FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA)— The University of Arkansas ranked 20th in the nation and also earned a 5-star rating in Newsweek’s 2022 student-focused ranking of colleges and universities that offer degree programs online. 

According to a press release from the university, Newsweek and Statistica, a market and consumer data company, ranked 200 institutions in November 2022 based on student surveys and institutional indicators.

The release says online undergraduate and graduate students evaluated their institutions by rating their overall experience, satisfaction, and to what extent they would recommend their institutions, according to the methodology listed on Newsweek’s website. 

The U of A ranked higher than Arizona State University Online at 47, Penn State World Campus at 136 and Purdue University Global at 195 in Newsweek’s “America’s Top Online Colleges 2023” ranking.

“The University of Arkansas invests in the success of its students, whether they study online or on campus,”

Cheryl Murphy, vice provost for distance education

Murphy added that online students gave the U of A high marks in this survey, indicating that they value U of A’s dedication to academic excellence and quality student support.

The release says the U of A offers 86 online degree programs, certificates, and licensure plans, which are showcased on the U of A ONLINE website. These include bachelor’s, master’s, specialist’s, and doctoral degree programs from six academic colleges: the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences; the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences; the Sam M. Walton College of Business; the College of Education and Health Professions; the College of Engineering; and the School of Law. 

One Survey, Two Ranking Lists

The release says Newsweek and Statistica surveyed more than 9,000 online learners across the nation between June 20 and Aug. 29.  

Survey participants rated their experience, their satisfaction, and to what degree they would recommend their institutions with score weights of 50%, 20%, and 10%, respectively, according to the methodology. The remaining 20% of the score weight was based on institutional indicators, such as graduation statistics, re-enrollment rate, students per instructor, and expenditures per student. 

The release says researchers gathered institutional indicators from public sources, including the National Center for Education Statistics and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. 

Statistica divided findings into two ranking groups, based on institution type, according to the release. The first group, “America’s Top Online Colleges,” ranked 200 colleges and universities, including the U of A, that offer online and hybrid degree programs. Hybrid programs use both online and in-person learning environments. The second group, “America’s Top Online Learning Providers,” includes 32 institutions that are not colleges or universities.  

Institutions with a final score value above the median score of all 200 institutions were given five-star ratings.