Harding University was first founded in 1924 as the Galloway Women’s College by its first president Robert W. Erwin. Today, Harding has evolved into a private co-educational liberal arts institution affiliated with the Churches of Christ. Harding University enrolls around 4,400 undergraduates and 1,500 post-graduates. For 28 consecutive years, Harding has had record fall enrollment. Harding University is located on a scenic 350-acre suburban campus in Searcy, Arkansas, in the Ozark Mountains just 50 miles northeast of Little Rock. Harding has created international campuses in Australia, Chile, England, Greece, Italy, France, and Zambia too. Harding has a high freshman retention rate of 81 percent, which indicates student satisfaction.
According to the U.S. News, Harding is ranked as the 22nd best regional college and 4th top value school in the South. In particular, Harding University hosts America’s 104th best physician assistant program. Consistently, Harding is included within the Princeton Review’s list for “Best in the Southeast.” Harding is honored as one of the “50 Most Affordable Colleges in the South.” Niche has given the university a B+ for high-quality academics. Washington Monthly magazine crowned Harding University the 100th best master’s-level institution for social mobility and service nationwide. In 2010, Harding was also named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Harding University Accreditation Details
Harding University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). More than 50 majors at Harding have also pursued specialized accreditation. For instance, the Carter College of Business Administration is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Teaching degrees meet the guidelines of the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation (CAEP). Engineering programs align with the standards of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Ministry degrees are approved by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
Harding University Application Requirements
Building a strong application for Harding University is essential because the selective school has an admissions rate of 76 percent. Incoming freshmen are encouraged during their junior year at an approved public or private secondary school. Earning a diploma with four years of English, four years of math, three years of natural science, three years of social science, and two years of foreign language is preferred. Passing the GED equivalency exam is also accepted. On average, admitted students have a high school GPA of 3.58. Freshmen typically score an average of 1120 on the SAT or 25 on the ACT.
Undergraduate transfers can enroll with at least 14 credits from another regionally accredited college or university. Transfer students must be in good standing and carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Harding University has transfer agreements for local community college students who have obtained an associate’s degree. At the master’s or specialist level, applicants must already possess a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college. Maintaining a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.7 is required. Depending on the program, students may need to supply GRE, GMAT, or Praxis scores. International students must also score at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL exam.
During the rolling admissions, students interested in attending Harding University should submit the following materials online or by fax:
• Student Application for Admission form
• $50 non-refundable application fee
• Official transcripts of academic work
• Applicable college entrance exam scores
• Proof of English language proficiency
• Two or three letters of reference
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduate students can expect to pay $8,565 per semester or $17,130 each year for tuition. Harding University charges an annual $480 technology fee and $195 first-year experience fee. Room and board is estimated to cost $3,398 and $3,230 respectively per year. Total cost of attendance for full-time undergraduates is $24,433 annually. At the graduate level, students are billed $561 per credit hour. On average, full-time graduate students pay $12,096 annually for tuition. Graduate students may also budget for the $38 master’s fee, $225 technology fee, and $38 dissertation fee.
99 percent of beginning, full-time students at Harding receive financial aid with approximately $60 million awarded each year. Students could borrow money with the Federal Perkins, Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, or PLUS loans. Some learners qualify for the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state residents could receive the Higher Education Opportunities (Go!) Grant. Part-time jobs are available for Federal Work-Study (FWS). Up to 100 percent of tuition can be covered with the Christian Ministers Discount, Orphan Discount, or Christian Missionary Discount. Scholarships are also numerous, such as the Academic Achievement Scholarship, Trustee Scholarship, Transfer Scholarship, Legacy Scholarship, or Scouting Scholarship.
Harding University is divided into nine academic colleges, including the highly acclaimed School of Theology in Memphis. Currently, students can select from over 100 bachelor’s degrees, 14 pre-professional programs, and 15 graduate degrees. Some unique undergraduate majors include Biochemistry, Fashion Merchandising, Global Economic Development, Print Journalism, Three Dimensional Design, Professional Sales, and Family Ministry. All undergrads complete the same 53-credit Liberal Arts core, which includes four religion courses. With 332 full-time faculty members, the university maintains a low student-faculty ratio of 16:1. Nearly 50 percent of students spend at least one semester abroad at one of Harding’s international campuses.
As a distinctly Christian school, Harding requires students to attend a 35-minute daily chapel in Benson Auditorium. If needed, worship sessions can be streamed live on Mac, PC, or mobile devices. Harding University abides by a strict Morality Code, which requires a weekday curfew, abstinence from smoking and drinking, and professional class attire. Around 74 percent of full-time students reside in college-owned housing. There are eight women’s and seven men’s residence halls as well as six apartment complexes. Healthy meal plans are available at Charles White Dining Hall, COBA Cafe, and Student Center Food Court.
Students can become actively involved in more than 100 professional organizations and 30 social clubs. When they’re not studying, Harding students could compete on the Academic Quiz Team, rock out with the Belles & Beaux, burn energy on the Disc Golf Team, or perform with the Thundering Herd Marching Band. Harding is also the national headquarters for the Alpha Chi National Honor Society. Every Easter weekend, Spring Sing is held. Sports lovers can cheer on 16 varsity teams for the Harding Bisons in NCAA Division II’s Gulf South Conference. Outdoor enthusiasts at Harding University can also attend Camp Tahkodah for hiking miles of Ozark Mountain trails.