Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

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Now more than ever before students from all walks of life and of all ages are busy juggling family, full or part-time work, and other commitments while attempting to earn a degree or further their education.

At the same time, tuition prices are rising across the board, making it harder and harder for the average, working American to attend college or university. For these reasons, students today are looking for an alternative and finding it in online accredited degree-awarding programs. As the demand increases, so does the number of fully online degrees offered by accredited universities across the nation. Earning a degree fully online today is considered a respected avenue for completing college.

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Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

In this Value Colleges Top 10 list, you’ll find colleges all located in the state of Arkansas, each offering degrees that students can earn in a fully online or hybrid format. There are a wealth of options for associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorates, and continuing education degrees. Each institution meets Best Value standards with a proven ROI and institutional accreditation, giving students assurance that their degree will be worth the effort.

1. University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers thirty-eight online degree options that provide a flexible schedule for the student while balancing work, school, and family. The college, one of the best online colleges in Arkansas, offers undergraduate, graduate, and some certification titles as well. Majors include Business, Communication, criminal justice, Education, Health and Social Sciences, and Information Science. Interdisciplinary and Writing courses are also available to the online student. Tuition costs are also affordable to most students, and some scholarship opportunities for online students may be available as well.

UA Little Rock has prepared students to become innovators and leaders in the workplace through research, technology, and economics.  Founded in 1927, as Little Rock Junior College, the school has now opened its doors to more than 12,000 students and over 500 faculty members over the past century. The college provides over 100 programs altogether.

Number of Online Programs: 38

2. Arkansas Tech University

Arkansas Tech University provides a wide range of degrees, especially for online students. ATU offers several options in either the associates, bachelor, or graduate programs; they are all 100 percent online. For the associate’s degree, majors in law enforcement and early childhood education are most popular. For the Bachelor’s programs, the student has the option to business administration, emergency management and administration, RN to BSN program, and criminal justice and criminology degrees. There are also several master’s degree programs for the online student to apply to as well.

Arkansas Tech University is located in Russellville, AR, just minutes from Lake Dardanelle and the Arkansas River. The tuition at ATU is affordable to most online students and in some cases scholarship opportunities are available. Military service personnel is eligible for a discount on tuition costs as well.

Number of Online Programs: 14

3. Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University offers thirteen different online degree options for the online student. The college provides a student-centered learning experience, designed to allow the student to take courses at their own pace. Arkansas State University offers online student undergraduate degrees and graduate programs, including selected post-graduate and certificates in certain fields of interest. The tuition cost is affordable to the online student, however, some financial aid or scholarship opportunities are available.

The University provides multiple start date options for online students, so they have the opportunity to finish school on their schedule. It is proud to graduate over 10,000 students. The University is not only one of the best online colleges in Arkansas but is #25 for Top Public schools in the South according to the US News and World Report

Number of Online Programs: 13

4. University of Central Arkansas

The University of Central Arkansas offers up to ten undergraduate programs specially designed for online students. Degree Programs include addiction studies (BS), RN to BSN programs(BSN), General Business (BBA), Insurance and Risk Management (BBA), and Bachelor of General Studies (BGS). There are also several master’s degree programs available, including a DNP online for the distant learner to enroll in. Even though the programs are fully online, many courses in the program are available for on-campus students as well.

A huge benefit for being a UCA Online student is the Flat-rate tuition for all degree programs that is provided by the college. The University of Central Arkansas in Conway provides exceptional communication between students and faculty, giving each student the best online support they need to achieve their success for their career path. UCA Online is one of the best online colleges in Arkansas and ranked as one of the most affordable four-year Universities in America by

Number of Online Programs: 10

5. University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas offers the online student eight-degree options for distance learning.  The degrees are specifically BS or BA degree programs, with studies in Nursing, Communication, Interdisciplinary studies, Accounting, General Business, Supply Chain Management, and Human Resource and Workforce Development Education. The programs provide each online student with courses that are self-paced, affordable, and offer flexible scheduling for home, school, and work.

Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville is one of the best online colleges in Arkansas and was ranked as one of the top ten”up and coming” universities in 2012 by US News and World Report. In the past year, the school had over 3,000 students enrolled completely online. No matter if you are an online student or come to Fayetteville itself,  a student is always part of the Razorback family.

Number of Online Programs: 8

6. John Brown University

At John Brown University, there are a variety of possible degree programs for the online student to enroll in. The degrees online include Business administration, communication, liberal arts, nursing, and organizational leadership. Politics and ethics and psychology are also available for online learning. The programs are in the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Transfer credits can be from many avenues, from community colleges to Military credit that is available toward online courses. JBU Online also provides affordable tuition costs for online students.

Founded in 1919, the John Brown University is one of the top leaders in Christian higher education. The college has a low student-to-faculty ratio and classes are about eight weeks long.  Classes are available to enroll in up to five times a year.

Number of Online Programs: 7

7. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences provides to the online student four interactive degrees that focus on health professions and caring for the wellbeing of others. The Bachelor of science programs available is Cardiorespiratory care, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Medical Laboratory Sciences, and Radiologic Imaging sciences. There is also a BS in Nuclear Medicine Imaging sciences available online. Masters and Doctoral degrees are also available at UAMS. The college was established in 1971 and works in conjunction with the state of Arkansas to provide degrees focused on education, research, and service through allied sciences.

