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Reviews 316 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Freshman

Party Scene: Many students do party, but there's no pressure to drink/do drugs at parties. There's not really a divide between students who drink and students who don't.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: The number & quality of off-campus dining options is dangerous... I spend all of my money on food because it's so good. Being on Grand Ave is a perk, and it's easy to take the bus and/or light rail into the cities for endless dining options.

3 College Freshman

Administration: I have had no problems with administration. They tend to be fairly lenient.

4 College Freshman

Scholarships: Macalester is very expensive, but generally pretty generous about financial aid. Most students receive some form of aid.

4 College Freshman

Campus Food: People like to complain about food on campus, but it's much better than what you'd find at a lot of other schools. Meals in the dining hall can get really repetitive, but there are lots of vegetarian & gluten free options.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: First year housing is pretty average in terms of room size. Turck & Doty have sinks in every room which is nice, and Turck is generally regarded as the best. Dupre is where most first year parties happen. The housing process after your first year is a bit of a headache. Triples & suites disappear in a matter of minutes, leaving some students scrambling to find new roommates at the last minute.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I love professors at Mac. They expect a lot from you, which can be daunting at times, but they're generally very open and warm. I love chatting with them and joking around. You don't need to feel intimidated by them or feel like you have to put up a front to earn their respect. They're very knowledgeable and current in their fields.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Being in the cities is definitely an asset. It is easy to get internships and be able to do them for the school year, even getting academic credit for them. There are alumni in all corners of the globe. I've heard that having a degree from Macalester carries a lot of weight, especially in Minnesota. The Career Development Center (CDC) is there and helpful, but you have to reach out to them. I feel like it can be hard to be aware of events going on related to the CDC unless you're intentional about it.

4 College Sophomore

Administration: I don't think that campus is very strict! I've heard of a few people getting in trouble for underage drinking, but I think it's a pretty rare experience. They're a little more strict on drugs than they are on drinking.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: A lot of people say that a deciding factor for them going to Mac was "they gave me financial aid I couldn't resist!" I actually got less from Macalester than I did from other schools that I was looking at. I found their financial aid to be rather average - I got what I needed to be able to go there, but it wasn't out of this world. Similarly, the process was confusing and annoying, but I don't think any more so than what it would be like at any other school.

5 College Sophomore

Campus Food: Food at Mac is great. I think it's of very high quality! There's always fresh fruit at every meal! There are lots of vegetarian and gluten free options. Don't really know about vegan, as I'm not a vegan. Tons of options at lunch, a little less during dinner. There seem to be less options on Friday and Saturday nights, and the cafeteria has weird shortened hours for Saturday dinner. The hardest part for me is balancing the number meal swipes I do each week with the amount of flex points I spend. All first-years have to be on the full meal plans, which is only meal swipes, so that's not something you'll have to deal with at first!

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The dorms are relatively nice and spacious. Living in dorms is a great way to meet other people and make friends. Two first year dorms, Doty and Turck, have sinks in every room. That being said, not having a sink in the room isn't all that bad! Everyone has to live on-campus for two years, which makes running into people that you know a lot easier!

4 College Sophomore

Party Scene: Sometimes it can be harder to find parties, but when you live in the first-year dorms, it's pretty easy - just follow the noise. People are generally really welcome and inviting at parties. A lot of groups (clubs, teams, classes, any kind of defined group) at Macalester have themed progressives that include scheduled themed stops. These are very open and inviting to members of a group and a good way to bond with people on the weekends or outside of an academic setting. On top of that, you don't need to drink to go on progressives or go to parties in general! There's very little pressure to do so if you don't want to. Off-campus house parties are usually pretty cool and fun. Sometimes they can get pretty loud, but unlike at some other schools, I've never heard of the police being called or the hosts of a party kicking people out for illegitimate reasons. On-campus parties in dorm rooms occasionally get busted, but the punishments are pretty lenient. In my opinion, the noise levels on-campus can get pretty loud without having to worry about getting in trouble.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Solid academics. Some classes are definitely better than others though which has a lot to do with the professor.

4 College Freshman

Administration: Never had a problem with administration. For the most part they are simply there to help.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: Mac does well with financial aid and very generous with merit scholarships.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Party Scene: On weekend nights there's always something going on. There is no greek life so it's typically just casual parties in dorms.

5 College Freshman

Local Area: The twin cities are awesome! It's really great to be able to have the liberal arts experience but in a metropolitan area with so much going on. There are frequently concerts and other events to go to and theres always the opportunity to just explore the cities and more permanent attractions.

The Mac-Groveland neighborhood is super safe and comfortable. There's lots of little streets to walk through the neighborhood (doing this in the fall is the best!) and Grand Ave. has most everything you could need super close by (little shops, food, coffee, etc.)

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The dorms are all a comfortable size. Some dorms have nice amenities like sinks in each room, large windows, and nice bathrooms/showers.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: I love off-campus dining! There are so many options nearby, and a ton of variety! There are all sorts of different ethnic restaurants and it's never hard to find something new to try!

3 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: There are so many great things about this school! Everyone is very friendly and accepting, and the urban location is great! There are also so many activities to do on weekends, and very few students leave, so there are many different people to hang out with on weekends! Academics are tough though, and sometimes it's hard not to become overly stressed about school work. I feel like the campus is generally too serious about academics.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There's a lot of diversity in terms of race, religion, nationality, etc., but students seem to be pretty homogeneous when it comes to political beliefs and upbringing. The vast majority of kids seem to come from middle-to-upper class suburbs, though there are some who come from cities, and a few who come from rural areas.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: While Macalester students are typically intelligent and quite attractive, the pretentiousness and social ignorance is disgusting. In addition, most Macalester students are hypersensitive to their own and other people's feelings and thoughts and are therefore socially awkward. Online dating is a necessary tool.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Local Area: Macalester is located a short bus trip away from the Mall of America...

3 College Freshman

Transportation: The transportation system is not perfect, but it is definitely accessible.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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Most students at Macalester find their experience near-perfect, though the sentiment varies at times. Sure, there are lots of stressful periods during school, but there are just as many irreplaceable and amazing memories, too. Everyone is encouraged by other students and faculty members to explore the zenith of their potential while attending school. This support network creates an amazingly tight-knit community in which students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

Macalester doesn’t offer the rowdiness and chaos that big university party scenes do, nor does it offer the anonymity of sitting in the back of a 200-person lecture hall. Yet, it's the College's modest atmosphere that's exactly the type of environment that Macalester students thrive in. Small class sizes offer students the intimate individual attention they need to excel in their chosen courses, and a party scene that flares up mostly on the weekends makes going out a special occasion that students appreciate more. Students are accountable for quality work, which ultimately leads to a better understanding of their chosen major and foundation for the world ahead. Professors' willingness and desire to offer their students the best classes and resources available are unparalleled. The friendships and relationships that students form with other students and faculty turn out to be priceless. You meet someone from a country halfway around the world and bond with them like you’ve known them forever. Over four years, this is indispensable to students’ well-being during school and their preparation for social life outside of the “Macalester Bubble.”

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