Friday, June 22, 2012

Harrisburg University is open admission

I've had some inquires about this. And yes, HU has an open admission policy. You can see this yourself by pulling up HU's institutional profile in the IPEDS Data Center. Go to, "Look up an Institution", click "continue", type in the name of the institution, then click on "reported data." You'll see this in the Institutional Characteristics section:

Source: Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics

The National Center for Education Statistics defines "open admission" like this: "Admission policy whereby the school will accept any student who applies." In Pennsylvania, students must at least have a high school diploma or GED to be admitted to a post secondary institution.

Harrisburg University's posted admissions procedures reflect this:
  • Apply online
  • Request that your high school and all undergraduate transcripts (if you’ve attended post-secondary school already) are sent to:

  •      Harrisburg University
         Office of Admissions
         326 Market Street
         Harrisburg PA 17101

  • Set up a personal interview (optional)
  • Submit SAT or ACT scores (optional) 
HU students - got something to say? The press would like to hear your story. Drop me a note if you want your voice to be heard.


  1. I don't have a problem with open enrollment, but that requires a lot of work to keep those students in school. It goes a long way in explaining the retention problems at Harrisburg U. My institution (a local private college) has a retention committee, we routinely evaluate ourselves and evaluate the students. Our Student Services department is specially trained to help our students stay in school and graduate. From everything I'm hearing, Harrisburg U lacks that kind of dedication. I find it very disheartening to think of students that didn't stick it out just because they didn't have the support they needed.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I'm sure you are aware that there are a lot of factors that contribute to low retention. By all accounts the Student Services people at HU do a great job in helping the students as best they can. I don't think they can fix retention on their own though, the entire school needs to refocus on helping the students be successful. It doesn't appear to be a real priority for HU administration though, low retention has always been a problem at HU.

  3. I believe the issues with retention may also have resulted in a lower levels of academic integrity.

    In my time as a student at HU, I felt people were generally getting much higher grades than they deserved and people where getting passing grades who hadn't shown any comprehension of the material. Work was regularly accepted way past due dates with little penalty; students would walk into class 30 minutes late.

    With HU's enrollment aggressive enrollment goals and a need to keep paying students ($11k/semester!), I always wondered if the faculty felt pressure, whether direct or indirect, to keep grades up so students didn't fail/drop-out.