The University of Medical Sciences offers each online student with affordable tuition and possible scholarship opportunities. UA for Medical Sciences is one of the best online colleges in Arkansas. The school has several other degree programs, such as Occupational therapy, Dental Hygiene, and Genetic Counseling. The school provides a low student-to-faculty ratio and has three health clinics to assist students in logging their required clinical hours.

Number of Online Programs: 4

8. University of Arkansas at Fort Smith

At the University of Arkansas in Fort Smith, there are seven different degrees offered completely online. Programs include BS degrees in Applied sciences, Business administration, Organizational Leadership, and RN to BSN nursing programs. Some Associates degrees are available online as well.  The online degrees are specifically designed for military personnel, Veterans, and working adults. The UA of Fort Smith assists nontraditional students in gaining college degrees that suit their needs. Flexible scheduling and affordable tuition make this possible. 

Founded in 1928, UA of Fort Smith is a military-friendly school, enrolling about 7,000 students per academic semester. It teaches high-quality education to a diverse student body. Altogether, the University offers fifty-one bachelor’s and associate’s degrees, two masters, and thirty-six certificates.  UA of Fort Smith provides also state-of-the-art digital learning centers. The University of Arkansas is also one of the best online colleges in Arkansas. 

Number of Online Programs: 4

9. Central Baptist College

Central Baptist College offers several PACE degree options for the online learner. PACE stands for Professional Adult College Education. Programs include Business administration, Psychology, Human Resource Management, Organizational Management, and general studies. Religious studies in Church Administration are also provided for online learning. Tuition at Central Baptist College is one of the most affordable schools in Arkansas and is one of the best online colleges in Arkansas. 

Located in Conway, the College opened its doors in 1892 in a church building, teaching Women for efficiency in home, church, business, and society. The school also keeps a low student-to-faculty ratio. To this day, the school is still bringing Christ-focused education to all students. 

Number of Online Programs: 3

10. Southern Arkansas University

Southern Arkansas University offers online degree options for students who need flexibility and convenience when it comes to a college education. Programs for online learning include Management, Business Administration, Teaching, Education, Computer and Information science,  Public administration, and BSN degrees. Bachelor’s and Master’s degree options are available. Undergraduate course programs usually have around 120 credits for completion, while the Graduate programs range from thirty to sixty credits. Some courses are also Hybrid (on-campus and online) programs. Tuition costs for SAU online students are affordable to most. However, some scholarship opportunities do apply to some students. 

SAU is one of the best online colleges in Arkansas and provides high-quality, comprehensive learning experiences for online students to prepare them for a lifetime of excellent career options. The school has hosted over 4,000 students since its beginnings in 1909 and is located in the midst of Magnolia County. 

Number of Online Programs: 3

What is the Value of Distance Learning in Arkansas?

Getting a degree online is a common choice for working adults. In the state of Arkansas, the distance learning option, commonly called, is available at many colleges and universities. There are also many benefits for students to take online courses compared to going to a school where you live on campus or have to travel to the campus to complete the degree. One benefit is not having to commute or travel cost. Whether it is by car, bus, or train, having a transportation cost can affect a student’s ability to finish their degree.

Another benefit for online learning in Arkansas is the lower tuition costs an online student will pay. Many online degree programs throughout the state offer affordable tuition to adult learners, especially since they are working at the same time. In addition, certain colleges and universities offer a tuition break to those online students that live within the bordering state or region. For example, you may get a tuition break at an Arkansas school if you live in Texas.  

What Kinds of Degrees are Available Online in Arkansas?

In the State of Arkansas, there are many online degree options for students to earn a degree in. Some provide an education level of an associate’s degree, while others offer both the Bachelors’s or Master’s degree option. Some schools that offer the Associates’ degree or two-year program come from community colleges or Junior colleges. Community college schools provide online students with low tuition rates and make an easy transition to colleges or universities with four-year degrees. Many two-year online programs at Arkansas community colleges are accredited as well. Overall, the community college option provides accessibility, flexibility, and affordability to the online student’s career path. 

Online Bachelor programs in Arkansas also provide flexible scheduling with convenient times that allow the online student to complete courses in as little as eight, six, or even five weeks. Some Arkansas four-year online colleges accept up to sixty transfer credits that can go toward the online degree of choice. However, Master’s programs that are online may require students to have a certain amount of work experience before being eligible for an online master’s program. For example, a nursing student that is taking an online MSN program in Arkansas is required to have a BSN degree from a regionally accredited institution; the student must have already obtained a registered nurse license from either the CCNE or ACEN, including proof of work over the past three to five years.

What are Some In-Demand Online Degree Programs for Arkansas Students?

There are several in-demand online degrees available throughout the state of Arkansas. In addition, Arkansas is known to have top-ranked online programs than other states may have throughout the nation. One example is the University of Arkansas. The University of Arkansas was ranked in January 2020, at #18 of the best online programs by US News. Similar to most colleges and universities in Arkansas, the college offers an array of online degree options. Some online degrees are in Communication, Interdisciplinary studies, Accounting, General Business, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources, and Workforce Development. Not to mention, online BSN degree programs for registered nurses. Other common degrees that some colleges in Arkansas may offer to online students are programs in Law Enforcement, Early Childhood Education, Business Administration, and ESL courses.

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Aya Andrews


Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.

Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.

In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.

With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.

Find your perfect value college is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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