MACON- Mercer University continues to be acknowledged as one of the premier universities in the nation. Released this week, U.S. News & World Report's popular America's Best Colleges 2004 issue ranks Mercer 6th among universities in the South. That is up two spots from Mercer's ranking of 8th last year.
This is the 14th consecutive year Mercer has been named one of the leading institutions of higher education in the South by U.S. News & World Report.
"The University continues to provide the highest quality education to its students, and this latest ranking is indicative of other institutions of higher education recognizing Mercer's steadfast commitment to excellence," Mercer University President R. Kirby Godsey said.
Mercer has been recognized as one of the best from several well-known college guides. Mercer has been listed a "Best Buy" by Barron's for the 10th consecutive year, and Peterson's has listed Mercer in its Competitive Colleges Guide for the past two years.
This year Mercer garnered two new prestigious rankings. Mercer was named a "highly selective" university by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. And in July, The Princeton Review placed Mercer among the Best 351 Colleges in North America. With 3,500 four-year colleges in the United States and Canada, inclusion in that ranking puts Mercer among the top 10 percent.
Students say those rankings factored heavily into their choosing Mercer. "Praises by U.S. News and World Report and other college guides give universities a more prestigious look. These rankings make me proud to be going to Mercer," said Darcy Kibler, a freshman from Phoenix, Ariz.
And the students choosing Mercer are among the highest academically qualified yet. The entering freshman class for 2003 touts the highest SAT score of any Mercer class to date with an average of 1212. Only three other universities in Georgia have SAT averages over 1200- the University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University.
Mercer's freshman SAT average has increased 98 points since fall of 2000. This year's freshman class is also turning heads with a record-high grade-point average of 3.63.