Birmingham Southern vs. Mercer University

<p>I've been accepted to both schools, and they are both giving me scholarships so it'll be about the same price to go to either. I've visited Mercer and was moderately impressed, and I'm planning a visit to BSC in the new year. I'm looking at getting some sort of a business degree with the intention of going to law school in the future. I'm looking for a school that has great internships and a fairly rigorous workload. Any pros and cons of either school would be greatly appreciated! What are the dorms like? What are Birmingham and Macon like to live in? Really, any helpful information would be much appreciated! Thank you!</p>

Congratulations on your acceptances to both colleges! My son is currently in his Freshman year pursuing a business major at BSC so I am happy to provide some information on this great college.

Definitely a good idea to visit BSC - in fact - we live within a few hour drive from BSC, so my son visited BSC campus 2/3 times deciding to attend there. First of all, the BSC campus is beautiful and is very safe. It has been ranked as one of the safest college campuses in the USA. I am sure you may have read that BSC campus is surrounded by an “edgy” neighborhood. While the neighborhood is edgy, it is not as scary as some people say it is - not even close. My son has friends that live in a rental house in the surrounding neighborhood and they haven’t had any issues. Additionally, the campus is surrounded by a fence and there is only one way in or out of the campus through the security gates. The security personnel are excellent.

Regarding the dorms: As a freshman the options are either New Men’s dorm or if you are in the Honors Program - the Honors Dorms. Not going to sugar coat it - they are old fashioned 1960s college dorms. The New Men’s dorms are two to a room with a community bathroom on each floor. While I believe the Honors Dorms have also 2 to a room but have suite style bath rooms (shared by 4 people). My son is in New Men’s and much to my surprise, doesn’t mind living there. I initially had my doubts given how old the rooms were and with the community bathroom. While the Freshman Dorm rooms are old, the heating & cooling systems work well. Son was really concerned about the air conditioning system as it still pretty hot in Alabama at the start of the school year - it was nearly 100 degrees on move-in day. After freshman year, you will have to the opportunity to move into better dorms - but they do come at a price. The nicest housing being Lakeview North and South buildings - very spacious - but expensive.

As far as the classes and work load - if you are looking for rigorous - BSC is for you. Classes are not a joke. So far my son has been impressed by his instructors - found them helpful and engaged. His class sizes have been small - 20 people at the most so you are a person - not just a number.

Son has found the city of Birmingham to be awesome. The city and the surrounding area has way more going for it than we had realized. We are from a larger metropolitan area and have found that Birmingham has the shopping, restaurants, entertainment that rival most large cities.

While BSC is considered a “small” college, there is always something going on. Tons of activities - from social groups, fraternities/sororities, sports, etc. According to my son, attending BSC was one of the best decisions he ever made. One of the best things about BSC is the family feel at the campus - this goes from the students to the faculty and administration. I think the one con he does have is the food at the Norton Center. While he will eat almost anything - at times the food available on the meal plan isn’t the best - he wishes there were more options. However, he does tend to eat a lot off campus on the weekends.

Hope this info helps. Best of luck on your college decision!