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Macalester College Admissions

Check in with Macalester College's admissions department to confirm any application fees and information.

Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students who are struggling to afford application fees may qualify for for an application fee waiver.

Students who submit their applications for Fall should receive an admissions decision no later than March 31.

Macalester College Admissions Stats at a Glance

Macalester College 2021 Admissions Statistics
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 66%
Mean SAT Score 1356
Admissions Test Policy Optional
Applicants Who Submit SATs 59%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 57%
Waitlist Yes

Considering Applying Early to Macalester College?

Macalester College offers early decision and also offers early action. Early decision is binding, meaning you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing. Early Decision 2 applications are due 1/1.

Mark your calendar!

The Early Action deadline is November 1, which is coming up fast! Macalester College will release EA admissions decisions no later than December 20.

The early decision acceptance rate at Macalester College is 6%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 39%. In 2021, Macalester College admitted 179 of the 296 students who applied early decison.

Some students apply to college early because they believe it will help their chances. Early deadlines may increase the chance of being admitted, since applying early shows your are very interested in a school, and your application is being considered before all the regular decision applicants apply.

See a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

How To Get Into Macalester College

Getting into Macalester College is very difficult. Macalester College evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny or waitlist.

In 2021, Macalester College accepted 39% of all applicants, around 2,466 of the 6,373 students who applied.

Schools that are very difficult to get into, like Macalester College, accept fewer than 60% of all applicants. At least 50% of all admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1230 on the SAT and over 26 on the ACT.

In 2021, Macalester College waitlisted 760 students. Of those, 336 eventually got off the waitlist.

What Does Macalester College Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college decides which factors are they consider most important in the admissions process. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that put the most emphasis the admissions factors where you stand out.

Admissions Factors at Macalester College

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Very Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Character/Personal Qualities Important
Geographical Residence Considered
Class Rank Considered
Work Experience Considered
Extracurricular Activities Important
Level of Applicant's Interest Not Considered
Application Essay Important
First Generation Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Recommendation(s) Important
Religious Affiliation/Commitment Not Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
State Residency Considered
Talent/Ability Considered
Standardized Test Scores Considered
Volunteer Work Considered

Macalester College Application Requirements

To apply, all applicants to Macalester College must submit the following items. Double check with Macalester College's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Letter(s) of Recommendation 2
Transcript of High School Record

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Macalester College?

Out of all students that were admitted, 32% submitted a class rank. At Macalester College 66% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 91% were in the top 25% and 98% were in the top 50%.

Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0.

At Macalester College, student GPAs fall in the following ranges
4.0 GPA 32%

Macalester College does look at standardized tests scores during the admissions process.

Macalester College is test optional. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2021, 59% of Macalester College's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 57% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What's a Good SAT Score for Macalester College?

To be competitive with other Macalester College applicants, you should strive to earn between 1290 and 1430 (or higher!) on the SAT. At Macalester College 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1430 and 25% of scored lower than 1290, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.The mean composite SAT score for a Macalester College student is 1356.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Macalester College students scored 730 or higher and 75% of students scored 640 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Macalester College students scored 720 or higher, and 75% scored a 640 or higher.

Want to increase your SAT Score?

Preparing for the SAT can help raise your score, but it doesn't have to take up a lot of time.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

What's a Good ACT Score for Macalester College?

To be most competitive at Macalester College, you should strive to earn between 29 and 33 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 33 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Macalester College's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 33, and three out of four students scored lower than 33 on the ACT.

A 29 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Macalester College students. Only one out of every four students scored below 29.

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Transferring to Macalester College

For transfer students wishing to start in the Fall, the deadline to apply is April 15. Applicants should hear back by May 15.

Transfer students can enroll in Macalester College during the following terms: - Fall Term

Macalester College Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Macalester College?

Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to Macalester College.

Does Macalester College accept transfer credits?

Macalester College accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Does Macalester College accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

Macalester College accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits and Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to Macalester College?

No, Macalester College is test optional, so it's up to you if you want to submit test scores or not. If your scores are higher than the school's average, you should strongly consider submitting them. If you scored lower than a school's average,, you it might make sense to leave them out of your application..

What is Macalester College's acceptance rate?

Macalester College's acceptance rate is 39%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at Macalester College?

Macalester College's early decision acceptance rate was 6% in 2021.

Want To Learn More About Macalester College?

Click below to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics, majors and more.


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Macalester College Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty

Very Selective


How hard is it to get into Macalester College? Macalester College is a very selective institution. The Macalester College acceptance rate is 39%. This means that the institution accepts 38 out of every 100 applicants.



Wondering what your chances are of getting into Macalester College?

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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

1290 - 1430


Math SAT Range

640 - 730


Reading SAT Range

640 - 720

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1430 and Above


1290 to 1430


1290 and Less


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SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for Macalester College students is 1356. Applicants with SAT scores of 1430 and above have a good chance of being admitted to Macalester College, while applicants with SAT scores between 1290 to 1430 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 1290 have a low chance of being offered a spot at Macalester College.

Macalester College GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)

Not available

© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

Quick Facts

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Tuition and Fees

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Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

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