Harding University posts another record undergraduate enrollment

Harding University, for the second consecutive year, has enrolled a record number of undergraduate students.

Total undergraduate enrollment for 2013 is up to 4,429 from last year’s 4,348. The addition of 81 undergraduate students represents a 1.9 percent increase.

The enrollment totals were bolstered by a record number of new students entering Harding for the first time. Freshman and transfer students accounted for 1,261 (28.4 percent) of the total undergraduate enrollment. The fall 2013 enrollment marks the fourth consecutive year Harding has added more than 1,000 new students.

Another reason undergraduate enrollment increased is the freshman to sophomore retention rate, which is 82 percent, up almost two percentage points from last year. This year, students represent 50 states and 48 foreign nations.

“I can point to two important reasons for Harding’s record undergraduate enrollment,” said Glenn Dillard, assistant vice president for enrollment management. “More and more families are becoming aware of the high quality education Harding offers at an affordable price. Secondly, these families are hearing about the positive aspects of Harding from both a dedicated Admissions team and from our own students who are glad to be here.”

The school received a total of 2,506 applications from new students for the 2013 fall semester, up more than 4.5 percent over the previous year. Harding has already received 855 applications for fall 2014 and 394 of those students have already been accepted.

Total headcount enrollment is 6,295, which compares to 6,754 in fall 2012. Graduate enrollment dipped to 1,808. The decrease in graduate enrollment was due to a significant decline in the number of part-time non-degree seeking students, many who had only been enrolled in professional development courses. Despite the drop in headcount, Harding was up in credit hours the equivalent of 37 full time students this fall.

In addition to the Searcy campus, students from the University are also studying at international campuses in Australia, Chile, England, France, Greece, Italy and Zambia, plus professional centers in Rogers, Ark., Little Rock, Ark., and Memphis, Tenn., and at the Harding School of Theology in Memphis.

Harding is recognized by Peterson’s Cool Colleges and has been ranked for 19 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report as one of the South’s best universities in the magazine’s annual America’s Best Colleges issue. The University is also recognized by Princeton Review as one of the best universities in the Southeast.