Philander Smith College was founded in 1877, and was actually the first result of the hard work of the Freedmen’s Aid Society to make education available to freedmen, or former African American Slaves, west of the Mississippi River. It is also the only institution in Arkansas that is a member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), whose goal is to provide a good quality education for everyone despite differences in religion, ethnicity, race, or gender.
Located in the downtown area of Little Rock, Arkansas, Philander Smith College is a historically African American, four-year, private liberal arts college related to the Ministry of the United Methodist Church. It is also accredited by a variety of associations such as the North Central Association for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Association for Collegiate and Business Schools and Programs. At Philander Smith College, students can earn from the four degrees of the bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, bachelor of business administration, and the bachelor of social work.
Currently, Philander Smith College doesn’t support an online or distance learning platform but there are still an assortment of academic opportunities for its students. The college offers a wide range of areas for focus, including major and minors in fields such as Hospitality Management, Computer Science, Social Work, and Chemistry. Currently, the college does not offer any graduate level programs, although based on its trend of recent expansions, the college may offer them soon in the future.
Philander Smith College offers an affordable education compared to more expensive four-year universities. Average cost of attendance for an average student is around $18,900 per year for full time students. Being a very small college, there are annually only an average of 600 students.
Around 60% of the students receive financial aid from the institution itself, averaging around $4,000, making the cost of enrollment even more affordable. Additionally, an average of 82% of students receive federal grant aid, with much of the aid exceeding $4,000. State and local aid provides around 15% of students with as much as $1,500. It is not uncommon for a student to take out a student loan, and around 93% of students take out loans around $5,500. More information about low-interest loans for eligible students can be found on the college’s website. With all these sources combined, a majority of the students, 95%, receive some sort of financial aid, allowing for an education around under $10,000 a year.
The college offers many services for students including an Integrated Campus Center, which provides many academic, career-based, and social needs. Through the Division of Student Affairs, students have access to academic advising, career placement services, personal counseling, leadership training, and much more. More information about the wide array of services open to students can be found on the college’s website under Student Life.
Overall, Philander Smith College is an affordable option for achieving a quality education. With a very welcoming and historic environment, students who choose Philander Smith College have many opportunities for success and personal development. As the mission and vision for this college encourages, students at Philander Smith College will be prepared for life through support, development, and enrichment in academic, spiritual, and cultural endeavors, and students will be prepared for professional leadership and service throughout life.