Colleges By Location

Online Colleges in Arkansas

Whether you’re a resident of Arkansas or a non-resident interested in earning your online degree from a Arkansas school, we’ve got everything you need to get started. We review state trends in higher education funding and tuition, as well as the state’s online education landscape, looking at enrollment figures and info on education consortiums and initiatives to advance distance learning in the state.

Following this section, we’ve ranked Arkansas’s online colleges and universities by affordability. Each school is fully accredited and offers at least one fully-online degree program. Compare program options, tuition rates, and distance learning formats by expanding the overviews below. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, scroll to our search tool, which allows you to browse our entire directory of online colleges.

At the bottom of the page you’ll find a full list of resources offered to college students in Arkansas. We’ve compiled the best scholarships, state boards, educational non-profits and college savings programs. Bear in mind that online students who attend an accredited college or university full-time within Arkansas qualify for the same programs and benefits as their campus-based peers.


Postsecondary Education in Arkansas

Arkansas is home to 83 Title IV postsecondary education institutions, having grown from 79 in 2003.

Arkansas remains in the bottom ten states in terms of percent change in tuition at public, 4-year institutions with a 15% increase between 2008 and 2014.

Over a 5-year period from 2007 to 2011, state appropriations for higher education increased 13.5%

For graduation rates, Arkansas ranks in the bottom 5 states with just 19.7% of students graduating in 4 years.


Online Education in Arkansas

NCES Report

According to a recent NCES report, in fall 2012, 9.2% of students enrolled in Title IV institutions in Arkansas (16,702 students) were in exclusively online programs.

  • 71.8% of those students were undergraduates
  • 50% were in public 4-year institutions
  • 3.3% were in private not-for-profit 4-year institutions
  • 0.6% were in private for-profit 4-year institutions
  • 85.2% were living in Arkansas
  • 11.6% were living elsewhere in the United States

The University of Arkansas system recently approved the establishment of a fully online institution targeted towards adults wanting to complete unfinished college degrees. Titled eVersity, the program has received $1 million from the system and $2 million from the governor. It is expected to launch in October of this year.

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education has compiled a complete list of online educational opportunities by institution.


Most Affordable Online Colleges in Arkansas

Below you’ll find the very best online colleges in Arkansas, sorted by affordability. These rankings identify the fully online programs in a school’s catalogue, explain how the school’s online interface works and spotlight the recognition a school has received for its online initiatives.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

University of Arkansas – Fort Smith

1
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith
Fort Smith
$139
$3,336

An Online Education at University of Arkansas – Fort Smith

Using the well-known learning management system Blackboard, UAFS delivers both synchronous and asynchronous online programs. Combining Blackboard with tools such as interactive video, UAFS's distance learning programs strive to provide students a truly unique and high quality online learning experience. Instructors and students communicate primarily through chat rooms and discussion groups via the Blackboard interface, where quizzes, exams, assignments, wikis, blogs and grades can also be found. Students new to online learning are required to take a mandatory online orientation. UAFS offers technical support for all its online students.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Animation Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences Management
  • RN to BSN Degree Completion Track
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Science in Healthcare Administration

Additionally, dozens of courses can be taken either fully online, in a hybrid format that reduces class time by at least a third or via a web-enhanced format with regular on-campus meetings. UAFS also offers flexible degree programs with online and evening classes for busy working adults. Academic, need-based and specific achievement scholarships are available for transfer, nontraditional and online students through UAFS.

Contact Information

5210 Grand Ave
Fort Smith,
AR 72913-3649
(479) 788-7000

Arkansas Tech University

2
Arkansas Tech University
Russellville
$209
$5,016

An Online Education at Arkansas Tech University

By using the web-based course management system Blackboard, ATU’s online students have access to learning tools such as TurnItIn, Respondus, Tegrity recordings (for lectures), wikis, instant messaging with audio and video, blogs and discussion forums. In addition to video tutorials found in the Virtual Training Center, a demo Blackboard course can be viewed to help orient unfamiliar individuals to the LMS.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management
  • RN to BSN

Students should note that approximately 50% of the Early Childhood Education coursework is available online and the program is only available to those participating in ATU’s partnership with Ozark Community College and North Arkansas Community College. The nursing program requires an on-campus orientation one week before the program begins.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Science in College Student Personnel
  • Master of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics
  • Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Science in Business Administration

Accelerated degree tracks, for those interested in earning their bachelor’s degree quickly, can be completed completely online in as little as 18 months. Transfer credits and prior learning credits may be applied towards these programs. ATU does not currently have permission to deliver distance education in several states; students residing outside Arkansas should refer to this list before applying.

