I’m relatively new to this site but have current knowledge of UHart. I have worked at a number of colleges. I know students who have attended and some who have transferred out. And I’m also acquainted with some of its administrators. Anyone who has questions I’m happy to share whatever information I have.
Under the leadership of new President Gregory Woodward, Hartford is in the midst of significant change that, if it turns the University around, holds promise for the future. But attending the university in the next several years may not be in your best interest.
The last president left UHart in poor financial shape with a deficit of $2 million, declining enrollments, poorly funded academic programs and many of the dorms and academic buildings in poor physical condition. President Woodward arrived in 2017-18 to find enrollments declining further and ended his first year with an $8 million deficit. Even after aggressive budget cuts Woodward recently stated publicly that the university is already running another $2 million budget deficit for the 2018-19 academic year, and they are trying to get a handle on the budget that’s apparently in disarray. He has many ambitious plans to develop new revenue generating programs such as a new bachelors in nursing and build new dorms, recreation and academic space. There are also some improvements being made in the business school’s building to help it catch up with competitors like Quinnipiac.
Some of UHart’s other challenges existed before the financial problems. Published information reports that only about 72% of freshmen return for sophomore year, so obviously many students arrive and quickly decide to transfer. More worrisome, only about 55% graduate in 6 years (Hartt and the Art School do better at over 65%). So if you want to be on a campus where the students are committed to the school and motivated to graduate UHart may not be the place for you, at least not at this point in time.
Also, in terms of reputation, the most recent rankings for UHart are concerning. US News ranks UHart 194 among national universities, down from 176. The WSJ/Times ranks UHart 274. And Forbes ranks it 488 out of 650 schools. Reputation matters most when it comes time to look for work, apply to graduate schools, etc. You can Google any of these rankings to compare UHart with other schools you’re considering.
Finally, I’ve learned that virtually every student admitted (they admit about 80% of applicants) is offered merit aid and that families seriously considering attendance, regardless of income, should push for at least 60% discount off the tuition (maybe even more for 2019-2020). That’s apparently the going rate and everything is negotiable at UHart, but the financial aid office understandably keeps quiet about that.
Hopefully this information helps anyone planning to apply to UHart. The school has some decent programs in music, health sciences and engineering, and dedicated staff, but UHart is apparently experiencing some very difficult times.