About the School
A. Each year students apply at all grade levels. However, the primary entry point is ninth grade.
A. While Mercersburg has its spiritual roots in the Reformed or United Church of Christ tradition, the Academy has no formal relationship with any faith. Our school minister leads a voluntary ecumenical chapel service in the Protestant tradition every Sunday morning. All students and community members are welcome, though attendance is not mandatory.
A. Yes, the majority of faculty members live in campus housing, while the rest of the faculty live nearby. All faculty members have dorm duties in some capacity.
A. The school is closed during Thanksgiving break, winter break (late December through early January), and spring break (usually around the beginning of March). In addition, there is one long weekend per term when classes aren’t held but campus remains open.
A. Mercersburg is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, the Academy is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, the Association of Boarding Schools, the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education, the Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools, the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools, and the Secondary School Admission Test Board.
Tuition and Fees
A. While Mercersburg has a generous financial aid program, the budget is limited and we receive far more requests for financial aid than we can meet. We will not extend an offer of admission to students whose financial need cannot be met. Thus, by applying for financial aid, a child is entering a more competitive segment of our applicant pool.
A. Mercersburg imputes a salary for each non-working parent, excepting all non-working parents with children too young to enter school and/or non-working parents unable to work as a result of a disability or retirement. The impact of each parent’s employment status is considered on an individual basis.
A: No. All students who apply for admission will automatically be considered for merit scholarships, and students whose families complete the financial aid application will also be considered for access scholarships.
A. When considering available resources that can be used to fund a student’s education, Mercersburg may consider a student’s savings, investments, trust funds, 529 funds, or any other assets in the student’s name, held for a student for any reason or restricted in any way. The general rule is that a student’s assets are equally distributed over their time at Mercersburg, plus four years of college.
A. The school considers all tuition expenses that a family has, including the student(s) applying for financial aid at Mercersburg; however, Mercersburg does not subsidize graduate school for parents and/or siblings.
A. For parents who are divorced, separated, or have never been married, we require each parent or family member to complete a separate financial aid application. Mercersburg expects all parents, guardians, domestic partners, and/or stepparents to play an appropriate role in financing and supporting their student’s education.
A. Yes. Every family must complete a financial aid application for each year of enrollment to determine eligibility. Returning families need only submit an updated Parent Financial Statement and their most recent tax forms. Changes in income, expenses, and assets will affect your Estimated Family Contribution.
A. Mercersburg’s first commitment is to returning students, but eligibility is determined annually. Every family must complete a financial aid application for each year of enrollment to determine eligibility. Changes in income, expenses, and assets will impact your Estimated Family Contribution.
A. All students have an adviser who helps them choose courses and extracurricular activities, as well as discuss any academic or personal issues. Mercersburg advisers communicate with students and other faculty throughout the year to help prevent problems or quickly resolve problems as they arise.
A. The learning services program helps students develop study skills and learning efficiency, and counsels students who are struggling academically. Close relationships among students, teachers, and advisers help us quickly recognize challenges and address them early.
A. No. We hold classes Monday through Friday, from 8:50 a.m. until 3:40 p.m., except for Tuesdays, when classes end at 2:25 p.m.
A. Mercersburg offers college preparatory, honors, and AP courses. We also provide independent and directed study for students who wish to take classes beyond the existing curriculum.
A. Students regularly rate the dining hall as good to excellent and enjoy the variety. Breakfast and some dinners are served buffet style. Lunch and some dinners are served family style.
A. No, although 85 percent of students choose to compete in interscholastic sports. All students in ninth, 10th, and 11th grades are required to participate in a performance group activity (PGA) in each academic term, while seniors must participate in a PGA in at least two of three terms. PGA options for students include sports but also activities such as Stony Batter, Mercersburg Outdoor Education and community service.
A. Students may be involved with meetings or activities for one of our 45 clubs and organizations, or they may be competing for one of our 27 varsity sports teams. Other on-campus events include movies, dances, and student performances. Off-campus events include concerts, theatre performances, museum and shopping trips, and outdoor activities such as skiing, biking, hiking, and kayaking.
A. Maintaining high standards of safety is a priority at Mercersburg. Our Campus Safety Office provides 24-hour patrol on campus.
A. Yes. Mercersburg will help arrange transportation for scheduled weekends and major school breaks to and from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), as well as to Amtrak stations in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore, Maryland. When available, school drivers may provide necessary transportation, and we also arrange transportation with local car services.
Students and their families are responsible for the cost of transportation, which is billed to their account. To help reduce transportation costs, students may consider traveling in groups to and from airports or train stations. For more information, email Transportation Coordinator Carol Ecton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A. No, but we do have a reasonable dress code.
A. A boarding student lives on campus in one of Mercersburg’s seven dormitories, while a day student lives off campus, typically within easy driving distance of Mercersburg.
A. Boarding students live with a roommate in one of our seven dormitories. All dorm rooms are air conditioned, equipped with wireless and Ethernet Internet connections, and furnished with beds, dressers, desks, and desk chairs. Many common rooms in the dormitories are equipped with kitchenettes, televisions, and computers. Faculty members and their families also live in each dorm.
A. All students are required to bring an iPad or macOS laptop computer that is capable of running the latest operating system. Shared computers and printers are available in several locations around campus, including many dorm common rooms and Lenfest Hall. Mercersburg’s campus has a wireless network in all academic and dormitory spaces and most public spaces. Both iOS and Windows operating systems are supported on the campus network.
A. In addition to scheduled vacations—Thanksgiving break, winter break, and spring break—students may stay off campus for 10 regular weekends during the school year. Seniors may be off campus for 12 weekends each year. Students must fill out a weekend form and submit it to the Office of Student Life prior to leaving.
A. New students are assigned to rooms and roommates, though requests made on roommate questionnaires are considered. Returning students can pick their roommates, and their housing assignment is decided by lottery.
A. Yes. There is no requirement that day students live within a specific radius of campus.
A. If a day student is interested in becoming a boarder, they have the option of applying for a boarding spot. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis depending on family situation, dorm availability, and financial aid.
A. Day students are assigned a locker in the common room of the dormitory with which they are affiliated.
A. Classes begin at 8:50 a.m. and end at 3:40 p.m., except on Tuesdays when classes end at 2:25 p.m. Nearly all students (boarding and day) are involved in some type of afternoon extracurricular activity following classes. Any day student on campus during the dinner hour is required to attend dinner in Ford Hall. All day students should depart campus by 8 p.m.
A. Outside commitments can become difficult for day students. Please discuss the situation with an admission officer.
A. Pennsylvania law allows public school transportation; contact your local school district for information. We provide parking for students who drive to and from campus.