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The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) is a public academic institution located in Conway, Arkansas. Founded in 1907, it is one of the oldest universities in the state. It was ranked 24 in the category of “Top Public Schools” among regional institutions in the South by the U.S. News & World Report in 2017.
Overview of University of Central Arkansas (UCA)
Committed to a bright future, the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) is dedicated to ensuring students never have to put their dreams on hold. It also strives to become a premier learner-focused public comprehensive university, as well as a nationally recognized leader for its continuous record of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. Core values include intellectual excellence, academic vitality, integrity, diversity, and community.
The total student population at the University of Central Arkansas is 10,105, with 8,244 of those enrolled working toward undergraduate degrees. The institution employs 532 full-time and 152 part-time faculty members, all of whom provide instructional support. As a result, the overall student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1, which is lower than average for schools in the United States. The university also maintains 239 instructional graduate assistants.
|Campus Setting||City: Small|
|Student Faculty Ratio||15:1|
UCA Acceptance Rate and Admissions
|High School GPA||Required|
|High School Rank||NA|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Courses||Recommended|
|SAT/ACT||Considered But Not Required|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||Required|
|Common Application Accepted||No|
UCA Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
The cost of attending the University of Central Arkansas will depend on several factors including residency, enrollment status, and the number of courses taken. As of spring 2023, Arkansas residents are responsible for paying $231.66 per credit hour, or $3,475 for 15 credit hours. Including institutional fees, the estimate total per semester is $4,889.
Tuition and fees for out-of-state students are higher. These students pay an additional $231.66 per semester hour, making the cost for a single credit $463. This makes the estimated cost per semester $8,364. It is important to note, however, the University of Central Arkansas is dedicated to making higher education affordable for all students. As a result, there are a number of opportunities for non-residents to receive the in-state tuition rate. In order to receive this discount, these students can choose to live in university house. Alternatively, they may qualify under the Arkansas Act 844 or under another fee waiver category.
It’s important to note that all students are responsible for paying additional expenses such as books, supplies, housing meals, transportation, and personal purchases. The nationwide average for books and supplies is $600 per full-time semester. The University of Central Arkansas does offer room and board options. While there are many plans to choose from, the cost of living in the residence halls ranges from $2,250 to $3,190 per semester. Meal plans are also available for between $1,785 and $2,130 per semester.
The University of Central Arkansas Financial Aid office is committed to providing students with the information they need to make informed decisions about financing their education. As a result, those interested in enrolling are asked to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application helps the institution generate aid packages, which may include scholarships, grants, federal work-study, and student loans. Additionally, entering freshmen are automatically considered for university scholarships. Incoming transfer students may also submit transcripts, test scores, and other required documents to become eligible for supplemental academic funding. This type of funding is limited, however.
During the 2020-2021 academic year, 96% of students entering postsecondary education for the first time at the University of Central Arkansas received some form of financial assistance. Of those, only 51% required some amount of financial assistance from student loans.
|Average net price||2020-2021|
|Average Total Aid||$7,693|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||96%|
|Room & Board||$7,896|
- Tuition In-State - $9,563
- Tuition Out-of-State - $16,433
- Books and Supplies - $1,200
- Room & Board - $7,896
- Other - $4,992
Popular Educational Academics at UCA
The University of Central Arkansas provides an innovative and collaborative education within a culture of student support and success. The institution’s faculty and staff promote intellectual, professional, social, and personal development through innovations in learning, scholarship, and various creative endeavors. Outstanding academics, small class sizes, and engaging programs are just a few of the things offered by the university.
Those enrolled can choose from a wide variety of bachelors, master’s, and doctoral programs offered by the following colleges and schools:
- Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
- Health and Behavioral Sciences
- Natural Sciences and Mathematics
- Honors College
- Graduate School
- UCA Online
According to data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the University of Central Arkansas had a first-year undergraduate retention rate of 71% for full-time students and 50% for part-time students in fall 2021. Notably, the rates for those attending full-time are above the national average of 68%. Overall, this indicates that the mass majority of students enrolled at the university were happy enough with their experiences to return to the institution for a second year.
The overall graduation rate for full-time, first-time students who began their studies in fall 2015 was 49%, with a 30% transfer-out rate. Graduation rates indicate how frequently students complete their degrees or certificate programs within 150% of standard time, which is approximately six years. Most students strive to graduate within four years, however. Of those who started their education in 2015, 34% were able to graduate within this timeframe.
The University of Central Arkansas is a member of and regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Many of the institution’s programs are also independently accredited. Additionally, some colleges and programs are accredited by other agencies, associations, or professional organizations. Notable examples include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|Health Professions and Related Programs||384 Total Graduates / 21%|
|Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse||138 Graduates|
|Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other||71 Graduates|
|Community Health Services/Liaison/Counseling||67 Graduates|
|Audiology/Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist||48 Graduates|
|All Business Majors||311 Total Graduates / 17%|
|Finance, General||60 Graduates|
|Marketing/Marketing Management, General||49 Graduates|
|Business/Commerce, General||41 Graduates|
|Business Administration and Management, General||37 Graduates|
|All Education Majors||159 Total Graduates / 8%|
|Elementary Education and Teaching||93 Graduates|
|Physical Education Teaching and Coaching||24 Graduates|
|Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching||15 Graduates|
|Special Education and Teaching, General||11 Graduates|
|Social Studies Teacher Education||8 Graduates|
|Visual and Performing Arts||144 Total Graduates / 8%|
|Art/Art Studies, General||38 Graduates|
|Cinematography and Film/Video Production||37 Graduates|
|Music Performance, General||30 Graduates|
|Interior Design||24 Graduates|
|Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General||12 Graduates|
|All Social Sciences Majors||125 Total Graduates / 7%|
|Sociology, General||26 Graduates|
|Economics, General||23 Graduates|
|Political Science and Government, General||21 Graduates|
|Anthropology, General||9 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||39%|
Outcome & Salary
The University of Central Arkansas began conducting graduate outcomes surveys of bachelor’s degree recipients in April 2016. These are intended to show where students have gone on their journeys after graduation. The institution has not, however, made any of the findings public. Career Services does provide support and assistance to students and alumni seeking employment. Services include career exploration, employer videos, and mock interviewing. The Bears4Hire (Handshake) portal is also available. This online tool helps keep alumni connected with potential employers.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$44,300|
|College Grads Average Salary||$61,000|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$65,400|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$610,000|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$1,264,000|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$56,168|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$553,832|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$1,207,832|
|No College Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$38,792|
|10 Year Projected Income||$387,920|
|20 Year Projected Income||$775,840|
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