Colleges in Arkansas and Why It’s a Great Place to go to School

Arkansas is known for its college sports teams, natural beauty, and many, many lakes. Nicknamed the “Natural State,” this is the perfect place to earn your college degree if you love the outdoors and want to experience everything nature has to offer during your free time. 

We’ve put together a list of some of the best colleges in Arkansas plus provide some information on what makes this place so unique – and why it should be on your radar when trying to decide on where to go to school.

3 students walking through University of Central Arkansas campus.

Source: Flickr user ucentralarkansas.

Top Colleges in Arkansas

  1. University of Arkansas
    • Location: Fayetteville
    • Enrollment total: 30,936
    • Acceptance Rate: 79.3%
  2. John Brown University
    • Location: Siloam Springs
    • Enrollment total: 2,326
    • Acceptance Rate: 57%
  3. Hendrix College
    • Location: Conway
    • Enrollment total: 1,144
    • Acceptance Rate: 60.3%
  4. Harding University
    • Location: Searcy
    • Enrollment total: 4,805
    • Acceptance Rate: 45.4%
  5. Ouachita Baptist University
    • Location: Arkadelphia
    • Enrollment total: 1,784
    • Acceptance Rate: 72.2%
  6. Arkansas State University
    • Location: Jonesboro
    • Enrollment total: 13,190
    • Acceptance Rate: 70%
  7. University of Central Arkansas
    • Location: Conway
    • Enrollment total: 9,913
    • Acceptance Rate: 91.3%
  8. University of Arkansas at Little Rock
    • Location: Little Rock
    • Enrollment total: 8,197
    • Acceptance Rate: 61.7%
  9. University of the Ozarks
    • Location: Clarksville
    • Enrollment total: 784
    • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  10. Southern Arkansas University
    • Location: Magnolia
    • Enrollment total: 5,094
    • Acceptance Rate: 64%
  11. See More

Why Go to College in Arkansas

When you go to college, you want to be sure it’s in a place you’re going to enjoy – it’s not all about the classes. Here are some amazing things that make Arkansas unique and a great place to live while you earn your degree.

1. History and Education

Arkansas is home to many culturally significant places that have shaped the United States we know today. For example, the Pea Ridge National Military Park is worth a visit if you are interested in American History or the Civil War. Preserving the site of the Battle of Pea Ridge, visitors can tour the battlefield self-guided or with an expert, pay respects at the cemetery, or simply take a walk to take in everything.

Other historical sites you’ll want to think about visiting include the Fort Smith National Historic Site, Arkansas Post National Memorial, Parkin Archeological State Park, and the Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park (which features prehistoric earthworks dating back to the 8th to the 11th centuries).

If you want to learn outside of the classroom, too, Arkansas has plenty to offer. Some examples include the Gangster Museum of America, Museum of Native American History, and the Historic Arkansas Museum. 

2. Culture

Arkansas also has a lot in the way of culture. The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is free to visit and combines nature, books, and art with sculptures, buildings, and walking trails. Many of the state’s cities also feature their own unique art galleries and community theaters. 

And when it comes to food, Arkansas knows what it’s doing. Southern hush puppies, southern biscuits with chocolate gravy, and Arkansas possum pie (don’t worry – it’s not an actual possum!) should all be added to your “to try” list. 

3. Fun

When you want to have a bit of fun on your off time, Arkansas has plenty to offer. Craters of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro is truly a one-of-a-kind adventure. Visitors can actually search for their own diamonds – and take home any they find! The site also features campsites and a water park. 

If you love nature, you’ll also want to schedule a tour of the Garvan Woodland Gardens, the botanical gardens of the University of Arkansas. There you can see over 125 species of native and ornamental shrubs and wildflowers and 160 different types of azaleas. During the wintertime, there’s also the garden’s annual holiday lights display

Other spots in Arkansas you’ll want to add to your to-do list include Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Magic Springs Theme and Water Park, and the Southern Arkansas Arboretum. 

Paying for Colleges in Arkansas

If you’re thinking about attending college in Arkansas, you’re likely also thinking about how you’re going to pay for it. If you already live within the state, Arkansas has quite a few state grants available to its college students including the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, Arkansas Future Grant, and the Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship, among others. 

As a state, Arkansas does not have any official tuition reciprocity deals with other states. Some of the individual schools, however, do have programs available to out-of-state students that allow them to be eligible for in-state tuition. It’s worth noting, too, that Arkansas only requires you to be living in the state as an official resident for 6 months before you qualify for in-state tuition.

From a diamond state park to the botanical gardens, Arkansas has plenty to offer students who want to get a great education and explore some really unique sites. It’s also a great state for college sports! If you’re planning on going to college in Arkansas, you won’t be disappointed.

Finding colleges in Arkansas is easy with College Raptor! With our College Match tool, you can quickly find the right fit for your achievements and your academic and career goals. Get started for free right here.

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