Online Schools & Colleges
in Arkansas

Discovering Arkansas’ Best Online Colleges

For those exploring colleges in Arkansas, the state has more than 40 universities and colleges to choose from, many of which offer online education options to appeal to a more diverse group of aspiring college students. Enrollment in nursing education programs in the state are up, and more Arkansas schools are adding online programs to address local job shortages in highly-educated industries like healthcare. For students interested in learning what online college in Arkansas is all about, get answers to commonly asked questions about online tuition costs and transferring credits and find which top-quality colleges and universities in Arkansas are offering online education for students who need more flexible learning options.

Best Online Colleges in Arkansas
2018-2019

Methodology
2-Year Colleges

Colleges in Arkansas possess many special features that make them stand out—from highly-touted football teams to adventure programs in the state’s beautiful recreation areas. But online students who aren’t as concerned about an on-campus experience and want to find an online college in Arkansas that offers the best combination of flexibility, student support and graduation success should check out the ratings below.

Filters
Rank University Title Tuition # of Online Programs Expand Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Description
1 Ozarka College $2,112 23 24% 18% Yes No Yes
2 National Park College $2,940 21 32% 27% Yes Yes Yes
3 NorthWest Arkansas Community College $3,675 13 13% 4% Yes Yes Yes
4 Arkansas State University-Beebe $2,352 6 32% 21% Yes Yes Yes
5 North Arkansas College $2,208 6 23% 33% Yes Yes Yes
6 Arkansas Northeastern College $2,156 5 28% 42% Yes Yes Yes
7 Arkansas State University-Mountain Home $2,256 5 51% 19% Yes Yes Yes
8 South Arkansas Community College $2,304 10 19% 4% Yes Yes Yes
9 Southern Arkansas University Tech $3,240 15 43% 44% Yes Yes Yes
10 University of Arkansas Community College-Hope $2,130 4 28% 31% Yes Yes Yes
11 College of the Ouachitas $2,790 16 25% 15% Yes Yes Yes
12 Arkansas State University-Newport $2,232 3 36% 13% Yes No Yes
13 Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas $2,445 4 37% 21% Yes Yes Yes
14 University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College $3,900 12 12% 21% No Yes Yes
Filters
Rank University Title Tuition # of Online Programs Expand Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Description
1 John Brown University $24,218 5 77% 62% 96% Yes Yes Yes

John Brown University offers an education rooted in Christian values. Students with prior college credit have the option to earn an online bachelor's degree in business administration, liberal arts, organizational leadership or psychology. Depending on the amount of credits transferred into the program, as well as the number of courses taken each term, students can complete the required 124 hours in 15-18 months. A number of online courses also exist for those interested in pursuing a minor or master's degree. The school encourages prospective students to contact an admissions representative in order to determine whether they're eligible for any non-traditional credit options. Prior to and following graduation, students can take advantage of the resources available at the Career Development Center to pursue jobs as project managers, business owners or digital media producers.

2 Arkansas Tech University $5,256 13 64% 47% 40% Yes Yes Yes

The College of eTech at Arkansas Tech University serves as a guide for the school's 29 fully online programs. From certificates, to associate, bachelor's and master's degrees, students can pursue disciplines ranging from business administration to history. All courses are completed through the platform Blackboard Learn, and students also have access to the Virtual Training Center, which provides free training for hundreds of current software applications. Program length and graduation requirements differ for each program. The Adult and Online Student Organization holds an open meeting over the web every two weeks with the goal of assisting ATU online students in their educational and professional experience.

3 Harding University $17,940 18 70% 67% 93% No Yes Yes

Harding University strives to align Christian values with the academic experience. Students can maintain a flexible schedule by combining on campus studies with a variety of online courses. If you are interested in furthering your knowledge of Christianity, the school's Center for Distance Education offers fully online programs to complete certificate, bachelor's, or master's degrees in Christian ministry and Biblical studies. Although each program is self-paced, it is suggested that students take no more than two?three classes at a time. At this rate, completion of a bachelor's degree takes around two years.

4 University of Arkansas $7,204 20 63% 65% 37% No Yes Yes

Students engaging in a fully online program at the University of Arkansas reap the benefit of paying in-state tuition. Over 60 programs are offered to complete certificates, licensures, minors, bachelor's, master's and doctoral-level degrees in the education, business, medical and STEM fields. Students use Blackboard Learn to participate in semi-structured courses, in which workload and length of time for completion are dependent on the program. For even more flexibility, self-paced online courses (SPOC) have 20+ start dates throughout the year and can be used to supplement the studies of both UA and non-UA students. The Global Campus at University of Arkansas aims to expand the school's distance education options, improve course quality and offer support and resources to online students.

5 Arkansas State University $6,060 26 70% 41% 70% No Yes Yes

Arkansas State University provides over 30 options to complete certificates, bachelor's, and master's degrees in a fully online format. Programs cover a variety of disciplines including strategic communications, political science, creative media, and more. You will want to check here to confirm which states accept your online degree of choice. Bachelor's programs generally require 120 hours in coursework, and the length of time to complete this varies by student. Master's degrees entail 30?36 hours of coursework and take from 12?20 months to accomplish. HireAState, which is the online portal for the school's career services, assists students in job exploration, networking, and resume writing.

