MACON, Ga.--Allen London, associate vice president and director of Undergraduate Admissions at Mercer University, has an excellent reason to be excited about the University's future enrollment levels.
Mercer has been named to The Princeton Review's top colleges in the country list. This prestigious list, which started with 300 schools, adds a few more institutions every three years. It now stands at 351 with the inclusion of Mercer and five other schools. With 3,500 four-year colleges in North America, that puts Mercer among the top 10 percent.
About two years ago, Mercer was placed on The Princeton Review waiting list. When Mercer's file was examined a year ago, President R. Kirby Godsey was immediately informed that Mercer "clearly fit the criteria." The process normally takes much longer, but Mercer passed several colleges and universities on the waiting list.
After processing factual information and polling students online for a year, The Princeton Review assessed Mercer in 10 categories: academics, administration, demographics, parties, school type, politics, quality of life, extra-curriculars, selectivity and social.
The students polled were positive in talking about their experiences, saying, "the school is well run, intercollegiate sports are popular, students get along with local community, and student publications are popular." The Princeton Review writes, "If you're looking for a small school with 'tough' academics that is equally devoted to scholastic development and spiritual growth, then read on."
While other college ranking publications like U.S. News and World Report have lauded the University's educational environment, consistently ranking Mercer in the top 10 of first-tier regional schools, London and the Admissions staff have higher aspirations. Among their goals is to boost Mercer's out-of-state undergraduate enrollment from 20 to 35 percent.
The inclusion of Mercer in the Best Colleges series will provide national exposure and help them work toward these goals. As London points out, "Mercer already has a fine reputation around the Southeast. We want to spread that reputation across the nation, and this is a great way to do it. More and more students are going to The Princeton Review Web-site; more and more parents are going out and buying the book."
With prospective students hearing the news, Admissions officers will hopefully soon reap the benefits.