Harding University continues to increase retention and graduation rates

Sept. 7, 2017 |

Harding University announced a continuation of its positive trends for student retention at 83 percent and recorded its second highest ever overall graduation rate at 66 percent. The University’s total undergraduate enrollment for 2017 is 4,185. The number of first-time-in-college freshmen is 945, and graduate and professional students bring the total enrollment to 5,541.

The University’s commitment to diversity is reflected in minority student retention rates growing from 60 percent to 79 percent over the past six years and the percentage of minority undergraduate students continuing to increase.

The 2016-17 school year brought the largest number of graduates in school history, conferring 68 more bachelor’s degrees than the previous year.

“The ultimate measure of academic success is how many students complete their degree program and graduate, and those numbers continue to rise,” University Provost Marty Spears said. “But the ultimate measure of success for this university is to equip students for careers in their field and in service to their church and community.”

The University’s strategic vision for 2018-2023 includes an affirmation of its commitment to providing a high-quality education that is Christian at its core.

Along with increases in retention and graduation rates, the University has 12 National Merit scholars enrolled as freshmen. Harding is in the top third of schools attracting National Merit Scholars, nationwide. The University has more Scholars than any other private university in Arkansas and has the second-highest number of Scholars for all universities in the state. It recorded an all-time high ACT composite of 25.2 among new freshmen.

“Harding continues to attract highly qualified students who could be accepted to attend virtually any school in the country. They choose Harding because we offer exceptional academics, but also a place for our students to belong,” Spears said. “The learning and living environment Harding offers gives them an exceptional quality of life. Students graduate with a marketable degree and an outstanding college experience that prepares them to go out into the world.”

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