Founded as an agricultural school in 1909, Arkansas State University was one of four high schools in the state to teach agriculture, horticulture and the art of textile manufacturing. Land was donated for the campus and, while buildings were constructed, students attended classes in downtown Jonesboro. The first classes were held in the old Elks Lodge Hall above a jewelry store. There were 189 students enrolled initially and they were taught by eight faculty members. The school staff consisted of a secretary, farm superintendent and residence hall superintendent.
Once the campus buildings were completed, work not done by faculty or staff was performed by students who were required to do so in exchange for tuition. The school became known as the Aggie School because its focus was on teaching agricultural studies. However, from the beginning, the school offered a well-rounded curriculum, requiring students to take General Education courses that used college-level textbooks.
With the outbreak of World War I, the Board of Trustees sought to host a Student Army Training Corps, but those units were limited to schools that were at least junior college level. The curriculum was immediately expanded and the school gained junior college status in 1925. At that time, the name of the school was changed to First District Agricultural and Mechanical College. However, the SATC was short-lived on campus as the war ended just two months after the unit was assigned. In 1923, the unit was replaced by the Arkansas National Guard Unit – Battery C, 206th Coast Artillery, Anti-Aircraft and a new Armory built to accommodate the unit. The new Armory included a gymnasium that was the largest in the state at the time.
In 1932, the school became Arkansas State College to reflect the advanced curriculum and the offering of four-year degree programs. The school’s growth outpaced the other agricultural schools that were created at the same time. Arkansas State began to compare itself to the University of Arkansas rather than Arkansas Tech, Southern Arkansas University and the University of Arkansas at Monticello, which, at the time, were significantly smaller. As the 50th anniversary of the school approached, an attempt was made to pressure legislatures into giving the school university status. The request was denied in 1959 but approved in 1967, creating Arkansas State University.
Today, there are more than 13,000 students enrolled at Arkansas State University.
Arkansas State University Accreditation Details
Arkansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association. Accreditation demonstrates that the college meets or exceeds standards set forth by the agency that indicate excellence in education. In addition, the following industry-specific agencies accredit programs throughout the college:
- Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
- Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
- American Chemical Society
- American Diabetes Association
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International
- Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies
- Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
- Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
- Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
- Commission on Sport Management Accreditation
- Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
- Council for Rehabilitation Education
- Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
- Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
- Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs
- Council on Social Work Education
- Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
- Foundation for Higher Education Accreditation
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
- Joint Review Committee on Nuclear Medicine Technology
- National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
- National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships
- American Association of Museums
- National Association of School Psychologists
- National Association of Schools of Art and Design
- National Association of Schools of Music
- National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
- National Association of Schools of Theatre
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
- National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission
- Network of International Business Schools
Arkansas State University Application Requirements
Freshman who wish to attend Arkansas State University must complete an application and pay the applicable fee. Students must provide official high school transcripts as well as SAT or ACT scores. Students must provide documentation that they have received their Mumps, Rubella & Rubeola/Measles vaccination.
Students who have earned college credits at another college or university may apply to Arkansas State University as a transfer student. They must complete an application and pay the applicable fee. Students must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Students who have completed 12 or less college credits are admitted as new freshmen and must submit high school transcripts as well as ACT or SAT scores. Students who have earned 13 to 23 college credits are not required to submit a high school transcript but must submit ACT or SAT scores. Students with 24 or more college credits must only provide college transcripts. However, students who have not successfully completed English I with a “C” or better as well as College Algebra must provide an ACT score that was received within the last five years. All transfer students must have a 2.0 GPA in order to be granted admission.
Graduate students must complete an online application and pay the applicable fee. Students must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university and achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 or a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate studies. If the student has taken any graduate courses, they must have earned a 3.0 GPA in those courses as well. Students must provide official transcripts from all college or university attended.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time tuition at Arkansas State University is $4,025 per semester for in-state undergraduate students and $3,875 per semester for in-state graduate students. Out-of-state undergraduates pay $6,923 per semester while in-state students pay $3,874 per semester.
Financial aid is available. Undergraduate students may be eligible for scholarships, grants, work-study programs or loans. Graduate students may also be eligible for Graduate Assistantships to help offset the cost of tuition. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be eligible for financial aid at Arkansas State University.
Arkansas State University offers students a globally-connected campus. Students are able to engage in many different activities while furthering their education at Arkansas State. Activities including ultimate Frisbee, moot court or card games are commonly seen on the campus.
Campus Recreation and the Office of Intramural Sports provides students with programs and facilities designed to keep them active. There are more than 25 intramural sports teams available as well as many unofficial sporting activities that keep students active.
The campus offers a Multicultural Center designed to support the campus’ cultural initiatives. Students have the opportunity to work as ambassadors who focus on inclusion and enhancing the experience of others throughout campus.
Arkansas State University is located in Jonesboro, the regional hub of Northeast Arkansas. The town sits astride Crowley’s Ridge, a narrow ridge created by the great earthquake of 1812. The area offers many cultural and educational amenities, including restaurants, colorful shops and thriving businesses. There are many city parks, organized sports programs and private athletic facilities available as well.
Arkansas State, despite humble beginnings as an agricultural school, has grown to become a world-renowned research and academic leader. With a culturally-diverse student body and a campus surrounded by farmland and rolling hills, Arkansas State University offers students excellence in education and an exciting student experience.