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Young Harris College
"Young Harris College educates, inspires, and empowers students to be strong, capable, well-rounded leaders...

Young Harris College

Young Harris, Georgia

Founded more than 130 years ago by The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College has been transformed into a progressive model of liberal arts education featuring innovative academic programs, state-of-the-art facilities, and competitive NCAA Division II athletics. Young Harris College has an intimate environment that brings students and faculty together to work closely, fostering strong relationships that last long after graduation.


At YHC, students can choose from 21 majors and 22 minors that teach skills guaranteed for success. They are trained to develop the strong critical thinking, communication, and social skills that make them stand out to employers. Outside the classroom, YHC’s holistic approach to learning allows students to take on leadership roles and even add new offerings to the College’s 60-and-counting organizations.



Student Profile

Fall 2016 Enrollment
1,115 undergraduate students
99% of undergrad students are full time
44% male — 56% female
7.54% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2016-2017 Academic Year
74 full-time faculty
80 part-time faculty
12 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2016
92% of first year students live on campus
80% of all students live on campus

School Location

Young Harris, Georgia is located in the southern Appalachian Mountains of northeastern Georgia, just 100 miles from Atlanta, GA; Chattanooga, TN; Greenville, SC; and Asheville, NC.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2016

61% of students began in Fall 2015 and returned in Fall 2016 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 year graduation rate 2016

43.76% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 7%
Hispanic/Latino 4%
Black or African American 6%
White 75%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 4%


Member of the NCAA Division II

14 intercollegiate sports (7 men’s: baseball, tennis, golf, cross country, soccer, basketball, lacrosse; 7 women’s: softball, tennis, golf, cross country, soccer, basketball, lacrosse); Competitive cheerleading; Bass fishing club
8-10 intramural sports offered each semester (examples: basketball, flag football, softball, dodgeball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, corn hole, climb-a-thon)

Mascot: Luke the Mountain Lion
Colors: Purple and White

Other Information

Founded in 1886, Young Harris College is a four-year, private liberal arts college affiliated with The United Methodist Church.

Academic Programs

Bachelor of Arts: Art, Communication Studies (Human Communication), Communication Studies (Media Communication), Creative Writing, English, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, Music, Musical Theatre, Religious Studies, Spanish, Theatre; Bachelor of Science: Biology, Business and Public Policy, Chemistry, Education (Early Childhood Education), Education (Middle Grades Education), Environmental Science, Mathematics, Psychology, Outdoor Leadership; Bachelor of Music Education; Education Initial Certifications and Post-Baccalaureate Programs: Early Childhood Education (P-5), Middle Grades Education (4-8), Music Education with Choral or Instrumental Emphasis (P-12), English Education (6-12), History Education (6-12), Mathematics Education (6-12), Broad Field Science Education (6-12)

As part of Young Harris College’s core curriculum, students take classes in everything from composition to public speaking. This creates a well-rounded student: one who can connect the dots between multiple ideas, solve problems creatively, and communicate effectively. Students graduate with versatile skills and employable attributes that continually help them adapt to a changing world.

Service and Community-Based Learning

True to its culture of service and mission to engage the community, Young Harris College offers numerous programs for passionate students to put their energy, time, and talent to good use within the YHC community and beyond. Through the Center for Appalachian Studies and Community Engagement, S.E.R.V.E., and YHC LEAD, students are challenged to become ethical and effective leaders who work to better their communities through positive change and service. The Center for Appalachian Studies and Community Engagement is committed to the celebration of Appalachian culture and to service that engages students with communities in the region. The center leads initiatives centered on service learning, Appalachian studies, community engagement, social justice, and sustainability.

Study Abroad and Global Learning

Living and studying abroad gives students perspective and an understanding of other cultures. YHC offers multiple international and scholarship programs each year so that students can study at prestigious schools overseas like Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain and Harlaxton College in England. Students can spend a semester, summer, or full academic year abroad in Asia, Latin America, Africa, or Europe. YHC also provides opportunities for students to travel and study abroad under the direct supervision of YHC faculty.

First Year Experience

YHC’s First-Year Foundations course is designed to provide support and encouragement to new students and help ensure their personal and academic success. The course provides an opportunity for students to work with a YHC faculty or staff member and an upper-class student peer mentor. They receive help to work through adjusting to college, learning to manage time and stress, setting priorities, and understanding academics and campus life. The Common Reading Program provides first-year students with a common intellectual experience that stimulates discussion and critical thinking.

Immersive Learning

YHC attracts and caters to bright, intellectually curious students with the exclusive Honors Program and Scholars Consortium. Students take academics even further with deeper discussions in the classroom, experiential-based learning abroad and graduate-level projects. Students in both programs receive academic scholarships, priority registration for classes, special opportunities for travel, and the honors distinction on their diploma.

