Students enrolled in online colleges in Arkansas enjoy the benefits of attending an in-state college. In-state tuition rates are much more affordable than out-of-state rates and allow students to gain an education in a cost-effective way. Many scholarship opportunities exist for students in Arkansas in addition to financial aid opportunities like grants, loans, and work-study options. Students can explore degree areas that equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in their careers after graduation.
Higher Learning Initiatives in Arkansas
Combating Diploma Mills
The Arkansas Department of Higher Education upholds the prestige and quality of online colleges by requiring all degree-granting universities in Arkansas to meet a set of standards established by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The Department has funded initiatives to warn individuals about diploma mills, illegal operations that sell certificates or degrees but require no coursework. The Department also issues reports of non-authorized institutions to the state if the institution does not comply with rules and regulations.
Academic Program Proposals
The Arkansas Department of Higher Education considers several academic program proposals every year. For an Arkansas university to add a new degree, course, or program, the Department must first approve it. Over the years, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education has approved many online schools, including the University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, and others.
The Arkansas Department of Higher Education educates state faculty members in charge of online education courses through faculty development programs. Workshops, seminars, memberships in professional organizations, and community activities are offered to university professors, so they know what’s expected of them when teaching online courses. Faculty members teaching online courses are required to attend online teaching training and in-service updates every three months. A 15-hour orientation is also held for new online faculty members to help them understand campus policies and teaching strategies.
Popular Degree Programs in Arkansas
Business Insider reports the top two degree programs in Arkansas are agriculture production and management and general education. The top industry in the state, agriculture, aligns with the top degree program. These students graduate with many career opportunities available to them in their home state.
- Agriculture Production and Management: Students pursuing a degree in agriculture production and management study crop production to learn how to manage the farming and business of fruits, vegetables, grains, and other plants. Coursework focuses on topics including harvesting operations, pest management, marketing, and safety.
- General Education: Students studying general education develop a broad approach to education, exploring many subjects. Students gain a background in humanities and science, allowing them to pursue diverse teaching careers after graduation. Coursework covers literature, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Paying for College in Arkansas
Price should be a consideration for students as they decide which online college degrees in Arkansas are the best fit for them. Students should review tuition costs for their potential program, comparing rates at several schools as rates vary by program. It is important to factor in expenses such as textbooks, online fees, and other class materials.
Affordable tuition exists in both public two-year and public four-year higher learning institutions in Arkansas. Students enjoy rates lower than the average for the U.S., with an average tuition cost of $3,700 for public two-year and $8,710 for public four-year. These prices do not include other expenses.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2017-18
|Public Two Year||Public Four Year|
Source: College Board
Employment Outlook in Arkansas
Graduates of online programs in Arkansas can pursue many career opportunities. With an unemployment rate just under the average for the U.S., professionals in Arkansas find numerous options when they begin applying for jobs. The annual mean wage for the state is $10,000 less than the average for the country; Arkansas professionals earn an annual mean wage of $40,530 across all occupations.
Accreditation for Colleges in Arkansas
Students enrolling in online colleges in Arkansas should look for an accredited institution. Many employers and graduate programs only accept candidates with a regionally accredited education. Nationally accredited schools are typically more career-based in their curriculum, with typically follow a career-based curriculum, providing students with self-taught courses and little liberal arts material. Students at these institutions often experience difficulty transferring credits and are usually excluded from tuition reimbursement plans.
Regionally accredited institutions are more widely accepted and offer credits that easily transfer. Students attending regionally accredited colleges and schools typically experience traditional instructor-led class formats with plenty of liberal arts-based coursework. Though these programs usually cost more than nationally accredited programs, they generally qualify for tuition reimbursement plans.
Scholarships for Arkansas Online College Students
Many different scholarships exist for students attending online colleges in Arkansas. Students can pursue both need- and merit-based scholarships. Additionally, students can find scholarships specifically for those living and studying in Arkansas.
- Swayze Woodruff Memorial Mid-South Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Open to members of AQHA or AQHYA with at least one year of membership, the Swayze Woodruff Memorial Mid-South Scholarship awards $9,000 over four years to students who regularly compete in quarter horse shows with a 2.5 minimum GPA.
