Most Affordable Colleges in Arkansas 2023

Most Affordable Colleges in Arkansas 2023

Here are the most affordable colleges and universities in Arkansas. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you, at a price you can afford.

Key Takeaways

  • One of the most prominent business schools in the US, the Sam M. Walton College of Business, is located in Arkansas.
  • Arkansas is home to a number of affordable colleges and universities.
  • Arkansas has a lot of college scholarships offered by different foundations and organizations. Students can find financial aid from the state’s numerous scholarship programs.

Affordability of Colleges in Arkansas

Students in Arkansas will appreciate the spectacular views of the Ozarks and the Old Main, a two-towered brick building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For the sports-minded student, the Razorbacks compete in the NCAA’s Southeastern Conference in Division 1. There is no school in the Southeastern Conference that has won more total national championships than the University of Arkansas.

If you interested in pursuing a business degree, the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas is a good choice. This school is one of the top 25 undergraduate business schools in the country. UA also happens to be at the top of our ranking for one of the most affordable schools in the state.

Students looking for smaller schools with lower teach-to-student ratios will find Arkansas the perfect choice. The Arkansas Department of Higher Education reported that “only eight campuses have a student headcount of more than 6,000. 51% have student headcounts below 3,000”. This is an important consideration if you are interested in a school that is both affordable and small.

Scholarship Options for Arkansas Undergrads

Arkansas’ higher education landscape has numerous options, including 33 public and 12 private colleges, and a lot of online college programs.

Arkansas is a very affordable state to attend college, especially for in-state residents. The average tuition for residents is $4,423, and $11,216 for out-of-state student.

Of course, to make college as affordable as possible, financial aid and scholarships are still essential to help reduce your college expenses. Here are 5 of the best scholarships Arkansas offers to eligible students.

Swayze Woodruff Memorial Mid-South Scholarship: This is one of the 28 scholarships under the American Quarter Horse Foundation in Amarillo. To date, the foundation has distributed more than $6.7 million since 1976.

This regionally-funded scholarship is designed to support Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee residents who have a passion for horseback riding. In a span of four years, eligible students will receive $9,000 for a bachelor’s degree in any program.

Eligibility:

  • Must be an AQHYA or AGHA member for 12 months or more
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED equivalents
  • Must compete regularly in Quarter Horse shows
  • Must have a minimum GPA of 2.5

Arkansas Chamber Singers Vocal/Choral Music Scholarship: The Arkansas Chamber Singers (ACS) based in Little Rock, gives back through a Vocal/Choral Music Scholarship. This award is for high schoolers who are active in choral music programs statewide with $1,000 or $500 for college.

Eligibility:

  • Must be a graduating senior at a public or private Arkansas schools
  • Must possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Must intend to major in music (vocal or choral) performance)
  • Must show acceptance at an accredited four-year college

Arkansas High Tech Scholarship: The High Tech Scholarship is an initiative by the Arkansas Department of Career Education to support 20 Arkansas full-time students in post-secondary technical programs. Every semester, recipients receive $250, or $500 annually for four years maximum.

Programs accepted in the scholarship include avionics, graphic design, radiologic technology, biotechnology, nuclear engineering, computer systems technology, and many more.

Eligibility:

  • Must be a US citizen
  • Must be a graduate of any Arkansas public school
  • Must have a minimum secondary GPA of 2.5
  • Must have a score of at least 19 (ACT) or 730 (SAT)
  • Must demonstrate leadership capabilities

Cornerstone Charitable Scholarship Trust: This is a need-based scholarship open for incoming college students who are US citizens, nationals, or permanent residents under 25 years old. The trust sends funding every semester to help lower the cost of bachelor’s and associate’s degrees.

