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2021 Best Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in Arkansas

19 Colleges
$17,559 Avg Cost (With Aid)*
4.4 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

When pursuing a degree in today's world, there are many different options to choose from. College Factual has developed its Best Arkansas Schools For The Money For Those Getting Aid ranking as one tool you can use to help make this decision.

Our analysis looked at 19 schools to determine which ones were the best for overall value for the money with aid in Arkansas. Quality is an important component in this ranking, so it is not just naming the schools with the cheapest price tag. Instead, it is identifying those institutions that offer the most value when taking their educational quality into consideration. Thus, one college may rank better than another, but the second school could have a lower average cost.

Find out more about our ranking methodology.

To calculate the average cost amount, we sum up the total expenses to attend a school - such as tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other living expenses - and then subtract the average financial aid award a student receives. So it is an approximation of how much you will have to pay out-of-pocket each year on average.

Customizing Your List

Since one ranking on its own is not enough to give you a complete understanding of your educational options, you can refine this list by location and field of study. We've also developed a number of other tools and rankings based on other factors. These other rankings highlight colleges that excel in other factors such as overall quality or diversity as well as schools that excel in serving different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. We encourage you to try it out and pit your favorite colleges and universities head to head!

Top Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in Arkansas

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Our 2021 rankings named University of Arkansas the best school for overall value for the money with aid in Arkansas for students working on their bachelor’s degree. University of Arkansas is a large public school located in Fayetteville, Arkansas that handed out 5,181 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UARK is 4.3 years, and it costs students who receive aid about $18,448 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UARK is $79,695. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.9%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. UARK also made our Best Colleges in Arkansas list, coming in at #2.

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#2

Harding University

Searcy, Arkansas

A rank of #2 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas list means Harding University is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Harding is located in Searcy, Arkansas and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 888 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average student at Harding graduates in less than 4.3 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $20,917 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Harding is about $90,989. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.8%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. Harding not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #3 on our Best Colleges in Arkansas list.

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#3

Ouachita Baptist University

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Ouachita Baptist University. The school came in at #3 in Arkansas on this year’s best value ranking. Ouachita Baptist is a private not-for-profit institution located in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. The school has a small population, and it awarded 399 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Ouachita Baptist is 4.1 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $20,768 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $84,733 to get a bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

Ouachita Baptist not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #5 on our Best Colleges in Arkansas list.

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The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Arkansas State University - Main Campus helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for the money in Arkansas. Arkansas State University - Main Campus is located in Jonesboro, Arkansas and has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,850 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Arkansas State University - Main Campus is 4.4 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $15,243. This means that the average student pays around $67,222 to get a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas State University - Main Campus. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#5

John Brown University

Siloam Springs, Arkansas

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend John Brown University. The school came in at #5 in Arkansas on this year’s best value ranking. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and it awarded 443 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at JBU graduates in less than 4.2 years, and it costs students who receive aid about $24,386 per year to attend the school. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from JBU is $101,202. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.8%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. JBU also took the #4 spot in our Best Colleges in Arkansas rankings.

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#6

University of Central Arkansas

Conway, Arkansas

University of Central Arkansas landed the #6 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Arkansas ranking. University of Central Arkansas is a fairly large public school located in Conway, Arkansas that handed out 1,747 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at University of Central Arkansas graduates in less than 4.6 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $15,994. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from University of Central Arkansas is $72,933. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#7

Hendrix College

Conway, Arkansas

Hendrix College ranked #7 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas list. Located in Conway, Arkansas, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 338 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Hendrix is 4.1 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $29,363. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Hendrix is about $119,507. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.4%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Hendrix not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #1 on our Best Colleges in Arkansas list.

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#8

Lyon College

Batesville, Arkansas

Lyon College ranked #8 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas list. Lyon is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Batesville, Arkansas. It awarded 155 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Lyon to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $21,436 for students who receive aid. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Lyon is $87,459. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#9

Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, Arkansas

Arkansas Tech University landed the #9 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Arkansas ranking. Located in Russellville, Arkansas, the fairly large public school handed out 1,360 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at ATU about 4.5 years to graduate, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $12,854. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from ATU is about $57,457. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#10

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas

With a ranking of #10, University of Arkansas at Little Rock did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas list. University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a medium-sized public school located in Little Rock, Arkansas that handed out 1,316 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at UA Little Rock about 4.6 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $16,411 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UA Little Rock is $74,834. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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With a ranking of #11, Southern Arkansas University Main Campus did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas list. Southern Arkansas University Main Campus is located in Magnolia, Arkansas and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 495 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes the average student at Southern Arkansas University Main Campus about 4.4 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $14,072 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Southern Arkansas University Main Campus is $61,635. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#12

Henderson State University

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Henderson State University came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas ranking. Henderson State University is a small public school situated in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. It awarded 534 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Henderson State University graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $15,189 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Henderson State University is $67,895. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#13

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Arkansas ranking, coming in at #13. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a small public school located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas that handed out 433 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.8 years for the average student at UAPB to complete their degree, and it costs students who receive aid about $11,014 per year to attend the school. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UAPB be around $52,647. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#14

University of Arkansas at Monticello

Monticello, Arkansas

With a ranking of #14, University of Arkansas at Monticello did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas list. UAM is a small public school situated in Monticello, Arkansas. It awarded 444 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At UAM, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $13,627 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UAM is about $60,095. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#15

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

Fort Smith, Arkansas

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith ranked #15 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas list. University of Arkansas - Fort Smith is a medium-sized public school located in Fort Smith, Arkansas that handed out 826 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at University of Arkansas - Fort Smith graduates in less than 4.5 years, and it costs students who receive aid about $15,014 per year to attend the school. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from University of Arkansas - Fort Smith be around $68,314. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#16

Philander Smith College

Little Rock, Arkansas

Philander Smith College came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas ranking. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Little Rock, Arkansas, and it awarded 81 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Philander Smith to complete their degree, and it costs students who receive aid about $15,203 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Philander Smith is $62,788. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#17

Williams Baptist College

Walnut Ridge, Arkansas

Williams Baptist College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Arkansas ranking, coming in at #17. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, and it awarded 71 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Williams Baptist College to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $18,158 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Williams Baptist College is $75,174. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#18

Arkansas Baptist College

Little Rock, Arkansas

Arkansas Baptist College came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas ranking. Arkansas Baptist College is located in Little Rock, Arkansas and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 22 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at Arkansas Baptist College to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $16,908. This means that the average student pays around $76,086 to get a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Baptist College. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#19

Central Baptist College

Conway, Arkansas

With a ranking of #19, Central Baptist College did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas list. Conway, Arkansas is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 124 students in 2018-2019.

At CBC, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 5.3 years, and it costs students who receive aid about $18,607 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from CBC is about $98,431. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 19 schools only.

  • For our state-specific rankings, we use in-state tuition to calculate average cost. For our national and regional rankings, we use a weighted average of in-state and non-resident tuition.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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