- Arkansas Chamber Singers Vocal/Choral Music Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Arkansas Chamber Singers Vocal/Choral Music Scholarship provides funding to students who hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must graduate from an Arkansas high school and plan on majoring in music performance.
- Arkansas Farm Bureau Scholarships
Who Can Apply: Students who are children or grandchildren of Farm Bureau members can earn an Arkansas Farm Bureau Scholarship. Applicants must hold junior status at an accredited college in Arkansas, pursue an agriculture-related bachelor’s degree, and hold a minimum GPA of 2.5 with full-time enrollment.
- Lynn Hopper Memorial Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Open to students who plan to work in Arkansas’s pest control industry, the Lynn Hopper Memorial Scholarship awards educational funding to students who hold a 2.5 minimum GPA with full-time enrollment status.
- Ted and Clara Gentry Memorial Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Ted and Clara Gentry Memorial Scholarship provides financial assistance to students whose parent or guardian is employed by the Arkansas waterworks industry. Applicants must obtain their high school diploma or GED and enroll at least half-time at an accredited institution.
- Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Conservation Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Conservation Scholarship awards between $1,000 and $2,000 to Arkansas students majoring in wildlife management, forestry, zoology, aquaculture, fisheries, or environmental science. Applicants must hold a 2.5 minimum GPA.
- Second Effort Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Students graduating from an Arkansas high school can earn the Second Effort Scholarship if they intend on pursuing a four-year undergraduate degree. Applicants must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA.
- Military Dependents Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Arkansas residents can earn the Military Dependents Scholarship if they complete a minimum of 24 credits per academic year and hold a 2.0 minimum GPA. They must attend an approved Arkansas public college.
- Single Parent Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Single Parent Scholarship helps students who are the single head of their household with sole custody. Applicants must earn an income near 100% of federal poverty guidelines and pursue a career-oriented program in higher education.
Resources for Students in Arkansas
- University of Arkansas Career Development Center: The Career Development Center at the University of Arkansas helps prepare students for their careers by offering mock job interviews, resume review, professional development with career coaches, and career and graduate school fairs.
- Arkansas Department of Higher Education: The Arkansas Department of Higher Education hosts conferences and events, posts updates and news for the higher education community, and offers financial aid information and career and college planning.
- University of Arkansas Center for Community Engagement: Students can access the Center for Community Engagement at the University of Arkansas to find other programs like a literacy program where students can read to elementary students once a week, the Full Circle Food Pantry program where students collect food for those in need, or Dream Big, a camp to empower female students over Spring Break.
- University of Arkansas Center for Educational Access: The University of Arkansas boasts the Center for Educational Access, allowing students with academic and physical disabilities as well as community members to maximize their involvement with the community through university programs and activities.
- University of Arkansas Center for Multicultural & Diversity Education: The Center for Multicultural & Diversity Education at the University of Arkansas offers useful resources to students from different backgrounds and cultures, helping them acclimate to the university by way of scholarships, programs, and other avenues.
Online Schools in Arkansas
Arkansas State University
- Graduation Rate: 39%
- Average Net Price: $12,189
Arkansas Tech University
- Graduation Rate: 41%
- Average Net Price: $11,102
- Graduation Rate: 33%
- Average Net Price: $18,397
John Brown University
Siloam Springs, AR
- Graduation Rate: 68%
- Average Net Price: $18,988
Ouachita Baptist University
- Graduation Rate: 59%
- Average Net Price: $18,350
Southern Arkansas University
- Graduation Rate: 35%
- Average Net Price: $11,209
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith
Fort Smith, AR
- Graduation Rate: 25%
- Average Net Price: $8,767
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Little Rock, AR
- Graduation Rate: 19%
- Average Net Price: $14,585
University of Arkansas at Monticello
- Graduation Rate: 23%
- Average Net Price: $10,831
University of Arkansas
- Graduation Rate: 60%
- Average Net Price: $14,307
University of Central Arkansas
- Graduation Rate: 41%
- Average Net Price: $11,735
Central Baptist College
- Graduation Rate: 36%
- Average Net Price: $12,402