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Macalester College is a small private institution of higher learning located in St. Paul, Minnesota. The campus is home to 2,000 undergraduate students who are seeking a wide range of degrees in 64 academic fields. In fact, Macalester's offerings tend towards a traditional liberal arts education. That is, Macalester focuses on academics such as social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities rather than business or purely professional endeavors. On the other hand, students can major in pre-law and pre-medicine. Those who are eager to launch a career in business might focus on statistics, data science, or computer science.

Overview of Macalester College

Macalester College students also have time to round out their formative college years with recreational and social activities. In fact, Mac encourages student activism as a means towards social transformation. Students can also join clubs for pure fun, such as the Badminton Club, Hip Hop Dance Team, or Coed Nordic Skiing.

Students also have loads of opportunities to move their bodies, engage in friendly competition, and even play competitive video games. Mac provides its students loads of opportunities for workouts, intramural sports, and also club sports for those interested in more competition. Club Sports include exciting sports such as water polo, ice hockey, rugby, and ultimate frisbee, among others.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 10:1
Graduation Rate 91%
Year Founded 1874

Student Enrollment

Total Students2,098


Undergraduate Student

Male 881
Female 1,217

Graduate Student

Male 0
Female 0

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Top Rankings For Macalester College



Male 2,635
Female 3,963


Male 843
Female 1,268

Acceptance Rate32%

Male 32%
Female 32%

Enrollment 507

Male 223
Female 284
Application Fee $40
High School GPA Recommended
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations Required
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline September 29
Common Application Accepted Yes

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Given that Macalester College is a private, non-profit institution, their tuition is not subsidized by the state of Minnesota. However, despite the high price tag, MC delivers a top-notch educational value. In fact, a full year of tuition, supplies, fees, and books is just under $60,000. When living expenses are added to the total bill, students face a gross price tag of over $73,000. However, this is not the end of the story.

Once the financial aid office applies their grants and scholarships, the resulting net cost comes down quite a bit. In fact, the average net price for a full year, including living expenses, is $31,000. For the lowest-income students, a year carries an average net price of $10,000. Even the highest-earning households are the benefactors of a tremendous value. Their average net price is just over $44,000. The middle-income bracket sees an average net price of only around $20,000.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $31,458
Average Total Aid $37,169
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Room & Board $13,084

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $58,478
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $58,478
  • Books and Supplies - $1,213
  • Room & Board - $13,084
  • Other - $996


Macalester College is a small, private liberal arts college that offers an academic program which rivals most any other college or university in the Midwest, and beyond. To measure their academic strength, you might want to evaluate MC's retention rate, graduation rate, and other statistics. The retention rate is one of the more important metrics that predicts strong outcomes.

Retention is the measure of how many first-time, full-time students return for a second year. When a large percentage return, researchers interpret this as an indication of high satisfaction with the campus' faculty, curriculum, and other resources. After all, few will return to a campus that is not offering intellectual and personal growth. Since Macalester reports that 93% of students are retained into their second year, it’s clear that the college has much to offer students.

In fact, the retention rate does predict great things for Macalester students. The institution reports that 91% of students graduate, a very admirable statistic. Since 9 percent are reported as transferring and completing their degrees in other institutions, Macalester students have a 100% success rate when it comes to achieving a bachelor's degree.

Macalester's outstanding academic showing might be due to many factors, but one stands out. The fact that the college boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 10 to 1 shows that students have access to their professors and thus a high degree of academic enrichment in every class session. Indeed, a Macalester education is one that will have a long-term impact on every student's life and career.

Student Population Total

Student Population 2,098

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : No

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Social Science Majors 106 Total Graduates / 23%
Econometrics and Quantitative Economics 44 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 26 Graduates
Geography 19 Graduates
Anthropology, General 12 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 64 Total Graduates / 14%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 38 Graduates
Neuroscience 26 Graduates
Physical Sciences 42 Total Graduates / 9%
Physics, General 19 Graduates
Chemistry, General 14 Graduates
Geology/Earth Science, General 9 Graduates
Mathematics and Statistics 35 Total Graduates / 8%
Mathematics, General 35 Graduates
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 34 Total Graduates / 7%
International/Globalization Studies 25 Graduates
Intercultural/Multicultural and Diversity Studies 7 Graduates
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 2 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 39%

Outcome & Salary

Macalester students not only lead the pack in terms of their high-quality education, but they also leap into the job market with both feet. Leading the pack among Macalester alumni are the computer and information science graduates who report a median income of $71,000. These tech grads also report some of the lowest debt loads, owing less than $20,000 upon graduation. Meanwhile, economics and mathematics graduates are the second and third highest earning graduates, respectively. Regardless of where a Macalester graduate starts their career, their degree will surely enable promotions and graduate school admissions.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $56,700
College Grads Average Salary $65,963
College Grads Mid Career Salary $106,800
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $659,630
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,727,630
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $125,832
10 Year Projected ROI $533,798
20 Year Projected ROI $1,601,798
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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