SEARCY, Ark. (KTHV) -- The incoming freshmen enrollment at Harding University has increased 2.8 percent from the 2015-2016 school year.
The university will welcome 1,020 new first-year students, up from 992 the previous year. Harding's total undergraduate population also increased to 4,143 students.
In addition to these increases, the university also maintained upward trends for retention at 82.3 percent and overall graduation rate at 63.9 percent.
Both the four-year and overall graduation rates are the second highest for Harding in 15 years.
“While the overall graduation rate is an important measure for any institution, the four-year graduation rate is of particular interest at a time when much focus is on controlling the cost of higher education,” Provost Marty Spears said. “68 percent of our graduates finish in four years, and they typically have less debt on average than students who take longer to graduate. Harding’s four-year graduation rate for undergraduate students has been trending up for 15 years.”
Spears attributed the positive trend in graduation rates to programs like Early Alert and Concerned Alert Response Effort, which identify students who are at risk early in the semester.