6 University of Central Arkansas $6,223 9 90% 44% 54% No Yes Yes

Students pursuing an online education at the University of Central Arkansas have access to 24/7 technical support while navigating their semi-structured courses on the platform Blackboard Learn. Each student is also connected with a program coordinator to assist them throughout their educational experience. Programs require 120 hours for the completion of a bachelor's degree in addictions studies, health and safety, nursing, general business or insurance/risk management. There are also a number of online options for master's degrees and educational certificates, as well as a doctorate in nursing practice. Although online programs allow for greater flexibility, they often follow the readings, assignments and exams of UCA's on campus programs.

7 University of Arkansas-Fort Smith $3,840 6 - 31% 48% Yes Yes Yes

The University of Arkansas Fort Smith offers a comprehensive guide for web-enhanced, hybrid and fully online course options. Students with prior credit can complete or supplement degrees through online coursework in business administration, criminal justice, nursing, organizational leadership, applied science, dental hygiene or imaging sciences. Requirements and workload vary by program. Additional fees are charged for both hybrid and fully online courses, and all final examinations must be proctored at the university or in an approved environment. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in order to qualify for online studies.

8 University of Arkansas at Little Rock $6,495 9 90% 27% 48% Yes Yes Yes

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers reduced rates, scholarships and military discounts for students participating in fully online programs of study. With over 30 options, you can earn a certificate, bachelor's or master's degree in fields such as psychology, accounting and mass communication. Online students also have access to the Ottenheimer Library, Military Student Success Center, Disability Resource Center, Online Writing Lab and the IT Services Assistance Center. Although length of time and requirements for completion vary by program, accelerated courses are offered in a number of programs.

9 Southern Arkansas University Main Campus $6,690 15 69% 38% 80% No Yes Yes

Students at Southern Arkansas University have the option to choose from over 358 hybrid and fully online courses. Bachelor's degrees require 120 hours of coursework and, upon completion, students are prepared to enter the workforce as school counselors, agriculture educators, management analysts and librarians, to name a few examples. Master's degrees require 30?50 hours of coursework and take two or more years to complete. To best support your educational experience, online students are connected with an academic advisor, and have access to the Magale Library, Student Support Services, Disability Support Services and the Employment Resource Center.

10 University of Arkansas at Monticello $4,650 5 - 28% 51% Yes Yes Yes

The University of Arkansas at Monticello provides students with the choice to complete a fully online bachelor's degree in education studies, which requires 120 hours of coursework and takes about 4 years to complete. Also available are online options for master's degrees in teaching, education, fine arts or physical education and coaching, which usually involve 30 hours of coursework. Students enrolled in online programs will be provided with a Distance Education Handbook, which includes a guide for accessing classes through Blackboard Learn, as well as a list of online campus resources, such as the Taylor Library.

11 Central Baptist College $13,500 8 62% 39% 86% Yes No Yes
12 Ecclesia College $14,250 6 40% 3% 100% Yes No Yes
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How can I find which online colleges offer the degree I’m looking for in Arkansas?

Online curriculum and courses are continually evolving, the best way to find whether a school offers your degree online, either partially- or fully-online, is to look for Arkansas colleges with an online program directory on their website. The Arkansas Department of Higher Education provides a list of all of the institutions in the state and their individual directories, along with an interactive map of Arkansas featuring the state’s colleges and universities.

Many schools, such as Arkansas Tech University have become known for offering a wide range of programs where students can earn an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or even a doctoral degree fully online. This kind of school can be an excellent choice for students who might not yet know which career path to take.

Which online schools in Arkansas will accept my transfer credits or work/life experience?

Nearly all Arkansas universities and colleges have policies in place for transferring courses or credits from other schools, and online students generally follow the same policies as on-campus students. The Arkansas Course Transfer System has made an online tool available that students can use to see if credits will transfer from their previous schools to their target schools.

When it comes to work and life experience credit, policies vary between college systems in Arkansas—some schools do not offer this type of credit validation. Arkansas students should get in touch with the admissions office at prospective schools directly to find out specifics, and prepare to be evaluated or tested to confirm knowledge. Credit for portions of military service may also be available for Arkansas students.

How Much More Do College Grads in Arkansas Make?

As the percentage of Arkansas residents who earn college degrees increases, it’s also interesting to get a glimpse at the average pay that Arkansas professionals earn based on jobs at different degree levels. Do college grads make more in Arkansas? On average, yes:

No Formal
Education
High School
Diploma
Associate
Degree
Bachelor’s
Degree
Master’s
Degree
Doctoral
Degree
$27,348 $38,130 $49,835 $64,636 $69,144 $103,360

Arkansas residents working in jobs requiring a master’s degree have the potential to make $30,000 more per year on average than residents who work in jobs requiring only a high school diploma. Also, those who work in positions that require a doctoral degree, on average, make $76,000 more per year than their peers in roles requiring no formal education.

