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.

Four Reasons to Find an Online College in Your State

  1. Guaranteed in–state tuition saves you money
  2. Be a part of a university or college you know and love
  3. Get a degree from a school that employers know and trust
  4. Be close enough to easily visit when desired

Ranking Guidelines for the Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

Best Online Colleges in Arkansas
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Note: In ranking the best online colleges in Arkansas, giving attention to the variety of degree programs available at the institutions is of utmost importance. For this reason, a more prestigious school in Arkansas may offer one, or a few online degrees, but that may not be enough for that to school rank highly among the best online colleges in the state. In this ranking, we are dedicated to showing who’s leading the way in delivering quality online degree programs in Arkansas.

The Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

1
University of Arkansas Global Campus
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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%
👏

End of list, bravo!

The Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

1
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith
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4

Southern Arkansas University 

Magnolia, AR

About this school

Southern Arkansas University functions as a four-year public university in Magnolia, Arkansas. The campus sits less than 20 miles north of the Louisiana state line. The university offers programs unique to the region including the only engineering program offered in the southern half of the state and a game and animation design program. The university boasts 70 undergraduate opportunities across four academic colleges, providing students with the chance to enroll in many programs online.

SAU meets the demand for a flexible program format that allows students to continue expanding their education without placing their careers on hold or putting other commitments to the side. Students can pursue online undergraduate opportunities in management or an RN to BSN option. Nondegree students can explore the university's principal licensure and curriculum/program administrator opportunities.

The online management bachelor's program at SAU comprises 120 credits of coursework, emphasizing a broad variety of courses including human resource management, entrepreneurship, ethics, total quality management, and supply chain management. Since the management program encompasses a broad professional scope, students in the program are encouraged to mold their courses to fit their career goals and personal interests when choosing the nine elective classes for their curriculum.

Undergraduate applicants at SAU must submit a completed admissions application, provide SAT or ACT scores, and submit high school transcripts or provide a GED certificate. Students age 25 and older enjoy admission regardless of their ACT scores, but if they do not complete Comp I and College Algebra, they must submit their ACT scores to decide if they need to complete the developmental courses.

Accreditation

Southern Arkansas University Main Campus is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

5

University of Arkansas at Little Rock 

Little Rock, AR

About this school

Originally established as a junior college in 1927, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock now functions as a metropolitan public research university in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1957, Little Rock Junior College transitioned to a four-year private university, changing its name to Little Rock University. When the university obtained public status, it merged with the University of Arkansas System and adopted its current name. Students enjoy a variety of academic opportunities at the university, including the chance to earn their degrees from an online format.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers both undergraduate and graduate programs online. The online programs at the university allow busy professionals interested in advancing their careers and first-time college students to take advantage of the flexible course schedules as they earn their degree. The university boasts reduced standard tuition rates for students no matter where they live. Students also enjoy access to financial aid opportunities, military discounts, scholarships, and payment plans.

UA Little Rock's online program emphasizes high-quality course instruction, development, and innovation across a variety of areas of study. Students enjoy access to the same expert instructors as on campus counterparts, providing them with the same quality of education from a more convenient format. Online students at UA Little Rock enjoy access to student resources including Blackboard Support, the Military Student Success Center, Ottenheimer Library, and the online writing lab.

Accreditation

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

6

Arkansas State University 

Jonesboro, AR

About this school

A public research university in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Arkansas State University is the flagship campus of the Arkansas State University System and is also the second-largest university in the state based on enrollment. The university highlights a variety of undergraduate and graduate opportunities and recognizes the need for flexible, convenient program formats, offering an array of online degrees to students across disciplines.

Arkansas State University boasts online learning to allow students to easily achieve their career and educational goals through accelerated formats perfect for working students who need flexible schedules and varying start dates throughout the year. Students enjoy the opportunity to study online throughout the scope of their education, pursuing online undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and certificate options.

Undergraduate students can pursue an online associate of general studies or online bachelor's programs in organizational supervision, communication studies, political science, criminology, general studies, sociology, general studies, creative media, business administration, social media management, digital innovation with a concentration in graphic communication or a concentration in strategic communication, and an online RN-to-BSN option.

Students interested in obtaining an undergraduate certificate through an online format can earn their certificate in leadership studies or their certificate in social media management at ASU, preparing them for a variety of professional opportunities. Students can translate their undergraduate credentials into a variety of online graduate programs at the university.

Accreditation

Arkansas State University-Main Campus is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

7

University of Central Arkansas 

Conway, AR

About this school

Founded as the Arkansas State Normal School in 1907, the University of Central Arkansas now functions as a public research university in Conway. At its founding, the institution was the only normal school in the state. Today, the university comprises six colleges, each highlighting different areas of study. Students can explore a variety of online formats across disciplines at the university.

The University of Central Arkansas fills the need for a flexible schedule to accommodate students with full-time jobs or family commitments, providing prestigious online opportunities for students in all areas of study. Students enjoy asynchronous delivery during their online programs at UCA, allowing them to complete their work from any location at any time of day, as long as they have Internet connection.

Online students enjoy constant access to technical support for their online course management system, access to their program coordinator, affordable tuition rates, an easy application process, financial aid opportunities, access to instructors, and access to a program coordinator. Students experience the same academic standards in online program as they would in on-campus equivalents. The university consistently ranks as one of the most adorable four-year universities in the country and all students should complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine what types of aid and how much of it is available to them.

Accreditation

The University of Central Arkansas is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

8

University of Arkansas 

Fayetteville, AR

About this school

Known for its prestigious programs in business, agriculture, architecture, and history, the University of Arkansas functions as a public land-grant research university in Fayetteville. The flagship campus of the University of Arkansas campus, the institution highlights a wide variety of program offerings, allowing students to pursue many of them through flexible, convenient, and affordable online programs.