Contact Information

Administration Bldg 200; 1509 N Boulder Ave
Russellville,
AR 72801-2222
(479) 968-0389

University of Arkansas

3
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville
N/A
$5,459

An Online Education at University of Arkansas

Blackboard Learn is the online platform used by U of A to deliver its distance education. Via this web-based portal, students can post their assignments, participate in discussions, email their instructors, blog and collaborate with their classmates. Students are generally evaluated with either proctored exams, online tests or projects. Resources for online students include access to the U of A library system, The Quality Writing Center, the Enhanced Learning Center and the Career Development Center. Although asynchronous, online courses are paced by the instructor through the establishment of unit deadlines in the syllabus.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Laws in Agricultural and Food Laws
  • Master of Science in Food Safety
  • Master of Science in Operations Management
  • Master of Science in Engineering

In addition to the graduate and undergraduate level programs, numerous certificates, licensures, minors, specialist and doctoral programs can be completed fully online. Self-paced courses, also known as correspondence courses, are another web-based option and they do not require admittance into U of A. The school currently has authorization to deliver distance programs in all states except Minnesota and Kansas.

Contact Information

Administration Bldg 425
Fayetteville,
AR 72701
(479) 575-2000


Acclaim for online programs

  • #148 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
  • #35 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs
  • #29 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs

Arkansas State University

4
Arkansas State University
Jonesboro
$257
$6,176

An Online Education at Arkansas State University

ASU delivers its eLearning material via the Blackboard Learn course management system. Teachers are able to customize their courses by recording their own lectures using Tegrity, creating course blogs, wikis or journals, guiding class discussion threads and by administering online tests with Respondus. Another online tool called Live Text is used as a repository for all of a student's online coursework. On a weekly basis, students are expected to listen to podcasts, submit assignments, review their grades and interact with their instructor and classmates. Technology support is available for online students 24/7.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Disaster Preparedness/Emergency Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Educational Theory and Practice
  • Master of Science in College Student Personnel Services
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Special Education, Gifted, Talented and Creative
  • Master of Science in Sports Administration

The majority of the master's programs take between 18 to 24 months to complete. Several certificate programs in the subject areas of education and health, some of which result in an Arkansas license, may may be obtained completely online as well. Potential applicants residing outside of Arkansas should refer to the State Program Approvals document to confirm ASU is authorized to deliver distance education in their home state.

Contact Information

2105 E. Aggie Road
Jonesboro,
AR 72401
(870) 972-2100


Acclaim for online programs

  • #12 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online MBA Programs

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

5
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Little Rock
$264
$6,327

An Online Education at University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Delivering more than 300 online courses through the Blackboard platform each semester, UALR has truly adopted online learning as the future of higher education. Blackboard student support and an online student orientation help familiarize students to the virtual classroom. Communication with instructors occurs primarily through email, however Blackboard offers many resourceful tools to enhance the online learning experience and help keep students organized. The Ottenheimer Library provides access to research materials such as scholarly journals, e-books, databases and more. Specific scholarships for transfer, senior and military students are available for qualifying individuals.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion
  • Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication
  • Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Management
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Health, Human Performance, and Sport Management - Emphasis in Health Education and Promotion

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Education in Learning Systems Technology
  • Master of Education in Reading
  • Master of Arts in Counseling

The Master of Arts in Counseling requires just one three-day on-campus workshop. Several online programs are offered in an accelerated format, which are structured into 7 or 8 week long courses with a week off in between each course, allowing students to concentrate on one course at a time. However, most of the online programs are delivered in a typical 17-week long format.

Contact Information

2801 S University Ave
Little Rock,
AR 72204
(501) 569-3000

Central Baptist College

6
Central Baptist College
Conway
$325
$7,800

An Online Education at Central Baptist College

By way of the course management system WebStudy, CBC delivers a variety of degrees online. Most course material is delivered through audio recordings, videos, lecture notes, PowerPoint presentations and active participation in both synchronous and asynchronous discussion forums. Students can contact their instructors directly using Skype, email or messaging.

All online courses follow a strict schedule that requires students to regularly submit assignments and login at least once per week. Typically lasting 5 weeks each, courses can be accessed 24/7, allowing students the flexibility to complete their coursework on their own timeframe, so long as they meet the instructor's deadlines.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Leadership and Ministry
  • Bachelor of Business Administration

CBC offers a Professional Adult College Education (PACE) program for busy working adults seeking a degree. PACE offers an alternative to traditional offerings by holding classes once a week in the evening.

