For Adult Students
Whether you are preparing for a new career, looking to expand your knowledge or returning to complete your degree, Mercyhurst University is committed to serving the diverse needs of adult students.
Providing the flexibility you desire.
Adult students are defined as those who are 24 years of age or older, married, a veteran of the armed services or responsible for the majority of financial support of a dependent. Mercyhurst engages adult students through the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions, sometimes referred to as Adult Admissions.
Applying to Mercyhurst
Adults wishing to complete undergraduate coursework as an 'adult student' may apply as one of the following:
- Adult First-Time Student: Adults who have never before attended college
- Adult Transfer Student: Adults who have attended college at some point in the past
- Adult Re-Admit Student: Adults who have previously attended Mercyhurst University
- Adult Visiting Student: Adults who are currently enrolled in another college or university and wish to complete one or more courses at Mercyhurst
Requirements for adult students to be admitted to Mercyhurst University are as follows:
- A complete free online application
- An official high school or GED transcript.
- Applicants who have lower than a 2.5 GPA on their high school or GED transcripts are asked to complete an online academic placement exam on reading, writing, and math topics
- Applicants who have attended college before must submit all official college transcripts from any post-secondary institution previously attended, regardless of whether any credits were successfully earned or not.
- A resume, letters of recommendation, personal essay, or on-campus interview may be required to help make an admissions decision. You will be notified by your enrollment counselor if one or more of these additional requirements is needed.
Adult Re-Admit Requirements
Adult students who have previously attended Mercyhurst University must only complete a free online application; our office will obtain your Mercyhurst transcripts once your application is submitted. If you have attended another college or university after your time at Mercyhurst, you would then be considered an Adult Transfer and must follow those admissions requirements.
Adult Visiting Requirements
If you are not seeking a degree from Mercyhurst University but would like to take a single course, please fill out our Transient Student Application (filled out in the admissions office, payment due upon registration). We will only require transcripts if the course you are interested in has a prerequisite requirement.
All adult application documents should be directed to:
Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions Mercyhurst University 501 East 38th Street Erie, PA 16546
Cost and Financial Aid
For the 2023-2024 academic year, tuition for undergraduate adult students is set at $1,740 per three-credit course (or $580 per credit). Post-baccalaureate coursework is also billed at $1,740 per three-credit course (or $580 per credit). Professional development courses are $621.
Please note that adult students are also responsible for an $85 per-semester registration fee; adult students in certain bachelor’s programs (including natural sciences majors, Cyber Security, Data Science, or Intelligence Studies) will also be assessed a per-semester program fee of up to $500.
Mercyhurst University offers a wide variety of financial aid programs to make your college education affordable. Students seeking financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); be sure to use school code 003297 when submitting your FAFSA to send your results to Mercyhurst.
Students should also consider student loans when financing their education. Mercyhurst is a direct federal lender, which means that students borrow funds directly from the federal government. Interest rates are below private market rates for both Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans. Students might also consider private education loans from banks and credit unions.
Grants and Scholarships
Grants are financial aid awards that do not need to be repaid. Grants are applied to your bill and reduce your cost of attendance:
- Pennsylvania State Grant - Pennsylvania residents enrolled at least half time may be eligible for a state grant. Amounts are determined by PHEAA depending on your annual income.
- Federal Pell Grant - Students who enroll at least half time may be eligible for a federal Pell Grant, which range from $692 to $6,895 per academic year. Students with very low incomes may also be eligible for a Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG).
- Catherine McAuley Award - Full-time adult students who demonstrate financial need may be eligible for a Catherine McAuley Award. This award provides up to $3,000 per academic year. All accepted students are considered for this award, provided a FAFSA was filed.
Students whose employers offer a tuition reimbursement program may enroll in the university’s Employer Reimbursement/Tuition Deferment Program by completing the Employer Reimbursement Form, alongside a completed Employer Authorization Form. Enrollment allows a student’s account balance to be deferred until 45 days after the end of the term for which the student enrolls. Please direct inquiries regarding employer reimbursement to the Office of Student Financial Services at 814-824-2288 or email@example.com.
Mercyhurst is committed to making higher education an attainable and rewarding experience for adult students of every age and background. We offer more than 60 undergraduate fields of study, including four-year bachelor’s programs and two-year associate degree programs, depending on your personal and professional interests and goals. Please visit our Academics webpage to explore all of our programs of study.
- For many of our programs, evening, weekend and online courses are available to supplement your schedule
- Mercyhurst is nationally ranked--in the top tier and No. 13 for graduation rate by U.S. News & World Report
- More than 100 programs of study provide plenty of academic options
- Adult students pay 33% less than traditional students
- Adult scholarships are available, ask about our scholarship programs!
Will My Credits Transfer?
Mercyhurst is an accredited institution, which means most of your college credits earned at other accredited institutions will transfer with you. To determine which of your college credits will transfer and which equivalent courses you’ll receive credit for, sign up with Transferology, a free network service designed to help you explore your transfer options.
In general, the credits you earned for courses in which you received a grade of “C” or higher will transfer to Mercyhurst. You will receive a preliminary evaluation of transfer credits after your acceptance.
Mercyhurst can accept a maximum of 90 credits from accredited four-year colleges and universities or 60 credits from community or junior colleges. Credits earned for orientation, practicum, internships, and student teaching do not transfer. AP credits will be considered for transfer upon review of original score reports. Please note that while course credits transfer to Mercyhurst, previous grade point averages do not transfer – all transfer students start a new grade point average that is based only on courses completed at Mercyhurst University.
It's not unusual for our adult students to have some prior learning or work experience that could translate into college credits. We're excited to offer two opportunities for getting credit for what you may have already learned up to this point. First, the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) helps you receive college credit for what you already know, for a fraction of the cost of a college course. There are more than 30 courses offered at Mercyhurst for which a student may take a CLEP exam! Student may earn a maximum of 30 credits utilizing the CLEP exams.
The second opportunity for earning college credit without spending the semester in a class is through prior learning or life experience assessment. Students earn credits through this means by completing an in-depth portfolio of their prior learning or life experiences (both professional and personal), which is then evaluated by a Mercyhurst professor or educational assessment administrator to determine if those experiences are relevant enough to merit college credit. This is a rigorous process, so be prepared to put in a great deal of time and effort into the portfolio.