Mercersburg Academy’s named scholarships offer a unique and life-changing opportunity to exceptionally gifted students. These scholarships are among the most prestigious financial aid awards that Mercersburg presents, and their selection process is among the most rigorous and competitive that the school’s Admission Committee engages in. They also reflect Mercersburg’s ongoing commitment to access and affordability to create a truly egalitarian campus community.
Named scholars are granted full tuition, room, and board each academic year through graduation as well as an annual stipend to cover miscellaneous expenses. Thanks to the generosity of Mercersburg alumni, parents, and friends, these scholarships are fully endowed, ensuring a reliable and perpetual source of funding for this financial aid.
Previous scholars have matriculated to such higher ed institutions as Harvard University, Wellesley College, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Established by Gabriel Hammond ’97 and awarded to an outstanding ninth-grade applicant.
Established by Kathleen and Steve Guttman ’64 and awarded with preference given to South Florida residents.
Established by Deborah Simon ’74 and awarded to an outstanding applicant.
Established by Jean and Richard Witmer ’70 and awarded to Central Pennsylvania residents.
Established by Judy and Allen Zern ’61 and awarded with preference given to those from underrepresented populations.
“The named scholarship that I established is without question the most wonderfully rewarding and humbling thing I’ve ever done in my life. Robust financial aid raises the level of camaraderie at the school, it brings in a higher caliber of student, and it makes it more attractive for the teachers who really want to teach kids the value of the opportunity that they have.”
—Gabriel Hammond ’97, Arce Scholar benefactor
All domestic boarding applicants who are offered admission and whose families qualify for full need-based financial aid are automatically considered for named scholarships. Candidates must have strong academic records and standardized test results, broad extracurricular participation, and exemplary personal character.
Sometimes named scholarships are offered to students applying through access programs in major metropolitan areas. Other times the recipients are from rural areas and are not working with a consultant or placement agency. In some cases, the recipients live in communities where local schools lack the resources to allow the students to take full advantage of their academic abilities.
In general, named scholarship recipients are:
- Academic high-achievers with A or high-B averages and SSAT scores in the 75th-80th percentiles.
- Engaged and curious learners and leaders.
- Prone to show their interest and commitment to learning as participants in an after-school/extracurricular learning program.
- Well-rounded students who will contribute to the Mercersburg Academy community beyond the classroom and who exhibit the school’s principles of “Hard work, fair play, and clean life.”
Applicants who have completed their application by January 31 and been identified by the Admission Committee as a potential candidate for a named scholarship will be notified and may be given an opportunity to further demonstrate their interest in Mercersburg.
In addition to full tuition, room, and board, named scholars receive $5,000 in funding for such incidental charges as textbooks and school supplies, athletic equipment, music lessons, and transportation to and from home. Below is a list of expenses that the stipend typically covers:
- Rutherford Health and Wellness Center charges (including overnight visits)
- Tablet or laptop and all required apps
- Technology repairs required as a result of normal wear and tear
- Cell phone with basic coverage for calling and texting
- Required textbooks and miscellaneous supplies (including a graphing calculator)
- Private academic tutoring
- Required sports equipment, including practice packs
- Vocal or instrumental lessons
- Transportation to and from home and required off-campus appointments
- Mercersburg spirit wear
- $20/week cash allowance for use at the school store and student cafe
- Standardized test registration fees (ACT, SAT, and SAT Subject Test)
- College application fees
- New laptop and iPad that will meet the student's needs at the college to which they matriculate
- Other expenses as appropriate, including summer enrichment and a study-abroad experience