Macalester College

2014 Quick Stats
1600 Grand Avenue

St. Paul, MN 55105

Phone: (651) 696-6000
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Jan. 15
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#24 Overall Score: 81 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Macalester College is a private institution that was founded in 1874. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,070, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 53 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Macalester College's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 24. Its tuition and fees are $45,388 (2013-14).

Life at Macalester College is an intimate liberal arts experience near two big Minnesota college towns. The Macalester campus is a 10-minute drive from both downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis, two hubs of theatres, museums and outdoor activities known as the Twin Cities. Freshmen and sophomores must live on the Macalester campus. There is no Greek system at Macalester, but students can get involved in dozens of other clubs and organizations. The Macalester sports teams, known as the Scots, compete in the NCAA Division III Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Football is not a big draw for student fans, but both the men’s and women’s soccer teams are competitive. Annual student events include Springfest and Founder’s Day, campus celebrations that include bagpipe music and food. Bagpipes are a common theme on campus; the instrument heralds the beginning and end of major events, and students can take bagpipe lessons for free. To get off campus, students can take a class each semester at one of the other private colleges in the Twin Cities: Augsburg College, Hamline University, St. Catherine University and University of St. Thomas. Keen on an international focus, Macalester College regularly enrolls students from more than 90 countries, and about 60 percent of the student body studies abroad.

For students that need extra assistance for exams or graduate school applications, the on-campus MAX Center offers free individual and group tutoring sessions. In addition, financial assistance is guaranteed to every student, as the college pledges to meet the full need of each enrollee. Notable alumni of Macalester include diplomat Kofi Annan, the seventh Secretary General of the United Nations; former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale; and talent agent Ari Emanuel, for whom the "Entourage" character Ari Gold was modeled.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Macalester has a long history and tradition of providing an international education in a global community. That core value was strengthened over six decades ago when the president of the college wrote that "the high task of every returning Macalester student and every new student is to prepare for the duties of world citizenship." Today, the College is singularly positioned to educate students for success in a global economy. Our students benefit from a rigorous curriculum designed to include international perspectives, study abroad with substantial academic and cultural experience, faculty with worldwide experience and a community engaged in issues that matter. They come to Macalester to learn, engage, explore, invent, have fun, make friends, devise, design, discover and gain the experience, skills and knowledge needed to fulfill their dreams and their greatest ambitions. Discussions in and out of the classroom are enriched by the experiences and perspectives of students who are citizens of over 90 countries. Macalester's ideal location in a vibrant residential neighborhood of a major metropolitan area is unusual for a highly-selective liberal arts college. Minutes from downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis, it offers students a wealth of research and internship opportunities in business, finance, medicine, science, government, law, the arts and more. Students come from around the world, across the nation and nearby to study in an environment that supports inspiration, success and service to local, national and international communities. The college provides a comprehensive approach to preparing students to flourish as vital citizens of the world. Macalester does this in an atmosphere that fosters collaboration and success. It inspires ambitious, committed and talented young people who have the potential to change the world, and prepares them to do just that. They also benefit from a rich network of alumni, who include: a Vice President of the United States (Walter Mondale) and a Secretary-General of the United Nations who was a Nobel Peace Prize winner (Kofi Annan); members of Congress; leaders of fortune 500 companies; award-winning actors, authors, artists, poets, producers and playwrights; Fulbright and Rhodes scholars; Peace Corps volunteers and scientists.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1874
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting urban
2012 Endowment $625,068,000


When applying to Macalester College, it's important to note the application deadline is January 15, and the early decision deadline is November 15. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due January 15. The application fee at Macalester College is $40. It is most selective, with an acceptance rate of 36.7 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity most selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 36.7%
Application deadline January 15
SAT/ACT scores must be received by January 15

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Macalester College is 10:1, and the school has 69.2 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Macalester College include: Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; English Language and Literature/Letters; Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics; and Physical Sciences. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 94.5 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 10:1
4-year graduation rate 86%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Social Sciences 27%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 12%
English Language and Literature/Letters 8%
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 7%
Physical Sciences 7%

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Student Life

Macalester College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,070, with a gender distribution of 40.3 percent male students and 59.7 percent female students. At this school, 62 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 38 percent of students live off campus. Macalester College is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 2,070
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

Macalester College offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, placement service, health service, and health insurance. Macalester College also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Macalester College, 16 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Macalester College.

Students who have cars on campus 16%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Macalester College, 72.1 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $31,864.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $45,388 (2013-14)
Room and board $10,068 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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