This report has been contributed by Jaclyn Ramkissoon, a student from Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism.
We were “just curious” about the population growth of Mercer University's Macon campus in the past decade.
Since 2008, freshman enrollment at the Macon campus has increased from 593 to 892, and undergraduate enrollment has jumped from 2,250 to 3,250, according to senior vice president for Enrollment Management Penny Elkins.
“The vision of the growth truly began in 2008,” said Elkins
At the time, Mercer University president Bill Underwood had only been at the school for two years.
Elkins says Underwood created a committee for strategic planning and one of their goals was growth.
Although class sizes have increased, Elkins says students are getting the same intimate classroom environment as before.
The university has taken steps to hire new faculty, build new residence halls, and create enough classroom space.
“Whether we have one student or 2,200 students, they’re experiencing that Mercer education that we pride ourselves on,” said Elkins.
She says retention rates are also the best they’ve ever been – the class of 2020’s freshman to sophomore retention rate is the highest the university has seen.
In total, Mercer has seven locations throughout Georgia. Enrollment across all campuses and programs is about 8,725.
“Where Mercer goes, Macon does as well. We’re very strong partners with the community… We want Mercer’s growth to support Macon in all that we’re doing,” said Elkins.