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Reviews 625 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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4 College Junior

Overall Experience: I really have enjoyed myself so far; the friends are great and I've been able to utilize many of St. Olaf's facilities.

3 College Junior

Overall Experience: A degree in computer science or music education is very valuable from this school. A degree in vocal performance, though, isn't as valuable.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Health & Safety: There's a great atmosphere of trust and the honor code - we leave our backpacks around all the time and its no big deal. hundreds of backpacks line the walls around the caf every day and nothing is stolen. However, our campus has a problem with sexual misconduct.

4 College Junior

Campus Housing: The buildings are really wonderful and old-looking (in a good way), but a lot of people struggle to get in a dorm they want since over 95% of people are required to live on campus.

3 College Junior

Athletics: The athletic scene isn't strong; people don't generally participate and more are involved in music than sports.

5 College Junior

Overall Experience: It's a great school, especially for those involved in the humanities. Community outreach and studying abroad are both extremely important, and there are many many programs available for that.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: There really isn't a typical greek life on Campus. All of the frats/sororities are honor organizations that are really only there to do service projects, and help students find connections.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Sports don't really seem to be a big deal around here. We're a D3, so there isn't a whole lot of popularity around sports. However, the people who are involved are really friendly and have a lot of fun!

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I love being on the Hill. The people are great, and the profs that we have are super knowledgeable. The community is great, and while we do have issues, the students are working towards creating a better, safer, more engaging campus.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: I'm in Kildahl this year, which is the smallest freshman dorm. Although I don't like how small my room is, it makes me more likely to get out and socialize and learn other study spots on campus, which is good. It's also very clean.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Athletics: We are a D3 school, so it's obviously not a Big 10 experience. Things like hockey and rugby are more popular than football.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: I absolutely love it. Nothing bad to say.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: There seems to be very little campus crime, we leave our backpacks out at the caf during every meal. I have never not felt safe on campus.

2 College Freshman

Campus Housing: I live in Kitt so that's self explanatory, two closets for three people sucks

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Athletics: We have a lot of school spirit, but I have not been to a lot of sporting events so I don't know what to think about them. I had more fun with high school sports than I've had here.

4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: I love the feeling of community St. Olaf has. I feel like whenever I need help with anything, someone is always there ready to give me advice. The classes are hard, but I think they will do a good job of preparing me for the future. The campus is gorgeous and so are the people.

5 College Senior

Health & Safety: I feel safe at St. Olaf 100% of the time. The campus is small enough that I feel safe walking home after a late night in the library. There is no other campus that students leave their backpacks anywhere and can come back in an hour with everything the way that they left it. In terms of personal safety and mental health, there are many resources on campus that assist students dealing with depression, anxiety, or any other mental illnesses. Some such as the Wellness center can redirect students to other resources available on campus. It is a great source for people who have friends dealing with these illnesses to go and figure out how they can best help their friend. We also have Boe House which is a counseling center that is free for student use. Students schedule an appointment ahead of time, however there are slots available for emergency appointments. The pastors are another great resource as well as most faculty and staff.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Overall Experience: There are a variety of courses offered at St. Olaf. One unique aspect of this college is the liberal arts education it provides. It allows students a chance to explore areas of study they would normally not be able to or would shy away from. With this being said, sometimes it can be frustrating having to take so many courses that you feel do not apply to what you want to do in the future if it is preventing you from taking courses that would. Class sizes are usually around 20 for discussion based classes and as large as 50, 70, or even 150 for different lecture based courses. But in comparison with most other colleges, it is much smaller in class size.

5 College Senior

Overall Experience: There is something to be said for the "Ole connection". Ole graduates are so willing to provide insight and assistance to current Oles. St. Olaf organizes events such as Ole Med, Biz, and Public Health where they bring in 20+ professionals in different fields and allow students to network with them. We also have resources such as the Piper Center which is our career center that offers services such as counselors to look over your resume, career coaches that help with mock interviews and talking through internship and job opportunities. There are MANY resources at St. Olaf that help so many of their grads get a great job or internship during summers or post graduation.

