Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

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Updated February 26, 2024

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Want to earn your degree online in Arkansas? Learn more about the best online colleges in Arkansas, plus scholarship opportunities.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org 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.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

With 52 state parks, laid-back cities, and classic Southern hospitality — Arkansas is a great place to earn a college degree. And thanks to the state’s online colleges, you can take classes with a flexible format.

Even better, online colleges in Arkansas are affordable. With tuition rates lower than the national average, plus a low cost of living, Arkansas appeals to college students.

Whether you already live in Arkansas or you’re considering attending college in the state, get to know Arkansas’s best online colleges.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org 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.

Featured Online Programs

These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online bachelor's programs.

Online Colleges in Arkansas

Read About Our Methodology

#1 Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

University of Arkansas

  • Fayetteville, AR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $256-$438
Out-of-State | $256-$438

Credits to Graduate: 6-120

The University of Arkansas, founded in 1871, enrolls over 30,000 students. The school boasts a 20-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The institution allotted over $164 million to research in 2021. 

Online offerings at U of A include bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in fields such as human resource development, education, and accounting.

Distance learners can also pursue certificates and microcertificates in areas such as geospatial technologies, the music industry, and environmental resiliency. Out-of-state online enrollees pay the same rates as their in-state classmates. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,666
Out-of-state
$24,482
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,875
Out-of-state
$21,420
Retention Rate
87%
Acceptance Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
29,068
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

Arkansas State University

  • Jonesboro, AR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $276-$514
Out-of-State | $276-$514

Credits to Graduate: 9-120

Arkansas State University launched its online degrees in 2008. The school offers online bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs as well as certificates. Students can study fields like business administration, geographic information systems and precision agriculture, and sport administration.

Programs include multiple start dates each year for maximum flexibility. Faculty with distance learning experience teach courses, which often have a career focus. Online enrollees can access support services, including help with the admissions process and setting academic goals. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,232
Out-of-state
$10,800
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$4,986
Out-of-state
$9,972
Retention Rate
75%
Acceptance Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
12,863
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
69% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

John Brown University

  • Siloam Springs, AR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $325-$640
Out-of-State | $325-$640

Credits to Graduate: 30-120

John Brown University, a Christian institution in northwestern Arkansas, was founded in 1919. The school offers online bachelor's and master's programs in fields like cybersecurity, outdoor management, and organizational management. 

Applicants to the online bachelor's programs need a minimum 2.5 GPA. Test scores are optional. Admission requirements for graduate programs vary. The school also offers accelerated master's programs that students can pair with their undergraduate degrees to finish both credentials in five years of full-time study.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$27,662
Out-of-state
$27,662
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,920
Out-of-state
$13,920
Retention Rate
80%
Acceptance Rate
53%
Students Enrolled
2,459
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

  • Little Rock, AR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $292-$396
Out-of-State | $292-$396

Credits to Graduate: 12-120

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers associate, bachelor's, and graduate programs in fields like health education and promotion, political science, and sociology. Enrollees can also pursue certificates in subjects such as business analytics, gerontology, and data science. 

Applicants to online bachelor's programs pay a $40 fee, send official transcripts, and submit ACT or SAT scores. Prospective online graduate students typically need a minimum 2.75-3.0 GPA. Some programs require standardized test scores, statements of purpose, and letters of recommendation. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,495
Out-of-state
$18,750
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,760
Out-of-state
$13,050
Retention Rate
65%
Acceptance Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
8,295
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
75% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

Arkansas Tech University

  • Russellville, AR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $260-$325
Out-of-State | $325-$510

Credits to Graduate: 29-124

Arkansas Tech University offers 39 online programs, including certificates and endorsements as well as associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Students can also complete a 29-credit RN-to-BSN bridge program. Online enrollees can study fields like creative writing, emergency management and administration, and student affairs administration. 

For bachelor's degrees, ATU requires distance education applicants to satisfy the school's unconditional admission requirements, including a 3.0 GPA minimum and the completion of a secondary school core curriculum. Learners with lower GPAs can supplement their application with standardized test scores that meet minimum thresholds. Programs at other levels maintain other requirements for admission. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,736
Out-of-state
$11,472
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,414
Out-of-state
$10,827
Retention Rate
63%
Acceptance Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
9,640
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
63% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

Southern Arkansas University Main Campus

  • Magnolia, AR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $240-$350
Out-of-State | $350-$490

Credits to Graduate: 12-150

Southern Arkansas University, established in 1909, offers online certificates, bachelor's degrees, master's programs, and doctoral degrees. Students can also complete a combined bachelor's-master's program in business administration that only takes five years of full-time study.

