Arkansas Department of Higher Education

Letter from the Director 

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education consists of a group of hard working and dedicated professionals seeking to maximize the success of Arkansas’s colleges and universities and the students they serve.  The agency manages the state’s scholarship and financial aid programs; recommends higher education and institutional budgets to the legislature; assures academic program quality and viability; provides professional development for faculty and staff; provides educational support to business and industry; provides institutional accountability; and promotes the importance of postsecondary education in enhancing both personal and community quality of life. Our primary goal is to support the improvement of educational attainment in the state of Arkansas in an efficient and effective way. I hope you find this website provides you with helpful information.  Feel free to email me with any questions or suggestions relating to higher education in Arkansas at  We welcome your input and are happy to respond to your questions.  


Dr. Brett Powell
Director, Arkansas Department of Higher Education


About the Agency 

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education serves as the administrative staff for the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The Board consists of 12 members who are appointed by the governor and serve staggered six-year terms. As part of its responsibilities, the staff develops and implements board policies and procedures. Additionally, the Department reviews academic programs; administers statewide financial aid programs and contracts with the Southern Regional Education Board for support of graduate and first professional study outside of Arkansas; recommends institutional operating, capital, and personal services budgets; and collects and reports on student and course data as part of a statewide data base and academic program inventory for policy studies.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education is to advocate for higher education; to promote a coordinated system of higher education in the State; and to assist each of the publicly and locally supported institutions of higher education in the state in improving the delivery of higher education services to the citizens of Arkansas.