About Financial Aid

Your Toolbox

Financial Aid Office
651-696-6214
800-231-7974
651-696-6866 (fax )

Mailing Address
1600 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN
55105 USA

The Admissions and Financial Aid Offices are located at 62 Macalester Street.

  1. How do I apply for financial aid?
  2. How much does it cost to apply for financial aid?
  3. What is the deadline for applying for aid?
  4. How can I learn more about my chances of receiving financial aid?
  5. How do tuition increases affect my financial aid package?
  6. Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year? Will my financial aid package change each year?
  7. What’s the difference between need-based aid and merit aid?
  8. Are there special application instructions for divorced parents?
  9. How do I apply for financial aid as an independent student?
  10. Am I eligible for financial aid when on an off-campus program?

1. How do I apply for financial aid?

You can find detailed information on financial aid here. The process is slightly different for early decision applicants, and transfer and international students.

  • Macalester’s FAFSA code is: 002358
  • Macalester's CCS PROFILE code is: 6390

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2. How much does it cost to apply for financial aid?

Completing the FAFSA is free.

The CSS PROFILE costs $25 for the first school and $16 for each additional school you would like your information sent to. Macalester College does not provide fee waivers or fee waiver codes for the CSS PROFILE. However, waiver eligibility is assessed at the time you complete the profile. The College Board offers some guidance to give you an idea of if you might qualify for a fee waiver.

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3. What is the deadline for applying for aid?

The application deadline varies by type of applicant (domestic, international, or transfer student) and whether you are applying early or regular decision. Specific deadlines and instructions for each type of applicant can be found on our website.

To be considered for financial aid, you must indicate your intent to apply for aid when you complete your admission application.

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4. How can I learn more about my chances of receiving financial aid?

At Macalester, the majority of aid is awarded based on family income. Family assets, family size, the number of children enrolled in college and other factors can also affect eligibility. 72% of all students receive financial aid; and fully 86% of first year students who applied for aid received awards. Families qualifying for aid at Mac earned income ranging from $0 to more than $160,000 annually. Each student’s need is evaluated based on his or her family financial circumstances.

These websites offer useful information on financing college and tools for estimating financial aid eligibility:

You can also use Macalester's Net Price Estimator to estimate what your costs might be.

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5. How do tuition increases affect my financial aid package?

Generally, the grant portion of a student's financial aid package remains the same from year to year. A student's increased earning ability over four years may warrant a greater contribution from summer employment. Because upperclass students are in a better position to borrow more, students usually are expected to take out larger loans as they progress through college.

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6. Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year? Will my financial aid package change each year?

Yes. Eligibility for need-based financial aid will be re-evaluated for each year of enrollment at Macalester. The most common reasons for changes to need-based financial aid eligibility are siblings entering or leaving undergraduate study and significant changes in family income. Financial aid application materials are sent to currently enrolled students during the first month of spring semester.

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7. What’s the difference between need-based and merit aid?

Most aid at Macalester is based on each applicant's financial need; this is called “need-based” aid. We look at family income and other factors to determine aid packages. Macalester emphasizes need-based aid to keep the college accessible to talented students from a variety of economic backgrounds.

Macalester offers several special scholarships that are based on academic merit rather than financial need.

With the exception of the National Merit Scholarship (which requires a special procedure), you will automatically be considered for merit-based aid when you apply for admission to Macalester. Merit-based scholarships are awarded for a four-year period. If you qualify, you may receive need-based financial aid in addition to these scholarships.

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8. Are there special application instructions for divorced parents?

Federal and state regulations require that the custodial parent (and step-parent, if applicable) complete the application for federal and college financial aid. Macalester requires the non-custodial parent to complete the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Noncustodial Parent Form, which should be returned to Macalester.

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9. How do I apply for financial aid as an independent student?

If you are considering applying for aid as an independent student, you must contact the Macalester Financial Aid Office before completing your financial aid application. All sources of financial aid at Macalester require students to be 24 years old in order to be considered independent, with very few exceptions. Students entering Macalester as dependent will be treated in that manner by the college in future years.

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10. Am I eligible for financial aid when on an off-campus program?

Students who participate in Macalester-approved programs may apply for and receive financial aid. Macalester is committed to providing financial aid to ensure that students who want to study off-campus can do so, regardless of family income. Visit our Policies section for more answers to frequently asked questions about Off-Campus Study and Financial Aid.

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