College Education & Careers in Arkansas

Earning a college degree may be the first step to landing not only some of the most lucrative careers in Arkansas, but also some of the most needed. Jobs in social work, criminal justice and emergency medicine are among the most in-demand careers in Arkansas, many of which require a college degree. Colleges are also adding online healthcare degree programs to address a nursing shortage in the state.

The Impact of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Arkansas

Accreditation is an immensely important factor to consider when choosing an online college in Arkansas. In order to hold colleges and universities accountable for providing students with a high-quality education, accrediting bodies have been established to assess and uphold specific academic standards.

Regional Accreditation in Arkansas

The regional accrediting body for Arkansas colleges and universities is the Higher Learning Commission. The HLC evaluates schools based on the VISTA system, which requires colleges to show Value, Innovation, Student Success, Thought Leadership and Advocacy.

National & Subject-Specific Accreditation in Arkansas

In addition to holding regional accreditation, some online universities in Arkansas also opt to earn national and subject-specific accreditations. For instance, the University of Central Arkansas has received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for its business college, which offers online degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s levels.

Paying for Online College in Arkansas: Tuition & Financial Aid

Though the Governor has called for a state-wide tuition freeze at some four-year colleges in Arkansas, many students still worry about the cost of earning an online degree. Some states charge online students differently based on the state they live in, but generally, colleges and universities in Arkasnas most often charge the same rate for all online students, no matter where they live in the U.S.

Tuition Discount Programs in Arkansas

  • Reciprocity Programs – The Southern Regional Education Board makes it possible for non-resident students who live in any of the 15 states that are part of the Academic Common Market to pay the Arkansas in-state rate of tuition at several Arkansas schools, including Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas and Arkansas Tech University.

  • Military Discounts – Some online colleges in Arkansas have also set up discounted tuition rates for military service members and veterans, such as at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

  • County-Based Discounts – Lower tuition rates may be available for students who are residents of particular counties within Arkansas—for example, Cleburne County residents are charged slightly less per credit hour at Arkansas State University Beebe.

Here are more answers additional commonly asked questions about paying for online colleges in Arkansas.

What are Arkansas’s requirements to qualify for in-state university tuition?

In Arkansas, students must have resided in the state for half a year prior to enrolling in college to qualify for in-state university tuition. A University of Arkansas student who possesses permanent living status is said to have earned Bona Fide Arkansas domiciliary status. Residency requirements do not apply to online students who are permitted to pay Arkansas in-state tuition costs as described above.

Are online credits more affordable in Arkansas than other places?

Online tuition rates vary at Arkansas colleges and universities, but Arkansas is a generally an affordable place to earn an online degree for students located anywhere in the U.S.

Public university tuition rates for an online education in Arkansas are more affordable than in other places. Here are some comparisons of online costs per credit in Arkansas versus schools in neighboring states for 2018-2019:

$210 per Online Credit Hour
$356 per Online Credit Hour

$300-$307 per Online Credit Hour

How can I get help paying for online college in Arkansas?

Along with filing for federal financial aid (FAFSA) and taking out federal loans, Arkansas students can take full advantage of a variety of state and local scholarships and grants. Here are some scholarships and grants available to students studying at online schools in Arkansas.

  • Arkansas Future Grant (ArFuture): This grant is available to students who are enrolled in math, engineering, technology, or science associate degree or certificate programs. The grant covers fees and tuition in full.

  • Academic Challenge Scholarship: This scholarship is partially funded by the Arkansas lottery. The $2,000 scholarship is available to any student entering college for the first time or going back to school after an extended break.

  • Single Parent Scholarship: This scholarship is available to low-income single parents pursuing a certification or a degree in Arkansas.

For a complete listing of scholarship resources see the button to the right.

Online Education & Adult Education in Arkansas

Last year more than 16,000 people across Arkansas took part in adult education programs, offering many non-traditional students a clearer path to a college education. Adult education programs and workforce development are designed to help prepare busy adults for online college through a variety of academic and technical training systems—here are some examples of how these programs can help Arkansas students with their college endeavors:

  • Academic Prep for College – Aspiring students in Arkansas can utilize adult education GED programs to earn their high school diploma, English as a Second Language programs to become academically ready to attend college.

  • Technical Skill Prep for College – Arkansas adult education provides the WAGE system to train aspiring students on technical skills, like using Microsoft Office, to better prepare adult learners for college and careers.

  • Student Internships and Apprenticeships – The Arkansas Student Apprenticeships program to give students the opportunity to get hands-on experience in their career field prior to graduation.

  • College Transfer Assistance – The Arkansas Department of Higher Education ACTS program guides college students through the process of transferring to a four-year college.

To learn more about adult education program options near you, the Arkansas Adult Learning Resource Center provides a map directory search by county.

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