International Student Program

Harding Academy is pleased to accept applications from international students entering grades 8–12. Harding’s International Student Program (ISP) not only provides our students with enhanced global perspectives, but also allows our student body to experience more fully the ethnically and culturally diverse world that God has created. ISP students are students whose primary residence prior to enrolling at Harding Academy was outside the United States and/or students who speak limited English.

Application Submission

A.    For information regarding submitting an application please contact the Admissions office at admissions@hardinglions.org.

B.    Send all of the following items to the Harding Admissions Office as soon as possible:

  1. Must provide birth certificate in the student's native language and in English.
  2. Complete transcripts, including your current year test scores and any other academic credentials. All documents must come to Harding both in the original language as well as an official English translated version. Transcripts and teacher recommendations should be sent directly from the applicant’s current school to Harding Academy’s admissions office if possible.
  3.  A grading key explaining the interpretation of the grading system on the transcript.
  4.  Teacher recommendations in both mathematics and science. If these are not in English, please submit two copies:  the original and another translated into English.
  5. One personal recommendation from another adult mentor, such as a counselor, religious leader, music instructor, or athletic coach.

C.  Complete an Interview

ISP applicants and parents or guardians will be required to have a SKYPE interview with our admissions director, Alanna Mizell. You may schedule your interview by contacting the Admissions Office at admissions@hardinglions.org or (901) 767-4494.


How We Support ISP Students

+ TOFEL

Our school community is enriched by the presence of our international students within our student body; and we value the God-given gifts and abilities that each student brings to our school. ISP applicants are strongly encouraged to take the TOEFL and provide Harding’s code B098 for reporting purposes during the application process. In the event a student is accepted without a TOEFL score, he or she will be required to take the TOEFL prior to starting classes at Harding Academy to ensure that the student can be individually assessed and placed in appropriate classes.

+ Immediate English Support

In order to maximize the Harding Academy experience for our ISP students, it is necessary to provide intentional and immediate support to strengthen each student’s ability to speak, read, write, and comprehend the English language. Each ISP student will be enrolled in an ESL English and an ESL Bible class their first year at Harding Academy. These classes are included as a part of Harding’s tuition and will be taught by Harding’s ISP Coordinator. Second year ISP students will be placed in a grade level- appropriate English class and in our Introduction to Bible class.

+ Grade Placement

When enrolling at Harding, all new ISP students will be required to repeat the last grade they completed in a school outside of the United States. For the first semester, grades will be given on a pass/fail basis. For the second semester, actual grades will be given. This plan removes undue pressure from ISP students and faculty alike, allowing time before letter grades are assigned for acclimation to a new culture, a new living situation, a new school, and a new primary language.

+ Harding ISP Coordinator

Harding’s ISP Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that our ISP students have the personal attention and support they need to adjust and fully integrate into the academic, social, and extracurricular opportunities available at Harding Academy. To encourage and help our ISP students fully immerse themselves into life at Harding Academy, the ISP Coordinator will serve as a liaison between our ISP students and our academic and college counseling office, our campus ministries, our teachers, our fine arts department, and our athletic team coaches.

+ ISP Suppport Class

ISP students will be enrolled in an ISP Support class during their first two years at Harding. ISP Support will be taught by the ISP Coordinator and will create a framework during the school day to provide additional ESL instruction as needed; individualized tutoring in specific subject areas as requested by a teacher or the ISP student; help with a counseling issue related to class scheduling, college planning, or other personal/academic issues; as well as any additional one-on-one assistance that our ISP students may require. New ISP students returning for their third year will be evaluated to determine if ISP Support will be required.

+ Host Family

ISP student housing will be provided exclusively through a Harding Host Family program. A list of Harding Host Families will be provided to ISP students once they are accepted for admission to Harding. Harding Host Families are either current or former faculty members or Harding parents. The Harding Host Families each have a long history of involvement at Harding Academy, are familiar with the school culture, and know the faculty and staff well. Using Harding Host Families for ISP student housing maximizes each ISP student’s opportunity to experience and become fully involved in the academic, extracurricular, and social opportunities available to Harding students.

