What are my chances for Macalester?

I’m having a dilemma. I’m applying to Macalester 2023 RD, and I was looking through forums about people who were accepted. My stats are mediocre, and I’m worried I have no chance. Most kids had around an uw gpa of 3.8 or higher, but mine is much lower. What are my chances?
My stats:
Uw gpa: 3.5 (weighted 4.1)
SAT: 1420 regular, 1460 supersocred
EC’s: president/founder of two clubs, jsa, girls who code, volunteered for over 350 hours, science fair judge, started a program that tutors underprivileged kids in geography, sign language, history, and science.
Intended major: I’m applying as an Econ major, but I also added in anthropology…

*about my grades… there was a downward trend for junior year, when I took all honors and AP classes, by it got a little better second semester. I got 5 c’s in high school, total, and I’ve taken all the most rigorous classes I could. I know it looks bad that I couldn’t really handle it, but I wrote an essay about what that taught me under Macalester supplemental essay that asks about grade fluctuations. Will this help, that I got a lesson out of it? Also, my grandpa passed away towards the end of first semester junior year, and I attribute my bad grades partly to that, but do I include that in my essay or will admissions officers think that’s just a sob story and an excuse?

Macalester is my number one choice, please help me out here, I really appreciate it. And if you have any advice or tips, I’d love that.

Sorry about the type, btw


Your regular SATs match up with the average there so it’s not unreasonable but it’s not a slam dunk for anyone at a school that small and selective, even with better scores all around. It’s not clear from your post if you are going for the ED2 window that closes Jan 1. From the site: “In the most recent first-year classes, Macalester enrolled 30 percent through its Early Decision application rounds.” so if you’re not in the ED1 or ED2 pools, that means there are 70%, or roughly 350 freshman seats left to fill after those first 150 seats are off the table. If it’s your #1, I’d expect you’ve done an admissions interview and possibly prepared some sort of arts portfolio if applicable.
If you have concerns about how someone may interpret your scholastic performance, be sure you explain it - as you have done here - in the writeups you’re sending and the interviews you have. Be sure you completely control the things you can control: how you write about yourself, how your essays show what a self-aware and confident scholar you are, how you have turned challenges into opportunities, how you have helped others do the same, and how much further you are planning to go. Good luck.

Hey! I got in ED1 with a 3.5UW 4.1W (full IB) and a 1360 (780 RW, 580 M), had 3 C’s as final grades throughout high school, and had similar ECs. Obviously admissions is super weird and I don’t know exactly what got me in (I’m sure ED helped a lot), but I do think you have a really good chance!

Thank you! That gives me a lot of hope :slight_smile:

Okay, well I thought I’d update this list for anyone who is applying to Mac in the future. I was waitlisted :(. For anyone who was accepted, congrats. Also, I applied RD.

Very tough RD for Mac this year. Maybe you’ll get in off waitlist. I’m guessing they are being cautious, since they ended up over-enrolling by about 150 last year.

Yeah, I heard about that. It just still sucks overall, but I’m most likely going to St. Olaf, and I still haven’t heard back from the rest.

Thank you for providing the updates. Most posters on these boards who don’t get the envelope or package they hope for don’t come back to discuss, and the boards end up overly skewed toward acceptance notices even for the most selective schools. I appreciate your openness and the maturity in your perspective.