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Mercersburg Academy

School rating 4 / 5 by

100 Academy Drive Mercersburg PA 17236 United States
9th to PG
9th to 12th


Mercersburg Academy review by .

First and foremost let me emphasize the engagement of the faculty. Mercersburg faculty (a majority of whom live on or within walking distance of campus) are there for the benefit of their students entirely. Expect to find them for any extra help you may need, for any questions about the school in general, or for a place to hang out, cook dinner, or watch the Oscars. At college now, I still keep in touch with 7 of my teachers/advisers/coaches regularly. I can still go to them with questions about course selection, for references, and for ideas about summer internships. Enthusiasm for teaching, I found, translated into enthusiasm for learning many of the courses I took. The largest class I took while at Mercersburg consisted of 17 students (an intermediate acting class). The smallest I took with one other student. The school is in the process of adding more courses to the curriculum, but already offers a number of AP courses unfamiliar to my current colleagues at college. Without ranking (except for Valedictorian and Salutatorian at the end of Senior Year) the environment is certainly collegial. Students are there to do well, but not to do better than each other. I wouldn't say that Mercersburg has a weak department to speak of. The arts are certainly advancing with the construction of the Burgin Center for the Arts, but I found every other department enthusiastic and more than qualified to be teaching high school students. In my first semester at Columbia University I have found myself excited to reenter the fast-paced environment I remember from Mercersburg, and missing the personal connections I made there.

College Counseling

Mercersburg Academy employs a number of full-time college counselors who work out of their offices....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

There has been a great deal of turnover in the Admissions office since my admission.....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

For a small-town boarding school in rural Pennsylvania, Mercersburg still manages to impress students with various on- and off-campus activities. The outdoor education program (MOE) takes students into the beautiful habitat surrounding the school for activities ranging from whitewater rafting to rock-climbing. A particular highlight of the year is the Irving-Marshal competition held in the last week of the winter term (in place of exams). The entire school is divided into two literary societies for a week of Harry Potteresque competitions ranging from swimming to poker to Declamation. That final speaking contest is one of the school's greatest traditions and usually....

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