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2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas

19 Colleges
$19,113 Avg Cost*
4.4 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

It's not easy to decide which college to attend when you have so many options available. Our mission at College Factual is to arm you with as much information as we can to help you make that decision. Our Best Value Arkansas Schools ranking is one tool we have developed to help in this regard.

Our analysis looked at 19 schools to determine which ones were the best for overall value in Arkansas. This ranking isn't just a listing of 'cheap' schools. Instead, it is noting which schools offer a high quality education for a reasonable price. Because of this, it is possible for one college to rank better than another, even if the latter college has a lower average cost.

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

When determining average cost, we look at total expenses, such as tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board, and other living expenses, and then deduct the average amount of financial aid awarded to a student. This estimate is meant to give you a better picture of how much money you'll have to pay each year, either through self-pay, loans, or external scholarships.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location and field of study as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors, such as those of importance to veterans and returning adults or those seeking diversity and overall quality.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another!

Top Colleges for the Money 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 in Arkansas for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Fayetteville, Arkansas is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 5,181 students in 2018-2019.

The average student at UARK graduates in less than 4.3 years, and it costs about $21,911 per year to attend the school. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from UARK is $94,656. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The low student loan default rate of 4.9% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. UARK did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #2 on our Best Colleges in Arkansas list.

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#2

Harding University

Searcy, Arkansas

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Harding University. The school came in at #2 in Arkansas on this year’s best value ranking. Harding University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Searcy, Arkansas that handed out 888 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Harding, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.3 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $22,535. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Harding is $98,027. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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%. Harding did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #3 on our Best Colleges in Arkansas list.

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#3

Ouachita Baptist University

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Ouachita Baptist University. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Arkansas list. Ouachita Baptist is located in Arkadelphia, Arkansas and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 399 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Ouachita Baptist is 4.1 years, and it costs about $21,157 per year to attend the school. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist is $86,321. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Ouachita Baptist did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #5 on our Best Colleges in Arkansas list.

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You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Arkansas State University - Main Campus. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Arkansas list. Arkansas State University - Main Campus is a fairly large public school located in Jonesboro, Arkansas that handed out 1,850 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Arkansas State University - Main Campus about 4.4 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $17,621. 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 Arkansas State University - Main Campus is $77,709. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#5

Hendrix College

Conway, Arkansas

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Hendrix College. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Arkansas list. Located in Conway, Arkansas, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 338 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Hendrix, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.1 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $29,363. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Hendrix is $119,507. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.4%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. Hendrix also made our Best Colleges in Arkansas list, coming in at #1.

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#6

University of Central Arkansas

Conway, Arkansas

University of Central Arkansas ranked #6 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas list. Located in Conway, Arkansas, the fairly large public school 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 it costs about $17,339 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $79,066 to get a bachelor’s degree from University of Central Arkansas. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#7

Lyon College

Batesville, Arkansas

Lyon College came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas ranking. Lyon College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Batesville, Arkansas that handed out 155 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Lyon, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.1 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $21,646. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Lyon is $88,316. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

Full Lyon College Report

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#8

John Brown University

Siloam Springs, Arkansas

John Brown University came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas ranking. JBU is a private not-for-profit institution located in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. The school has a small population, and it awarded 443 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at JBU graduates in less than 4.2 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $28,483. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from JBU is $118,204. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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%. JBU also took the #4 spot in our Best Colleges in Arkansas rankings.

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#9

Henderson State University

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

With a ranking of #9, Henderson State University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas list. Henderson State University is a small public school situated in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. It awarded 534 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Henderson State University is 4.5 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $16,466. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Henderson State University is $73,603. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#10

Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, Arkansas

Arkansas Tech University ranked #10 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas list. This fairly large public school is located in Russellville, Arkansas, and it awarded 1,360 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at ATU about 4.5 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $14,880. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the ATU is $66,514. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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Southern Arkansas University Main Campus ranked #11 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas list. Southern Arkansas University Main Campus is a public institution located in Magnolia, Arkansas. The school has a small population, and it awarded 495 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Southern Arkansas University Main Campus graduates in less than 4.4 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $15,700. 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 Southern Arkansas University Main Campus is $68,766. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#12

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 #12. 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 the average student at UAPB about 4.8 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $11,819. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UAPB be around $56,495. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#13

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

Fort Smith, Arkansas

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas ranking. Fort Smith, Arkansas is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 826 students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at University of Arkansas - Fort Smith is 4.5 years, and it costs about $16,598 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from University of Arkansas - Fort Smith is about $75,521. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

Full University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Report

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#14

Philander Smith College

Little Rock, Arkansas

With a ranking of #14, Philander Smith College did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas list. Located in Little Rock, Arkansas, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 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 the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $15,966. This means that the average student pays around $65,940 to get a bachelor’s degree from Philander Smith. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#15

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas

University of Arkansas at Little Rock came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Arkansas ranking. 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 about 4.6 years for the average student at UA Little Rock to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $20,227. This means that the average student pays around $92,235 to get a bachelor’s degree from UA Little Rock. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

Full University of Arkansas at Little Rock Report

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#16

University of Arkansas at Monticello

Monticello, Arkansas

University of Arkansas at Monticello landed the #16 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Arkansas ranking. UAM is located in Monticello, Arkansas and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 444 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at UAM to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $15,218. 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 UAM is $67,111. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

Full University of Arkansas at Monticello Report

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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. Walnut Ridge, Arkansas is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 71 students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Williams Baptist College about 4.1 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $18,158. 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. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

Full Williams Baptist College Report

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#18

Arkansas Baptist College

Little Rock, Arkansas

Arkansas Baptist College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Arkansas ranking, coming in at #18. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Little Rock, Arkansas, and it awarded 22 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Arkansas Baptist College is 4.5 years, and it costs about $17,708 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $79,686 to get a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Baptist College. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#19

Central Baptist College

Conway, Arkansas

Central Baptist College landed the #19 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Arkansas ranking. Located in Conway, Arkansas, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 124 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at CBC graduates in less than 5.3 years, and it costs about $20,345 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $107,625 to get a bachelor’s degree from CBC. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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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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