fall and spring terms is $3,988, assuming a 15-credit hour course load. Out-of-state students will pay a slightly higher rate of $5,435 per semester for the same number of credit hours. Fees typically include the cost of registration, building use, instructional technology, operations, and an energy surcharge. Also included is the Colonel Book Bundle Program, which ensures that the bookstore will provide undergraduate students access to all required course materials by the first day of class. This is an optional program, however.

Graduate students are charged at a different rate. Tuition and fees for nine credit hours costs $4,042 per semester for in-state students. The same number of graduate credit hours costs $4,588 per semester for non-residents per semester.

Students are also responsible for paying for housing and meals. Nicholls State University does offer room and board through the Office of Residential Living, although students can opt to live off campus as well. On average, 1,200 students live on campus at a time. The cost of housing ranges from $2,181 to $4,554 per semester and meal plans are charged at rates between $1,088 and $2,343 per semester, with less expensive options also available.

Financial aid is also available for new and continuing students. Nicholls State University offers assistance in the forms of grants, scholarships, loans, and employment opportunities. Regardless of income, residential status, and academic credentials, all incoming students are encouraged for apply for assistance, with counselors available to assist with process. The institution uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for assistance. It also provides numerous part-time job opportunities in order to help students finance their college education and gain educational benefits, as well as helping them explore career options, discover strengths, develop relationships, make decisions, and learn responsibility.

As of the 2020-2021 academic year, 98% of beginning undergraduate students enrolled at Nicholls State University received some form of financial aid. While the majority of assistance came in the form of scholarships and grants, 50% of these students still required student loans to attend.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $12,907
Average Total Aid $8,215
Students Receiving Financial Aid 98%
Room & Board $10,408

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $7,946
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $9,039
  • Books and Supplies - $1,300
  • Room & Board - $10,408
  • Other - $4,362


Nicholls State University is committed to providing student-centered, values-rich, co-curricular educational experience. The institution’s academic life is defined by faculty members and students turning knowledge into action, as well as the school’s vast access to world-class partnerships, policy-research initiatives, and one-of-a-kind learning opportunities.

Students can choose from 107 programs of study in the following colleges and schools:

  • College of Nursing
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
  • College of Sciences and Technology
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • Chef John Folse Culinary Institute

Nicholls State University also offers some online degree programs designed to fit busier and more demanding schedules. Students can choose from associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees that are offered 100% virtually. Distance learners are still included in the university’s academic environment, benefitting from faculty who are deeply committed to teaching.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Nicholls State University had a first-year undergraduate retention rate of 70% for full-time students and 45% for part-time students as of fall 2020. Notably, the national average is 68%. This data indicates that most students enrolled at the university were satisfied with their academic and extracurricular experiences and chose to return for a second year.

The overall graduation rate for full-time, first-time degree or certificate-seeking students who began their studies in fall 2015 was 50%, with 24% of tracked students transferring out before their final academic year. This data is significant, as it indicates the number of students who successfully earned their degrees or certificates within 150% of the standard completion time. While 49% of these students graduated within six years, only 26% managed to complete requirements within four years.

Nicholls State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC), which is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The institution can award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and specialist degrees. Additionally, the institution holds many academic, college, departmental, and program accreditations.

Student Population Total

Student Population 6,225

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Health Professions and Related Programs 263 Total Graduates / 25%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 148 Graduates
Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General 95 Graduates
Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition Services, Other 20 Graduates
All Business Majors 253 Total Graduates / 24%
Business Administration and Management, General 126 Graduates
Accounting 46 Graduates
Management Information Systems, General 32 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 26 Graduates
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 113 Total Graduates / 11%
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 113 Graduates
All Education Majors 73 Total Graduates / 7%
Elementary Education and Teaching 34 Graduates
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs 21 Graduates
Secondary Education and Teaching 16 Graduates
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 2 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 67 Total Graduates / 6%
Psychology, General 67 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 26%

Outcome & Salary

Nicholls State University sends an alumni survey to both recent and long-term graduates in order to collect employment and salary data, as well as measure satisfaction with campus facilities, skills gained during college, and overall student experience. While 62% of respondents in 2015 expressed that their college experience improved their quality of life, only 38% rated their preparation as excellent. Approximately 78% being employed full-time, with 70% employed in their field of study. PayScale reports an average base salary of $66,000 for Nicholls State University graduates.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $47,400
College Grads Average Salary $66,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $91,000
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $660,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,570,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $51,628
10 Year Projected ROI $608,372
20 Year Projected ROI $1,518,372
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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