Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


When should I arrive and depart?
Orientation begins on Thursday, August 28; check-in begins at 8 am and lasts through 2 pm. For students flying in from out of state, it may be a good idea to arrive on Wednesday in case of flight delays, etc. Parent Orientation continues through Saturday at 11:30 am. For more complete details of the Orientation schedule, click here.

Are there sessions during Orientation that are just for parents?
Yes, there are events scheduled throughout Orientation that are just for parents as well as events that can be attended by both students and parents. For more detailed descriptions of those events, check out the Parent Orientation Schedule.

Are there activities planned for younger siblings during Orientation?
Not specifically, although there are some events scheduled that younger siblings may be interested in attending. Siblings are welcome to attend most parent-focused events as well as the picnic dinner, ecumenical worship service, and move-in day activities.

Will I be staying on campus during Orientation?
No, parents should plan to stay elsewhere. For a list of hotels in the area as well as information on special Macalester rates, visit the Directions and Lodging page.

If my child arrives early for athletics, Lives of Commitment, MacWard Bound, or another program should I arrive when they do or for the start of Orientation?
Students generally arrive alone for the start of their pre-orientation program, at which point they may move into their on-campus room. Parents are encouraged to meet up with their students at the start of Orientation on Thursday if they wish.

When should I book return flights for my son/daughter?
Fall semester finals are scheduled from Saturday, December 13th through Wednesday, December 17th. Until students have officially registered for classes, it is difficult to say when they will be able to leave. If you wish to book flights early, students should determine the date of their last exam at the beginning of the academic year and plan to leave after that. Residence halls usually close within 24 hours of the last final exam period.

We know that Family Fest is scheduled for October 10-12 2014, and we can’t come for both. Which should we attend?
This is a decision that each family must make for themselves, and there are a lot of factors that may influence the decision. Travel can be costly, as can taking time away from work. We think that the time spent during orientation is valuable, and provides parents and families with important information and resources to help support students through their transition to college. Some families find it really reassuring to visit during Family Fest and have their son or daughter be their guide, showing them all of the ways that they have become engaged in their new community.

Where can I get cash while I am on campus during Orientation?
There are US Bank and Sunrise Banks ATMs in the lower level of the Campus Center. If you have a Wells Fargo account, you can use the Wells Fargo ATM at Super America on Snelling (it's about 3 blocks from campus) or the Wells Fargo Bank on the corner of Grand and Fairview (about 5 blocks away from campus). Macalester College has different partnerships with all three banks, including an educational partnership with Sunrise Banks, a local community bank which has a socially responsible deposit fund that supports economically disadvantaged communities in the Twin Cities. If you are curious about banking options available for students, we encourage you to take a look at the banking information provided at banking in the area. All of the banks listed on that site allow accounts to be opened online.

My son received accommodations for a learning disability in high school. Can he receive these at Macalester?
Macalester college seeks to create a welcoming environment in which all students can reach their academic potential and have equal access to academic opportunities and co-curricular activities. Associate Dean of Students, Lisa Landreman, is responsible for assisting students who have physical, psychological, learning or other cognitive disabilities that affect their academic or personal lives at the college. This disability services website provides the basic information regarding how to request accommodations, eligibility for services, and other resources.

Where can I find out more information about my child's financial aid award?
To learn more about the financial aid process and awards, please visit the Financial Aid Website.

Where can I find out more information about health services on the Macalester campus?
To learn more about health and wellness at Macalester, you should visit the Macalester Health & Wellness Center Wellness Center webpage.