|By Neobez (Neobez) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 12:39 pm: Edit|
Hey guys. I've pretty much completed my college search, and Macalester has been the only liberal arts school that has really caught my interest. I want a school that has a strong study abroad program, strong economics, classics, and international relations, yet isn't a rural college. So it seems like Macalester wouldn't be a bad place to apply to.
I just wanted some more opinions about the school though, as I don't really trust studentsreview.com much anymore (I tend to dwell on the negatives). How cold are the winters (I live in metro-atlanta, so it would be an adjustment)? I'm liberal to moderate in my political views, but I like opposition to my views, hence I want real diversity in that respect, so I guess Macalester can't really provide conservative opinions. . .
but overall what do you guys think of the school?
ANY opinion would be greatly appreciated.
While you're at it, if you don't mind, how are my chances there?
SAT:1320 from january, expecting ~1400 in october (based of 3 practice tests, all slightly above 1400)
SAT IIs in November:US History (expected to be from 750-800 based on practice tests), Math IIC and Writing,
Also Spanish and Latin in December
AP US History (sophomore year): 5
Full IB Diploma candidate, 3.92 unweighted gpa.
taking absolute toughest course load:
IB English (HL), IB/AP Latin IV, IB/AP Spanish V, AP Calc BC, IB Math HL, IB World Area Studies (HL), IB Chemistry II (SL), IB Theory of Knowledge.
good focused ECs - started film club, webmaster of several club sites, etc.
siemens westinghouse group project participant
Dual Citizen (U.S. and Iran) - I hear Macalester likes diversity like that
some writing awards on a state level
I'm not sure about a major, but I'd definitely do a double major in something like Economics and International Affairs, or Economics and Classics, or Economics and something else i like, maybe mathematics, Spanish, etc.
|By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 07:04 pm: Edit|
Only the current SAT score would be an issue at Macalester. With the rest of your record, I don't think you would need a 1400, but a bump would be nice. Everything else, especially the dual citizenship and the IB program, is right up their alley.
It gets very cold in St. Paul and it would be an adjustment from metro Atlanta. However, Macalester has a compact campus and students from warmer climates do adjust to the weather.
As for political diversity, there are conservative voices on the campus but not very many of them. But since the US and the Minnesota state governments look pretty conservative (or at least Republican) right now I think you'd get enough balance.
|By Macmom (Macmom) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 07:38 pm: Edit|
My daugher is a second year student and is quite glad she chose Macalester. She was looking for a college that is liberal, academically rigorous, in a city, and where the level of stress is manageable. There are some extreme cold snaps during the winter, and lots of snow, but the campus is well-heated and sidewalks kept clear. It's very different from her home (Portland, OR). She has enjoyed experiencing a dramatically different climate. She also says that while most students are liberal, some students are conservative, and that professors actively encourage a broad spectrum of viewpoints. Students seem quite friendly, and the curriculum and workload are very challenging for her and for her friends. Her e-mails home often mention a thought-provoking special lecture she's attended, as well as a variety of extracurricular activities. Another student from her high school who attends Macalester has found the art department less than satisfactory, but that is not your area of interest. All in all, my daughter has never had a major negative reaction to anything about Macalester (several small complaints but she thinks they are not unique to Macalester). From the perspective of one who pays the tuition bill, I think we are getting our money's worth many times over.
|By Serin (Serin) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 09:08 pm: Edit|
minnesota really isnt that bad in the winter
just dont go outside alot..
|By Coureur (Coureur) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 09:30 pm: Edit|
In my experience you spend more time being too hot during Minnesota winters than too cold. This is because it is so cold outside (we are talking Siberian cold) that people often over-compensate and overheat the indoors. You sit around indoors sweating a lot.
The converse is true in Miami. People over-air condition in the summer and you often end up freezing when indoors.
|By Par72 (Par72) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 10:51 pm: Edit|
Might want to look at Holy Cross-very good liberal arts school which offers merit aid for those majoring in the classics. Holy Cross is located in a mid-sized city, 1 hour from Boston. Winters are slightly more mild than those in Minn.
|By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 11:10 pm: Edit|
Par72 - Just in case you didn't notice, the poster asked for opinions on Macalester and his or her chances of admission. I don't see anything in the post that would prompt a response about Holy Cross.
Thanks for the detailed Worcester weather report though.
|By Neobez (Neobez) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 03:56 pm: Edit|
thanks reidmc for keeping it on topic.
any more thoughts?
|By Arizonamom (Arizonamom) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 08:51 pm: Edit|
Know of 2 kids from our HS that went to Macalester and both are loving it and are very happy with their choice. They have said great things about other students and social life as well as academics. One is pre-med and one is majoring in English. Both are on teams. One's stats were right in the medium for Macalister and one was mid 1400's , solid A's , an excellent student with many other options. I believe that the first student applied ED. I have only heard good things about this school.My s considered it but did not think he was up for winters.
