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Arkansas Colleges

Arkansas Colleges


Arkansas is a state that might surprise you as a well kept secret.  It claims a portion of the Ozark range but is not entirely mountainous; agriculture is its biggest industry, although lumber and wood products are a close second.  The entire state has a population of just over two and a half million.  Little Rock is its capital and largest city, with a population of just under 200,000.


The state has hot summers, mild winters and a beautiful mix of geography.  One of its major tourist attractions are the hot springs now found in Hot Springs National Park, in the Ozarks.  There are large tracts of rural open space that make hunting and fishing popular pursuits on the part of locals and summer visitors. 


Arkansas was a Confederate state during the Civil War and like many of the secession states, cotton was the basis of the state economy.  It has taken a long time, but the state has diversified its agricultural products with soybeans and rice surpassing cotton today.  Poultry is a major industry – the state produces over one billion broiler chickens a year.  It is not surprising that food products is a major industry in the state along with the wood products such as furniture and a variety of manufactured items such as aircraft and auto parts.  It is probably most noted for its political exports: President William and Senator Hillary Clinton.


It’s a quiet southern state, sandwiched between the south defined by Texas and Louisiana and the other, older south across the Mississippi from Arkansas.  In the decade of the 90s the population grew under three and a half percent.  As a site and source for education, it would seem to have some appeal for the individual who likes an environment that is not driven by the next greatest thing that may be just around the social or economic corner. 


It is not a wealthy state, nor is it one with a particularly heated economy.  On the other hand, almost seventy percent of its residents own their own homes, compared with fifty nine percent of Californians and fifty four percent of New York’s residents.  Higher education there is fairly limited, with the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State Universities maintaining perhaps ten to twelve campuses between them.  There are a number of small private institutions, some of them operated by religious organizations.  There are also a number of community colleges, particularly in the less populous areas.


Many of the people who move to Arkansas do so seeking a quieter lifestyle.  Housing is affordable.  There are several major rivers flowing off the Ozark range and into the Mississippi, creating some beautiful rural areas that have become mountain retreats for retirees and younger people seeking a quiet life.  In Arkansas, a bachelor’s degree and some initiative will probably get you underway.  In Little Rock, only 35% of the population over the age of 25 hold a four year college degree.  Arkansas will be one of those places where a baccalaureate still draws some respect.

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