Mercyhurst College is in the top 20 for best graduation rates among many colleges and universities.
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Mercyhurst as tying for the 13th best graduation rates out of the 555 schools designated as master’s universities.
The Chronicle of Higher Education used six years of federal information up to 2008 to compile the list.
Mercyhurst’s graduation rate of 73 percent earned the school its top 13 spot. This graduation rate means that 73 percent of first-time students who enroll during fall term graduate with a degree from Mercyhurst within six years.
Vice President of Enrollment Management Michael Lyden, Ed.D, explained why Mercyhurst is able to maintain a high rate.
“The number one reason is the quality of our academic programs as well as the average financial aid package that out students receive,” he said. “Many students and parents feel that Mercyhurst represents an excellent value compared to many other colleges or universities.”
The graduation rates of Mercyhurst’s athletes help the college’s overall graduation rate.
Lyden said the graduation rates of Mercyhurst athletes are much higher than almost any other Division II school.
Not only are their graduation rates higher, but their grades are higher too.
The women’s softball team at Mercyhurst has an average GPA of 3.6, the second highest Division II GPA in the country.
The college’s location helps to attract students as well. Many students who live within a few hours are drawn to Erie.
Erie is able to attract students from many major metropolitan areas, such as Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
The distance from these areas is the right amount for students who want to get away from home but still be close enough for family to visit.
“I love the beautiful campus and friendly faces here,” freshman Corvette Morrison said. “Mercyhurst is my home away from home.”
Sophomore Kyle McIntyre likes the Mercyhurst campus for its living arrangements.
“I like the school because we get to live in apartments starting at sophomore year up instead of always living in resident halls,” he said.
In a recent press release Lyden explained how other colleges’ selection processes allow them to have higher graduation rates.
“Most of the other top-ranked schools, such as Villanova and Providence College, for example, are much more selective in their admissions when compared to Mercyhurst.”
He explained that Ivy League schools, such as Harvard, have extremely high graduation rates but only admit about 10 percent of students who apply.
At Mercyhurst, about 80 percent of applicants are accepted and qualifications are not as strict. This enables Mercyhurst to provide opportunities for students who may not have done as well in high school or had lower SAT or ACT scores.
Lyden has high hopes not only for these students’ futures but for Mercyhurst’s future as well.
“I think our graduation rates will only get better and that Mercyhurst will move into the top 10 out of 500 other schools in the next few years,” he said. “My reason is that we are admitting excellent students and every student that we admit to Mercyhurst has the personal ability to graduate and be very successful in either their chosen career, graduate or profession school.”