By Laura LaVacca
Transitioning to a new campus after graduating from a community college or even after completing high school can be a nerve-wracking experience for any student. The decision of where to apply, what paperwork to fill out and what credits will transfer can be overwhelming.
Mercy College, with its main campus located in Dobbs Ferry, New York, is a private liberal arts college. Founded in 1950, Mercy offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within five schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences.
“Mercy is the #1 choice for transfer students looking to complete their degree at a private college. We transfer in approximately 1400 students a year,” Anne Gilligan-Evans, Director of Transfer Recruitment, explains.
The College’s mission is to provide educational access for traditional and nontraditional students. These include students those who have serious financial needs or perhaps those who are first generation-college students.
Small class sizes paired with affordable tuition rates makes Mercy a popular choice and viable option for students seeking an affordable, but good, college experience. Part time undergraduate credits are $761 each while a full course load is $9042 per term. Tuition rates are comparable to CUNY schools and financial aid packages and generous scholarships are available.
“Mercy’s tuition is comparable to CUNY tuition rates with many students with low EFC attending Mercy for less than $1,500 a year – many being first generation students. Many of our transfer students work full time to support their families and are adults looking to complete their degrees and move ahead with their careers,” Gilligan-Evans adds.
Scholarship opportunities include those for athletics, education majors, accounting students, those applying to the health professions and those enrolled in Honors College. The complete list can be found on Mercy’s website. The website also outlines the transfer process, necessary paperwork and articulation agreements that Mercy has with many surrounding schools.
“We have articulation agreements with community colleges throughout the New York region that guarantees a seamless transfer of credits. We also have transfer orientations at all our campuses,” Gilligan-Evans explains.
Worried about the lengthy process? She continues, “At Mercy we have a fast turnaround for evaluating credits. Students should know exactly how their credits are applied to their majors, not just know that they are accepted by the college. We accept up to 75 credits from a two-year college and up to 90 credits from a four-year college. Students can get all this information in one visit as well as register for classes.”
Mercy strives to be generous with the transfer credits they take. They acknowledge that students have worked hard at other institutions and that shouldn’t just be erased. “We try to take as much as we can,” Deirdre Whitman, Vice President for Enrollment Management states.
When students register, they are assigned a PACT advisor “to mentor and coach them in navigating the academic, student life, career preparation and financial aid aspects of college.” These coaches are the point people students go to when any questions or issues arise. In addition to college life, they track academic progress to help students develop necessary career skills that can help them attain an internship experience or even a job after college.
It is this constant attention and engagement with faculty that results in high retention rates. “The national average of students meeting with an advisor is two times per semester,” Whitman, offers, “At Mercy, it’s 20 times a semester.”
Furthermore, students work with their PACT mentor and faculty advisor to complete a portfolio of their career experience for which credits can be awarded. “Many adult students returning to college complete our Organizational Management degree in Business. The core courses for this degree program (39 credits) are completed in one year over three terms and can be taken online,” Gilligan-Evans adds.
“We have great campus locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, Dobbs Ferry and Yorktown as well as distance learning classes!”
The campus is also very easy to navigate and commute to: “The campuses are very accessible to all forms of public transportation,” Whitman notes. “We make sure that we make everything very streamlined for commuter students.”
The campuses also house many gym facilities and cafes that commuters can access when not in the classroom. Those choosing to dorm will have a chance to take in the scenery. Residential halls are along the Hudson and offer amenities ranging from meal plans to computer labs with free printing.
In addition, upon completing construction of a new building with more study areas, there’s also a student commons that includes a convenience store, Starbucks café and a 5000 square foot fitness center. There’s also a newly constructed pedestrian quad and exterior gathering areas.
So, why Mercy? Simply put, “Individual attention from award winning faculty and staff, small class sizes, affordability, generous scholarship and need based financial aid packages,” Gilligan-Evans states. “Our students have the drive and grit to succeed.”
To learn more about transferring to Mercy College, visit http://Mercy.edu/cnews.