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Reviews 729 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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2 College Freshman

Diversity: Sadly, the school is not very diverse. St. Olaf is trying to be inclusive and invite students from everywhere, but generally we are a very homogenous school. The main diversity you'll find is from international students from abroad, rather than ethnic heterogeneity from the United States. However, there are many International nights that celebrate difference cultures, and the cafeteria often has options from different cultures in an effort to include them.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: All of the professors are incredibly intelligent, and most are very friendly and willing to meet outside of class and help in any way they can. A lot of the classes are interesting and fresh, a nice change up to the typical seminars. It's nice to have an intimate class; the biggest classes get here are around 100, only in lectures. The typical class is comfortable, intimate, discussion based, and open to many ideas.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Our campus is simply gorgeous. There are tons of spaces both to be social and to get that much-needed alone/study time. You're hard put to not be able to find a niche you love. The green space is comfortable and well kept in the spring and autumn. The library is spacious and accommodating. Campus events are great, and there are always places to meet up with people.

5 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Everyone here is so attractive. I don't know how it happens but it's true. Typically, a St. Olaf student dresses well, balances a social and intellectual life, and is friendly and fun.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Athletics: As a school that's known much more for its music than its sports, athletic life isn't as prevalent here as many other schools. There is little to no team support or school spirit. However, sports events can be fun to go to with friends, and the sports facilities are accessible, well made, and marge enough for everyone, even non-athletes, to participate in and utilize. Especially the climbing wall!!

2 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Pretty much no one lives off campus. It's just inconvenient and with how cold the winters get, unless you have a car you're pretty much guaranteed the coldest walks of your life. There is very little selection in Northfield.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are lots of cute places both in Northfield and the surrounding areas. There's a great variety depending on what kind of food you're looking for, from coffee shops to sandwich cafes to sit down meals to fast food. When friends or family come to visit, you're sure to find a place you'll all like.

3 College Freshman

Administration: The administration itself is harsh on violators, taking very seriously the issues of underage drinking and drug use. But within dorms, it all depends on your JCs' levels of enforcement.

5 College Freshman

Campus Food: There is such a variety of choices all the time. The cafeteria team are always trying new recipes and there's always many new choices everyday. With all the different lines, it's hard to get sick of food as you can eat as little or as much as you want. All the food is reliable and generally very good quality.

4 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: Just apply for everything you can, they are pretty generous for the most part as long as you put yourself out there.

Recent Alumnus

Party Scene: I avoided parties as much as possible, which was extremely easy to do. I'm sure they were there, but were never in-your-face.

5 Recent Alumnus

Campus Food: Now that I've graduated, I miss the food every single day. It was so easy to eat a healthy, delicious, and convenient vegan diet.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Housing: The dorms aren't bad, though the rooms can be pretty cramped for freshmen.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I have no idea. The Honor Houses are technically off campus, but they are so close they are basically on campus.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: I don't dine off-campus that often.

3 College Freshman

Administration: Pub Safe is kind of intimidating since the alcohol policy is so strict.

5 College Freshman

Scholarships: Awesome music scholarship opportunities and great grants.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Party Scene: The dry campus thing puts a damper on the parties, but they are fun.

5 College Freshman

Campus Food: There is always food available on campus. The Pause is open until midnight or later, and Stav has great options and hours.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The music program is top notch and I love the psych department. There are no minors, which is inconvenient. Also, the dry campus policy is a little ridiculous at times.

4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Considering the cost of the school, I would say I got acceptable financial aid for my situation. I feel as though I am still in a situation where I am scrambling to find money for tuition, but it has somehow been doable so far. I qualified for the top music scholarship and one of the academic scholarships.

College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: What is considered off campus housing is still quite close to campus, and 95% of students live on-campus all 4 years. I have never had experience living in an off-campus house, so I cannot speak to the pros and cons of it.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Hardly anyone attends sporting events - they are in the shadows of the music programs. Cross Country Teams are the stars of the athletic scene at St. Olaf.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Administration: St. Olaf takes the Academic Honor Code very seriously. They also crack down on drug and alcohol, perhaps a bit too strongly. I cannot speak for this aspect of St. Olaf, considering I have not had a lot of experience with the policies.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: St. Olaf has students that are very aware and concerned about sexual assault, and seem to lead the administration in that, instead of the other way around. Administration is concerned about student well-being otherwise, like providing Safe-Ride services, Public Safety at hand, and dorm locks. I have always felt safe on campus in addition to walking around downtown Northfield by myself, even at night.

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Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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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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