MACON- Of the 750 new undergraduate students beginning classes at Mercer University in Macon this month, 80 percent are from outside of central Georgia.
Mercer's School of Law and School of Medicine share similar statistics. Of the 139 first-year law students, 83 percent are from outside of central Georgia. And 82 percent of the 60 first-year medical school students come from other parts of Georgia.
Twenty-six percent of the new students enrolled in fall classes are from out of state. This all means dollar signs for the local economy and brings diversity to the University campus, benefiting both the Mercer community and central Georgia as a whole.
"Attracting and enrolling students from a wide geographic area makes Mercer and Macon a better place," said Allen London, associate vice president and director of undergraduate admissions at Mercer. "When students from states like Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana and Alabama, as well as international students, enroll at Mercer, the University benefits from a diverse student body and the Macon community benefits from an increase in the economic impact to its businesses."
Students from other states stay at Mercer and in Macon over the weekends and holidays, eating at local restaurants, attending festivals, and bringing family members to visit. "This is a win-win for both Mercer's and the greater Macon economies," said London, who credits the high number of out-of-state students coming to Mercer to the University's growing reputation as one of the premier educational institutions in the nation.
Mercer's reputation for excellence is attracting students who are among the highest academically qualified in the nation. The entering freshman class for 2003 touts the highest average SAT score of any Mercer class to date with an average of 1212.