Interdisciplinary Research

Stepping outside the familiar four walls of the classroom to present original ideas and research is an enriching element of the YHC student experience. The annual Undergraduate Research Day empowers students from across the academic disciplines to work alongside faculty and peers to enhance learning and boost resumes.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Dance X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN X
Music ensembles X
Musical theater X
Pep band X
Radio station  
Student government X
Student newspaper  
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra  
Television station  
Yearbook X

With a student/faculty ratio of 11:1 and a typical class size of 18, YHC students don’t get lost in the crowd. This intimate setting allows students and faculty to work closely, forging nurturing relationships and strong bonds that endure well past graduation. Young Harris has been able to accomplish more because of the College’s size. Widespread opportunities exist in the classroom, on the field, on stage, and in the community. Because of this, students can build their skills, experiences, and résumés.

Business and Public Policy

YHC is one of only a few schools in the U.S. to offer a Business and Public Policy degree. The curriculum combines traditional courses like accounting and management with classes in business and public policy ethics. Other schools offering the degree include The University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. YHC’s Institute for Leadership, Business, and Public Policy works to prepare students for careers in business and government as well as to increase competitiveness for graduate school acceptance. YHC builds on its connections to the many notable political leaders that are alumni, including former U.S. Senator and Georgia Governor Zell Miller, U.S. Congressman Buddy Carter, and Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston.

Outdoor Leadership

What started as a student interest group on campus has grown into an extraordinary bachelor’s degree program in Outdoor Leadership. The National Forest Service permits YHC to program in the Chattahoochee, Cherokee, and Nantahala National Forests. Students study land and water pursuits management, environmental ethics, primitive survival, and much more, all in-depth and hands-on. YHC’s outdoor leadership majors learn from highly qualified instructors who lead by example in a classroom unlike any other: the great outdoors.

Creative Writing

By enrolling in YHC’s English or Creative Writing Program, students join a rich tradition in literature. Byron Herbert Reece, an alumnus and faculty member of the College, was a nationally recognized poet and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Dr. Bettie Sellers, who taught English at YHC for 32 years, was named Poet Laureate of Georgia in 1997. Current faculty members are award-winning, published authors who encourage students to be part of a strong community of writers, sharing their work and receiving feedback from professors and peers.

Ethics Across the Curriculum

The Ethics Across the Curriculum program seeks to make ethical reflection a vital part of the ethos of YHC. This innovative program includes workshops and luncheons on ethics in practice, ethical theories, moral reasoning, and teaching ethics. Faculty and staff also integrate discussion of ethical issues and values into classrooms and extracurricular programs.


Rhetorica: The Art of Writing and Speaking at Young Harris College is an academic program created to improve students’ written and spoken communication. Students take writing- and speaking-intensive versions of courses that are more interactive than typical lecture courses, enabling them to write papers and make presentations about topics that interest them and engage in lively discussion and debate. The Center for Writing and Speaking helps students improve their performance on papers, presentations, and in class discussion. Trained student tutors review paper drafts, evaluate presentations, and explain discussion strategies to help students improve their performance.

Student Success Center

The Student Success Center provides tutoring, personal academic counseling, assistance with English as a second language, study skills seminars, disability services, and quiet study space for students. Students work one-on-one with an advisor in the Center to choose classes, learn about internship opportunities, and receive interview and resume prep.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages  
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 122 171 111 9 0 0 0 413

Young Harris College students are encouraged to get involved and make the most of their four years by exploring all that’s going on around campus. When it’s time to put down the books and take a break, students have the opportunity to branch out, try new things, and meet students with similar interests in more than 60 campus organizations and counting. By running for a student government office or organizing a fundraiser with a fraternity or sorority, students will make new friends, broaden their horizons, boost their résumés, and have fun doing it.


O. Wayne Rollins Planetarium features a state-of-the-art GOTO Chronos Space Simulator star projector with a state-of-the-art full-dome digital projection system, the Sky-Skan Definiti, in a 40-foot dome theater. The YHC Observatory features a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and is located about 1.5 miles from campus. More than 30 Friday evening shows are provided for students and community members.

Campus Gate Art Gallery

The Campus Gate Art Gallery provides a great source of cultural enrichment to the YHC campus and community. Exhibitions by professional artists take place in the gallery throughout the year as well as at an annual juried student exhibition. Each exhibition has a reception in which guests can meet and mingle with the exhibiting artists and discuss their artwork with them.

Fine Arts Performances

The Division of Fine Arts at YHC offers quality programming that benefits student development and enhances the local cultural landscape. Theatre Young Harris, YHC’s performing arts organization, presents a full lineup of notable productions, including full-length musicals, innovative dramas, classic plays, children’s shows, and more. The Department of Music hosts countless concerts each semester featuring the College’s many musical ensembles.


