Mars Hill College is a small, private college with affiliations in the Baptist Convention and is located in Mars Hill, North Carolina. The college is the oldest institution of higher learning in North Carolina that still remains on its founding site. The college has enjoyed repeated accreditation from associations such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and many others. The advantage of Mars Hill College is its smaller size allowing for individualized attention in a typical student’s education. For reasons like these, the college has attracted students statewide, nationwide, and worldwide.
The college was founded in 1856 under the name of the French Broad Baptist Academy taking its name from the local French Broad River. The name was changed to Mars Hill to honor Mars Hill in Athens, where Paul the Apostle debated Christianity with Athenian philosophers. In the few decades following, the college enjoyed a burst of growth leading to its eventual accreditation as a junior college. By 1962, it became accredited as a four-year college.
The academic community at Mars Hill College is rooted in the Christian faith, particularly the direction of the affiliate Baptist Convention. What these influences have in store is an education that is grounded in a rigorous study of the liberal arts. What also is in store is an experience that commits itself towards leadership, the development of character, and a global outlook on Christian ethics.
The most popular field of study at Mars Hill College is Business Administration & Management. There is a separate emphasis at Mars Hill for business programs that are largely responsible for gravitating students from around the country. Second to this interest is the pursuance of Elementary Education & Teaching. The college has functioned somewhat as a normal school since its inception graduating a consistent stream of teachers each year. Other popular majors include Physical Education, Teaching, & Coaching, General Psychology, and Social Work. As of yet, the college hasn’t expanded its horizons to include distance learning, however, plans of integrating online courses have been announced. It is only a matter of time before the college offers online courses to the general public and eventually distance learning degrees.
Since the college is a four-year institution, despite its newly developing graduate programs, only undergraduate tuition applies. For full-time students, tuition is $18,003 per year and part-time tuition is $660 per credit hour. Mars Hill is very lenient with financial aid in supplying 93% of its students with institutional grants to help curtail the cost of education. Federal, state, and local grants have tied up loose ends by supplying just about ½ of the student body with tuition aid.
Mars Hill College is a strong institution both in the liberal arts and in ethical integration of the Baptist faith. At the same time, the college has remained non-denominational thus culminating a diverse body of students from all backgrounds. For distance learners that would like a shot at this same opportunity, online and distance learning amendments should appear soon in the Mars Hill College catalog.