Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. x
Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Colorado State University Global

Bachelor Degrees
Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Grand Canyon University

Bachelor Degrees
Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Capella University

Bachelor Degrees
Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Regent University

Bachelor Degrees
Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Strayer University

Associate Programs
Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Colorado Christian University

Associate Programs
Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Full Sail University

Bachelor Degrees
Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Southern New Hampshire University

Associate Programs
Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

Explore the top online colleges in Arkansas and what programs they offer to graduate and undergraduate students. Learn about online programs, including how long they take, how much they cost, and how to get financial aid to pay for them.

The 10 Best Online Colleges in Arkansas

To determine which colleges in Arkansas offer the best online programs, students should consider things like flexibility, cost, student-to-faculty ratio, and accreditation. The top 10 schools in Arkansas with online programs are listed below.

1. University of Arkansas

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % of Undergraduates Receiving Financial Aid
Fayetteville Undergraduate: $9,384, Graduate: $8,841 76%

The University of Arkansas offers a variety of online programs that each allow students to receive the in-state tuition rate. Founded in 1871, the school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and boasted more than 3,000 students enrolled in completely online programs for the 2019-2020 school year. Undergraduate students can select from bachelor's degree programs in business, communication, nursing and more, as well as some certificate programs. Graduate students have more program options, including master's degrees, specialist degrees and doctorates in areas such as education, engineering and business.

2. Arkansas State University-Main Campus

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % of Undergraduates Receiving Financial Aid
Jonesboro Undergraduate: $8,900, Graduate: $6,422 97%

Arkansas State University's main campus offers more than 35 online programs and has over 5,000 online students. The school has an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio and offers online degrees, certificates and post-graduate program options. Undergraduate students can choose from over a dozen degree programs, including those in psychology, criminology, communication and business. Graduate students can earn a master's degree in several education fields as well as communications, management and sports administration.

3. Arkansas Tech University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % of Undergraduates Receiving Financial Aid
Russellville Undergraduate: $7,668, Graduate: $6,737 96%

Arkansas Tech University emphasizes student success across its operations and has maintained accreditation with HLC since 1930. The school has nearly 5,000 undergraduate students enrolled in online courses and more than 700 online graduate students. Undergraduate students can choose from completely online certificates, associate's degrees and bachelor's degree programs, while graduate students can earn a specialist degree, master's degree or certificate. Some of the programs available include those in education, leadership, business administration, science and law enforcement.

4. Harding University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % of Undergraduates Receiving Financial Aid
Searcy Undergraduate: $20,735, Graduate: $13,892 99%

Harding University has a student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1 and offers a Christ-centered approach to education. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and 69% of the faculty here have a terminal degree. Undergraduate students can choose from online programs in ministry and biblical studies, including a bachelor's degree and several certificates. Graduate students can choose from online master's and doctoral degree programs in areas such as education, nursing and business administration.

5. University of Central Arkansas

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % of Undergraduates Receiving Financial Aid
Conway Undergraduate: $9,188, Graduate: $6,539 98%

Boasting a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio, the University of Central Arkansas has more than 2,000 online undergraduate students and 1,000 online graduate students. The school offers several dozen online programs, including those leading to undergraduate degrees, master's degrees, post-master's certificates and a doctoral degree (Doctor of Nursing Practice). Undergraduate students can pursue programs in nursing, business, general studies and risk management and have a flat tuition rate of $285 per credit. Graduate students can choose from programs in leadership, education, teaching, nursing and more and have a flat tuition rate of $325 per credit hour.

Rank School Name Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 John Brown University Siloam Springs $27,668 99%
7 Henderson State University Arkadelphia $8,902 99%
8 Southern Arkansas University Main Campus Magnolia $9,080 99%
9 Ouachita Baptist University Arkadelphia $27,900 99%
10 Central Baptist College Conway $16,650 100%

All table data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics; tuition represents the 2019-2020 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Programs in Arkansas

There are several types of online programs available for both undergraduate and graduate students, each of which has its own characteristics and requirements. The types of programs available are discussed in the sections below.

Degree Levels

Students can earn different levels of degrees online including associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorates.

Associate's Degree

Associate's degrees are 2-year programs based on standard full-time enrollment, but students may choose to take more (or fewer) courses and finish in less (or more) time. Associate's degree programs include general education courses, such as mathematics, English and social sciences, as well as courses that are specific to the field of study. Students can easily transfer the courses from their associate's degree program into a bachelor's degree program in many cases. In fact, many programs are specifically designed for this purpose. Although the number of credit hours varies by school, associate's degree programs often have around 60 credit hours of coursework, or 20 classes. Online associate's degree programs are available in a handful of areas, such as early childhood education, law enforcement and general studies (for transferring).

  • Prerequisites - High school diploma or an equivalent
  • Program Length - Typically 2 years (full-time)

Bachelor's Degree

Bachelor's degree programs are more widely available online and usually take around 4 years of full-time study to complete. These programs often contain around 40 classes total (120 credits) and can be cut in half for students who have already earned a qualifying associate's degree. Bachelor's degree programs are available in more subjects than associate's degree programs, including business, education and communication, and may offer more areas of specialization. Similar to associate's degree programs, bachelor's degree programs include a significant amount of general education courses as well as courses that are specific to the field of study.

  • Prerequisites - High school diploma or an equivalent (or associate's degree for transfer)
  • Program Length - Typically 4 years full-time (or 2 years for those with an associate's degree)

Master's Degree

Master's degree programs are graduate programs that provide students with more specialized knowledge in a specific field. Many master's degree programs can be completed in 2 years or fewer of full-time study, although many of these programs offer flexible part-time options. Master's degree programs are offered online in several different fields, including education, healthcare, business and leadership. The number of courses required varies by program, but students may be asked to complete around 36 to 48 credit hours.

