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Located on the northwestern side of Northfield, Minnesota, St. Olaf College is a private, not-for-profit, 4-year school. If you visit the college campus and Northfield, you’ll realize that it’s located in quite a small community. Here, you’ll have options of majors and be able to study for a bachelor’s degree - the only degree level offered by the school.

Overview of St. Olaf College

As small as the school is, you’ll have lots of green space between the buildings and the dorms are located at various points around campus, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to meet your fellow students. When you decide to venture off campus, you’ll find parks and an arboretum you can explore on your free time.

The student enrollment is just over 3,000, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1, which is manageable for students and professors. Additionally, you can claim two different kinds of credits from this institution: dual credits, offered to high school students as both high school and college credits and credits you can earn for passing advanced placement exams.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting Town: Distant
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 12:1
Graduation Rate 86%
Year Founded 1874

Student Enrollment

Total Students3,072


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,290
Female 1,782

Graduate Student

Male NA
Female NA

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Top Rankings For St. Olaf College



Male 2,342
Female 3,352


Male 1,101
Female 1,609

Acceptance Rate48%

Male 47%
Female 48%

Enrollment 820

Male 333
Female 487
Application Fee NA
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Required
Formal demonstration of competencies Recommended
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline January 15
Common Application Accepted Yes

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The total price for college includes tuition, books, room and board, supplies, and other costs. The total cost for a year at St. Olaf College is around $62,900. However, you and your parents aren’t likely to have to pay the entire cost. Once your financial aid has been applied to your school bill, what remains is called the average net price. This is everything you are responsible for that your financial aid doesn’t cover, meaning, the more financial aid you wrangle, the lower your average net price. For a recent academic year, this was $27,779. Since the average net price changes depending on your financial aid, those who are eligible for more aid will pay less. For instance, families earning between $30,001 and $48,000 paid $12,459, while families earning between $75,001 to $100,000 paid $22,977.

You’re likely to qualify for at least some financial aid. Almost the whole freshman class at St. Olaf qualified in a recent academic year. About 78% of freshmen qualified for grants or scholarships averaging $32,811 and institutional grants and scholarships averaging $9,773.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $27,779
Average Total Aid $32,811
Students Receiving Financial Aid 98%
Room & Board $11,270

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $49,710
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $49,710
  • Books and Supplies - $1,000
  • Room & Board - $11,270
  • Other - $900


At first you may not be sure whether you want to stay in college or not. You may wonder if you should have chosen a different school. However, if you decide you like it there as you get used to the pace of your classes and get to know your instructors and fellow students, you may decide to return for your second year. If you return for your sophomore year you’ll be added to the retention rate, which at St. Olaf College is an excellent 91%. This rate indicates the percentage at which first-year students decide to continue attending school there. Their 4-year graduation rate is also great at 81% and the 6-year rate is 86%.

However, St. Olaf doesn’t have a lot of flexibility to offer, without either evening classes or distance (online) learning available. You’re going to have to consult with your advisor about dropping one of the classes to pick it back up in a later semester if you overschedule. Or you may need to speak with your employer about scheduling more routine work hours.

The most popular degree programs offered are social sciences, biological and biomedical sciences, visual and performing arts, mathematics and statistics, and psychology.

Student Population Total

Student Population 3,072

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : No

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Social Science Majors 136 Total Graduates / 20%
Economics, General 73 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 39 Graduates
Sociology and Anthropology 24 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 84 Total Graduates / 12%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 84 Graduates
Visual and Performing Arts 82 Total Graduates / 12%
Music, General 24 Graduates
Art/Art Studies, General 17 Graduates
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 16 Graduates
Music Performance, General 13 Graduates
Mathematics and Statistics 54 Total Graduates / 8%
Mathematics, General 54 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 50 Total Graduates / 7%
Psychology, General 50 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 42%

Outcome & Salary

As you walk across the stage at graduation, you may be walking straight into your first job. While your salary will depend on your career choice, graduate’s average overall salaries were $70,465, their average early-career salaries were $55,500, and their average mid-career salaries were $111,500.

The average 4-year cost of education at St. Olaf College is $111,116. Based on the average salary of a graduate, your 10-year salary earnings potential is $704,650 and your 20-year salary earnings potential is $1,819,650. When you deduct your 4-year cost of education from these amounts, your 10-year projected return on investment (ROI) is $593,534 and your 20-year projected ROI is $1,708,534.

Compare that to a high school graduate’s average salary, which is $38,792. Their 10-year projected income is $387,920 and their 20-year projected income is $775,840.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $55,500
College Grads Average Salary $70,465
College Grads Mid Career Salary $111,500
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $704,650
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,819,650
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $111,116
10 Year Projected ROI $593,534
20 Year Projected ROI $1,708,534
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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