Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about the Mercy middle school or high school experience? Below are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about our school and the admissions process. If you have a question that is not listed here, please contact our admissions office. The best way to experience and explore Mercy is to see the school firsthand – we encourage all interested families to sign up for a shadow visit and information session.
Girls who attend an all-girls school report higher self-confidence, and exhibit greater engagement within the classroom. Mercy’s supportive and nurturing environment makes girls feel comfortable in the classroom, which in turn makes our students more receptive to learning. Mercy also prides itself on helping girls discover their passion and interests, without the social pressure created in a co-ed institution. Read more information here.
Absolutely! Mercy’s faculty is focused on the unique nuances in the ways in which girls learn, which research has shown to be different than the ways in which male students learn. Classroom instructional strategies and pedagogy are focused on opportunities that increase the girls’ receptiveness to information and learning occasions. One such example is an increased focus on discussion, dialogue, and participation in Mercy’s classrooms rather than lecture-focused classes.
Mercy’s students respond very well to the all-girls academic environment. We are extremely proud of our 100% graduation and four-year college acceptance rate. In addition, Mercy students consistently score higher than the national average on the SAT. Being in an all-girls environment builds confidence among our students, and the girls are more engaged in the classroom. This is turn increases learning opportunities and positively impacts academic performance.
The Mercy faculty and staff focus on creating a supportive community for students and their families. Any issues or disputes that arise between students are quickly identified and addressed by school administration and our counseling department, with a focus on restorative practices. Students who continue to violate policies outlined in Mercy’s student handbook may be subject to disciplinary action.
Mercy girls have ample opportunity to interact with members of the opposite gender, including through clubs, plays, and athletic teams, as well as outside of school activities such as youth group or recreational sports. Mercy also hosts co-ed campus events such as dances for grades 7 through 12. Being in an all-girls environment also helps Mercy girls gain confidence, which shines through in all their friendships regardless of gender.
Students who start Mercy in middle school report that it has a positive effect on their overall experience and feel that starting Mercy in middle school (especially 6th grade) helps them be better prepared for high school. Mercy also has created a middle school experience that is distinct from the high school experience. Mercy’s middle school program is housed in a separate wing from the high school and has its own faculty and dean. Having both middle and high school on the same campus also lets our students benefit from shared resources and facilities such as the Big Ideas Lab, Media Center, Black Box Theatre, and Cafeteria.
Mercy has a robust college counseling program, whose goal is to help each student become accepted to the college or career program of her choice. Each year, more than 90 colleges and universities visit the Mercy campus. Starting in junior year, Mercy also offers intensive college prep, including college visits, assistance with Naviance, and SAT practice.
Mercy is proud that 99% of the graduating class of 2019 were accepted into a four-year college or university program. In addition, the Class of 2019 received a cumulative $30 million in college scholarships. Mercy students have gone on to attend schools such as Cornell, UPenn, Notre Dame, Catholic U, Villanova, and John Carroll, in addition to nearby colleges such as Syracuse, RIT, St. John Fisher, and Geneseo.
Mercy does not follow the Common Core. The school utilizes national college and career readiness standards, and focuses on teaching a rigorous academic curriculum to effectively prepare students for college, career, and beyond. Mercy does not have students take the NYS Common Core assessments or Regents assessments; instead, students are given grade-level appropriate standardized tests such as the PSAT or SAT to help measure achievement.
Mercy welcomes students of all faiths. We encourage students to look for the shared experiences between faiths, and to celebrate the diversity of belief among our students. The majority of our student body would self-identify as Christian.
Students are required to attend Mass when it is offered as a formal school event. Each student can determine her own level of participation in school Masses, from simply attending the service as an observer to acting as an altar server.
The Admissions Committee reviews a student’s entrance exam scores, current year school records, and prior year school records. In some cases, we may request a recommendation from a student’s current teacher or principal, or ask a student to come for an interview. We also consider our exchanges and experiences with a student and their family at Shadow Visits, other Mercy events, and throughout the admissions process.
Admissions decisions are generally mailed within six weeks of a student taking the entrance exam if her application file is complete.
Mercy offers need-based financial aid and merit scholarships. We also have a multiple student tuition benefit. Students wishing to be considered for a scholarship should take the entrance exam no later than February 1. Need-based aid applications can be started as early as January 1 for the year in which your daughter is apply (e.g. January 1, 2020 for the 2020-2021 school year); however, aid will not be awarded until a student has been accepted to Mercy. For more information, please visit our tuition and financial aid page.
80% of families who applied for financial aid for the 2018-2019 school year received an award. Need-based financial aid is determined based on an individual family’s financial situation. The maximum amount of need-based financial aid awarded is 50% of a student’s tuition.
Mercy offers student and parent orientation programs prior to the start of school for all incoming families. Mercy’s Counseling team also meets with incoming students in small groups. In addition, we plan a variety of team-building activities for the students throughout the year, including our all-school retreat, field trips, and service opportunities.
Mercy’s teachers are always happy to provide academic support to students as they work through regular coursework before and after school and during our daily Advisement Period. For students who require more intense academic intervention, Mercy provides formal after-school tutoring services. We have a full-time BOCES support teacher on campus each day to support students who have 504 or IEP accommodations.