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. 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.
A. Mercersburg looks for academic achievement and promise, as shown by a student’s transcripts, test scores, and teacher recommendations. We also pay close attention to personal qualities, which we measure through motivation, character, extracurricular interests, and the ability to adapt to the Mercersburg community.
A. We often receive more applicants than we have space available, which means some applicants may be placed in a wait pool. If the opportunity to use our wait pool arises, the admissions committee will choose the student who best fits the available opening.
A. Each year, approximately 800 students interview for 150-160 available spaces. Selectivity may be influenced by a family’s request for financial aid, as Mercersburg receives more requests for financial aid than it is able to meet.
A. Please contact the Office of Admission at 717-328-6173. If you are unable to visit campus, Admission officers may be available to meet with you while traveling domestically and internationally or may choose to schedule a meeting with you via Skype or FaceTime.
A. An admission officer will meet separately with you and your parent(s) or guardian(s). The interview is an evaluative session in which you can ask questions about Mercersburg while the admission officer gets a better sense of your academic, athletic, and artistic goals. Each interview lasts about 30 to 45 minutes.
A. Mercersburg requires that all applicants to the ninth and 10th grades submit SSAT (Seconday School Admission Test) results, and that all applicants to the 11th grade submit PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test), SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), or ACT results. All applicants to the 12th grade and/or PG year must submit SAT or ACT results. Students whose primary language is not English must demonstrate fluency by taking the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).
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 parents’ employment status is considered on an individual basis.
A. When considering available resources that can be used to fund a student’s education, Mercersburg may consider any of the following: 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 his or her time at Mercersburg, plus four years of college/university.
A. Mercersburg 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 step-parents 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. 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, although 70 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 (or 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 and other activities, including Mercersburg Outdoor Education (MOE), community service, or the Garden Club.
A. Students may be involved with meetings or activities associated with one of more than 35 clubs and organizations. They may be competing for one of our 26 varsity athletic teams. On-campus events include movies; dances; athletic events; student performances in dance, theatre and music; and much more. Off-campus events include concerts; theatre performances; museum exhibitions; athletic events; shopping in nearby Washington, D.C., and Baltimore; as well as outdoor events, such as skiing, biking, hiking, and kayaking trips, coordinated by our director of outdoor education.
With written permission, students may spend 10 weekends off campus, including a long weekend each term. Please see our activities calendar for a complete list of weekend opportunities.
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 are responsible for the cost of transportation, which is billed to their student account. However, students should be prepared with extra funds should travel delays or cancellations occur. To help cut transportation costs, students may consider traveling in groups to and from airports or stations.
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 expected to arrive at Mercersburg with an iPad 2 or newer version. Mercersburg’s campus has a wireless network in all academic and dormitory spaces and most public spaces, so an iPad with WiFi will be sufficient and 3G/4G models are not necessary.
Students may also bring a personal laptop or desktop computer. Shared computers and printers are available in several locations around campus, including many dormitory common rooms, Lenfest Hall, and other locations. Both iOS (Apple) and Windows operating systems are supported on the campus network.
A. New students are assigned to rooms and roommates, though requests made on individual rooming questionnaires are considered. Returning students can pick their roommates, and their housing assignment is decided by lottery.
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. 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. Pennsylvania law allows public school transportation; contact your local school district for information. We provide parking for students who drive to and from campus.
Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center. Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. 300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236 GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236 717-328-6173