Macalester College Early Decision for Fall 2022 Admission

Good luck to your son as well!

Oops sorry! Haven’t been on here for a while! I heard back on Dec 20 at about 3 PM. Hope you all hear back ASAP!

Congratulations to your son-- my roommate is an athlete and I have heard great things about athletics as a whole!

Math, stats, data sci, and comp sci are all majors under the same department, abbreviated MSCS. I’m taking intro to stats this semester and it’s going great. MSCS and English are both highly regarded departments here. I most often hear complaints about econ and chemistry, as they tend to be the least forgiving/most grade deflating departments. Definitely rigorous if you can handle it!

There is a very strong Asian diaspora here, but people definitely branch out as well.

The teaching here has been pretty good so far. I am missing out on a bit of the typical Mac experience because my classes all happen to be overfilled (most are 30 people, which is large for Mac), but given those constraints, I’ve still generally liked it.

One class has been “eh” due to a controlling professor who argues with students rather than teaching them, but zero complaints about the others, including my dance class. My American Studies prof is very busy with out of class commitments, but does amazingly at making time for students despite all that. My French and statistics profs have been very flexible and ready to help at any time!

To you and others asking about politics: as a very political person, I have found politics to be much less prominent of a factor on campus than initially expected. You will talk about political issues in most humanities, arts, and social science classes, but there is zero pressure to engage outside of class in my experience. My closest friend and I have actually found the political scene on campus a bit lacking for our tastes-- we’re planning to get involved with outside Twin Cities organizations to get where we want to be.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Thank you, this means the world to me! Dance is very easy to get involved in-- just look up audition information online during orientation and show up. For tech theatre, you’ll need to email someone in the department. Requires a little more self advocacy but very doable.

I’m also an east coast person (although in the south) so feel free to direct any questions my way about that!

As a white student who was present during the the sit in, I agree completely with this. Institutional racism is showing itself everywhere, and BIPOC students are deciding that enough is enough. It was a very courageous act for them to speak up as they did, even if they shouldn’t have had to. I am hopeful that the administration will respond-- especially our new provost, who is really focused on listening to students.

My second choice school was Haverford, where a two week strike for BLM occurred last fall. One of my other choices was UNC, where Nikole Hannah-Jones faced racist hiring practices. This is a moment of reckoning for the country, and us white Mac students are having to learn, slowly but surely, that being an ally means owning up to our mistakes and not centering our voices.

I can provide public social media information for BIPOC orgs on campus if any prospective BIPOC students want to talk with current BIPOC students before making their decision.


Thank you!! I am very excited to hear about Macalester every time you post.

Also this Macalester Campus tour makes me smile.

1 Like

Just as a refresher for any new folks: I’m a first year student at Mac. I’m a white cis woman from a Southern metro area. Undecided major, live in the “worst” dorm on campus, which honestly isn’t that bad. Applied EA, have finaid, no interview. AMA :slight_smile:

I have heard that Macalester offers very nice financial aid packages compared to other similar colleges. From your experience, do you concur?

I know not directed at me,but we were quite happy with D21s institutional aid as well as merit. Made the cost lower than our instate flagship.


There are multiple parts to this-- one is that Mac offers merit aid in addition to need based aid, which is unusual among its top LAC peers. So that definitely attracts a lot of full pay or close to full pay families.

But the other part is how willing Mac’s finaid office is to negotiate or at least discuss feasibility. We received extra in aid after explaining extenuating circumstances in the family-- it took only a day for the office to respond and set up a Zoom with a finaid counselor to talk. As I’m sure you know, you’ll never be able to get in touch with finaid at some schools, so this was impressive.

In contrast, my second choice, also a top LAC, took over a week to respond to our request to discuss finaid, and sent a one sentence “no” reply by email. The contrast was evident, and made it clear to me and my family that Mac actually cared whether I chose their school or not.

1 Like

I hear the same thing from many people. They all praise Macalester’ s generous aid packages. son applied ED which is binding, and we have no idea what kind of aid my son will receive if he gets in.

1 Like

Fingers crossed for good aid!! And if it’s really out of reach, it’s always worth a shot to do what I did :slight_smile:

1 Like

On a separate note, I find it interesting that Mac is more liberal with aid than many of its peers with a larger endowment. They are financially stable, but I believe this is an indicator of an “up and coming” school.

1 Like

Thanks for the excellent advice!! The decision day is approaching, and I am expecting we hear from Mac by next Friday.
Is the financial aid package notified at the same time as the decision day?

Yes, I got my package at the same time!

1 Like

My daughter (a 2020 high school graduate) received almost identical financial packages from Macalester and Grinnell (a mix of need-based and merit aid) and a more generous package from Kenyon. So, for us Mac wasn’t more generous than some of its peers. Great school, we loved our visit, but Kenyon was also a better fit for her interests and is a little closer to home, so she chose Kenyon. Macalester didn’t have an EA option that year, interestingly.


Yep, this is a good example of how it’s not going to be the same for everyone. (Although I did get a better initial package from another school as well, but after the chat with finaid, Mac was comparable.)

I hope your daughter is enjoying Kenyon! Really great school. (I’m an Ohioan by birth so will always have a soft spot too! Hehe)


Thanks! She loves Kenyon (a very different location from Mac for sure, but she enjoys the bucolic campus, has made great friends and is busy with her classes and activities). Kenyon was also quite accommodating with reviewing our financial aid request (we wanted them to raise the merit part, because it’s more stable, which they did). We considered negotiating with Macalester for more aid, but at that point it was becoming clear that Kenyon has more depth in one of her areas of interest (playwriting) and may be a better fit overall. We know a family who indeed successfully negotiated with Mac for a better merit offer.

Oh, I see, you’re from Ohio. We’re in East Central Illinois, so it’s a little easier to get to Kenyon by car in one day, which was a factor, too (at least for me :)).


Oh yes, Kenyon is absolutely wonderful for all types of creative writing (not that Mac isn’t, it’s just particularly noteworthy there, like int’l studies and econ are here).

I actually live in North Carolina now, but spent the first 9 years of my life in OH! Not in a place as rural as Kenyon, but I can definitely say I like the flatness and the dryer weather in the Midwest! And yes, it’s nice to be able to drive there (I cannot-- wish me luck at the airport tomorrow, it’s going to be insanely busy).

Good to hear that negotiating with Mac for aid isn’t an outlier!


Good luck with your travels and happy Thanksgiving!
Kenyon is actually located in a surprisingly hilly part of Ohio, the campus itself is on a hill. It’s a beautiful area. Mac’s urban location was a big plus, but when she received her offers, the pandemic was just starting, so being in a more isolated location didn’t sound so bad… But in the end it’s campus life that matters the most.