Mercer’s first-day fall 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.