  • Prerequisites - Bachelor's degree
  • Program Length - Usually 2 years (full-time)

Doctoral Degree

Doctoral degrees are terminal degrees, which means that they are the highest degrees available in each field. Some doctoral degree programs are available to graduates of bachelor's degree programs while others are only open to students who have already earned a master's degree. Doctoral degrees are available in a few areas, including nursing and education. These programs often have a significant amount of research involved and enable students to conduct their own extensive study before graduation.

  • Prerequisites - Bachelor's degree or master's degree
  • Program Length - 3 to 5 years (full-time)

Degree Fields

Some of the degrees that are commonly offered online by Arkansas institutions are discussed below.

Communication Degrees

Multiple colleges in Arkansas offer online programs leading to bachelor's degrees and master's degrees in communication. Undergraduate programs can provide students with skills in communication basics and include courses in areas like conflict resolution and organizational communication, while graduate programs might focus on an area like strategic communications.

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education programs are available from the associate's degree level to the graduate level and provide students with an understanding of the needs and development of young children. These classes can prepare students for working with young children and may include courses such as leadership in education, early childhood teaching methods and childhood development.

Curriculum & Instruction

Typically offered as a graduate degree or certificate, curriculum and instruction programs explore effective strategies in education and how students can recognize weaknesses and implement improvements in education after leaving their programs. Courses can include those in education philosophies, teaching evaluations and curriculum supervision.

General Studies

General studies programs are offered at the undergraduate level, both as associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees, and are most commonly acquired for foundational courses to transfer. However, these programs are usually flexible and allow students to design their curriculum.

Nursing

Nursing programs are available from the associate's degree level to the doctoral level and prepare students for careers in healthcare. Undergraduate programs prepare students for registered nursing positions while graduate programs can also prepare students for nurse practitioner roles. Courses can include those on health assessments, research methods and population health.

Organizational Leadership

Typically offered as a bachelor's degree, organizational leadership programs explore leadership theories, practices and development. Some of these programs offer concentration options within the degree and can include courses in communication, organizational development, professionalism and training methods.

Business Administration

Business administration programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate level but are more commonly offered as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). They include foundational courses in various business areas, such as accounting, marketing and ethics, and sometimes offer focus areas within the program (such as accounting or marketing).

Special Education

These programs give students a better understanding of topics relating to the education of gifted and exceptional children and are offered at the graduate level as master's degrees and certificates. While courses vary by program level, they can include those in special education ethics and teaching methods for exceptional children as well as practicum experiences in public schools.

Educational Leadership

This program is specifically catered to educational professionals who work (or want to work) in leadership positions, such as school principal. Educational leadership programs are most commonly offered as master's degree programs and can include courses on teaching supervision and community relations along with practicum or internship components.

Costs for Online Degrees in Arkansas

The cost of online degree programs in Arkansas varies by school and student. Undergraduate tuition rates are often lower than graduate tuition rates. For example, one school may have a $300 per-credit tuition rate for undergraduate students and a $500 per-credit rate for graduate students. In addition to tuition, students often have other applicable costs such as registration fees, course fees and distance education fees. The total cost of these fees also varies, as some are charged per credit while others are charged per semester or program.

When estimating the total costs for an online program, it's important to consider the program length, tuition rate and applicable fees. For example, based on a $300 per-credit tuition rate, undergraduate students may have a total program cost of $18,000 (60-credit associate's degree) or $36,000 (120-credit bachelor's degree). Graduate students with a tuition rate of $500 per credit hour might have a total tuition cost of $20,000 (40-credit master's program) or $30,000 (60-credit doctoral program). The other fees that students have may cost around $1,000 or as much as $5,000 or more.

Financial Aid for Online Programs in Arkansas

There are a number of resources available to assist students with paying for their online programs in Arkansas. Students interested in obtaining financial aid should start by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is free to use and is required in order to receive some types of aid. In addition, students can submit the results of their FAFSA directly to their preferred schools from the FAFSA page. Some types of financial aid that are available to online students in Arkansas are listed below.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs are backed by the federal government and offered through participating schools. These programs enable students to work part time to earn funds to use toward their education or living expenses while enrolled in their programs.

Student Loans

Student loans are provided by the government and private lenders, although those offered by the government have nationally set interest rates and offer flexible repayment options. Student loans, especially those from private lenders, should only be used after other options have been exhausted because students do need to pay them back in most cases.

Grants

Grants are typically need-based awards that students don't have to pay back. They are available through state and federal governments and are offered to various students. These include Pell Grants, TEACH Grants and state grants.

Scholarships

Scholarships are another type of financial aid award that does not have to be paid back. Scholarships can be found through college financial aid offices, state websites (such as Arkansas' Department of Higher Education), and several other websites (including the U.S. Department of Labor's CareerOneStop). Some of the countless scholarships that are available to online students in Arkansas are listed below.

  • Academic Challenge Scholarship - Available to Arkansas residents, this $1,000 to $5,000 scholarship is available to new and current college students enrolled in a college program.
  • Governor's Distinguished Scholarship - Up to $10,000 per year is awarded to students with excellent academic performance and qualifying college entrance exam scores and GPAs.
  • Washington Center Scholarship - Students who are accepted to participate in an internship at the Washington Center are awarded up to $6,000.
  • Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student Scholarship Contest - The Elks National Foundation awards 500 scholarships between $1,000 and $12,5000 to bachelor's degree students.