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Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, the four-year colleges in Arkansas include 12 public and 15 private non-profit options.


    For the 2022-23 school year, the average in-state tuition for public four-year colleges in Arkansas is $9,461, according to College Board.


    In the U.S., full-time undergraduate students attending college in 2021-22 received an average of $15,330 per year in financial aid.

Our Research

This list features some of the best brick-and-mortar colleges in Arkansas. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications, such as U.S. News & World Report, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) — this organization examines the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of postsecondary education programs in the central United States.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission standards, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the resources and services provided for on-campus students. Then, we used this information to calculate the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Online College Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Top 50 Colleges in Arkansas


University of Arkansas

University of Central Arkansas

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Williams Baptist University

Southern Arkansas University

University of Arkansas at Fort Smith

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

University of the Ozarks

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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Arkansas

When selecting a college in Arkansas, you should consider how the school’s degree program will prepare you for a future career in the state. As of May 2022, the five Arkansas industries with the highest number of employees are office and administrative support occupations, transportation and material moving, sales, production, and food preparation and serving.

The fastest-growing occupations in Arkansas for those with a bachelor’s degree include fundraisers, museum technicians and conservators, operations research analysts, materials engineers, and logisticians.

Before applying for a job in Arkansas, it helps to know who the top employers are within the state. These include Walmart, the University of Arkansas, Sam’s Club, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and Evans Political Consulting.

What’s Next?

If you’re planning on attending college in Arkansas, you can get help paying for your education with federal and state financial aid. Here’s a list of resources that detail some of the grants, scholarships, and loan opportunities for undergraduate students:

  • Arkansas Department of Higher Education. The Arkansas Department of Higher Education offers information on available state and federal aid programs. They also provide information on how to transfer financial aid from one school to another and how to put financial aid on hold.
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Provided by the U.S. Department of Education, FAFSA is the main form students use to apply for financial aid for college. To determine if you’re eligible for aid, submit a completed FAFSA form online.
  • CareerOneStop Scholarship Finder. This tool will show you available scholarships, grants, and loans and can be filtered by state and degree type. It includes information such as dollar amounts, how to apply, qualifications, deadlines, and contact details.

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