Because English is the primary language spoken by each of our Harding Host Families, ISP students will experience full English language immersion. Each Harding Host Family household member who is 18 years or older must undergo and pass a criminal  background check. Harding Host Families will provide ISP students with a family environment, a private room, access to all common areas of the home, food within the home (not to include school lunches), transportation to and from school, age-appropriate extracurricular activities, and church. Harding Host Families will help ISP students obtain Harding Academy required uniforms prior to the start of school, but the cost of the uniforms, as well as the cost of all clothing for ISP students, is the responsibility of the student’s parents or guardians. Harding's required uniform vendor is Parker School Uniforms: code 7138.

Harding Host Families will NOT be responsible for providing clothing, spending money or money for extracurricular activities, youth group activities, or entertainment unless specific arrangements are made between the families. Arrangements regarding holiday schedules and payment for food and board are solely between the ISP student’s parents or guardians ($1,250 per month is suggested for room, board, and transportation). It is understood that ISP students will return home during the summer break, and a return trip home during the Christmas Break to be with family, if possible, is strongly encouraged. However, room, board, and travel arrangements are to be discussed and agreed upon by the Harding Host family and the ISP student’s parents or guardians and are not dictated by the school.

ISP Fee Structure

For the 2016–17 school year, there will be an ISP fee of $4,995 in addition to the specific tuition and fees for the ISP student’s grade. The 2016–17 ISP Support class fee will be $2,995. ISP students will be responsible for the ISP fee each year they attend Harding Academy, but will be responsible for the ISP Support Class fee only for the years they are enrolled in ISP Support.

Payment of the full year’s tuition and fees must be received two weeks prior to the first day of classes, in addition to a $1,500 student account deposit that will be used throughout the year to cover school lunch in the cafeteria, sports or extracurricular fees, class dues, class trips, school events, and similar activities.  An additional deposit will be required if the ISP student’s student account deposit is depleted before the end of the school year.  However, any portion of the student account deposit that is not used during the year will be held over for the following school year or returned at the request of the ISP student’s family.

ISP students are required to provide their own laptops with specific translation software. Harding will issue each student an iPad that is covered in the general student technology fee.

Previously Enrolled International Students

ISP students who attended Harding Academy for the 2014–15 school year will be grandfathered into the ISP program and the ISP fee will not be added their tuition. However, they will enjoy the full benefit and support of the ISP coordinator. In addition, 2014–15 ISP students will be allowed, with business office approval, to pay their accounts as previously arranged and will not be required to make an ISP student account deposit or live with a Harding Host family.

Application Acceptance and Final Steps for Enrollment

Once an ISP student application and interview are complete, the ISP student’s file will go before the Admissions Committee. Should a student be accepted for admission to Harding Academy, the I-20 document will be created and sent by e-mail to the applicant for review. Once approved, the I-20 and the enrollment contract will be mailed to a local address if one has been provided. Otherwise, the enrollment packet will be mailed to the applicant’s overseas address. A signed contract and $1,500 deposit must be received within two weeks of communication of the acceptance decision to secure the ISP student’s position as a Harding Academy student. The $1,500 deposit is non-refundable but will be credited toward the ISP student’s account deposit (see above) once the student’s full tuition and fees have been paid.

Upon arrival to Memphis, each international student must provide a copy of his or her passport and stamped I-20 to the Harding Academy admissions office.

Health Certificate and Insurance

+ Tuberculosis Certificate

Each international student must submit a certificate from a licensed U.S. physician or other qualified U.S. medical authority verifying that the student is free from tuberculosis. In the event that the student either has tuberculosis or has potential tuberculosis requiring medical treatment, continued enrollment will be conditioned upon the determination by a licensed U.S. physician that such enrollment does not present a risk to others and upon the student's compliance with any prescribed medical treatment program.

+ MMR Inoculation Proof

In order to enroll, all international students must prove that they have been inoculated with the live measles vaccine (MMR).

+ Health Insurance

All international students must purchase a health insurance policy and provide evidence of health insurance by the first day of class. One program you may be interested in learning more about is through Independent School Management. You may research this option through their website.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the requirements, either academic or financial, or about hosting or assisting an international student, please contact Alanna Mizell, director of admissions, at (901) 767-4494 or email the admissions office.