Mercer Enrollment Tops 8,000, Sets University Record

August 26, 2009

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

MACON/ATLANTA — As fall classes got under way yesterday for undergraduates on the Macon campus, Mercer University’s first-day enrollment figures topped the 8,000 mark, a 6.8 percent increase over opening day numbers last fall and an all-time record for the 176-year-old institution. Final, official enrollment figures will not be completed until later in the fall, but the opening day tally stood at 8,044, compared with 7,533 on the first day of classes last year – a 511-student increase.

Record retention rates and the largest freshman class in four years helped contribute to the significant enrollment increase. Units with the largest percentage increases include the School of Medicine, up 29.5 percent; College of Continuing and Professional Studies, up 23.5 percent; Tift College of Education, up 10.1 percent; and College of Liberal Arts, up 7.3 percent. The School of Medicine enrolled its second class of first-year medical students in Savannah and saw strong growth in its master’s-level degree programs in public health and family therapy that are offered in Macon and Atlanta. The College of Continuing and Professional Studies experienced significant increases in its graduate and undergraduate programs on the Atlanta and Macon campuses. The Tift College of Education – Mercer’s largest school — continues to realize increased enrollments in its Ph.D. and other graduate-level programs.

“The University’s healthy enrollment increase is the result of a lot of hard work by our faculty and staff,” said Mercer President William D. Underwood. “New degree programs, a strong recruiting year for our Macon undergraduate programs, and higher retention rates all contributed to our record enrollment.”

By location, enrollment in all programs on the Atlanta campus is up 12 percent over this time last year and Macon campus enrollment is up 5.8 percent. Enrollments at the Henry County, Douglas County and Eastman Regional Academic Centers and the Savannah campus were up slightly over last year.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,000 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.
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