Online Schools and Colleges in Arkansas

Accredited Degree Programs, Scholarships and Resources for Top Schools

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 2020

Best Online Schools

College tuition rates in Arkansas fall well below the national average for both residents and out-of-state learners, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Online programs are an attractive option for many students pursuing educational opportunities in the state. Distance learning is ideal for busy students with personal and professional responsibilities.

This page highlights some options for online degree seekers in the Natural State. The following sections explore methods for locating online schools and colleges in Arkansas and common elements of distance programs. The guide also covers benefits of online learning, typical tuition rates, financial aid options, and resources for Arkansas learners.

Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
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1 Ozarka College Melbourne, AR Tuition $2,112 # of Online Programs 23 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 24% Financial Aid 18% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes
2 National Park College Hot Springs, AR Tuition $2,940 # of Online Programs 21 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 32% Financial Aid 27% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
3 NorthWest Arkansas Community College Bentonville, AR Tuition $3,675 # of Online Programs 13 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 13% Financial Aid 4% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
4 Arkansas State University-Beebe Beebe, AR Tuition $2,352 # of Online Programs 6 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 32% Financial Aid 21% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
5 North Arkansas College Harrison, AR Tuition $2,208 # of Online Programs 6 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 23% Financial Aid 33% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
6 Arkansas Northeastern College Blytheville, AR Tuition $2,156 # of Online Programs 5 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 28% Financial Aid 42% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
7 Arkansas State University-Mountain Home Mountain Home, AR Tuition $2,256 # of Online Programs 5 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 51% Financial Aid 19% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
8 South Arkansas Community College El Dorado, AR Tuition $2,304 # of Online Programs 10 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 19% Financial Aid 4% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
9 Southern Arkansas University Tech Camden, AR Tuition $3,240 # of Online Programs 15 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 43% Financial Aid 44% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
10 University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana Hope, AR Tuition $2,130 # of Online Programs 4 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 28% Financial Aid 31% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
11 Arkansas State University Three RIvers Malvern, AR Tuition $2,790 # of Online Programs 16 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 25% Financial Aid 15% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
12 Arkansas State University-Newport Newport, AR Tuition $2,232 # of Online Programs 3 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 36% Financial Aid 13% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes
13 Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas De Queen, AR Tuition $2,445 # of Online Programs 4 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 37% Financial Aid 21% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
14 University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College North Little Rock, AR Tuition $3,900 # of Online Programs 12 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 12% Financial Aid 21% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes
Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
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1 John Brown University Siloam Springs, AR Tuition $24,218 # of Online Programs 5 Acceptance Rate 77% Graduation Rate 62% Financial Aid 96% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services 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 Russellville, AR Tuition $5,256 # of Online Programs 13 Acceptance Rate 64% Graduation Rate 47% Financial Aid 40% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services 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 Searcy, AR Tuition $17,940 # of Online Programs 18 Acceptance Rate 70% Graduation Rate 67% Financial Aid 93% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services 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 Fayetteville, AR Tuition $7,204 # of Online Programs 20 Acceptance Rate 63% Graduation Rate 65% Financial Aid 37% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services 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 Jonesboro, AR Tuition $6,060 # of Online Programs 26 Acceptance Rate 70% Graduation Rate 41% Financial Aid 70% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services 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 Conway, AR Tuition $6,223 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate 90% Graduation Rate 44% Financial Aid 54% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services 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 Fort Smith, AR Tuition $3,840 # of Online Programs 6 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 31% Financial Aid 48% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services 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 Little Rock, AR Tuition $6,495 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate 90% Graduation Rate 27% Financial Aid 48% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services 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 Magnolia, AR Tuition $6,690 # of Online Programs 15 Acceptance Rate 69% Graduation Rate 38% Financial Aid 80% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services 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 Monticello, AR Tuition $4,650 # of Online Programs 5 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 28% Financial Aid 51% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services 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 Conway, AR Tuition $13,500 # of Online Programs 8 Acceptance Rate 62% Graduation Rate 39% Financial Aid 86% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes
12 Ecclesia College Springdale, AR Tuition $14,250 # of Online Programs 6 Acceptance Rate 40% Graduation Rate 3% Financial Aid 100% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes

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How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I'm Looking for in Arkansas?

Online schools and colleges in Arkansas include public universities, private institutions, and two-year schools. Researching schools can seem overwhelming, but focusing on institutions that offer specific degrees can make the process more manageable.

