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Top Colleges in Arkansas

Written by Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman

Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman is a content editor and writer at Scholarships360. He has managed communications and written content for a diverse array of organizations, including a farmer’s market, a concert venue, a student farm, an environmental NGO, and a PR agency. Gabriel graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in sociology.

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Updated: May 7th, 2024

With a wealth of great colleges and the financial support of the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, Arkansas colleges have something to offer anyone. Explore the colleges in Arkansas below and compare them by graduation rate, admissions rate, affordability, and size:

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19 colleges
Sort by
Top College Top College: Affordability

Hendrix College

Conway, AR • Private, Non-Profit, City

Conway, AR

Private, Non-Profit, City

68% acceptance rate
1,103 undergraduate students
73% graduation rate
$10,299 average per year after aid
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Top College Top College
Top College Top College: Affordability

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR • Public, City

Fayetteville, AR

Public, City

83% acceptance rate
24,001 undergraduate students
70% graduation rate
$14,998 average per year after aid
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John Brown University

Siloam Springs, AR • Private, Non-Profit, Town

Siloam Springs, AR

Private, Non-Profit, Town

53% acceptance rate
1,381 undergraduate students
70% graduation rate
$18,641 average per year after aid
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Harding University

Searcy, AR • Private, Non-Profit, Town

Searcy, AR

Private, Non-Profit, Town

54% acceptance rate
3,262 undergraduate students
67% graduation rate
$20,429 average per year after aid
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Ouachita Baptist University

Arkadelphia, AR • Private, Non-Profit, Town

Arkadelphia, AR

Private, Non-Profit, Town

74% acceptance rate
1,572 undergraduate students
67% graduation rate
$20,847 average per year after aid
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Arkansas State University

Jonesboro, AR • Public, City

Jonesboro, AR

Public, City

63% acceptance rate
7,478 undergraduate students
54% graduation rate
$13,430 average per year after aid
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Lyon College

Batesville, AR • Private, Non-Profit, Town

Batesville, AR

Private, Non-Profit, Town

27% acceptance rate
576 undergraduate students
46% graduation rate
$10,786 average per year after aid
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University of Central Arkansas

Conway, AR • Public, City

Conway, AR

Public, City

92% acceptance rate
7,763 undergraduate students
49% graduation rate
$14,735 average per year after aid
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University of the Ozarks

Clarksville, AR • Private, Non-Profit, Town

Clarksville, AR

Private, Non-Profit, Town

55% acceptance rate
775 undergraduate students
49% graduation rate
$14,486 average per year after aid
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Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, AR • Public, Town

Russellville, AR

Public, Town

94% acceptance rate
6,467 undergraduate students
46% graduation rate
$12,191 average per year after aid
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University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Pine Bluff, AR • Public, City

Pine Bluff, AR

Public, City

68% acceptance rate
2,444 undergraduate students
41% graduation rate
$10,542 average per year after aid
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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Little Rock, AR • Public, City

Little Rock, AR

Public, City

58% acceptance rate
5,025 undergraduate students
40% graduation rate
$15,868 average per year after aid
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Southern Arkansas University Main Campus

Magnolia, AR • Public, Town

Magnolia, AR

Public, Town

63% acceptance rate
2,795 undergraduate students
40% graduation rate
$15,873 average per year after aid
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Henderson State University

Arkadelphia, AR • Public, Town

Arkadelphia, AR

Public, Town

75% acceptance rate
2,205 undergraduate students
37% graduation rate
$16,696 average per year after aid
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University of Arkansas at Monticello

Monticello, AR • Public, Town

Monticello, AR

Public, Town

--% acceptance rate
1,946 undergraduate students
33% graduation rate
$12,907 average per year after aid
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University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

Fort Smith, AR • Public, City

Fort Smith, AR

Public, City

--% acceptance rate
4,188 undergraduate students
26% graduation rate
$9,336 average per year after aid
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Central Baptist College

Conway, AR • Private, Non-Profit, City

Conway, AR

Private, Non-Profit, City

62% acceptance rate
546 undergraduate students
39% graduation rate
$23,545 average per year after aid
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Philander Smith College

Little Rock, AR • Private, Non-Profit, City

Little Rock, AR

Private, Non-Profit, City

--% acceptance rate
709 undergraduate students
28% graduation rate
$14,847 average per year after aid
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Crowley's Ridge College

Paragould, AR • Private, Non-Profit, Rural

Paragould, AR

Private, Non-Profit, Rural

--% acceptance rate
170 undergraduate students
23% graduation rate
$15,968 average per year after aid
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About the Data

We sort colleges on our lists according to their Scholarships360 Top Colleges Index Score. This score is calculated using up-to-date information taken directly from the College Scorecard. Additional information is sourced from the colleges themselves, as well as other publicly available information. If you see an error, feel free to contact us.

State grants in Arkansas

Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship (ACST): 

The Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship (ACST) is a performance based scholarship based on their ACT composite score and their GPA after their first semester at an approved institution. This scholarship is renewed each year, with the amount awarded increasing from $1000 for freshman year to $4000 for sophomore and junior year to $5000 for senior year. This scholarship is also available to part time students, at a prorated rate. 

Arkansas Future Grant (ARFUTURE):

The Arkansas Future Grant (ARFUTURE) is a first come, first serve grant for Arkansas students participating in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs or regional high demand areas of study. This grant will fund the full amount of an associate’s degree or five semesters of higher education. 

Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship (GS):

The Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship is the most academically rigorous award offered in Arkansas, and it can be awarded in conjunction with the Academic Challenge scholarship. Full time students at four year institutions are able to earn up to $10,000 per academic year. 

Alabama tuition reciprocity agreements

Arkansas is a part of the Southern Regional Education Board Academic Common Market. This means that students going to public institutions out-of-state can pay in-state tuition, if their degree is not offered in their home state. These tuition discounts allow students in Arkansas to attend institutions in the following states, and vice versa:

Other college lists to explore

Frequently asked questions about colleges in Arkansas

What is the hardest college in Arkansas to get into?

The college with the lowest acceptance rate in Arkansas is the University of the Ozarks, with 55% of students being admitted in the 2022-2023 school year. Even though lower acceptance rates can, of course, be discouraging, it’s important to remember that many aspects go into college admission, beyond just scores and numbers. So, if a reach school seems like a good fit for you, it never hurts to apply!

Does Arkansas have tuition reciprocity?

Yes! Arkansas is one of the 15 states in the Southern Regional Education Board Academic Common Market. When going to school in an SREB state, make sure to look into whether you can receive discounted tuition, even when going out of state.

Why study in Arkansas?

 Arkansas, also known as the natural state, has some great national parks and outdoor activities like hiking trails, fishing and camping. You will also have the opportunity to experience some famous southern hospitality, including the delicious southern cuisine. Another big draw is that Arkansas is considered to be a very affordable state to reside in, which is an aspect that is very important to many students.

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