Macalester College Early Decision for Fall 2022 Admission

Macalester College offers both Early Decision and Early Action for freshman admissions.

The Fall 2022 admission Early Decision (ED) deadline for Macalester College is November 1.

The Fall 2022 admission Early Decision (ED) deadline for Macalester College is January 1.


All ED1 applications should receive an admissions decision by December 6. Last year, Macalester College admitted 167 of the 287 applicants who applied early decision. The acceptance rate was 58.19%.

The Early Action (EA) deadline for Fall 2022 admission at Macalester College is November 1.

All early action applicants should receive an admissions decision by December 20. For more information visit the Macalester College page on College Confidential.

See updates and discuss results with other Macalester College applicants.

Are you planning to apply early to Macalester College? Why Macalester College? What questions do you have about applying early? Comment in the thread below.

To discuss other Macalester College topics visit the macalester-college tag on CC Forums.

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Source on ED rate?

Is anyone applying ED1?
My son just submitted the application.

Mine is applying EA. We weren’t able to visit but she liked it enough that it stayed on her (fairly short) list.

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Good luck!! My son likes small LAC in the urban setting. Macalester is one of very few.
We are from Southetn Cal, so he will have to endure Minnesota winter if he gets accepted.

Daughter is applying EA. She too is drawn to the LAC in a city, as well as the political science program and global emphasis. We’re from Northern CA, so if she ends up there, she will be freezing right along with your son!


Mac draws so many kids from California. I think California is the 2nd most State Mac students come from. I wonder why. People around me never heard of Macalester though.

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I want to ED to Mac too. But I am super dubious. I am in need of a lot of financial aid. I am from an under represented country for Mac. I don’t know if that’s gonna help with aid/ acceptance

What I hear is Mac offers very generous financial aid packages. ED is binding, but if you can not afford, you don’t have to attend that school. You know this, right? You will need to talk to the financial aid office. If you really want to go there, you should apply ED. Have you run the EFC calculations? They will match 100% of your need. ED1 deadline is Nov 1. Good luck!!

Hi all! Mac first-year here. Good luck with your applications! I’ve only been here a short time but please let me know if I can answer any questions!

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Thanks for posting @isla701! What have you enjoyed most about Mac so far? What’s surprised you? Anything you wish you knew now that you are there?

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The most obviously enjoyable aspect of Mac, to me, is the student body.
It is far from perfect, of course. As a white student, I acknowledge that I cannot speak for BIPOC on campus, many of whom feel ignored by the student body and used by the administration. (There was a racist message written on the board of a study room recently. It has been an instance of trauma for many BIPOC students, and I sincerely hope the school’s discussion time on it is conducted seriously and with respect for these students.)
So, with a grain of salt: thus far in my personal experience, most people try their very hardest to be kind and open. 99% of us have been extremely dedicated to the mask policy. There is a concerted effort to understand perspectives outside of one’s own. Even the “party people” on my floor (I am far from a partier) have been extremely inclusive, striking up conversations with me and others outside of their friend group. The “taboo” of striking up a conversation with a random classmate is gone. We are all here to learn from each other, and that occurs just as much outside the classroom as in.

I’ve made friends who share my passion for politics, my disability, and my dedication to learning. To this day, I rarely speak English with a peer from French class, even outside the classroom. If you want to have a conversation in French or discuss the US education system in the dining hall on a Friday night, Mac is for you!

In terms of what’s surprised me (although that’s a bit of a strong word)-- the workload. It is not characteristic of Mac students to brag about how difficult their workload is to non-Mac people, giving some the impression that Mac is a second-tier LAC with only moderately rigorous academics.
We may not be Swarthmore, Reed, or UChicago, but the challenge of our academics is there. I texted my mom about my workload (a 200+ page book a week, 6 large writing assignments so far this semester, etc) and she said she did not have that kind of workload until graduate school. (She attended a T100 midsized private university with a prestigious pre-professional program. It was a serious school, but not a “rigor for its own sake” kind of place.)

Also, the idea that STEM majors are constantly hitting the books and non-STEM majors are watching Netflix is not true here. My first ever B-minus on a large paper came from a humanities department viewed as “easy” in popular culture. Make no mistake, fellow straight-A high schoolers and valedictorians-- you will be challenged here!

Most of my classes are made up of about 30 people, which is an anomaly for Mac. Part of that is the classes I’m taking, part of it is the record enrollment this fall. So it’s been a little harder to bond with faculty because of that, but I’m working on it!

As for what I would tell my former self-- you’re going to have the opposite problem that you did in high school when it comes to extracurricular involvement. In high school, the possibilities for involvement were limited, to the point where you had to pioneer a lot of activities yourself (at my high school, anyway). Here, there are far too many activities to count, and oftentimes, you will have to make difficult choices between going to an interesting event and doing your homework.
Mac is a small school, but the adjustment period of finding your place on campus still very much exists!

That said, if I had to do it over again, I’d still come here. The people alone are worth it, not to mention how the academic challenges will benefit me in the long run. The frequent discussion of important world issues serves as a check on the campus bubble, exactly as I was hoping for.


Examples of schools my friends turned down for Mac: UChicago (yes, I’m serious), Reed, Grinnell, Case Western, UCLA…

All this is to say do NOT make the mistake I did and shame yourself about wanting to go to Mac because “it’s not academically rigorous compared to Haverford, Wesleyan, and UNC.” I was so wrong about that. Grateful, but wish I hadn’t spent my time fixated on that wrongful assumption.


Thank you!! This is very good insight. I heard from Facebook community that food at Macalester is not very good especially this year. Do you agree?

Can you observe from cafeteria if minorities and international students are inclusive ? Or they stick together?

I think the campus is safe, but I lately hear shooting incidents in downtown, riots, a cop killing unarmed black kid, etc. Do you feel safe over there?

This is all really helpful!! What is St Paul like? Macalester is the only urban school my D is considering and I’m curious what impact that has had -do students go out in the city? Do you interact much with the local neighborhood? My impression is that as an urban campus not only is the campus itself smaller, but dorm rooms, etc., are also smaller - true? My kid has spent time in cities, but she did not grow up in an urban area & I’m wondering if it’s right for her. I mean eventually she wants to live in a city, she likes the idea, but not sure about during college.

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Thanks so much for this “on the ground” experience, @isla701! My D22 who applied EA to Mac is definitely seeking a rigorous academic experience with others who are equally eager and and willing to talk about things inside and outside the classroom. I love that you speak French to your classmate outside of French class! It’s also great that students don’t close themselves off in their cliques and generally try to get to know each other.

Have you found it easy to get involved in clubs or other activities on campus? My daughter loves theater, music, and the school newspaper, and would love to keep doing all of those things. Sounds like the classwork keeps you pretty busy, too.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions!!

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Hi Wjs and Juno,

Just curious if your kid is applying ED1 to other school. That’s why applying EA to Macalester instead? My son will apply for Mac only.

Yes, mine is applying ED1 to another school.

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Good luck with your D’s ED1!! We are from Southern California. We visited Macalester for the college tour when my 1st son was Sophomore in 2019. My second son tagged along with him. My second son fell in love with Mac. He wanted to go to a small urban liberal art college. We visited Carleton, but he did not like the rural environment.
I think the most kids going to Mac selected Mac because of the urban small LAC. I know some kids chose Mac over East Coast LAC like Middleburry because of this exact reason.

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