It’s been said that, “Quality is better than quantity,” and the University of Arkansas System took that approach when it found itself with an opportunity to grow its online learning opportunities in 2021.
Having launched the upstart UA System eVersity – the system’s first 100 percent-online institution – in 2015, it became clear that reaching as many potential students as possible with a high-quality, low-cost chance to earn college degrees was a valuable asset within the UA System. While its national award-winning online coursework and business model was on track, eVersity outreach and recruitment proved to be a challenge in getting the word out about this start-up’s game-changing effort.
In 2021, an opportunity presented itself to acquire another high-quality online institution that had been making a name for itself as Grantham University since 1951. The institution had five times as many students and a national foothold that would give the UA System the boost it needed to change students’ lives by providing a world-class online education.
The Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas in August 2021 unanimously passed a resolution to acquire Grantham University (Lenexa, KS) and bring it into the state’s premiere higher education system as a second fully online institution alongside eVersity with the ultimate goal of combining forces. The transition, which was completed in January 2022, gave the UA System a robust, fully online institution that offers more than 50 credentials, including graduate programs, and began the trek forward as University of Arkansas Grantham.
“At eVersity we had developed award-winning online courses and programs and found success serving students in Arkansas who stopped out of their education before completion,” said Dr. Michael Moore, vice president for academic affairs for the System and former chief academic/operating officer at eVersity. “Our main challenge had been growing our reach with limited resources for marketing our programs in and outside of Arkansas. This acquisition enhanced our system’s ability to reach the increasingly important adult student population and added a portfolio of high-quality, affordable degree programs to those we already offer at eVersity.”
Today, UA Grantham serves nearly 5,000 students and focuses on minimizing obstacles and maximizing quality online learning. UA Grantham’s 100% online degree programs are designed for adult learners. Its eight-week classes are flexible and affordable and offers one of the lowest tuition rates in the nation, plus generous credit transfers and even lower tuition for first responders, veterans and military families.
“We have an opportunity to carve out a share of the high-quality online education market in our region and across the country,” Moore said. “This allows us to serve our educational mission and provide opportunities for those students who might not otherwise have a chance to change their life with a college degree.”