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Messiah College: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn what degree programs Messiah College offers. Research its academics, and read about its admission and financial aid info to make an informed education decision.

About Messiah College

Messiah College is a private, 4-year college located in Grantham, Pennsylvania. The school's history stretches all the way back to 1909, when it opened in Harrisburg as the Messiah Bible School and Missionary Training Home. It moved to its current home in Grantham 2 years later. Though it originally offered only high school courses and Bible study, the school continued adding programs until it became a junior college in 1921 and changed its name to Messiah Bible School. The growth continued, and it finally became known as Messiah College in the early 50s when it added 4-year programs, eventually discontinuing its high school coursework.

Today's Messiah College has a 471-acre campus and a student body that is approaching 3,000. The main campus has 8 residence halls for students to live in while they learn, 3 of which are designated solely for first-year and transfer students. The school also has a campus in Philadelphia and an institute in Harrisburg.


The college is divided into 4 schools: the School of the Arts; the School of Business, Education, and Social Sciences; the School of Science, Engineering, and Health; and the School of Humanities. Between these schools, the college offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and 6 different master's degree programs. The school also offers '3+ academic programs', which allow students to complete their undergraduate studies in a condensed 3-year format and then move on to graduate studies. Additionally, the school has a Global Learning program, in which students can travel and learn both internationally and domestically. Messiah College has a first-year retention rate of more than 80% and a graduation rate of nearly 75%.


Students wishing to apply to Messiah College have 2 options. The Standard Choice option requires that students submit SAT or ACT scores. The Write Choice option does not require test scores but instead requires that applicants be in the top 20% of their class, complete an interview, and submit an additional graded writing sample. Both options require that students complete an application with essay, as well as submitting an official high school transcript and a Christian Life recommendation form. Messiah uses a rolling admissions policy, and acceptance decisions are usually made within 2-3 weeks of the time the application is completed. Students may apply for free until mid-November, and after that the fee is $30 to apply using a paper application and $20 to apply online. The average student accepted to Messiah had a GPA of 3.7 and an SAT score of 1156. In Fall 2011, more than 3,000 students applied for admission to Messiah College, and more than 60% were admitted.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year at Messiah College was $28,356, and students spent an additional $1,170 on books and supplies. In the same year, students living on campus paid more than $8,000 for room and board and around $2,000 on additional living expenses. Students can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid in order to qualify for federal and state grants, scholarships, and loans. Messiah also offers a wide range of scholarships, such as the National Merit Scholarship and the Vollmer Scholarships in the Arts. In the 2010-2011 school year, all first-year Messiah students received institutional scholarships or grants.

School Type 4-year, private, not-for-profit**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, post-master's certificate**
Religious Affiliation Interdenominational**
Academic Calendar Semester***
School Setting Large suburb**
Student Body 2,976 (2,805 undergraduate)**
Student Housing 8 residence halls with 3 halls dedicated to first-year students*
Schools and Programs 4 schools, more than 80 majors and pre-professional programs, 6 master's programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 13 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011: Bachelor's: elementary education and teaching (47), registered nursing (47)
Master's : Health professions and related clinical sciences (7)
Post-master's certificate: Health professions and related clinical sciences (5)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates For students starting in Fall 2003:
72% in 4 years
78% in 6 years
78% in 8 years**
Admission Rate 64% in 2011-2012**
Entering Class Size 694 in Fall 2011***
First-Year Retention Rates 83% of full-time students (2010-2011)**
Average SAT and ACT Score of Admitted Students Class of 2013: SAT math (576), SAT verbal (569), ACT composite (25)*
Application Due Date Rolling admissions*
Decision Notification Date Within 2 or 3 weeks of applying*
Tuition $28,356 per year (2011-2012)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010-2011: Grant or scholarship aid (97%), federal student loans (69%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 100% of full-time freshmen in 2010-2011**

Sources: *Messiah College, **National Center for Education Statistics, ***IPEDS Data Center.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Messiah College, 1 College Avenue Suite 3005, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
  • Phone: (800) 233-4220
  • Website:

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