YHC constantly strives to provide students and faculty with access to thought-provoking speakers and guest lecturers. The College currently features distinct lecture series, such as the Byron Herbert Reece Lecture Series, Heinze Lecture Series, Miller Lecture Series (named for former U.S. Senator and Georgia Governor Zell Miller, ’51) and Ragsdale Lecture Series, as well as various guest lectures for each academic discipline at the College.


Many YHC students have something in common: a passion for preserving their breathtaking North Georgia home. Nearly all of YHC’s sustainability initiatives are student-led, from campus-wide recycling to tree planting and energy and water conservation programs. In fact, the Student Government Association instituted a “Green Fee” to assist with sustainability efforts on campus.

Student Organizations

Students can enjoy social- and service-related experiences both on campus and in the local community through Student Government Association, residence hall council, Greek organizations, honor societies, service and faith-based groups, professional organizations, and special interest clubs. YHC also offers club sports, like the bass fishing team, and student publications like the Corn Creek Review literary magazine.


YHC has a rich history with many traditions. New students hike from the top of Brasstown Bald, the highest mountain peak in Georgia, down to campus. The experience serves as a bookend for another key tradition—the annual senior trek to the top of Bald Mountain prior to Commencement, where all graduates, their families, and College faculty, and staff gather for a Vespers Service at sunset.


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms X
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  

Young Harris College is a small, private institution that has launched thousands of careers. YHC alumni stand out in competitive graduate programs and are accomplishing amazing things in various industries around the globe. There is one thing Young Harris alumni have in common: a fierce loyalty to the College and a lifelong relationship with the people who helped them realize their true potentials.

Internship Opportunities

Outside of the classroom, YHC students are given ample opportunities to hone their skills in a variety of on- and off-campus environments. Internships with local businesses and organizations are extensive. YHC’s close proximity to businesses in Atlanta and the surrounding area also contribute to the College’s pool of internships and provide fertile ground to exercise the work of the classroom. YHC’s Student Success Center helps connect students with potential internship opportunities.

Standout Graduates

YHC students have been accepted into prestigious graduate and professional programs at institutions across the country. Just recently, a couple of the College’s biology majors landed two of 60 coveted spots in the only dental school in Georgia. Both students worked on senior research projects directly related to the dental field during their studies and presented their research at the Georgia Academy of Science Annual Meeting. Three more biology graduates were recently accepted into the highly competitive School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia.

Prominent Alumni

Young Harris College has cultivated a number of successful alumni over its 130-year history, including Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston, ’74, Waffle House co-founder Tom Forkner, ’37, Grammy-winning country music sensation Trisha Yearwood, ’84, Baltimore Orioles right fielder and 2011 Gold Glove Award winner Nick Markakis, ’03, and former U.S. Senator and Georgia Governor Zell Miller, ’51.

Integrated Learning

Young Harris College students gain valuable experiences during their studies by taking part in courses that integrate academic service learning into the curriculum. These courses provide YHC faculty, staff and students the opportunity to work at community partner agencies, participate in established service programs and become involved in grant-funded projects.

Career Services

Through the Student Success Center’s comprehensive advising program, students can take advantage of career exploration tools, advice, resume building, and interview preparation to jump-start the post-college experience. Additionally, the Center works to foster relationships with local community partners to promote internship and job shadowing opportunities.


Admissions Fall 2016

2,333 Total Applicants
1,284 Total Admissions
338 Total Freshmen Enrollment

55.04% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2017-18 Admission

Rolling admission? Yes

Priority date: May 1

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores

Character/personal qualities
Alumni/ae relation
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshmen Profile Fall 2016

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 440 570
SAT Math 440 550
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 18 25
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing    

Application Information

Young Harris College encourages students to apply for fall semester admission as early as the summer prior to their senior year of high school. A complete application file includes the Application for Admission, available from the Office of Admissions or online at, official high school transcripts, and official SAT and/or ACT scores. YHC does not have a preference as to which standardized test scores students submit. Students wishing to transfer to Young Harris College from other institutions must submit transcripts from all other colleges attended. Transfer students with less than 30 hours of college coursework will also need to submit high school transcripts and test scores. YHC uses a rolling admissions process, and students are encouraged to apply by the end of the first semester of their senior year.  




Tuition $28,012
Fees $1,005
Total $29,017
Room and Board (on campus)  
Estimated Total On Campus $29,017


Average Financial Aid Packages 2015-16 estimated

$22,756 First year students
$20,420 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2015-16 estimated

73.50% on average, the percentage of need that was met
20% of financial need students that had need fully met

$20,420 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,165 Average need-based loan


All students are considered for merit-based scholarships based on academic performance, and the Application for Admission serves as the application for these scholarships. In addition, athletic and fine arts scholarships are available. Students who qualify for the College’s Honors Program are invited to compete for the Pitts (full tuition, room and board) and Presidential (full tuition) Scholarships. Families are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 in order to receive priority for other sources of aid, including grants, loans and work-study. Students who are active members of a United Methodist Church can apply for scholarship funds through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry ( and the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (