Mercer ranked as No. 1 on 2023-2024 Military Friendly® Schools list

ROTC cadets hold a banner that says Mercer University Georgia's First Purple Heart University
Mercer University participates in the 2017 Veterans Day parade in Atlanta. Photo by Christopher Ian Smith

Mercer University is now ranked No. 1 — its highest-ever placement — as a Military Friendly® School for the 2023-2024 award year. 

The rankings, announced March 8 by Viqtory, place Mercer at the top of its category and among 665 institutions across the country recognized for their military and veteran programs and initiatives. 

military friendly #1 school logo

“We often say, ‘Every day at Mercer University is Armed Forces Appreciation Day,’ and this ranking certainly validates that commitment. Our faculty, staff and administration hold our military and their families in high regard, and we are grateful to be able to provide pathways to meet their educational needs as a small expression of gratitude to them for their service to our country,” said Dr. Penny Elkins, senior vice president for enrollment management.   

Mercer first received the Military Friendly® designation in 2017 and earned rankings in one of the four exemplary categories — Top 10 Gold, Gold, Silver or Bronze — each of the past four years. 

Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,800 schools participated in the 2023-2024 survey. 

“This honor serves as a testament to our mission of serving our military-connected students and their families. Each year, we are so excited to demonstrate how we engage, encourage and inspire these wonderful students,” said Jamie Brown, interim director of operations for Mercer’s Regional Academic Centers. 

Mercer works extensively to better assist military-connected prospective students through the enrollment process in traditional residential undergraduate, adult undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition to being a Military Friendly® School, these efforts resulted in the institution being named Georgia’s first Purple Heart University and one of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges for Veterans. More information on Mercer’s alliance with the military is available at

The 2023-2024 Military Friendly® Schools list will be published in G.I. Jobs magazine’s May and October issues and can be found at

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in higher education. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey responses and government/agency public data sources within a logic-based assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer), and loan default rates for all students and specifically, student veterans. 

About Military Friendly® Schools 

The Military Friendly® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources from more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. The survey is administered for free and is open to all postsecondary schools that wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found at

About Viqtory 

Founded in 2001, VIQTORY is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs® and Military Friendly® brands. VIQTORY and its brands are not a part of or endorsed by the U.S. Department of Defense or any federal government entity. Learn more about VIQTORY at

About Mercer University  

Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. With approximately 9,000 students enrolled in 12 schools and colleges, on major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; medical school sites in Macon, Savannah and Columbus; and at regional academic centers in Henry and Douglas counties, Mercer is ranked among the top tier of national research universities by U.S. News & World Report. The Mercer Health Sciences Center includes the University’s School of Medicine and Colleges of Nursing, Health Professions and Pharmacy. Mercer is affiliated with five teaching hospitals – Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center and Piedmont Macon Medical Center in Macon; Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah; and Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and St. Francis-Emory Healthcare in Columbus. The University also has an educational partnership with Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon, an engineering research center in Warner Robins, and Mercer Medicine clinics in Sumter, Peach, Clay and Putnam counties. Mercer is one of only 293 institutions nationwide to shelter a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society; one of eight institutions to hold membership in the Georgia Research Alliance; and the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit

Jennifer Falk is director of digital communications at Mercer. She edits and writes feature stories for The Den and examines web data and analytics to drive content decisions. She also creates and supervises the creation of content for primary University web pages and e-newsletters.