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2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas

40 Colleges
$33,104 Avg Salary*
31% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

With all of the options you have for higher education today, it can be tough to choose which direction to take. College Factual has developed its Top Arkansas Schools ranking as one item you can use to help make this decision.

After analyzing 40 schools in Arkansas, we came up with our list of those that offered the highest quality education. To come up with this ranking, we look at more than 20 factors that are all objective measurements. These factors include freshman retention, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and post graduate earnings, among other things.

Get more details on our ranking methodology.

Customizing Your List

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 who value diversity and value for your money.

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. We encourage you to try it out and pit your favorite colleges and universities head to head!

Top Colleges in Arkansas

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Harding University

Searcy, Arkansas

Harding University tops this year’s ranking as the best school in Arkansas for overall quality. Harding University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Searcy, Arkansas that handed out 1,320 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The low student loan default rate of 4.5% 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% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Harding is $40,900 during the early years of their career.

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#2

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend University of Arkansas. The school came in at #2 in Arkansas on this year’s overall quality ranking. Located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the large public school handed out 6,924 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

During the early years of their career, graduates from UARK make an average of $44,900 a year.

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#3

John Brown University

Siloam Springs, Arkansas

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at John Brown University helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in Arkansas. Located in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 569 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.7%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. During the early years of their career, graduates from JBU make an average of $45,800 a year.

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#4

Hendrix College

Conway, Arkansas

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Hendrix College helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in Arkansas. Hendrix College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Conway, Arkansas that handed out 308 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.3%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Hendrix go into careers with an average salary of $39,700 during the early years of their career.

Full Hendrix College Report

#5

Ouachita Baptist University

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Ouachita Baptist University. It ranked #5 on our 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas list.Arkadelphia, Arkansas is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 367 students in 2019-2020.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Ouachita Baptist make an average of $41,200 a year.

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#6

University of Central Arkansas

Conway, Arkansas

University of Central Arkansas landed the #6 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas ranking. UCA is located in Conway, Arkansas and has a fairly large student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 2,405 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from UCA is $38,300 during the early years of their career.

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#7

NorthWest Arkansas Community College

Bentonville, Arkansas

NorthWest Arkansas Community College landed the #7 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas ranking. This medium-sized public school is located in Bentonville, Arkansas, and it awarded 1,001 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from NWACC is $32,800 during the early years of their career.

Full NorthWest Arkansas Community College Report

With a ranking of #8, Arkansas State University - Main Campus did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas list. This fairly large public school is located in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and it awarded 4,106 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

During the early years of their career, graduates from A-State make an average of $32,200 a year.

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#9

Lyon College

Batesville, Arkansas

Lyon College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas ranking, coming in at #9.Batesville, Arkansas is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 144 students in 2019-2020.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Lyon make an average of $38,600 a year.

Read full report on Lyon College

#10

Williams Baptist University

Walnut Ridge, Arkansas

With a ranking of #10, Williams Baptist University did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas list. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, and it awarded 83 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from WBU is $33,100 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Williams Baptist University

#11

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas

University of Arkansas at Little Rock landed the #11 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas ranking. UA Little Rock is a public institution located in Little Rock, Arkansas. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 2,245 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $34,900 during the early years of their career..

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University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College ranked #12 on this year’s Best Colleges in Arkansas list. UA Pulaski Tech is a public institution located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The school has a small population, and it awarded 676 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UA Pulaski Tech make an average of $27,700 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College

#13

Henderson State University

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Henderson State University ranked #13 on this year’s Best Colleges in Arkansas list. Henderson State University is located in Arkadelphia, Arkansas and has a small student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 667 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Henderson State University make an average of $35,700 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Henderson State University

#14

Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, Arkansas

Arkansas Tech University landed the #14 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas ranking. Located in Russellville, Arkansas, the fairly large public school awarded 2,939 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

During the early years of their career, graduates from ATU make an average of $34,100 a year.

Full Arkansas Tech University Report

University of Arkansas Community College - Morrilton did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas ranking, coming in at #15. UACCM is a small public school situated in Morrilton, Arkansas. It awarded 410 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from UACCM is $27,500 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on University of Arkansas Community College - Morrilton

Arkansas State University - Beebe landed the #16 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas ranking. Arkansas State University - Beebe is a small public school located in Beebe, Arkansas that handed out 797 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

During the early years of their career, graduates from ASU-Beebe make an average of $29,400 a year.

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#17

South Arkansas Community College

El Dorado, Arkansas

South Arkansas Community College came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Arkansas ranking. Located in El Dorado, Arkansas, the small public school awarded 161 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

During the early years of their career, graduates from SouthArk make an average of $29,000 a year.

Full South Arkansas Community College Report

#18

University of Arkansas at Monticello

Monticello, Arkansas

With a ranking of #18, University of Arkansas at Monticello did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas list. UAM is a public institution located in Monticello, Arkansas. The school has a small population, and it awarded 1,017 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UAM make an average of $31,500 per year during the early years of their career.

Full University of Arkansas at Monticello Report

#19

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

Fort Smith, Arkansas

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith landed the #19 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas ranking. Located in Fort Smith, Arkansas, the medium-sized public school handed out 1,066 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

During the early years of their career, graduates from UAFS make an average of $31,000 a year.

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Arkansas State University Three Rivers did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas ranking, coming in at #20. ASU Three Rivers is a public institution located in Malvern, Arkansas. The school has a small population, and it awarded 124 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from ASU Three Rivers make an average of $27,500 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Arkansas State University Three Rivers

Southern Arkansas University Main Campus ranked #21 on this year’s Best Colleges in Arkansas list.Magnolia, Arkansas is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,321 students in 2019-2020.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Southern Arkansas University Main Campus make an average of $35,700 a year.

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University of Arkansas Community College - Batesville did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas ranking, coming in at #22. UACCB is a small public school situated in Batesville, Arkansas. It awarded 244 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from UACCB go into careers with an average salary of $25,500 during the early years of their career.

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#23

Arkansas State University Mid-South

West Memphis, Arkansas

Arkansas State University Mid-South came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Arkansas ranking. ASU Mid-South is located in West Memphis, Arkansas and has a small student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 95 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from ASU Mid-South go into careers with an average salary of $22,500 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Arkansas State University Mid-South

#24

Arkansas Northeastern College

Blytheville, Arkansas

Arkansas Northeastern College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas ranking, coming in at #24. Arkansas Northeastern College is a small public school situated in Blytheville, Arkansas. It awarded 154 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $25,700 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on Arkansas Northeastern College

With a ranking of #25, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in Arkansas list. Phillips County Community College is a small public school situated in Helena, Arkansas. It awarded 122 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Phillips County Community College make an average of $22,400 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas Report

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

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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