2024 Hardest Colleges to Get Into in Arkansas

From big state schools to small liberal arts colleges, find out the hardest colleges to get into in Arkansas.

2024 Hardest Colleges to Get Into in Arkansas
Michael Barera

The Natural State, as Arkansas is called, is home to more than 25 four-year public and private, not-for-profit colleges that award, at a minimum, bachelor’s degrees. With so many colleges to choose from in Arkansas, it can be very difficult to decide on which schools to apply to. 

While there are different criteria when researching colleges that you should consider, if you have a strong academic record in high school as well as other critical factors going for you, such as good SAT or ACT scores, participation in extracurricular activities, and demonstrated leadership skills, then you might want to apply to more selective colleges in Arkansas. And out of Arkansas’s vast number of schools, there are several colleges and universities that are very competitive in their acceptance rates due to their well-established academic rigor and programs.

Therefore, in order to find out the hardest colleges to get into in Arkansas, BrokeScholar analyzed all the schools in the state that are four-year institutions, including both public colleges and private, not for-profit colleges, that award bachelor’s degrees or higher. Sourcing the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) as well as from individual college websites, we analyzed and ranked all colleges in Arkansas in terms of how difficult they are to gain acceptance to. 

Read on to find out the answer to what are the hardest colleges to get into in Arkansas.

Table of Contents

What Are the Hardest Colleges to Get Into in Arkansas?

The top-10 list of the hardest colleges to get into in Arkansas is composed of 8 private, not-for-profit colleges and 2 public colleges, including famous names like Arkansas State University, which is also one the best colleges with bowling in the country. 

Of the top-10 hardest colleges to get into in Arkansas, the one with the highest admission rate is still only 64%, well below the average undergraduate acceptance rate for Arkansas as a whole. The No. 1 hardest college to get in is Harding University, which has an undergraduate acceptance rate of just 45%.

Below you’ll find a list of the 20 hardest colleges to get into in Arkansas, listed in order of lowest acceptance rate to highest acceptance rate. Also included in the breakdown below are the costs of tuition and required fees (though required fees do not include room and board).


Undergraduate Acceptance Rate

Percent Admitted Who Enrolled

Undergraduate Population

In-State Tuition and Required Fees

Out-of-State Tuition and Required Fees

Harding University






Ecclesia College






John Brown University






Williams Baptist University






Hendrix College






Lyon College






University of the Ozarks






University of Arkansas at Little Rock






Central Baptist College






Southern Arkansas University






No. 1 ranking Harding University is tied with Hendrix University for having the highest graduation rate, at 69%. The latter college also happens to be the most expensive on our list, with an annual cost of tuition and required fees of approximately $35,100. Hendrix College, unsurprisingly, is the most expensive college in Arkansas.

The Bottom Line on the Hardest Colleges to Get Into in Arkansas

In the realm of higher education, the prestige and competitiveness of Arkansas's top institutions can't be understated. Earning a spot in one of these esteemed colleges is a testament to a student's dedication, academic prowess, and extracurricular achievements. However, once that acceptance letter is in hand, the reality of tuition, room and board, and other expenses can become a daunting prospect for many families. This underscores the vital importance of scholarships in today's educational landscape. Scholarships not only provide the financial relief many students need, but they also recognize and reward academic and personal accomplishments.

Moreover, in an era where every penny counts, student discounts offer another avenue to ease the burden of college costs. From textbooks to transportation and from dining to digital services, student discounts can significantly reduce the out-of-pocket expenses that quickly add up. As students aspire to join the ranks of Arkansas's hardest colleges to get into, it's essential they also arm themselves with the knowledge of financial aid and discounts available. By combining academic ambition with financial savvy, students can truly make the most of their college experience in Arkansas.

Andrew DePietro

Author: Andrew DePietro

Senior Researcher, and Content Strategist

Andrew DePietro is a finance writer covering topics such as entrepreneurship, investing, real estate and college for BrokeScholar, Forbes, CreditKarma, and more.