Macalester College Admissions: Everything You Want to and Need to Know

Overview of Macalester College

Macalester College is a private liberal arts college situated in St. Paul, Minnesota. The institution has an acceptance rate of 41%. The institution has a large selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students to choose from. Students are backed by a robust 12 to 1 student/faculty ratio, and professors take a personalized approach to the teaching and learning process. Outside of the classroom, students will find plenty of opportunities to engage with the campus community via many clubs and organizations.


  • Total Enrollment: 2,174 (all undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 40 percent male/60 percent female
  • 98 percent full-time

Cost of Attendance Information

  • Tuition and Fees: $56,292
  • Books: $1,191
  • Room and Board: $12,592
  • Other Expenses: $978
  • Total Cost: $71,053

Financial Aid Information

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 85 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 82 percent
    • Loans: 57 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $34,747
    • Loans: $6,113

Academic Programs Offered

  • Most Popular Majors: Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics; Mathematics and Statistics; and Psychology

Retention and Graduation

  • First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 96 percent
  • Transfer-Out Rate: 9 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 85 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 90 percent

NCAA Athletic Programs

  • Men’s Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field
  • Women’s Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Water Polo

Overview of Macalester College Admissions

Macalester College has a competitive admissions pool with a low acceptance rate. Students whose SAT/ACT scores and GPA are within the institution’s requirements have a good chance of being admitted. Applicants must complete an online application and send test scores from either the SAT or ACT and high school transcripts. Glowing recommendation letters can bolster your application, along with being involved with student organizations and attempting a challenging course load. Students with unique talents and accomplishments can still receive strong consideration even if their GPAs are outside of the mean range. After applying, students will receive a message from an admissions counselor about the application process’s next steps. Interested students should check out the university’s website, which has helpful tips and contact information for the admissions offices.

Admissions Data                        

During the 2018-19 admissions phase, Macalester College had an acceptance rate of 41%.  For every 100 students who submitted applications, 41 students gained admission, making Macalester’s admissions process competitive.

SAT Requirements and Scores

During the 2018-19 admissions phase, 52% of admitted students provided SAT scores. This admissions data reveals to us that most of Macalester’s admitted students fall within the top 20% on the SAT. 50% of students admitted to Macalester scored between 650 and 730 on the reading and writing section, while 25% scored below 650, and 25% scored over 730. 50% of admitted students scored between 660 and 770 on the math section, while 25% scored below 660, and 25% scored over 770. Applicants with a cumulative SAT score of 1500 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at Macalester.

ACT Requirements and Scores

During the 2018-19 admissions phase, 61% of admitted students provided ACT scores. This admissions data reveals to us that most of Macalester’s admitted students fall within the top 9% on the ACT. The median 50% of students admitted to Macalester received a cumulative ACT score between 29 and 33, while 25% scored over 3, and 25% scored below 29.

Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission

If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for Macalester College, it should be easy to gain admissions to the schools below. If Macalester College is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.

University of California, Santa Barbara, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Stony Brook University, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Connecticut, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of California, Davis

Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission

If you’re a competitive candidate for Macalester College, you should have an equal chance of gaining admissions at these schools.

University of Michigan, Georgia Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York University, Boston University, Boston College, University of California, Los Angeles

Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will be More of a Challenge

These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than Macalester College. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, you’ll be a competitive candidate.

Stanford University, Brown University, Dartmouth College, Cornell University, Tufts University, Duke University, Georgetown University

Applying to Macalester College

Application Deadline: January 15

Undergraduate Admissions Website:

Undergraduate Application Link(s):

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