SEARCY, Ark. –– Harding University reports enrollment growth of 7.6 % for Fall 2021 with students from 49 states and more than 50 nations and territories. Overall enrollment is 4,970 compared to 4,620 last fall. New undergraduate enrollment, including first-time-in-college and transfers, is up 3.8% at 866 compared to 834 last fall. Graduate and professional enrollment is 1,282, compared to 1,044 in 2020, for a 22.8% increase.
“I am excited about the growth because it means even more people will be able to experience and be influenced by our mission to provide a quality education consistent with Christian ideals,” said President Burks. “I am grateful for the work of Steve Lake, our vice president of enrollment services, and the entire undergraduate admissions team who have helped make these goals a reality. I am also thankful for all faculty and staff members who assisted in creating an increase in enrollment at both undergraduate and graduate levels.”
A contributing factor to graduate and professional growth was a $500,000 grant awarded to the Cannon-Clary College of Education to support the training of special education teachers in Arkansas. As a result, 100 teachers are enrolled through the University’s College of Education and will help address critical shortages in special education in the state of Arkansas.
Several new programs in multiple colleges and departments, as well as consistently high retention rates, are additional factors adding to the increase. This includes the Carr College of Nursing which admitted a record number of new nursing students into the College this fall. There were 26 in the inaugural class of the Master of Science in nursing initial licensure program. We also welcomed 35 students to our new online Master of Science in organizational leadership program.
“I am extremely proud of our students for achieving a high success rate during a challenging year,” said Marty Spears, provost, “Our retention rate is above 84% for the 4th consecutive year which indicates the success and satisfaction of our students. From the moment students step on campus, they experience an environment nurtured by our faculty and staff that strengthens and contributes to their future success.”