This school appears in our ranking Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Computer Science Online 2018.
Founded in 1909, Southern Arkansas University has evolved over the course of its century-plus history to offer a broad range of academic programs to approximately 4,100 students. Here, students enjoy the benefit of a comfortable student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1 along with an expansive, 1,390-acre campus. Despite the small-town feel, the university boasts impressive stats. The U.S. Department of Education ranks the school as number one for best return on investment among Arkansas universities. The school offers over 80 programs across four colleges and the School of Graduate Studies. Newest additions to the lineup include the cybersecurity computer science program, the social entrepreneurship specialization within the MBA degree, and the Welding Engineering Technology program.
Along with a variety of programs, students here will benefit from 60 student organizations, NCAA Division II sports, an array of on-campus entertainment options and easy driving access to metropolitan hubs like Little Rock, Shreveport and Texarkana. Students who love the outdoors will also find plenty of off-campus activities to fill the time between classes.
Southern Arkansas University Accreditation
Southern Arkansas University maintains institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. In addition, seven various accrediting agencies have granted accreditation to several of the school’s programs. These include the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and the Commissions on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, among others.
Southern Arkansas University Application Requirements
Students who want to apply to Southern Arkansas University will submit an online application. The school’s admissions website offers a checklist and screening tool for determining which documents students need to submit to be considered. First-time freshmen will be admitted unconditionally if they have completed the required state core courses, have graduated from high school, and have scored a 19 or higher on the ACT in the reading, math and English subject areas. Incoming freshmen should submit the following for admission: a completed application, official ACT and SAT scores, a high school transcript or GED passing scores, an immunization record and any other required documents for their specific program.
Graduate students should submit a completed application, official transcripts from the college or colleges where they earned their bachelor’s degree, official scores from applicable graduate entrance tests – such as the GRE or GMAT – and an immunization record. Graduate applicants may also have additional requirements depending on the degree program, so applicants should check with individual departments for more information. Unconditional admission is granted to graduate applicants with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and certain minimum test scores on entrance exams.
For online classes and programs, students should apply as normal depending on enrollment status. Once admitted to the school, students who wish to complete online classes will meet with their advisers and register for specific courses through the school’s online portal.
Tuition and Financial Aid
How much students pay for school depends on several factors, including enrollment and residency status. In-state undergraduates pay $228 per credit hour up to 15 hours. Each additional hour costs $100. Out-of-state undergraduates pay $355 per credit hour with an additional $100 per hour above 15. Graduate students pay higher rates. Southern Arkansas University charges $285 per credit hour for in-state graduate students and $425 per credit hour for out-of-state graduate students. These tuition rates include an athletic fee of $18 per credit hour but do not include any additional fees, such as academic, counseling or other services provided by the school. Online courses at the university require an additional $45 fee.
Financial aid is available for students who need help paying for college, whether students are enrolled in physical classes or online programs. Online students have the option to complete most financial aid paperwork and applications electronically for convenience. The school offers a cost calculator on its website to help students determine how much they may need and how much aid they might expect. The available aid includes scholarships, grants, work-study opportunities and various loans.
There is a wide range of institutional, typically merit-based scholarships available to students at Southern Arkansas University, including nine for incoming freshmen, three for nontraditional students or upperclassmen, and additional opportunities for transfer students and international applicants. Students should apply by the posted deadlines on the school’s website for consideration.
Online Degrees Available
Bachelor of Business Administration
Developed by the Rankin School of Business, the university’s program in Management prepares students to move up the corporate ladder. It’s designed for students who want to advance their careers in business. After completing 120 hours for the program, students will achieve a Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialization in management. Courses include Leadership and Ethics, Entrepreneurship, and Human Resources Management. This fully online program is also fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a distinction held by just 5 percent of collegiate business programs worldwide.
RN to BSN
For registered nurses with an associates degree, Southern Arkansas University offers an online completion program for obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The online RN to BSN program teaches graduates how to communicate effectively, improve the healthcare system, think critically, engage with and integrate technology, and apply their skills to the practice of nursing. Students will complete 121 hours for the degree and take a variety of courses, including Women’s Health and Care of the Neonate, Community Health Nursing, and Leadership and Management. The program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, and it’s been approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.
Master of Education
Students who hope to make a difference in the education field may consider the online Master of Education with School Counseling specialization offered by the university’s College of Education. This hybrid online degree program prepares students to work in a K-12 educational setting as school counselors. Enrollees may obtain initial licensure or an add-on endorsement as applicable to their teaching status at the time of enrollment. The program requires 48 credit hours to complete, usually taking two and a half to three years based on a standard class schedule of two per semester, including summers. Counseling core classes make up 36 of the 48-credit requirement at Southern Arkansas University.
Southern Arkansas University website