By Andrea Cordle
Grove City officials have had a long-term goal to establish a higher learning center and offer advanced education to residents. That plan received a setback with the sudden closure of Harrison College.
On Sept. 14, Harrison College announced its plans to close operations as of Sept. 16.
“After 116 years serving Indiana, Ohio and North Carolina, Harrison College has made the difficult business decision to close operations,” said the school in a statement on its website.
Though the for-profit college is largely based in Indiana, it operated a facility located at 3880 Jackpot Road in Grove City.
“It was very disappointing to hear about the school closing,” said Grove City Administrator Chuck Boso. “We do hope this leads to greater opportunity.”
Harrison College offered associate and bachelor degree programs in business, health science, information technology and nursing.
According to the statement on the school’s website, Harrison College is working with transfer and teach-out partners, including state governing bodies, to ensure each student has a pathway to complete their education. For local students, the school said it is working closely with the Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools to identify transfer partners.
The closure of Harrison College affects the Grove City Higher Education Investment Program. This program was adopted in 2015 and encourages students to remain in Grove City after graduation. The city program offers a loan of up to $1,000 per semester or $3,000 a year for each student residing within the corporation limits of Grove City, who attend an accredited higher education program that has a presence in Grove City. This included Harrison College, along with Columbus State Community College and Ohio Christian University. Franklin University and Ohio Dominican University were recently added to the program.
The students who receive scholarship funds must reside in Grove City for three years after taking their last course. They must also perform a minimum of three hours of volunteer work within the community.
According to Boso, there were two students who each received a $1,000 scholarship to attend Harrison College this semester.
Boso said Harrison College would hopefully reimburse the students and the students under the scholarship program could then reimburse the city.
Under the Higher Education Investment Program, it is required that the student receiving the scholarship funds must attend an institution that has a presence in Grove City. However, Boso said in this case, leeway would be considered.
“I would hope the city would be understanding of the situation,” said Boso.
As for the Harrison College facility on Jackpot Road, Boso said it is a privately-owned building and the city plans to reach out to the property owner to find out their plans.
For more information on Harrison College, visit harrison.edu.
For more information on the Higher Education Investment Program, visit grovecityohio.gov.