They are Sarah, Rachel, Emily, Victoria, Amanda, Meghan and Taylor. They are Nicholas, Michael, Daniel, Matthew, Alexander, Kevin and Joseph. They hold the distinction of having the “most popular” names among the 615 freshmen entering Mercyhurst University this fall. But look closer.
The Class of 2017 is distinguished by having nearly half of them earn a 3.5 GPA or higher throughout high school. Combined, this cohort carries an average GPA of 3.38. Their average SAT score (all three sections) is 1575; ACT, 24. More than 325 freshmen are Egan Scholars, Mercyhurst’s chief merit-based award; nine achieved either valedictorian or salutatorian status in high school while another five are Rotary Youth Leadership Award winners.
“This incoming freshman class is academically very strong,” said Christopher Coons, associate vice president for enrollment management. “Students and families are recognizing the strength of many of our signature academic programs, which are growing in reputation. The quality and value of a Mercyhurst University education is outstanding. Not only do students receive scholarships for academic and performance-based achievements, but they also obtain a real, hands-on education that is not available at other institutions of our size.”
The freshmen will begin making Mercyhurst their home-away-from-home on Saturday, which marks the beginning of an event-filled Welcome Week.
“Welcome Week provides incoming students an opportunity to meet other students, learn about campus resources, get advice from upperclassmen and give back to the community,” said Preston Reilly, activities and spirit coordinator. “They’ll enjoy fun activities, including our annual Casino Night and Mercyhurst Olympics, while being able to get their questions answered during Laker Leader breakout sessions. The Freshman Day of Service and Freshman Convocation highlight’s Tuesday’s agenda, while the week concludes with a Campus Involvement Fair on Friday.”
Meanwhile, this year’s freshmen hail from 26 states, with 40 percent coming from Pennsylvania, 25 percent from New York and 15 percent from Ohio. Nineteen countries are represented within this student body, among them Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, El Salvador, England, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Jamaica, Nepal, Nigeria, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
Their most popular choices of major include intelligence studies, applied forensic sciences, business, biology and criminal justice.
Further, when classes begin on Sept. 4, Mercyhurst also will welcome 85 transfer students, 125 new adult students and 190 new graduate students to the Erie campus.
Mercyhurst North East is expecting an estimated 460 students for its Fall 2013 incoming class, reported Travis Lindahl, associate vice president for enrollment management at North East. He noted that allied health associate degree enrollment is particularly strong this year. The physical therapist assistant program has reached capacity, and occupational therapy assistant program is only a few students away from doing the same.
Not to be eclipsed, Mercyhurst’s growing satellite campus at the Booker T. Washington Center in Erie is anticipating approximately 25 new students for the fall semester, according to program director John Parente.