The Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

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Arkansas has one of the highest quality of life rankings and some of the lowest tuition rates in the country.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the state also has high numbers of students graduating from college with low debt. The U.S. Census Bureau found that only 21% of Arkansas adults over the age of 25 have bachelor’s degrees. Consequently, Arkansas has introduced several initiatives to boost online learning in the state in order to provide more viable options for adults to finish their college degrees. The United States Distance Learning Commission’s Arkansas chapter aims to support students and educators in order to expand online learning in the state.

While there are only a few online colleges in Arkansas, the state maintains rigorous support and funding for online learning. The University of Arkansas’ eVersity and Arkansas Tech’s eTech offer accessible online courses and degrees through streamlined systems. These courses and programs are primarily designed for Arkansas students who have completed some college coursework, but have still not earned college degrees. Other notable online schools in Arkansas include Central Baptist College, which offers online degrees and courses focused on Christian education and ministry, and Ouachita Baptist University, which offers online degrees in Christian studies.

Online learning is an excellent choice for nontraditional students who would like to complete certificate, associate, bachelor’s, or master’s programs while continuing to work part–time or full–time. Online learning is usually cheaper than traditional models, because distance learners don’t usually pay for on–campus housing and other common college expenses.

Top 10 Online Colleges in Arkansas 2020

#1 University of Arkansas Global Campus Fayetteville, AR
#2 University of Arkansas at Little Rock Little Rock, AR
#3 Arkansas State University Jonesboro, AR
#4 University of Central Arkansas Conway, AR
#5 Arkansas Tech University Russellville, AR
#6 Southern Arkansas University Magnolia, AR
#7 Ouachita Baptist University Arkadelphia, AR
#8 University of Arkansas at Monticello Monticello, AR
#9 University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Fort Smith, AR
#10 John Brown University Siloam Springs, AR

The Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

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4

University of Central Arkansas 

Conway, AR

About this school

Best known for its stellar occupational therapy, physical therapy and education programs, the University of Central Arkansas first opened its doors in 1907. Almost 15,000 students attend the university today for its 80 academic majors in the business, natural sciences, education, arts, mathematics, liberal arts and behavioral sciences. The university’s honors college has earned national recognition for its excellent quality.

The University of Central Arkansas’ offers close to 30 online bachelor, master, doctoral, educational specialist and certificate programs. Online bachelor’s degree offerings include nursing and business. Master’s degree offerings include economy and education. The two doctoral degrees available online are in nursing and educational leadership. Options for online certificates consist of multiple topics in education.

Online students have access to a variety of online resources, including academic advising, library, academic journal database, veterans’ services, career services, disability services and 24/7 technical support.

Graduation Rate
41%
5

Arkansas Tech University 

Russellville, AR

About this school

One of the best online colleges in Arkansas, ATU offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. In addition to the 120+ programs available through ATU’s campuses in Russellville and Ozark, the school offers online programs in education, nursing, and emergency management.

Freshman applicants should have a 2.0 GPA and a 19 on the ACT. Transfer applicants must have a 2.0 GPA, and those with fewer than 24 credits must submit high school transcripts and test scores. Candidates who do not meet these requirements may still receive conditional admission. Students from Massachusetts are currently ineligible for ATU’s online programs.

Graduation Rate
41%
6

Southern Arkansas University 

Magnolia, AR

About this school

Southern Arkansas University ascended from a humble agricultural school founded in 1909 to a university with over 3,500 students. The university favors a familial atmosphere with small class sizes and multiple family-oriented events throughout the year. It also has a 2 + 2 program for select areas of study and provides over 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

There are many non-degree and master’s programs available online at Southern Arkansas University. The university’s online offerings consist primarily of various topics in education, but the university provides master’s degrees in business and kinesiology.

Students also have access to a variety of online resources. Some of these include an online library with a scholarly article database, student support services, disability services, technical support and employment resource center.

Graduation Rate
35%
7

Ouachita Baptist University 

Arkadelphia, AR

About this school

Founded in 1886, Ouachita Baptist is a liberal arts college located in Arkadelphia. The university serves over 1,500 students each year and hosts 60 academic programs. Ouachita offers two majors online, a BA in business administration and an AA and BA in Christian studies. Both bachelor’s degrees require 120 credits, including a one-credit orientation to online learning that covers topics such as Ouachita’s academic resources.

Online courses begin every eight weeks, and freshmen applicants only need to submit their transcripts and standardized test scores. Transfer applicants should submit all college transcripts.The school charges tuition per credit hour and payment plans are available. All distance education students pay the same rate regardless of residency. Approximately 97% of Ouachita students receive financial aid, making it one of the most affordable online schools in Arkansas.

Graduation Rate
59%
8

University of Arkansas at Monticello 

Monticello, AR

About this school

UAM maintains three campuses in Monticello, McGehee, and Crossett. Like most other online colleges in Arkansas, the school offers a bachelor’s degree and several master’s degrees. Options are available in education and fine arts. All graduate programs in the school of education are available online, including the master of educational leadership, the master of arts in teaching, and the master of physical education and coaching.

Prospective students can apply for fall, spring, or summer admission. Undergraduate applicants should submit all transcripts and entrance exam scores, while graduate applicants should submit college transcripts and GRE scores.

Graduation Rate
23%
9

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith 

Fort Smith, AR

About this school

Located in the second-largest city in the state, UAFS is one of the 18 institutions in the University of Arkansas system. The school offers seven distance education programs in areas such as business administration, nursing, and organizational leadership. Unlike most online colleges in Arkansas, the school hosts online programs in dental hygiene and imaging sciences. In addition to fully online courses, UAFS also offers hybrid and web-enhanced classes.

Academic advisors are divided by major, so students can get information specific to their degree and future profession. Both freshmen and transfer applicants must submit transcripts and test scores, and transfer students must have a 2.0 GPA.

Graduation Rate
25%
10

John Brown University 

Siloam Springs, AR

About this school

John Brown University, a private, interdenominational, Christian liberal arts school provides a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. John Brown University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. The school provides academics within a distinctly Christian community. The university has approximately 2,500 students.

John Brown University provides online bachelor’s degrees in subjects including liberal arts and accounting, as well as master’s degrees in ethics and business.

Online students have access to a listing of online resources, including an online library and online journal article database.

Graduation Rate
68%
11

Central Baptist College 

Conway, AR

About this school

CBC’s Professional Adult College Education (PACE) program assists working professionals and older students. Delivered through the WebStudy system, associate and bachelor’s programs are available in areas including business, general education, leadership, and psychology. CBC offers eight different bachelor of science degrees online, including a new program in church administration.

Online courses are asynchronous, and most follow in five-week terms. Applicants should submit all college transcripts, and students without prior college credit should submit high school transcripts and test scores. PACE students all pay the same per-credit tuition rate regardless of whether they study on-campus or online. CBC may grant credit for prior work, military, or life experience.

Graduation Rate
36%
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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Colleges

Online Colleges in Arkansas Ranking Guidelines

We selected the online schools in Arkansas based on the quality of their programs, types of courses and degrees offered, and faculty strengths, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation, including a strong reputation for online degree programs.

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