|By Zachfax (Zachfax) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 12:17 am: Edit|
I went and toured mac a few weeks ago. I'm originally from CA but i moved to WI a few years ago and i can tell you that the winters aren't that bad, i actually love winter the most. But back to mac, ok well I thought it's location was awful... The campus was nice, but everything around it seemed kinda crappy and it was in a pretty busy area. At the tour, the people at macalester were not very friendly and had a snooty attitude about them. I'm glad i toured it because now I know one more place I will NOT apply.
|By Boxmaker1917 (Boxmaker1917) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 12:44 am: Edit|
Mac was my dd's first choice until recently. her new boyfriend (!) goes to Mac and hates it! He is transferring to the U of M/Twin Cities which he believes has more challenging courses. He also thinks Mac has too much of a "let's be different -- together" type of attitude.
|By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 05:59 pm: Edit|
Boxmaker - There could be some very good reasons why someone would transfer from Macalester to UM-TwinCities, but finding more challenging courses would not be one of them.
|By Macmom (Macmom) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 01:19 am: Edit|
I disagree that the area around Mac is "kinda crappy." To the contrary, there are lovely homes on one of the streets, a very pretty median strip that stretches to the Mississippi River, and the usual selection of student-oriented coffee places and restaurants on another. It is an urban campus, and a busy city street runs through it. I think the adjacant area has a pleasant neighborhood feeling to it. It feels like part of the city rather than a distinct campus. Some people like that ambiance, others don't. So Neobez, it's just like most other colleges: it's a perfect fit for some, and not for others. You should try to visit the campus, stay overnight with a student, and attend classes in your areas of interest.
|By Boxmaker1917 (Boxmaker1917) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 11:48 pm: Edit|
The "Mac-Groveland" area of St. Paul is considered a very nice, residential area. I would not view it as "crappy."
Macalester is an excellent LAC but there are many areas in which the University of Minnesota is far superior. For example, the U of M is among the best in the WORLD for medicine. It also is a leader in biology, engineering and math as well as a pioneer in several social sciences.
Many local students feel the same way. Last spring, the newspaper listed where top students at each h.s. in the Twin Cities metro planned to attend college. Over half were going to the U of M. These kids were IB or AP, merit scholars, etc. and most were accepted at many schools. I doubt they all would choose the U of M if they didn't thing the classes would be challenging. Macalester is an excellent LAC. It is superior to the U of M in some areas and considerably weaker in others.
|By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 02:12 am: Edit|
Boxmaker - I think we are in some agreement here, though note that most of the very top students headed for the University did so to pursue majors not typically found at liberal arts schools, or at least not found at Macalester, like business, engineering or applied scientific specialties, among others. I attended a scholarship awards event at a large suburban Twin Cities HS in June, and that was definitely the case with their top kids. Bottom line, Minnesotans are very lucky to have the University and Macalester, along with Carleton, St. Olaf, Hamline et al plus the full MNSCU system.
Full disclosure. . .I have degrees from both Macalester and the University and was very pleased with my experience at both schools.
I still contend that your Ds friend, unless he is leaving for a course of study not offered at Macalester, is unlikely to find his courses more challenging. There are a lot of reasons for this (institution sizes, class sizes, departmental policies, student populations, research and graduate school committments etc), even though the University offers more courses and features some internationally known faculty in these basic disciplines.
I am not saying he will get a mediocre education at the University. And there certainly are a few higher-level courses, in specific disciplines, that are more challenging than those found at Macalester. However, he will have to identify them and then get into them, which in some cases is easier said than done. And even if he does, he will have to weigh that benefit with the large class sizes and often undifferentiated instruction he will be finding in lower-level, and even some upper-level courses.
|By Neobez (Neobez) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 08:16 pm: Edit|
I appreciate the comments a great deal. I'm still not totally sure if I will apply or not. I guess we'll see. A problem I feel I might encounter is that it's not a prestigious school in the eyes of my father, thus if it came down to it, its quite possible my parents wouldnt pay more for a Macalester Education than a place like UGA, GA Tech. And it seems like they'd be paying close to the same as Emory, where they'd have me go rather than Mac.
I guess that's a concern of mine. That's why I still have doubts.
|By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 10:54 pm: Edit|
Nationally, I think Macalester and Emory would have similar reputations, and Georgia Tech would eclipse both in any engineering area. Except for football, the prestige of UGA drops off dramatically outside your state borders.
I wouldn't make the decision based on prestige, though your father's input and analysis are important. If you are thinking of going to graduate school in any of the areas you mention I would think most strongly about Emory and Macalester. I think you would get support for that from counselors and others on this board.
|By Coureur (Coureur) on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 12:50 am: Edit|
>>I wouldn't make the decision based on prestige, though your father's input and analysis are important....I would think most strongly about Emory and Macalester. I think you would get support for that from counselors and others on this board.<<
If Dad is paying for all or most of this education, I'd say he gets a lot bigger vote that all of us here on CC. It's his money after all.
It looks like your parents are willing to pay for Emory, which is a fine school for your purposes. If you really prefer Macalester, your job might be to somehow convince your father that Macalester is a lot more prestigious than he thought.
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