In addition to fully online degrees, SAU also offers hybrid programs that combine in-person and virtual learning experiences. Distance education enrollees can access technical online tutors and study skill assistance. Students can also use the school's library, which includes e-books, journals, and database access. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,750
Out-of-state
$11,970
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,274
Out-of-state
$8,262
Retention Rate
64%
Acceptance Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
4,434
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
79% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Price Check

Arkansas tuition rates are $1,000-$8,000 cheaper than the national average, making it a great state for college.

Cost of Living in Arkansas

Living in Arkansas is affordable thanks to the state’s low cost of living. Housing costs for Arkansas residents are an average of 21% less than the national average. For students, this means more affordable housing options off campus.

Tuition rates are also below the national average in Arkansas, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That helps students save money while paying for college.

How can you save even more? Consider getting roommates, looking for student discounts, and taking advantage of campus transportation and health services.

Cost of Living in Arkansas vs. National Average
Cost of Living Category Compared to National Average
Housing (Buy and Rent) 21% lower
Utilities (Monthly) 2% lower
Food 6% lower
Healthcare 16% lower
Transportation 6% lower
Goods & Services 2% higher
Source: RentCafe

Arkansas Scholarships

Scholarships and grants are a great way to lower tuition for online colleges in Arkansas. Online students can often qualify for the same scholarships as on-campus students.

You can potentially save thousands by applying for scholarships. Here are some of the best scholarships for Arkansas college students.

The 10 Fastest-Growing Jobs in Arkansas

A college degree can boost your earning potential. In fact, as their education level increases, workers see higher wages and lower unemployment rates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Many of the fastest-growing careers in Arkansas require a degree. Careers in healthcare, business, and education appear on the list. Roles in these fields require specialized training, typically from an accredited college.

Nurse practitioners, restaurant cooks, fundraisers, and occupational therapy assistants are projected to see the most growth in Arkansas over the next 10 years.

Fastest-Growing Careers in Arkansas 2020-2030
Job Projected Growth
Nurse Practitioners 54%
Restaurant Cooks 52%
Fundraisers 48%
Occupational Therapy Assistants 44%
Ushers, Lobby Attendants, and Ticket Takers 43%
Operations Research Analysts 39%
Speech-Language Pathologists 39%
Physical Therapist Assistants 37%
Tour and Travel Guides 37%
Preschool Teachers 36%
Source: Arkansas Division of Workforce Services

Frequently Asked Questions About Online College in Arkansas

What is the cheapest online college in Arkansas?

The cheapest online colleges in Arkansas include the University of Arkansas Grantham and Arkansas Tech University. You’ll pay around $8,280 in tuition at UA Grantham, and tuition rates have not increased for several years. Arkansas Tech University charges $8,071 for in-state tuition and offers many online degree programs.

What is the easiest online college to get into in Arkansas?

Many Arkansas colleges report a high acceptance rate. At Arkansas Tech University, for example, 94% of applicants receive an acceptance letter. That means your odds of getting in are high when you apply to this public institution.

How much does online college cost in Arkansas?

The cost of online colleges in Arkansas varies depending on the school and your residency status. Some universities charge a separate fee for online students, while others will charge the same residency-based tuition rates.

On average, you can expect to spend around $8,450 in tuition and fees at public colleges in the state. Private colleges cost an average of $25,000.

Is online college free in Arkansas?

Online college is not automatically free in Arkansas. However, thanks to grants and scholarships offered by the state, you can potentially attend college for free. Check out a list of Arkansas scholarships offered by the state to learn more.

Do I need to be a resident of Arkansas to attend an online college in Arkansas?

No, you don’t need to live in Arkansas to attend an Arkansas online college. However, residents may qualify for tuition discounts at some public institutions. When researching online programs, make sure to check the tuition rates to find an affordable option.


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AffordableCollegesOnline.org 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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