The Arkansas Division of Higher Education maintains a database of schools, including a map that displays colleges by area and location. Prospective learners can also search an updated and intuitive directory by clicking the icon below.

How Much More Do College Grads in Arkansas Make?

Professionals with higher education levels typically have greater salary potential and broader job prospects. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that college graduates benefit from higher median earnings and lower unemployment rates. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Arkansas professionals with a bachelor's degree earn salaries nearly double those of individuals without a college education. The table below illustrates the correlation between education and earnings for professionals nationwide.

Less Than a High School Diploma High School Diploma Associate Degree
$28,756 $37,960 $44,824
Bachelor's Degree Master's Degree Doctoral Degree
$62,296 $74,568 $94,900

Source: BLS

Paying for Online College in Arkansas: Tuition and Financial Aid

The tables below show the costs of attending college in Arkansas. Tuition rates in the state fall below the national average, according to NCES. Becoming familiar with the typical cost of tuition and fees can help students responsibly cover the costs of attending online schools and colleges in Arkansas. For example, most public institutions offer lower tuition rates than private schools, and in-state learners at public institutions typically pay discounted tuition rates.

Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Public Colleges and Universities
In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition National Average
$7,924 $20,061

$8,804 (In-State)

$25,657 (Out-of-State)
Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Private Colleges and Universities
In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition National Average
$21,710 N/A $29,476

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Cost Considerations for Online Students in Arkansas

The figures in the tables above do not include additional expenses, such as room and board. They also do not show the cost differences for out-of-state learners. The list below includes additional considerations for learners researching online schools and colleges in Arkansas.

Distance Learning Fees: Many schools require fees related to online education and distance learning. Tuition rates usually do not include these fees.
Travel Expenses: Depending on the field, some programs require on-campus orientations and summer cohort meetings.
Recurring Technology Fees: Online schools and colleges in Arkansas sometimes charge recurring technology fees. These costs vary by school and program.
Accelerated Tuition Rates: Learners who pursue accelerated degree-completion paths may pay higher tuition rates.
Textbooks: Tuition rates for online schools and colleges in Arkansas do not include the cost of textbooks and other education-related expenses.

Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Arkansas

Tuition for in-state learners is often significantly lower than out-of-state tuition rates. Degree seekers must meet certain requirements to qualify for in-state tuition rates.

These requirements typically involve residency specifications and can vary by institution. Learners should contact prospective online schools and colleges in Arkansas to learn whether they qualify for in-state tuition.

Often, learners must have resided within the state for at least one year to qualify for in-state tuition rates. However, some Arkansas schools offer in-state tuition rates to students who have lived in the state for six months.

Paying for College in Arkansas: Scholarships and Financial Aid

Scholarships and financial aid opportunities can help offset the cost of higher education. Students can apply these awards toward the cost of tuition, fees, and expenses. Many scholarships and grants are reserved for learners attending online schools and colleges in Arkansas.

Scholarships for Arkansas College Students

Arkansas Farm Bureau Scholarships

Who Can Apply: Candidates must be Arkansas residents pursuing a degree in agriculture and must have at least two semesters of study remaining. Applicants must have a minimum 2.25 cumulative GPA.

Amount: Varies

Apply For Scholarship

Ted and Clara Gentry Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports dependents of Arkansas waterworks and sewage utilities employees. Applicants must provide references and relevant educational information.

Amount: $2,000

Apply For Scholarship

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Conservation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Applicants must be pursuing a degree in conservation and have at least a 2.25 cumulative GPA.

Amount: Up to $1,500

Apply For Scholarship

Academic Challenge Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Applicants must be Arkansas residents who have been accepted to an undergraduate program in the state. Candidates must submit official ACT scores.

Amount: Up to $5,000

Apply For Scholarship

Military Dependents Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Applicants must be Arkansas residents and must be the child or spouse of an Arkansas veteran. Recipients must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA to remain eligible for the award.

Amount: Varies

Apply For Scholarship

Grants for Arkansas College Students

Arkansas Health Education Grant

Who Can Apply: Arkansas residents pursuing formal professional training in medicine, dentistry, or optometry can apply for this grant.

Amount: Varies

Apply For Grant

Teacher Opportunity Program

Who Can Apply: Applicants must be Arkansas residents and licensed educators within the state. Candidates must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA.

