Harding’s undergraduate enrollment up 1.9 percent

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published September 22, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated September 20, 2013 at 2:05 p.m.
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PHOTO BY: Rusty Hubbard

Glenn Dillard is vice president of enrollment at Harding University in Searcy, which has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best universities in the South for the 20th consecutive year.

SEARCY — Harding University’s staff, alumni and students have something to be proud of for the 20th consecutive year: The university was just named among the South’s best in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 America’s Best Colleges issue.

The university also enrolled a record number of undergraduate students for 2013.

“This is exciting for us,” said Glenn Dillard, assistant vice president for enrollment management at Harding.” Our goal is to grow 1 percent each year.”

The school had a total undergraduate enrollment of 4,429, an increase from last year’s 4,348 students. This

addition of 81 students allowed the school to reach its goal with a growth of 1.9 percent.

Dillard, a Harding alum, is proud of his alma mater for this achievement.

“This is my 25th year here,” he said. “It’s so fun to see families come to visit and see that student graduate. I have a very rewarding job.”

All of those who work in Dillard’s office are Harding graduates, and he said they can share their stories and how the school benefited them over the years with potential students.

“I’m glad to be here, and I can share my Harding story with families,” he said.

In addition to the sch0ol’s undergraduate growth, application numbers have also risen for the 2013 fall semester. The university received 2,506

applications from new students, a growth of 4.5 percent.

Harding is ranked number 22 in the Best Regional Universities in the South region in the 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report.

The Searcy school also clinched the No. 3 spot in the Best Value Schools in the regional universities’ South Division in the publication.

“These [designations] show us that it isn’t just Harding graduates who realize the quality of education you can get here,” Dillard said.

Dillard said that in addition to the quality of education a student can receive at Harding, he believes another draw for students is the opportunity to study abroad.

“More than 40 percent of our students can enroll in our seven international programs,” he said.

Harding has campuses in Australia, Chile, England, France, Greece, Italy and Zambia.

When Dillard decided to come to Harding, he said, he was living in Arizona, and his grandparents lived in Arkansas, and he visited the Searcy school.

“Harding is the school of choice for thousands,” he said.

Dillard said the school has already received 855 applications for the fall 2014 semester, and 394 of those students have been accepted to the university.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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