Contact Information

1501 College Avenue
Conway,
AR 72034
(501) 329-6872

Harding University

7
Harding University
Searcy
$552
$13,248

An Online Education at Harding University

Harding’s online courses are delivered using the learning management system Canvas, through which students can find everything from syllabi to grades. Course materials may be websites, posted assignments, presentations, recorded lectures or videos. Most communication between the class and the instructor takes place via email, discussion boards and live chats. Canvas tutorials are available to help new students navigate their way through the online platform.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Marketing

Following a “block” format, courses start every six weeks with three blocks per semester. Students may take two courses per block, totaling 18 credits per semester. eLearning is offered through the Center for Adult and Online Studies which caters towards adult learners seeking to finish an incomplete degree.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts: Excellence in Teaching
  • Master of Business Administration

Designed for students who have already completed at least 60 credit hours and are at least 23 years old, the degree completion programs allow students to finish their bachelor’s degree much quicker than usual by participating in accelerated courses. Full-time, half-time and part-time enrollment options are available. Harding accepts DANTES credits, CLEP exams and transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Contact Information

915 E. Market Ave.
Searcy,
AR 72143
(501) 279-4000

John Brown University

8
John Brown University
Siloam Springs
N/A
$22,552

An Online Education at John Brown University

JBU’s web-based learning is conducted through Blackboard, for which JBU offers tutorials to help students familiarize themselves with submitting assignments, participating in discussion boards, checking emails and accessing course materials in the virtual classroom. Typically students are expected to login to their courses a minimum of three times per week in order to complete assigned readings, take part in follow-up discussion threads, post questions, submit written coursework and complete projects. Students’ progress is assessed via timed, online quizzes and tests. Instructors may be contacted through the Blackboard platform, but students may use email or phone if needed.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management (degree completion)

Curious applicants can preview a sample course.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • MBA in Leadership and Ethics
  • MBA in International Business
  • MBA Global Continuous Improvement
  • MS in Leadership and Ethics
  • MS in Higher Education Leadership

Technical support for other contemporary online tools such as Wimba for web-conferencing can be found on the JBU website as well. Access to the Library, Writing Center and Career Development Center are just a few of the resources provided to online students.

Contact Information

2000 W University St
Siloam Springs,
AR 72761
(479) 524-9500


Acclaim for online programs

  • #107 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs


Scholarships and Financial Aid in Arkansas

Arkansas Governor’s Distinguished Scholars

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $10,000 See Scholarship

This scholarship is open to freshmen entering college in Arkansas. To be eligible, students must have a minimum ACT score of 32 or SAT score of 1410. In addition, applicants must have either a minimum GPA of 3.5, or be a National Achievement/ Merit finalist. Funds are administered by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

Arkansas Governor’s Scholars Award

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $4,000 See Scholarship

A highly competitive academic scholarship, this award is granted annually to one graduating high school senior in each Arkansas county. Applicants must have a minimum ACT score of 27 or GPA of 3.5. Selection based on academic record, test scores, and leadership. Funds are provided by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

Blue and Gold Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $3,300 See Scholarship

For freshmen entering Southern Arkansas University, the Blue and Gold Scholarship requires applicants to have a minimum composite ACT score of 24 to 26, or SAT equivalent. The award amount is determined by financial need, and may be up to $3,300 per semester.

Chancellor’s Merit Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $10,000 See Scholarship

Awarded to Merit finalists who name the University of Arkansas as 1st choice to the National Merit Corporation

Leadership Incentive Award

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $2,550 See Scholarship

Open to freshmen entering Southern Arkansas University. Applicants must have a 3.25 GPA, a composite ACT of 20-23, and must be recommended by a high school principal, counselor or teacher. Recipient is expected to attend Leadership Academy in August prior to registration at the university.

Nontraditional Student Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $2,500 See Scholarship

Southern Arkansas University offers this scholarship to incoming students who graduated from high school five or more years ago, and have completed at least one semester of college coursework. To be eligible, students must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher. This award is renewable for one semester.

Presidential Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $5,500 See Scholarship

For freshmen entering the University of Arkansas. Applicants must have a composite ACT score of 30 or higher, or be a National Merit Competition finalist or semi-finalist.

Top 10% Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $2,550 See Scholarship

This scholarship is available to freshmen entering Southern Arkansas University. Applicants must be in the top 10% of their graduating high school class, and have a composite ACT score of 19 to 23. Award amount is determined by financial need, up to $3,300 per semester.

University Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $4,500 See Scholarship

This scholarship is open to freshmen entering the University of Southern Arkansas. The scholarship amount is determined based on the amount of other aid the recipient qualifies for. Maximum award is $4,500 per semester. A composite ACT score of 27-29 (or SAT equivalent) is required.

Valedictorian/Salutatorian

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $2,550 See Scholarship

This award is for entering freshmen at Southern Arkansas University who were valedictorians or salutatorians of their graduating high school class. Composite ACT score of 19-23 is required.


Higher Education Resources in Arkansas