The Arkansas Department of Education’s work in establishing a distance learning programs at the elementary through higher education levels began in 1999 with the passing of House Bill 1620. Since then, the state’s Distance Learning Coordination Council was formed and helped create the Digital Learning Act of 2013, which defines an online education pilot program, course standards, and delivery requirements. Currently, the Arkansas Department of Education relies on the Moodle learning management system to deliver online courses. The Arkansas Distance Learning Association (ARDLA) hosts annual conventions dedicated to the advancement of future online and virtual learning initiatives.
While college tuition increases have affected Arkansas, the hikes haven’t been nearly as high as national averages. In five years, the in-state tuition at four-year universities in Arkansas rose just 25.1%. Overall, U.S. states averaged an increase of 42%. To compensate for rising costs, state appropriations for higher education grew 13.5% in the same time period. It is likely that online education in Arkansas will continue to flourish — the state’s 2015 Public School Fund plans to extend $7 million to distance learning grants, $500,000 to education technology improvements, $1.2 million to education service training, and $22 million to a statewide public school data network.
You can learn more about the best online schools in Arkansas by exploring our extensive database. See how Arkansas colleges stack up in comparison to national figures by looking through the state facts tab below.