University of Central Arkansas

University of Central Arkansas Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located in Conway, the University of Central Arkansas is a public university that offers undergraduate and graduate programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Is the University of Central Arkansas the School for You?

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) is located in Conway, AR, 30 miles from Little Rock. This public school offers more than 130 academic programs at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral and certificate levels. Weigh the facts below to decide if you should attend UCA.


  • Ranked among the top 30 public schools in the south
  • Total cost is $12,811 lower than the national average for out-of-state students
  • Acceptance rate is 29.2 percentage points higher than the national average
  • High number of academic programs
  • Accepts AP and dual credits


  • Total cost is $2,053 higher than the national average for in-state students
  • Graduation rate is 21 percentage points lower than the national average

Rankings & School Analysis

In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Central Arkansas at #26 on the Top Public Schools list for the south. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that UCA accepted 93% of applicants, well above the national average of 63.8%, and 69% of full-time students returned to the university after their first year. The school's four-year graduation rate was 19%, much lower than the national average of 40%, but 40% of attendees graduated within six years. You can expect a student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1, which is on par with the national average.

As a UCA student, you'll be able to choose from more than 130 fields of study, including 80 undergraduate programs, 31 master's degrees and 5 doctoral fields. The total cost of attendance when living on campus for the 2012-2013 academic year was $12,603 for Arkansas residents, slightly higher than the national average of $10,550 for in-state students. Out-of-state students paid about $18,100, which was below the national average of $30,911.

Getting In & Financial Aid at UCA

The NCES reported that 63% of accepted students chose to attend UCA. To apply, you'll have to submit the school's application, your high school transcript and standardized test scores. Of the students who enrolled in 2011, 97% sent in ACT scores and the middle 50% scored between 20 and 26. Test results are due by September 1.

According to the NCES, 96% of first-year undergraduates received some type of financial aid in 2010-2011. You may be eligible for scholarships or other aid based on need, minority status, state residency, academic performance or achievement in art, athletics, leadership, music/drama or ROTC. If you're entering a graduate program, you may be able to apply for research or teaching assistantships. Approximately 12.7% of students with loans defaulted within three years of graduation, the NCES reported.

Application and Tuition Info
Priority Application Deadline (2013) May 1***
Financial Aid Application Deadline (2013) July 1***
Notification of Acceptance (2013) Rolling**
Application Fee (2013) $25***
Acceptance Rate (2012-2013) 93%*
All Tuition & Living Expenses (2012-2013) $12,603 for in-state and $18,100 for out-of-state students*
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 12.7%*

Student Life at UCA

In 2011, 57% of undergraduates at the university were female, 89% were Arkansas residents and 3% were international students. The largest racial/ethnic groups were white at 67% and African-Americans at 16%. You can live among fellow students in residence halls, apartments, family housing or residential colleges. Some of the housing options are set aside for underclassmen or upperclassmen only.

If you're looking to get involved on campus, UCA offers nearly 200 student organizations, 21 Greek chapters and 15 NCAA Division 1 athletic teams. The university also houses a greenhouse, nature preserve, planetarium, human anatomy lab and 24-hour study center.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Suburban***
Student Population (2011) 9,629 undergraduates and 1,534 graduate students*
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 43% to 57%*
% of Full Time Students (2011) 84%*
% of In-state Students (2011) 89%*
Retention Rate (2010-2011) 69% for full-time students*
Campus Housing Available Yes*
% of Students Living on Campus 38% of undergraduates***
Number of Libraries 1**
Extracurricular Activities Nearly 200**

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **University of Central Arkansas, ***The College Board, ****U.S. News & World Report

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, 201 Donaghey Avenue, Bernard 101, Conway, AR 72035
  • Phone: (501) 450-3128