- Location: Macon, Georgia (about an hour southeast of Atlanta)
- Type: Private University, in a defined campus surrounded by the small city of Macon
- Size: Just about
3,300 total undergraduates
- Total cost of attendance is just over $51,000 per year, but Mercer University does offer an abundance of financial aid and merit scholarships. MU awards nearly $20,000,000 to incoming students each year, with more than 90% of the entire school population receiving scholarships. Mercer has also recently been recognized as a Top 25 "Best Value School" in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Mercer University is a medium sized selective university, whose students represent 39 states and 36 countries. They are at the tail end of a conscience effort to increase the size of the school. Whereas in 2011, Mercer had 565 incoming freshmen, last year they had 891. For the next few years they are looking to bring in a class size of closer to 1,000, which eventually would see the total campus size closer to 4,000 students. Mercer is a top notch academic school, but because of this growth, it can be a bit easier to get into now, which is a great thing for high school students! Currently, the acceptance rate hovers around 70% with close to 5,000 students applying each year. The middle 50% for the SAT is 1160-1350 and their middle 50% for the ACT is 25-40.
Mercer University has six main schools, housing over 65 majors. The largest school at Mercer is the College of Liberal Arts which has 37 majors and nearly 1,100 undergrads in the entire school. Students are taught broadly across the curriculum, but also in depth for at least 1 major and minor.Whereas this is optional as many schools, at Mercer every student must graduate with one major and one minor. The majors range from Biology and Chemical Commerce to Media Studies and Theatre. There is also the Stetson School of Business and Commerce at MU. There are nine majors in this school including Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Sports Marketing & Analytics, which is very cool! Almost all students will graduate from MU with at least one internship under their belt, as well. The third program is the School of Engineering. They do offer a 4+1 program, where you can shave off a year of school, to graduate with your Bachelors and Master degree. Their undergraduate programs include: Biomedical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Environmental, Industrial, Mechanical, Industrial Management, and Technical Communication.
The Tift School of Education is also offered at MU with four main areas including Early Childhood/Special Education and a Bachelors of Music Education. The Townsend School of Music has four majors, and it very well respected for its music program. The city of Macon has a rich, deep music history, and Mercer students are able to perform at many of the historic music spots in Macon. The final school at Mercer is the College of Health Professions. In addition to the 6-year program for a Masters in Athletic Training, this school also offers majors in Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Clinical Medical Psychology, and Public Health. With a four year medical school campus located in gorgeous Savannah, students can continue their science track in the great state of Georgia.
What’s special about Mercer University:
I have visited close to 150 colleges and universities around the world, and what is always most important to me, over the academics and reputation, are the people. I am looking for a supportive, engaging community, that takes personal care of the student body, to ensure a positive experience, a chance to grow academically and personally, and to help propel them into a successful career. Mercer University checks the box for that and so much more. Mercer is a medium sized private school, but is very much a research university. In 2017, Mercer was ranked among the top tier of National Research Universities, with the only other Georgia colleges on that list being Emory University, University of Georgia, and Georgia Tech.
In 2015 Mercer was also admitted to Phi Beta Kappa, which is the oldest and one of the most selective honors society for liberal arts and sciences. Also worth noting, Mercer University just opened in December 2017 a brand new, $44,000,000 science facility that is absolutely breathtaking and whose labs rival the best in the country. If you are thinking about a major and career in the sciences, you definitely need to think of putting Mercer on your radar!
Another important part of MU that I want to make you all aware of is a program named Mercer-on-Mission (MOM), which is an international service-learning program available to Mercer students. However, unlike many service programs, where students may help build part of a house for a week, then leave...Mercer on Mission is the real deal. Students and faculty go to places where people don't want to go and they get real work done that positively impacts the community. What they hope to do through this program is take what students are learning in school and transfer that into community work to make a difference and solve a problem in the world. No other college is doing what Mercer University is with this type of service learning, and the number of students taking part in MOM keeps growing every year. Recently, Mercer students have gone to Uganda to help construct bio-sand water filters and to Vietnam to provide prosthetic legs to amputees. Former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, was so impressed by Mercer on Mission, it actually helped convince him to become a Trustee at Mercer. Finally, an added bonus, it is nearly free to participate in MOM and students can even get class credit!
As you begin searching for colleges, I hope you put a great deal of effort into finding the right fit school; one that will give you every opportunity to push yourself and grow as a student and individual. As I mentioned before, I believe that Mercer will provide every student with just that...a supportive environment where students can thrive in all aspects of life. When I was on my campus tour, we stopped by the main gym, and to my surprise, among the ten or so students working out in the morning, was the Mercer University President. If I hadn't met him the night before, you never would have realized it. However, that is just how President Underwood goes about his day, and he is just another member of the community, trying to improve each day. If you are someone who is looking for a medium-sized college, with an amazing campus, terrific school spirit, a student centered experience, and not to mention, pretty amazing weather...I urge you to check out Mercer University, and I think you may just want to stay!