Mercersburg Academy - Review #16

Read more details about Mercersburg Academy on their 2021-22 profile page.
Mercersburg Academy

About the Author:

Years Attended Boarding School: 1997-2001
Sports and Activities:French Club, Cross Country, Chorale, Track, Ski Team (captain), Inbound Leader, Dining Hall Table Proctor, Library Proctor, Irving Society, Tour Guide
College Enrolled:Elon University
Home Town, State: Clear Spring, MD

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
At Mercersburg, campus felt like home almost immediately. Orientation (Inbound) helped me to adjust easily to boarding school. What amazed me most about Mercersburg was the close knit community, despite the diversity on campus. My teachers were good role models because they not only taught me in the classroom, but taught me about life. I have never experienced an environment that thrives with as much diversity as Mercersburg. I truly met friends from all over the world.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Boarding school allowed me to break out of my shell at an earlier age than most. Now that I am a senior in college, I feel that I am more independent than most students my age, and that I owe this to Mercersburg. The people I met at Mercersburg are some of the best people I know, and their friendships molded me into the person I am today.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
If I could do things all over again, I would not have been as shy as I was my first week at Mercersburg. Everyone at boarding school feels out of place at first and is just trying to make a friend. It's easy to find friends; don't let boarding school intimidate you. It is nothing like the stereotypes you hear about.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I liked the closeness of the community and the academic challenges. The people are what made the school.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
If you visit campus, be sure to visit every building. They are all worth checking out. All the dorms are new inside so you can't go wrong in that area. If you visit on your own, be sure to visit the chapel. It is a beautiful building.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The professors sit around a large wooden round table with students. This allows everyone to see each other and helps involve everyone in the class with the professor. The academics are very challenging, but professors are readily available for help sessions. Professors are passionate about their jobs and are encouraging and more than willing to spend necessary time in and out of class for one on one assistance.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Mercersburg's athletic programs have a lot to offer. Alpine skiing was my favorite sport, and most importantly I learned to be a part of the team. Athletic practices are a somewhat serious commitment and being a part of teams helped me to be more organized and responsible. Mercersburg encourages participation in athletic programs. When I graduated, a brand new tennis facility was erected. Mercersburg is continually improving its athletic programs.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The Theater programs improved drastically during my time at Mercersburg. Two new dance studios were built in 2000, and the staff that was hired while I was a student improved the Theater program.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Mercersburg requires a certain amount of involvement in extracurricular activities, however I did not feel pressured to be involved. I liked that I did not have to be involved in a great number of activities, but that I could be as involved as I wanted to be. I was able to explore as many or as few activities as I chose.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life was my favorite part of Mercersburg. All dorms have a common room and while I was a student Mercersburg began renovating all dorms. Mercersburg has the nicest dorms of any boarding school or college that I have ever seen. You may not have food delivered from your dorm; delivery people can only come to the gate of the school. The common room usually provides a snack closet so that you can buy snacks during study hall. You must always sign in at night with a faculty member in the common room, and must sign in guests of the opposite sex.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Mercersburg has family dining. A table proctor (student) sits at the head of the table, and a faculty member and his/her family are also assigned to certain tables. Students are assigned to tables but the arrangement changes every couple of weeks. The student proctor assigns who will go to the kitchen and get the food, and who will help clean up the table. This is called "white coat" and "blue coat". Everyone takes turns doing it. The food is actually good, and having assigned tables for required meals allows you to meet new people.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The town of Mercersburg is very small, but students are allowed to walk into town during the afternoon.There are several very good pizza places, as well as a few good restaurants. There isn't anything to do in town other than eat, but there is a ski resort ten miles away.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Part of going to boarding school is that you live around friends and teachers 24 hours a day. Social life can be somewhat limited at Mercersburg because of the small student body but within that small student body is a melting pot of people from all over the United States and the world. But I will always remember late night chats in my dorm with roommates and friends. Your social time consists of only quality time with people, because all you can really do is hang out.

Daily Schedule:

8:00 AMclass
9:00 AMclass
10:00 AMmid-morning
10:30 AMclass
11:45 AMlunch
1:00 PMclass
2:00 PMclass
4:00 PMathletics, afternoon activities
6:30 PMdinner
8:00 PMstudy hall
9:00 AMfree time or athletic matches
11:00 PMcurfew, must sign back into dorm
Read more details about Mercersburg Academy on their 2021-22 profile page.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • University of Pennsylvania
    Mercersburg has an incredibly beautiful campus. It is a place for reflection as much as anything else. The gothic chapel is designed by the architect who built Princeton University's chapel, and it carries a rich. . .
  • Vassar College
    Mercersburg has a unique community in that everyone is so connected and there really is a sense of family among the students and teachers. Everyone is incredibly kind, welcoming, ambitious, and curious. the relationships I. . .
  • Mercersburg Academy Alumni #3
    Class of 2017
    5 Stars   10/18/2017
    Duke University
    Opportunity and Community were the two buzzwords that largely encompass my Mercersburg experience. What lies between these two speaks just as loudly. There is a certain "presence of the present" that exists at Mercersburg that. . .
  • Show more reviews (17 reviews)
Recent Articles
October 14, 2021
Thinking about making a major gift to your school? How about endowing a faculty chair? More here.
September 30, 2021
American boarding schools have always welcomed international students. Rigorous academic programs, extensive athletic programs, and a wide range of extracurricular activities attract students from all over the world.
September 27, 2021
Admissions to boarding school is a process with many components. The process can be confusing to parents dealing with boarding school admissions for the first time. We guide you through the process.