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The Best Colleges in Arkansas 2021

September 22, 2021 | Staff Writers

Online Colleges in Arkansas
Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

In order to provide prospective students with the best chance at having a great education, we have compiled this list of the top universities and colleges in Arkansas. Some schools may excel at online programs while others may focus exclusively on the traditional, on-campus aspect of higher education. Regardless of the delivery format, these schools excel at providing a quality education for their students.

Online education has become extremely attractive to students of all types in recent years. Working full-time employees and stay-at-home parents may continue their studies through some of the top online colleges in Arkansas. The top programs in Arkansas feature some of the best associate, bachelor, master and doctorate degrees.

Arkansas promotes several initiatives to enhance online learning for students. As a result, many online colleges in Arkansas are highly accessible and modern in a technological sense. Arkansas’s demonstrated commitment to making distance learning more accessible and technologically innovative makes online college a worthwhile investment for many.

Online degrees in Arkansas provide the same quality of education as in the classroom. As part of our list, we look at the quality of the program, graduation rate, job placement, and tuition costs. We also consider colleges and universities that do not have online programs but offer a great educational experience. The graduation rate is the student’s ability graduate within four years of starting school. Each of these qualities helps determine how well a student will succeed by enrolling in an Arkansas university.

Rank School Location
1Arkansas State University-Main CampusJonesboro, Arkansas
2University of Arkansas at Little RockLittle Rock, Arkansas
3John Brown UniversitySiloam Springs, Arkansas
4University of ArkansasFayetteville, Arkansas
5University of Arkansas-Fort SmithFort Smith, Arkansas

Here are the Best Colleges in Arkansas

1

Arkansas State University-Main Campus

  • Jonesboro, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
Arkansas State University top online programs

Arkansas State University, founded in 1909, is a catalyst for statewide progress serving the Delta and Mid-South regions. ASU is in Jonesboro, which is the regional hub of Northeast Arkansas for healthcare, entertainment, business, and industry. ASU’s online learning curriculum offers one of the oldest online degree programs in Arkansas. The online courses include programs in 24 majors covering 11 BA and 20 MA degrees and certifications. Online students access to course materials and instructor help sessions using the Blackboard Learn platform. One of the unique online master’s programs that ASU offers is the Master in Public Administration curriculum. With the flexible educational method of instruction provided by ASU’s Large Scale Distance Learning Operations, the university can provide students the opportunity learn online.

School Overview

Graduation Rate: 39 percent
Number of Online Programs: 15
Tuition Cost: $11,896/yr
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2

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 42%
University of Arkansas at Little Rock top online programs

With dozens of accredited degrees, certificates, and minor programs offered 100 percent online, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers students the flexibility to balance family, work, and school responsibilities on their schedule. Of those programs, Little Rock offers over ten bachelor degrees for undergraduate students. The University of Arkansas uses the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Electronic Campus platform.

School Overview

Graduation Rate: 27 percent
Number of Online Programs: 28
Tuition Cost: $11,177/yr
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3

John Brown University

  • Siloam Springs, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
john brown top online programs

John Brown offers graduate and undergraduate programs in over 20 subject areas. Its top five undergraduate programs (by enrollment) are engineering, nursing, graphic design, family & human services, and elementary education. The university offers four bachelor degrees entirely online: business administration, liberal arts, management accounting, and psychology. Most of the available top online programs are minor programs for earning an associate degree.

School Overview

Graduation Rate: 61 percent
Number of Online Programs: 29
Tuition Cost: $19,943/yr
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4

University of Arkansas

  • Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
University of Arkansas top online programs

The University of Arkansas is one of the biggest universities in all of Arkansas. With over 210 academic programs, UA offers 60 programs exclusively online. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 19-to-1. Nearly 48 percent of the classes have less than 20 students. Top online programs include Communications, Interdisciplinary Studies, General Business, Human Resource and Workforce Development, and Nursing. As for postgraduate programs, over 20 have master’s programs, and 4 are doctorate programs.

School Overview

Graduation Rate: 61 percent
Number of Online Programs: 60
Tuition Cost: $14,693/yr
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5

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

  • Fort Smith, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 27%
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith top online programs

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith has specific courses that students can take online. Courses are available entirely online, in a hybrid format or as a web-enhanced option. In full online courses, students access class assignments, discussions and projects online and students do not have to attend campus for classes. Final exams are off campus. In hybrid courses, the materials are mostly online. Web-enhanced courses are regular in-person classes that have course materials like lectures and the syllabus online. Certain degrees are available online, like the RN-BSN completion program.