4 College Senior

Campus Housing: I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that most people live on campus all four years of college. I think that it allowed me to interact with more of my classmates than I would have been able to otherwise. Hoyme and Ellingson are by far the nicest freshman dorms to live in because they are the most up to date. Hillkit is a treck and it is inconveniently put right by a massive wind tunnel. I personally feel like Melby and Thorson, while beautiful on the outside, are dark and dungeon-y feeling on the inside. The best part about living in the dorms is that, St. Olaf being a small campus, it is close to everything! It is nice that so many people live in the dorms because it makes it easier to hang out with others and meet new people in your hall as well. There are also nice study spaces in each resident hall as well.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Greek Life: There is no Greek life at St. Olaf. I personally have enjoyed that aspect of it. There are still honor houses and off campus houses that groups of people can apply for, however there is no rushing or fraternity/sorority parties at this campus. There are honor societies usually revolving around academics that allow students to graduate with honors. But I think having a lack of a Greek system facilitates better campus community because then there is no disconnect between the Greeks and non-Greeks. You get to know a greater variety of people than you would just Greeks if one chose to be part of Greek life.

3 College Senior

Athletics: There are particular teams and athletics that get more attention at St. Olaf than others. If you want to go to a school that is all about football, then St. Olaf is not the place for you. Football games are fun to go to, and many do, but it is not the chaotic scene that so many other colleges have for football. We do however get more of that experience in the winter with our basketball teams as well as in the fall with our soccer teams. The school backs the sport teams when it is convenient for students, it is not a priority by any means. The school puts a strong emphasis on players being students before athletes and I think the facilities reflect that mindset as well.

5 College Senior

Overall Experience: St. Olaf is one of the most unique places I have ever been. Never before have I been surrounded by so many students and professors working together to understand and gain better knowledge of subjects. What sets St. Olaf apart from other schools is the amount of student-faculty interaction. Professors have office hours for a few hours each week set aside specifically for students from their courses to come in and chat. It can be about course material, but what I have enjoyed most is getting to know professors and hearing their life stories. Professors at St. Olaf want to get to know you and see you succeed. I have one official academic adviser, but multiple professors know who I am, what kinds of experiences I have had and where I want to go in the future. To me, that is a unique aspect to this school are part of what makes it stand out compared to all others. The professors want to get to know you and to see you succeed.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Health & Safety: Personally, I have always felt very safe on campus. Although, even though I feel safe, I do not deny that campus crime occurs somewhat frequently. When crimes are reported, emails are sent to the entire student body, which I find respectable.

4 College Junior

Overall Experience: Most often, professors are extremely knowledgeable in the subjects they teach and are passionate about them. This can be encouraging if it is a class you are taking for your major/concentration, because the student likely has a similar interest. However, this is difficult when it comes to general education requirements. In my experience, sometimes professors have gotten so caught up in the course material that they forget some students are only there for the GEs, and they are not able to follow the lecture/discussion as efficiently as other students.

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It's not uncommon at St. Olaf to run into second-, third-, or even fourth-generation Oles. This fact, coupled with the school's outstanding retention rate, shows that there is obviously something that keeps drawing current students, alumni, and their children back to the Hill. Sure, if you ask current students walking across campus in mid-February about their overall experience of St. Olaf, they probably won't extol many praises. But if you catch them when it's over 45 degrees, you're sure to hear nothing but great things.

Despite the long winters, the course work, and the stress of life in general, campus is an extraordinarily happy place to be—and it shows. The zombification of students that occurs at other schools (bags under the eyes, clammy hands desperately clutching coffee tumblers, etc.) is a rarity at Olaf. Even in the dead of winter, most Oles are good-humored, friendly people who seem overjoyed to be right where they are. St. Olaf really offers students a wholesome four years, and not "wholesome" in the cheesy way. The school makes a point of nurturing the entire individual. You aren't seen as an academic machine, but as a person who needs a social and spiritual life in addition to a scholarly one. Olaf truly is a healthy place to be.

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