1600 Grand Avenue (mailing address)
62 Macalester Street (actual address)
St. Paul, MN 55105 USA
1-800-231-7974 (toll free)
1-800-231-7974 (toll free)
By Morgan Hearne ’16 (Connecticut) and Ross Bronfenbrenner ’14 (California)
1. Student Body
We get the question all the time: “What’s the typical Mac student like?” Thanks to the incredible diversity of perspectives and backgrounds at Mac, we’re proud to say that we haven’t been able to come up with an answer. That being said, while there certainly isn’t a “typical” Mac student, there is one thing that unites all of us―we’re passionate. No matter what it is we do, whether we’re a double major, a club leader, an avid volunteer, or a two-sport athlete, our student body is committed to what we do. This year, we come from 49 states (know anybody from Wyoming?) and over 90 countries, and even in a student body of roughly 2,000, we continue to meet new, inspiring people every day.
Macalester professors have a genuine interest in challenging us to accomplish our goals. Whether we aim to write a unique Capstone paper, perform an original piece, or co-author an article in an academic journal, our professors provide the support and inspiration we need to accomplish our goals. Mac students thrive in an academic environment where we are respected, inspired to work hard, and encouraged to share ideas. The competition in the classroom isn’t cut-throat, instead it is epitomized by the phrase “high expectations, high support.” Macalester will challenge you, and with engaging professors and motivated students, Mac will also put you in the position to succeed.
Mac’s four big values are academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. We’re committed to being open-minded, supportive, and respectful members of the Mac community and we appreciate that we’re here to learn inside and outside the classroom, from our professors and our peers. Mac’s mission is to provide an environment for a transformative learning experience- and we’ve found that it does just that.
4. The Twin Cities
While we have easy access by bus, bike, or car to two awesome cities, Mac itself is located in a charming residential part of Saint Paul, less than a mile from the Mississippi River. The Twin Cities have it all. Mac students have the unique opportunity to live in a small college environment with a big city feel. We can get great internships, enjoy the amenities and sights of two major cities, and get involved in countless community service experiences (90% of us volunteer in the Cities every year!) The Cities have a thriving independent music scene, five major professional sports teams, and the second most theatre seats per capita in the United States. Check out all the experiences the Cities have to offer!
Not only do we value it, we have a whole department (our Department of Multicultural Life) dedicated to promoting diversity and fostering inclusivity on campus. Professors from all over the world come to teach at Macalester―from India, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Turkey and Peru to name a few home countries. Roughly two-thirds of our domestic student body studies abroad for a semester, and 18% of students are citizens from another country! Geographic, ethnic, economic, religious, sexual, political, and many other types of diversity are present and actively appreciated at Mac. Different ways of thinking and understanding―evident from classroom discussions to conversations around a table in Café Mac―enrich our learning experience every day.
They’re everywhere. Every Mac student has both woken up and fallen asleep to bagpipes at some point, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The pipe band can be seen at every major on-campus event and Mac is filled with all sorts of great traditions. At various events throughout the year, five students read the Peace Prayer in their native language, wishing for our friendships and experiences at Mac to help build a “more just and peaceful world.” A few days before finals, our faculty and staff stay up late to serve us Midnight Breakfast in Café Mac. Founder’s Day is a Macalester celebration in the Spring that reminds us of Macalester’s beginnings, including a spirited game of pushball!
7. Our Campus
If you’re standing in the center of our campus you’re surrounded by trees and old brick, yet you’re 100 yards away from buses that can get you to downtown Minneapolis in a matter of minutes. We look great in the snow and even better in the sun, and in the past few years, Macalester has renovated several major buildings and ensured a renewed commitment to keeping our campus on the cutting edge. We have brand new Music and Studio Art facilities, the Institute for Global Citizenship is LEED Platinum Certified, and our athletic facility, the Leonard Center, was constructed in 2008. Take a virtual tour and check it out yourself!
8. Financial Aid
Thanks to the amazing work done in the Financial Aid Office, almost three quarters of Macalester students receive some sort of financial aid, and the average Macalester student graduates with less debt than both the state and national averages. This is largely due to the fact that the average need-based financial aid package is 85% grant money, which goes directly toward your education and never needs to be paid back. In addition, student employment is a big thing at Mac, and quite a few of us work on campus―the library, academic departments, athletics—it’s easy to earn money toward our education and gain valuable work experience!
9. Student Organizations
At Macalester, if you have a group of five like-minded friends, a piece of paper and a pen: congratulations! You’re the newest Mac student org! There are over 118 student orgs currently on campus, and Mac students use them to showcase and further their passions and interests. There are political groups, performance ensembles, an investment group, a capella groups (currently 5 on campus!), religious groups, and many, many more. Yes, Mac Quidditch is still a thing, and yes, Mac Soup does serve up free soup every month. The Org Fair at the beginning of Fall semester helps both new and returning students find new orgs or start their own!
We’re surprised we let this one slip all the way down to number 10! Our on-campus dining hall Café Mac does a great job at providing variety along with plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans. There are a variety of meal plans to choose from, as well as a few places around campus where you can use your Student ID to purchase some quick snacks. Off-campus, our neighborhood and the Twin Cities offer great food as well. Pull aside any Mac student, and they’d be quick to tell you their five favorite places to grab lunch. What are ours? Blue Door, Gandhi Mahal, Everest on Grand, Cosettas, and Acme Deli. Ask us about them. They’re all delicious.