Best Small Colleges in Arkansas 2022

Small colleges in Arkansas are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

Best Small Colleges in Arkansas 2022

Colleges and Universities in Arkansas

Colleges and universities in Arkansas are uniquely affordable, with just under half providing tuition rates of $9,000 or less. We’ve also found 7 high quality olleges offering online degree programs in Arkansas. Included in this list are the state’s two largest universities, the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University. Though students can find some overlapping degree programs at the two schools, each has its specialties. For example, students hoping to pursue degrees in architecture, agriculture, or business may want to consider the University of Arkansas, while those interested in biology, nursing, or political science may want to attend Arkansas State University.

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Additionally, about one third of the schools in Arkansas have a religious affiliation. Student populations at these schools range from just under 200 students up to 5,000, and allow students to pursue degrees merging religious studies with fields like chemistry and history. While tuition at each of the state’s 12 private schools varies greatly, costing anywhere between $9,000 and $46,000, many of these colleges boast high graduation rates and small class sizes.

While Arkansas is perhaps best-known and loved for countless lakes, Hot Springs National Park, and the United States’ only active diamond mine. The Natural State houses many higher education institutes where students can earn associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a full range of disciplines.

With so many affordable schools and competitive degree programs, students attending school in Arkansas have the luxury of combining their individual budget needs with their desired degree paths. For more information on attending school in Arkansas, check out some of the state’s top schools.


What are Arkansas’s Colleges & Universities?

Arkansas’s Best Overall

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The following list of the best small colleges and universities in Arkansas is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 16 small colleges in Arkansas. The list below of the best small colleges in Arkansas. To be included schools must fully accredited, and must have student body populations below 5,000 students.

How do we determine Arkansas's best small colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

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Best Small Colleges in Arkansas 2022

  1. #2

    Harding University

    Searcy , AR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    55%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1165/25

    What is Harding University known for?

    Harding University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Nursing
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Social Work
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #3

    John Brown University

    Siloam Springs , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/26

    What is John Brown University known for?

    John Brown University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

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  3. #4

    Henderson State University

    Arkadelphia , AR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1044/21

    What is Henderson State University known for?

    Henderson State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    970/18

    What is University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff known for?

    University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #6

    Ouachita Baptist University

    Arkadelphia , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    What is Ouachita Baptist University known for?

    Ouachita Baptist University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Medical
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. #7

    Southern Arkansas University

    Magnolia , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1067/21

    What is Southern Arkansas University known for?

    Southern Arkansas University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    2K

    What is University of Arkansas at Monticello known for?

    University of Arkansas at Monticello’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Sociology
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #9

    Philander Smith College

    Little Rock , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Philander Smith College known for?

    Philander Smith College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #10

    Lyon College

    Batesville , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/23

    What is Lyon College known for?

    Lyon College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Anthropology
    • History
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #11

    Crowley's Ridge College

    Paragould , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Crowley's Ridge College known for?

    Crowley's Ridge College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
  11. #12

    University of the Ozarks

    Clarksville , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    960/20

    What is University of the Ozarks known for?

    University of the Ozarks’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Communications
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #13

    Arkansas Baptist College

    Little Rock , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    12%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Arkansas Baptist College known for?

    Arkansas Baptist College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Social Work
    • Political Science
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    5K

    What is University of Arkansas–Fort Smith known for?

    University of Arkansas–Fort Smith’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #15

    Central Baptist College

    Conway , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    960/19

    What is Central Baptist College known for?

    Central Baptist College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
  15. #16

    Williams Baptist University

    Walnut Ridge , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    970/20

    What is Williams Baptist University known for?

    Williams Baptist University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Business
    • Education
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

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Arkansas’s Best Small College in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Hendrix College
  2. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  3. Lyon College
  4. Ouachita Baptist University
  5. John Brown University
  6. Henderson State University
  7. Philander Smith College
  8. Harding University
  9. Southern Arkansas University
  10. University of the Ozarks
  11. Crowley's Ridge College
  12. Williams Baptist University
  13. Central Baptist College

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