School Overview

Graduation Rate: 26 percent
Number of Online Programs: 6
Tuition Cost: $18,993/yr
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6

Harding University

  • Searcy, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
Harding University top online programs

Harding University is a private four-year Christian school in Searcy, Arkansas. Bible lectures are regular at the school that awards degrees in over 100 majors and minors. In addition to bible ministry, majors and minors in subjects like Biology, Business, Journalism, Communication, Fashion and Public Administration are offered by HU. Opportunities to study abroad are available. Students can also register to participate in missions trips.

School Overview

Graduation Rate: 63 percent
Number of Online Programs: 6
Tuition Cost: $18,635/yr
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7

University of Central Arkansas

  • Conway, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
University of Central Arkansas top online programs

The University of Central Arkansas is the only university in the State of Arkansas to offer a Bachelor of Science Degree in Addiction Studies. The BA/BS Degrees concentrate on Addiction Studies, Professional Studies in Health and Safety, Nursing Studies, General Business, and Insurance & Risk Management. The Master’s Degree offerings focus mostly on Health and Behavioral Sciences, Nursing, Teaching, and community/health services.

School Overview

Graduation Rate: 45 percent
Number of Online Programs: 28
Tuition Cost: $12,798/yr
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8

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

  • Little Rock, Arkansas
University of Arkansas Online Human Resources Degrees

At the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, aspiring healthcare professionals can earn the degree online that will help jumpstart their careers. A degree completion program for a bachelor of science in Medical Laboratory Sciences is just one of the programs available online. Students access coursework and lectures online and can interact with healthcare professionals across the country, building a professional network they can use later in their careers. Some programs will require on-site practicum experience due to the nature of the field.

School Overview

Graduation Rate: N/A
Number of Online Programs: 12
Tuition Cost estimate: $29,204/yr (varies by program)
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9

Arkansas Tech University

  • Russellville, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
Arkansas Tech University top online programs

At Arkansas Tech University, students can choose from some associate, bachelor and master degrees. There is also a specialist degree in educational leadership and an Ed2Go certificate. The school offers professional areas to study, such as early childhood education, RN to BSN, health informatics and business administration. There are also liberal arts courses, like history and general studies. The school makes use of the Blackboard course management system. There is also a campus support portal to help students navigate Blackboard and other technical issues like accessing individual drives.

School Overview

Graduation Rate: 45 percent
Number of Online Programs: 9
Tuition Cost: $9,684/yr
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10

Henderson State University

  • Arkadelphia, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 33%
Henderson State University top online programs

Henderson State University started in 1890 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. HSU’s online programs allow postgraduate students to obtain a master’s degree in business or education with courses delivered anywhere. More specifically, students can receive a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science, and Master of Science in Education. Of those degrees, five have different emphasis in education. The curriculum for the top online degree programs addresses the latest trends and best practices of the business and teaching industry.

School Overview

Graduation Rate: 32 percent
Number of Online Programs: 9
Tuition Cost: $10,792/yr
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11

Arkansas Northeastern College

  • Blytheville, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
arkansas northeastern college best online colleges in arkansas

Arkansas Northeastern College was established in 1974. With the lowest tuition rate in the state, ANC is a popular school for residents and non-residents alike. It offers the choice of an associate degree or a certificate, with all programs being easily transferable between colleges. The popular associate degrees are Business, Criminology, Early Childhood Education, and Criminal Justice.

School Overview

Graduation Rate: 61 percent
Number of Online Programs: 7
Tuition: $924/semester
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Research Method

The list draws from the top online and on-campus programs in colleges around Arkansas. The combination of flexibility, faculty experience, the success of graduates in their fields, options for financial aid and overall quality of program based on student feedback determines each school’s evaluation and rank.

We know that finding the best school to fit your unique needs is a huge challenge. For that reason, we work hard to develop lists of the best schools based on the characteristics most important for you. Whether that be the cost of attendance, student success, resources available, flexibility of schedule, or any other number of important factors, we’ve got you covered. For more information about our ranking process and to find lists of schools based on specific characteristics, check out our methodology page.

We invite schools featured and not to reach out for possible inclusion in an updated version of our top colleges in Arkansas. We’re constantly looking to recognize top-tier institutions.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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