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Colleges / Macalester College

Macalester College

St. Paul, MN 4-Year Private
Acceptance Rate27%
Acceptance Rate27%

About Macalester College

Macalester College is one of very few selective liberal arts and sciences colleges located in the heart of a major metropolitan area. Students at Mac live out the college mission of academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and service to society by embracing interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving. They are curious, highly motivated, serious about their academic pursuits, and supportive of each other being more likely to work together for collective academic success than to compete.  Academic, social, spiritual, community, and professional endeavors are all amplified by Macalester’s location in the Twin Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Macalester students come from more than 95 countries and all 50 states. More than 60% of students study abroad for 15 weeks or more, providing time for substantial experience and learning in another culture. The United Nations flag has flown over campus since 1950, a symbol of Macalester's commitment to world peace and understanding. Contributing to long-lasting friendships and a sense of community, there are over 100 student organizations available, which reflect the diverse interests of our students. Macalester has 19 varsity athletic teams as well as club and intramural sports. Most varsity teams compete in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.  Every Macalester student takes a First Year Course (FYC) in their first semester. Seminar-style FYCs are limited to 16 students and the professor is the academic advisor for each student in the class. FYCs set the stage for an academic journey based on small classes, individual attention, and collaboration.

Macalester College Overview

Macalester College is a private, nonprofit school in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota. Macalester College was founded in 1874 and the school enrolls around 2,247 students per year, which includes 2,247 undergrads. Macalester College provides on-campus housing for up to 1,300 students. The majority of students live on campus, and first year-students are required to live in campus housing. On the weekends, about 90% of students stay on-campus and participate in campus events and social life.

📆 Mark your calendar! The final application deadline for Fall 2023 is January 15. Regular decision applicants for Fall 2023 should hear from Macalester College by March 31.

Student Involvement at Macalester College

Are you interested in music or performing? Sing in a chorus or perform with one of Macalester College's theater groups.

Interested in journalism or communications? Macalester College students can write for the campus newspaper, host a radio show or be a producer for the student-run television channel.

Macalester College does not have any fraternities or sororities, do it might be a good option if Greek life isn't a priority for you.

Planning to play sports? Macalester College has many options for athletes. See them all and learn more about life at Macalester College on the Student Life page.

2022 Macalester College Facts At-A-Glance
Academic Calendar Semester
Overall Acceptance Rate 27%
Early Decision Acceptance Rate 49%
Early Action Acceptance Rate 58%
Applicants Submitting ACT scores 58%
Applicants Submitting SAT scores 35%
Tuition $62,040
Percent of Need Met 97.3%
Average First-Year Financial Aid Package $54,387

Is Macalester College a Good School?

The definition of a "good school" can mean different things for different people. Some factors that can help you determine what a good school for you might be include admissions criteria, acceptance rate, tuition costs, and more.

Let's take a closer look at these factors to get a clearer idea of what Macalester College offers and if the school could be a good fit for you.

Macalester College Acceptance Rate 2022

Macalester College is very difficult to get into. Around 27% of applicants get into Macalester College each year. Last year, 9,046 students applied to Macalester College and 2,466 were admitted.

Retention and Graduation Rates at Macalester College

Retention refers to the number of students that stay enrolled at a school over time. It is a way to measure how satisfied students are with their school experience, and if they have the support necessary to succeed in college.

Approximately 96% of first-year, full-time undergrads who start at Macalester Collegecome back their sophomore year. Around 90% of students who started at Macalester College earn their Bachelor's degrees within six years. The average six-year graduation rate for U.S. colleges and universities is 61% for public schools, and 67% for private, non-profit schools.

Job Outcomes for Macalester College Grads

Job placement rates after graduation and average starting salaries can all give important clues about the value of a degree from a specific school.

The average starting salary for recent Macalester College grads is $56,000 a year. Average starting salaries vary by discipline, but the average starting salary for all 2021 graduates was around $60,000 a year.

Macalester College's Endowment

An endowment is the total value of a school's investments, donations, and assets. Endowment is not necessarily an indicator of the quality of a school, but it can give you a sense of how much money a college can afford to invest in expanding programs, improving facilities, and support students.

As of 2022, the total market value of Macalester College's endowment was $872.8 million. The average college endowment was $905 million in 2021. For each full-time student, Macalester College spends about $19,281 a year.

Tuition and Financial Aid at Macalester College

Cost is another important factor when choose a college. Some colleges may have high tuition, but do a better job at meeting students' financial need.

Macalester College meets 97.3% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates. The average financial aid package for a full-time, first-year student is around $54,387 a year.

Students in the class of 2022 who had taken out student loans graduated with an average of $25,181 of debt. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

The 2023-2024 FAFSA Opened on October 1st, 2022

Some aid is available on a first-come, first-served basis, so fill out the FAFSA asap. Visit the FAFSA website to apply for student aid. Remember, the first F in FAFSA stands for FREE! No one should ever pay to fill out the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid, (FAFSA), so don't give your money (or info!) to any website that claim you do.

Learn more about Tuition and Financial Aid at Macalester College.

Based on this information, is Macalester College the school for you? Remember, the best school for one person may be a terrible fit for someone else! So ask yourself: Is Macalester College a good school for you?

If Macalester College seems like a school you want to apply to, click the heart button to save it to your college list.

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Where is Macalester College?

Macalester College is located in the urban setting of St. Paul, Minnesota.

If you want to see Macalester College for yourself, plan a visit. The best way to reach campus is to take Interstate 94 to St. Paul, or book a flight to the nearest airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International.

You can also take a virtual campus tour to get a sense of what Macalester College and St. Paul are like without leaving home.

Considering Colleges in Minnesota?

See a full list of colleges in Minnesota and save your favorites to your college list.

College Info

Macalester College Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 15

Transfer Applications are Due

Apr 15

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Macalester College is Jan 15.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Macalester College is Apr 15.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Macalester College ACT Scores


ACT Range

29 - 33

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

33 and Above


29 to 33


29 and Less


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ACT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median ACT score of an admitted student to Macalester College is 30. Students with an ACT score of 33 and above have a good chance of getting into Macalester College. Students with an ACT score that falls between 29 and 33 have an average chance of getting admitted, and students with an ACT score of 29 or below have a low chance of being offered admission.

Macalester College SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1360 - 1490


Math SAT Range

660 - 765


Reading SAT Range

680 - 750

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1490 and Above


1360 to 1490


1360 and Less


SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for Macalester College students is 1356. Applicants with SAT scores of 1490 and above have a good chance of being admitted to Macalester College, while applicants with SAT scores between 1360 to 1490 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 1360 have a low chance of being offered a spot at Macalester College.

Macalester College Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


In State


Cost Breakdown
In State
State Tuition

Student Life

Wondering what life at Macalester College is like? There are approximately 2,244 students enrolled at Macalester College. 98% percent of students attend school full-time, 19% percent are from MN and 81% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases © 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting


Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 15
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