Mercer University was first established in 1833 as a boys’ preparatory school by Billington McCarthy Sanders with 39 students. In 1871, Mercer moved to its current main 150-acre urban campus in Macon, Georgia’s fourth largest city, near the Ocmulgee River. Although named after the Baptist leader Jesse Mercer, Mercer is a premier private, senior, non-sectarian institution of the Georgia Research Alliance. Today, Mercer University enrolls more than 4,500 undergrad and 4,000 post-grad men and women. Satellite campuses are operated in Atlanta, Savannah, Newnan, Columbus, Lithia Springs, and McDonough. Mercer has an average retention rate of 81 percent, which indicates student satisfaction.
According to the U.S. News, Mercer University is ranked the 8th best regional college, 2nd top value school, 7th best university for veterans, and 8th most innovative school in the South. In particular, Mercer has America’s 118th top law school and 43rd best pharmacy college. Forbes has named Mercer the 309th best private college nationwide with a financial grade of C. Along with being in the Princeton Review’s “Best 380 Colleges,” Mercer University ranked 11th for “Impact Schools.” Three times, Mercer has been selected for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Mercer’s MBA also made the Top 15 in Entrepreneur magazine.
Mercer University Accreditation Details
Recently reaffirmed in 2015, Mercer University has institutional accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC). Mercer’s academic departments have pursued 14 discipline-specific accreditations too. For example, law degrees are accredited through the American Bar Association (ABA). Nursing programs align with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Engineering degrees meet the guidelines of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Educator licensing programs have approval from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Mercer University Application Requirements
With an acceptance rate of 66 percent, Mercer University has a selective admissions process focused on academic rigor, creativity, and motivation. First-year freshmen must be graduating high school seniors earning a diploma or GED equivalent. Homeschooled applicants must verify completion of four units English, four units math, three units science, three units history, and two units foreign language. On average, admitted students have a high school GPA of 3.81. Credit can be given for AP and IB classes. Students taking the CLEP must score in the 50th percentile or higher. Freshmen have an average score of 1210 on the SAT and 28 on the ACT.
More than 100 transfer students join Mercer’s community annually with at least nine credits from another regionally accredited college. Carrying a minimum collegiate GPA of 2.5 is necessary. Being eligible for reenrollment at the previous school attended is also required. At the graduate level, Mercer applicants must hold a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. or foreign institution. Most programs mandate a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75, though some are higher. Passing the GRE by scoring at least 146 on Verbal and 141 on Quantitative is recommended. Certain programs, like the MEd and MSN, require state licensing.
Prior to the final July 1st deadline, students wishing to attend Mercer University must submit the following documents:
• Mercer Application or Common Application form
• Payment for the $50 non-refundable fee
• Official high school and/or college transcripts
• At least one recommendation letter
• College entrance exam scores
• Proof of English language proficiency (if applicable)
• Brief one-page personal statement
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduate students at Mercer University are billed $17,075 per semester or $34,150 annually for tuition. Part-time undergrad learners can pay $1,138 per credit. Students should budget for the $200 practicum fee, $150 lab fee, and $30 thesis fee if applicable. Room and board is expected to cost $10,898 annually. Total cost of attendance is estimated to be $39,995 (non-resident) and $49,393 (resident) each full-time year. Full-time graduate students are charged an average $762 per credit. However, Law School costs $36,960 per year and the School of Medicine costs $41,457 yearly.
Around 89 percent of undergraduates at Mercer receive financial aid. After filing the FAFSA form, students could qualify for Direct Stafford, Federal Perkins, or Direct Grad PLUS loans that must be repaid. There are also the Georgia Student Access Loan (SAL) and Nurse Faculty Loan programs. Federal Work-Study (FWS) and graduate assistantships trade tuition help for employment. Some students are eligible for the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Grant. Georgia residents should apply for the Tuition Equalization Grant (GTEG), HOPE Scholarship, or Zell Miller Award. Institutional scholarships are also offered, including the Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students (SDS), Presidential Scholarship, and Transfer Scholarship.
Mercer University has 12 schools providing a welcoming, faith-based community with rigorous academics. Featuring a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, over 62 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students. Nearly 95 percent of faculty hold doctorates in their teaching field too. Students can select from more than 130 degree programs. Undergraduate majors include Africana Studies, Chemical Commerce, Environmental Biology, Global Health Studies, Graphic Design, Law & Public Policy, Informatics, Public Safety Leadership, and Southern Studies. There are also 10 fully online degrees delivered through Blackboard and Moodle.
Unique learning opportunities abound at Mercer. Music majors can perform at Grand Opera House, the largest stage in the Southeast. Creative writing students could publish a book through the Mercer University Press (MUP). Philosophy majors can participate in the Great Books Program to study classic thinks of the Western world. Anyone interested in STEM subjects can conduct studies at the Mercer Engineering Research Center (MERC). Adventure enthusiasts could join the Mercer Outdoors Program, which offers wild cave tours, whitewater rafting trips, biking expeditions, and tent camping. Students can even become certified as Open Water Divers by PADI.
Around 74 percent of Mercer students live in the 16 residence halls, so campus life is vibrant. There are currently more than 100 student-run campus clubs. Students could join the Honor Council, practice with the German Club, write for “The Cluster,” groove with the Ballroom Dance Club, or jump for Mercer Equestrian Club. Mercer has also over 20 Greek organizations. Sports lovers can cheer on the Bears who compete in the NCAA Division I Southern Conference for 18 varsity teams. Mercer University has won five baseball, six men’s basketball, two women’s basketball, and five men’s soccer conference championships.