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Macalester College

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Prestigious Private Liberal Arts Education at Macalester

Macalester College appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Colleges for Young Democrats.

Ranked 27th nationally by the U.S. News & World Report, Macalester College is a nonprofit, nonsectarian MIAC member in Saint Paul that grants 38 Bachelor of Arts majors and 10 interdepartmental concentrations at a 10:1 student-teacher ratio each 14-week semester. For example, the Russian Studies Major follows a 128-credit, four-year plan where Scots might exchange to Smolny College, intern at the Museum of Russian Art, attend the Eastern European Studies Conference, and take the Summer Language Program. Directed by Dr. Keith Kuwata, the Chemistry Major has a 128-credit, ACS-certified sequence with 94 percent job placement after Olin-Rice Science Hub projects, courses like Nuclear Reactivity, JustUs Health service, and the Mayo Clinic Innovation Scholars Program.

At Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, the Theater and Dance Major shapes a 128-credit, HLC-accredited path where undergrads could perform productions like As You Like It, take the London Semester, intern at Indevu Films, join the Bodacious Hip Hop Team, or minor in Stage Technologies. Chaired by Dr. Raymond Rogers, the 128-credit Geology Major gives Earth scientists opportunities to research at Ordway Field Station, utilize the NSF-funded Keck Lab, travel to the Galapagos Islands, and gain experience with Bay West. Other Macalester B.A. majors include Anthropology, Chinese Language & Culture, Computer Science, Economics, Educational Studies, Geography, Human Rights, Linguistics, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Religion, Sociology, Statistics, and Women’s/Gender Studies.

About Macalester College

Macalester College originated in 1874 when Civil War chaplain Rev. Edward Duffield Neill opened a Presbyterian-affiliated school called Jesus College for an inaugural class of 58. That Summer, industrialist Charles Macalester II donated Winslow House for classrooms by Saint Anthony Falls. In 1885, it acquired its current location off Snelling Avenue to expand. In 1893, Macalester College welcomed its first international student to build a multicultural climate. Two years later, it launched one of the Midwest’s oldest music schools. During the 1920s, the founders of Reader’s Digest became leading Macalester College benefactors. In 1964, Macalester dedicated itself to today’s non-religious liberal arts curriculum. In 1969, Macalester started participating in the Expanded Educational Opportunities Program. In 1987, the Olin-Rice Science Hub was formed for STEM teaching. By 2009, Macalester College had LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Endowed for $748.8 million, Macalester College now employs 188 full-time faculty teaching 2,174 Scots from 97 countries on its 53-acre Twin Cities campus near the Midtown Greenway with 150+ clubs like Feminists in Action for 93 percent retention. In 2011, Macalester earned the NAFSA Simon Award for Campus Internationalization. In 2016, Macalester received the U.S. Department of Education’s Postsecondary Sustainability Award. Its DeWitt Wallace Library won the 2016 ACRL Excellence Award for Outstanding Publishing Services too. Forbes named Macalester the 68th top private institution and 34th best liberal arts school. On Niche, Macalester has America’s 33rd best international relations, 36th best environmental science, and 51st top chemistry degrees. Money magazine declared Macalester College the 324th best value. Washington Monthly positioned Macalester 12th for social mobility.

Macalester College Accreditation Details

On February 12, 2016, the Higher Learning Commission on North Central Association (HLC-NCA) Institutional Actions Council mailed official notification to Macalester College that the Level II accreditation status was reaffirmed through 2025-26 under the 16th president, Dr. Brian Rosenberg, who accepted a Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Grant. Located 403 miles southeast via Interstate 94 in Chicago, this mega 19-state Upper Midwest Region accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Education Department and Minnesota Office of Higher Education (MOHE). The Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Committee on Professional Training.

Macalester College Application Requirements

Enrollment at Macalester College is classified “very selective” by Peterson’s because only 2,468 of the 5,985 Fall 2018 applicants were chosen for 41 percent acceptance odds. All Bachelor of Arts majors require first-year Scots to culminate a strong college-prep high school curriculum. At least 20 courses should be taken in five academic core subjects before graduation. On average, freshmen present an outstanding 3.88 GPA on the four-point scale. The Class of 2022 earned mid-range ACT composite scores of 29-32. The middle 50th percentile had SAT scores of 650-690 for Reading and 640-740 for Mathematics. Standardized tests become optional for transfers with 24+ accredited college credits. Competitive undergrad transfers typically have GPAs of 3.3 and higher. International students demonstrate English proficiency with a minimum 100 TOEFL iBT or 7.0 IELTS score.

Macalester College enforces freshman deadlines of November 15th for Early Decision I, January 1st for Early Decision II, and January 15th for Regular Decision. Domestic transfers can apply until April 15th for May 15th decisions. Non-U.S. residents must file before January 15th for March 30th decisions. February 1st is the priority deadline for financial aid consideration. Accordingly, complete the Macalester, Common, or QuestBridge Application online for $40. Forward official transcripts to 1600 Grand Avenue in Saint Paul, MN 55105. Send required test scores through SAT/TOEFL code 6390 or ACT code 2122. Attach checklist essentials, such as the mid-year report, school counselor recommendation, two teacher evaluations, Early Decision agreement, fine arts portfolio, and resume. Contact (615) 696-6357 or admissions@macalester.edu with questions.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, Macalester College is charging full-time Bachelor of Arts students $28,031 per semester or $56,062 annually. Studying part-time incurs $1,691 per credit. Excess credits over 18 are $3,382 apiece. Undergrads pay a yearly activity fee of $230. Unless waived, the health insurance premium is $2,417. Freshmen and transfers cover a one-time $300 enrollment deposit. Summer independent study courses are priced $1,632. Residing at the Saint Paul campus’ dorms like George Draper Dayton Hall adds $6,526 for annual housing. Standard meal plans for Atrium Market are $5,630 extra. Commuter meal plans are purchased for $676 per term. Annual bachelor’s attendance equals about $68,884 on-site and $56,728 at home.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Office at Weyerhaeuser Hall Room 031 connects 82 percent of full-time Macalester Scots to tuition assistance averaging $34,747 each for $60.52 million combined. Institutional funds include the Hugh Alexander Scholarship, Julian Baird Scholarship, Frank Stanley Beveridge Scholarship, Glenn Clark Scholarship, Edythe Follett Scholarship, Samuel Goldwyn Scholarship, Walter Judd Scholarship, Mary Woodard Lasker Scholarship, Eugene Pulliam Scholarship, Plato & Violet Sargent Scholarship, Admiral Strauss Scholarship, and Marcia Brady Tucker Scholarship. The Need-Based Grant covers 100 percent of direct costs for students with annual household income below $50,000. National Merit finalists who take 12+ credits each semester will receive $1,000 annually. Federal resources, such as the Pell Grant and Work-Study Program, require FAFSA forms coded 002358 by May 15th. Minnesotans could also receive the Academic Excellence Scholarship, State Grant, Indian Scholarship, Teacher Candidate Grant, and more.

Search through 840+ accredited courses in 48 nonprofit liberal arts programs placed 89th overall by The Wall Street Journal at the Macalester College website.

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