Best Value Colleges in Arkansas

Birthplace of former President Bill Clinton, Walmart founder Sam Walton, and singers Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell, Arkansas offers exciting opportunities for students who are interested in playing sports, taking part in outdoor activities, exploring cultural opportunities or simply enjoying the relaxed Midwestern lifestyle.  Read More

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1University of Arkansas - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$327,000
Total 4 Year Cost$87,200
Grad Rate62%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$27,800
2Arkansas Tech University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$301,000
Total 4 Year Cost$62,900
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$20,900
3 (tie)Arkansas Tech University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$282,000
Total 4 Year Cost$81,500
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$20,900
3 (tie)University of Arkansas - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$282,000
Total 4 Year Cost$132,000
Grad Rate62%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$27,800
5Arkansas State University (ASU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$255,000
Total 4 Year Cost$79,000
Grad Rate39%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,300
6Arkansas State University (ASU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$233,000
Total 4 Year Cost$101,000
Grad Rate39%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,300
7John Brown University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$225,000
Total 4 Year Cost$136,000
Grad Rate61%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,200
8Harding University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$199,000
Total 4 Year Cost$105,000
Grad Rate63%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,400
9Southern Arkansas University - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$188,000
Total 4 Year Cost$75,800
Grad Rate31%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,000
10Southern Arkansas University - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$176,000
Total 4 Year Cost$88,300
Grad Rate31%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,000
11University of Arkansas - Little Rock Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$166,000
Total 4 Year Cost$87,600
Grad Rate27%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,600
12University of Central Arkansas(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$159,000
Total 4 Year Cost$75,000
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,700
13University of Central Arkansas(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$136,000
Total 4 Year Cost$97,500
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,700
14University of Arkansas - Little Rock Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$128,000
Total 4 Year Cost$126,000
Grad Rate27%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,600
15Henderson State University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$107,000
Total 4 Year Cost$74,300
Grad Rate36%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,300

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

Many students are attracted to Arkansas because they enjoy the down-to-earth attitude, beautiful countryside and rich culture, and the state's colleges boast vibrant student life and great academic programs.

Earning a degree in Arkansas is a financially sound decision. The state's most popular schools offer valuable educations and high ROIs over a 20-year period. Home of the Razorbacks, the University of Arkansas's main campus in Fayetteville offers the highest college return on investment Arkansas college students can get. Alumni of the university enjoy a 20-year ROI of $327,000. This figure is calculated using the full cost of tuition. Students who receive financial aid enjoy an even higher return of $357,000 over 20 years.

One reason why students from the University of Arkansas earn such a high return on their investment is because the school offers low student-to-teacher ratios. The U of A combines a students-first philosophy with rigorous academics to help students make the most of their opportunities. Most students graduate in four years from this public college.

Second place in the Arkansas College ROI Report rankings is Arkansas Tech University. Located in Rusellville, Arkansas Tech boasts a 20-year ROI of $301,000. Financial aid awarded to students pushes the ROI to $331,000.

Another of the best value colleges of Arkansas is Harding University, a private not-for-profit school located in Searcy. A Christian school, Harding boasts a 20-year ROI of $199,000 for students not receiving financial aid and $235,000 for students receiving financial aid. Harding is home to a variety of social clubs and honor societies that encourage student involvement. Duck Dynasty star Willie Roberston and his daughter-in-law Korie both attended Harding. Another private school, John Brown also offers a good return on investment. Students there who receive financial aid can expect a return of $225,000 over 20 years.

When it comes to college return on investment in Arkansas, though, the state's public colleges dominate. Southern Arkansas University alumni enjoy an ROI of $188,000 and a low overall cost of attendance. Students receiving financial aid do even better, bringing in an ROI of $226,000 over 20 years. Another top value selection among private schools is the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. Students who attend this branch of the U of A can look forward to a 20-year return on investment of $166,000 even when paying the full cost of tuition.