Students who require flexible program formats can pursue online education from the University of Arkansas--a top research university. Online students can seek all types of online education at the university including bachelor's, master's, specialist, doctoral, certificate, licensure, and even minors. The online programs are designed by the academic departments to provide students with an alternative path to earn their degree, allowing them to continue with their commitments as they earn their degree.

Online students at the university enjoy the opportunity to pay in-state tuition regardless of their residency. These students also have access to the support network at the university and any resources provided by the university. Online bachelor's programs include communications, interdisciplinary studies, accounting, supply chain management, general business, human resource and workplace development education, registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing, and licensed practical nurse to bachelor of science in nursing.

Tuition for online programs is around $130 per credit hour with additional fees of $30 per credit hour. Students enjoy more than 20 start dates each year and a self-paced learning format with most courses lasting around 12 weeks. Students typically need to complete proctored exams throughout their online programs.

Accreditation

The University of Arkansas is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

👏

End of list, bravo!

The Most Affordable Online Associate Degree Programs

1
North Arkansas College
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4

Black River Technical College 

Pocahontas, AR

About this school

Located in Pocahontas, Arkansas, Black River Technical College is a public community college that enrolls nearly 3,000 students each year, offering technical courses and degree opportunities in person and online. Students can earn their associate of arts degree, associate of applied science degree, certificates of proficiency, and technical certificates at the institution, along with the option to enroll online in some program offerings.

Students at Black River Technical College can pursue three programs entirely online, including an associate of arts in general education, and associate of science in criminal justice, and an associate of science in fire science administration. The college also highlights online components to a variety of other associate programs including an associate of applied science in business administration and an associate of applied science in criminal justice.

Students can also explore online opportunities with technical certificates including accounting assistant, health professions, nutrition and food service management, administrative services, microcomputer business applications, and microcomputer repair technician. Online students at the college experience the same tuition rates as traditional students and they must also pay the distance education fee.

BRTC uses Moodle as its online learning platform. Students can access Moodle to view their current grades, review course documents and assignments, and communicate with instructors and classmates. Students enjoy the ability to access Moodle through both the internet and their mobile device.

Accreditation

Black River Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

5

NorthWest Arkansas Community College 

Bentonville, AR

About this school

Featuring a main campus in Bentonville, Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas Community College offers a wide variety of study areas, allowing students to earn their associate degree in a discipline that fits their career goals and personal interests. The college partners with the University of Arkansas to allow students the opportunity to complete courses and share credits at both institutions, thus enabling them to pursue an associate degree at NWACC and a bachelor's degree at the University of Arkansas. Among its prestigious opportunities, the college also provides students the chance to earn their degree online.

NWACC understands that students might need to pursue a more flexible educational program to accommodate their busy schedules including career and family commitments. Students at the college can choose from a variety of online opportunities that follow an asynchronous format, enabling them to complete their work from any time and any place. NWACC boasts more than 200 fully online classes and nine online degrees, some that are fully online and some that feature 95% online coursework.

Online programs at NWACC function as affordable alternatives to programs at large universities all while delivering the same high quality education. Courses are taught by the same prestigious, experienced instructors as on-campus counterparts and students enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with other students to enhance their learning experience.

Accreditation

Northwest Arkansas Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

6

Arkansas State University-Newport 

Newport, AR

About this school

A public two-year college in northeastern Arkansas, Arkansas State University-Newport was established in 1976 as White River Vocational-Technical School. In 2001, the university was approved as a stand-alone campus, reporting to the ASU System, its president, and the Board of Trustees. Students can explore a variety of programs at the university, including several online opportunities.

ASU Newport features online options for students who are unable or uninterested in enrolling in on-campus courses. In these programs, students enjoy the ability to communicate electronically with their classmates and instructors, engaging in course content from around the world. Online courses at the university feature the same rigor as on-campus counterparts, providing students with the same quality of education from a more convenient and flexible format, removing the constraints of both time and location.

Many programs at the university boast fully online formats, although some programs do require students to come to campus for certain components during each semester, including labs, tests, and projects. Any program that features on-campus elements is considered a hybrid option instead of an online program

Accreditation

Arkansas State University-Newport is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

7

Southern Arkansas University Tech 

Camden, AR

About this school

Located in Camden, Arkansas, Southern Arkansas University Tech functions as a public community college specializing in technical training. The college provides students with the chance to complete the first two years of a university transfer program focused on business administration, teacher education, or general education. Students can explore many of the programs at the college through affordable online formats that promote flexibility and convenience.

SAU Tech boasts a variety of completely online programs and some partially online certificate options. Students enjoy asynchronous formats at the university, allowing them to complete their work from any location at any time. The flexibility afforded to students in these programs aims to allow students to easily pursue their education as they continue with their busy lives and commitments including families and careers. The university allows students from other colleges and universities to take courses at SAU Tech during their breaks to expedite their degrees affordably.

The online associate of arts program comprises the general education courses students must complete at any college in the state. Students can explore the online business administration program that allows them to transfer to a four-year program, focusing on management, accounting, and economics.

Online students can also explore the computer information technology program to gain a two-year technical degree or the environmental management program that equips students with the skills and knowledge they need to work in managerial positions at industrial and municipal facilities. Additionally, students who want to earn professional education and training in firefighting can pursue the online fire science management and emergency response degree.

Accreditation

Southern Arkansas University Tech is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

👏

End of list, bravo!

College of the Ouachitas

Malvern, Arkansas

Harding University

Searcy, Arkansas

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Little Rock, Arkansas

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