Amount: Up to $3,000

Apply For Grant

Arkansas Workforce Challenge Grant

Who Can Apply: This grant supports Arkansas residents who hold a high school diploma or GED credential. Candidates must complete the application at least 30 days prior to enrollment in a higher education institution.

Amount: Varies

Apply For Grant

ARNF Research Grant

Who Can Apply: Licensed nurses in good standing attending an accredited program within Arkansas can apply for this grant. Candidates must submit a written statement and a current resume.

Amount: Varies

Apply For Grant

State Teacher Education Program

Who Can Apply: Arkansas residents with a valid, active teaching license and outstanding student loans can apply for this funding. Applicants must submit copies of their professional credentials.

Amount: Up to $3,000

Apply For Grant

The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Arkansas

Attending an accredited school is crucial to obtaining a credible degree. This is true for both on-campus and online schools and colleges in Arkansas. Accreditation involves review by an independent third party to ensure the institution and its programs meet or exceed standards of excellence.

Accreditation comes in several forms and many institutions may hold a variety of credentials. Prospective learners should familiarize themselves with this process so that they can find reputable schools and programs that meet their specific needs.

Regional and National Accreditation

Regional and national accreditation are the two most common forms of institutional accreditation. Schools with a rigorous academic focus typically receive regional accreditation, the most popular and reputable form. Regional accrediting agencies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The Higher Learning Commission administers regional accreditation to Arkansas institutions.

Technical, vocational, and for-profit schools typically receive national accreditation. Independent bodies recognized by the ED or CHEA confer this credential. Examples of national accrediting agencies include the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and the American Academy of Liberal Education. Credits and degrees from nationally accredited schools may not transfer to regionally accredited institutions.

Subject-Specific Accreditation

Specialized agencies award accreditation to programs and departments within institutions with national or regional accreditation. Subject-specific accreditation illustrates a course of study meets the standards of its field or community. Specialized accrediting agencies include the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited

Learners should ensure that prospective institutions hold proper accreditation. Most online schools and colleges in Arkansas publicize their accreditation status. However, the best way to determine a school's accreditation status is to consult official directories. The Higher Learning Commission maintains a searchable database of regionally accredited schools. The ED hosts a similar directory. CHEA also provides a list of recognized national and specialized accrediting bodies.

Online College and Adult Education in Arkansas

This section includes facts and figures relevant to online education, along with a list of programs available to learners attending online schools and colleges in Arkansas.

By the Numbers: Adult Education in Arkansas

Of responding online degree seekers, 67% live within 50 miles of their institution.

The number of learners enrolled in online courses increased by 19% between 2012 and 2016.

The outcomes of online programs consistently meet or exceed those of traditional, classroom-based programs.

Sources: Inside Higher Ed, American Enterprise Institute, Forbes

Adult Education Programs for Arkansas Students

  • Arkansas Department of Career and Adult Education: Founded in 1965, this organization provides adult education resources for Arkansas residents. The department offers workplace training, literacy services, and professional development programming.
  • Adult Learning Alliance in Arkansas: This alliance supports prospective learners and working professionals in the state. The organization provides resources necessary for lifelong success in the workplace.
  • Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation: This organization works to achieve economic, educational, and social equity across Arkansas. The foundation promotes quality education through training programs and advocacy.

Online College Resources for Arkansas Students

Learners interested in online schools and colleges in Arkansas can benefit from online resources. Pursuing professional development options can help students and graduates achieve their full potential. Many professional associations offer training initiatives and networking opportunities.

  • Arkansas Division of Higher Education: An arm of the state government, this agency promotes, implements, and enforces state educational policies. The division offers resources for online learners, including institution databases and career-planning tools.
  • Open Education Database: This resource offers a plethora of data on distance education, including information about online schools and colleges in Arkansas. The database also provides information on financial aid, tuition, and course offerings.
  • YOUniversal: Sponsored by the Arkansas Division of Higher Education, this tool helps learners research financial aid. The website includes a portal that allows learners to search and apply for scholarships and grants.
  • Arkansas College and Career Planning System: This intuitive education- and vocation-planning tool helps learners identify pertinent educational opportunities. The system also delivers professional development resources.
  • Southern Regional Education Board: This organization offers programs and services for online learners in the southeastern United States, including Arkansas. The board hosts events and conferences and maintains a database of facts and figures related to education.

Search All Accredited Colleges and Universities in Arkansas

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