Eligibility:

  • Must have roots in the State of Arkansas
  • Must hold a high school diploma or GED
  • Must matriculate full-time at accredited colleges or vocational schools
  • Must be economically disadvantaged with significant need

NIADA Foundation Region III Scholarship: NIADA (National Independent Automobile Dealers Association) Foundation was established in 2006 and offers four regional scholarships for $3,500 apiece. Region III is composed of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Eligibility:

  • Must be classified as high school seniors
  • Must legally reside in NIADA’s Region III
  • Must display academic merit with a GPA over 2.5
  • Must show an aptitude for college work with ACT/SAT scores

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 colleges offering online degree programs in Arkansas.

Indeed, online students can earn their degree at one of the state’s two largest universities, the University of Arkansas or 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. It is possible to study these subjects both through traditional and online degree programs in the state of Arkansas.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

Roughly 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. Both traditional and online students can pursue degrees that merge religious studies with fields like chemistry and history.

Tuition rates at each of the state’s 12 private schools vary greatly. Arkansas’s private colleges and schools cost anywhere between $9,000 and $46,000. Many of these private colleges boast high graduation rates and small class sizes.

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

With so many affordable schools and competitive on-campus and online 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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There are 16 colleges and universities in Arkansas with stated tuitions and fees under $20,000/year. The following list of the most affordable colleges and universities in Arkansas is composed entirely of schools offering bachelor’s degree programs, have stated tuition and fees near or under the national average of $16,000/year, and are fully accredited colleges.

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Most Affordable Colleges in Arkansas 2022

These schools are ranked by academic excellence, and all under $20,000/year.

  1. #1

    University of Arkansas

    Fayetteville , AR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/26

    University of Arkansas’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accounting
    • General Business
    • Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Education
    Degree Concentrations
    • Human Resources And Workforce Development Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Development And Family Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/23

    Arkansas State University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Organizational Supervision
    • Required Credits: 125
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Digital Innovation
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Disaster Preparedness/Emergency Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Creative Media Production
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGS in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Political Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Sociology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Strategic Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Nursing: RN to BSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/23

    University of Central Arkansas’s Online Degrees

    BBA in General Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BBA in Insurance And Risk Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BBA in Management Information Systems
    Degree Concentrations
    • Business Analytics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGS in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #5

    Arkansas Tech University

    Russellville , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    8K

    Arkansas Tech University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Organizational Leadership
    Degree Concentrations
    • Agriculture Business
    • Child Development
    • Inter-College
    • Public Relations
    • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Agriculture Business
    • Public Relations
    • Criminal Justice
    • Child Development
    • Inter-College
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice And Criminology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Emergency Management And Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BFA in Creative Writing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in English
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in History
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Political Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BPS in Professional Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    4K

    Southern Arkansas University’s Online Degrees

    BBA/MBA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 150
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. #11

    Crowley's Ridge College

    Paragould , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Crowley's Ridge College known for?

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

  7. #12

    Arkansas Baptist College

    Little Rock , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    9%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Arkansas Baptist College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    26%

    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:

    Most Influential Alumni

    University of Arkansas–Fort Smith’s Online Degrees

    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    990/20

    What is Central Baptist College known for?

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

  10. #15

    Williams Baptist University

    Walnut Ridge , AR

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/21

    What is Williams Baptist University known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    5K

    What is University of Arkansas Grantham known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    University of Arkansas Grantham’s Online Degrees

    BS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BBA in Financial Planning
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Computer Engineering Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Electronics Engineering Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Cybersecurity
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Multidisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Multidisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Strategic Communications
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Health Information Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing- Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Arkansas’s Most Affordable Colleges in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive
  1. University of Arkansas–Fort Smith
  2. Arkansas Tech University
  3. University of Arkansas at Monticello
  4. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
  5. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  6. Henderson State University
  7. Arkansas State University
  8. Southern Arkansas University
  9. University of Central Arkansas
  10. Arkansas Baptist College
  11. University of Arkansas
  12. University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  13. Philander Smith College
  14. Crowley's Ridge College
  15. Ecclesia College
  16. Central Baptist College