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Brent Merz took his time in making his decision about where to attend college.

“I had been searching several years for a program that met face-to-face not only with onsite instructors but other students. In southwest Kansas, our opportunities are very limited, and I jumped on the chance to complete the Friends program,” said Merz, a 2009 graduate of the College of Adult and Professional Studies’ Business Administration in Accounting program.

Merz enrolled at Friends University in 2007 after seeing an ad in the local newspaper. Merz says that was one of the best decisions he ever made for his career.

“I’ve been in cooperative accounting for my entire career but didn’t have a degree,” he said. “Completing my degree has always been a goal of mine and is the one thing in my life that I started but never finished. Thank goodness for Friends University in southwest Kansas!”

Merz works as the chief financial officer for the Garden City Co-op. He says his degree has helped him perform his job at the co-op more effectively and efficiently.

“I don’t know if it has opened more doors for me, but it has made the opening in the doors much wider,” Merz said.

Brent said the cohort format of the program motivated him both academically and personally.

“My favorite memories really have little to do with classroom work. We often gathered as a group on weekends to have cookouts, ride ATVs and just hang out. We pulled together as a group to help each other stay focused on the prize,” he said.

Brent encourages those considering Friends University to talk to others who have completed the program.

“I guarantee they will have positive reviews,” he said.