Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Office of Student Affairs

Weyerhaeuser Room 119
651-696-6220
651-696-6630 fax

How do I view and pay my student’s bill?

Parents can access student billing information by asking their student to set them up as an Authorized User.  Authorized users may view online billing information, eBill statements, and make online payments.  As an authorized user, you will have your own login credentials and web site to access billing account information.  You will receive an email notification when a new statement is available to view.  Payments can be made online, in person in the Student Accounts Office, or by mailing a check to the Student Accounts Office.  Additional billing information can be found on the Student Accounts Office web site.   

How do I let you know our home address has changed?

The Registrar's Office is the repository for address and phone numbers for current students and parents. Student will need to complete an address change form in that office (1st floor, 77 Mac).

Does the college provide transportation for students at breaks?

Because of varied departure and arrival times, the college does not provide transportation to the airport or bus depot for breaks. The city bus stops right at the corner of Snelling and Grand Streets and runs directly to the two spots. A cab costs around $25 to the airport. Alternatively, Macalester's ride-share program, zipride.macalester.com, and HourCar, hourcar.org – a local car-sharing program –are available to students.

Can students stay in their rooms during break?

The college closes all campus student housing between the two semesters (generally the day after finals first semester until the second week of January). Residence halls, houses and apartments remain open during fall and spring breaks and Thanksgiving week.

Can students store their belongings over the summer?

All students who have a room in campus housing for the next fall semester are able to store their belongings on campus over the summer months. Students studying abroad who will return to campus housing after their study away experience also may store personal belongings on campus. (There is no furniture storage available.)

When do I get notified of my son's/daughter's grades?

Students at Mac now register for the semester courses and receive their grades via the web. (No more waiting by the mailbox!) Students view their grades through the Student Information System. Your student may wish to share his/her password with you so you can view the grades and academic records on the web. This will not give you access to any other computer accounts of the student. Parents who need a paper copy of grades each semester should contact the Registrar's Office for more information (651-696-6200).

What can I do if my student is not doing well academically?

First talk with your student about what resources are available on campus. They can (and should) talk with their faculty advisor and current faculty about getting help with assignments or they may visit the MAX Center, the tutoring and academic assistance center. If your student is unable to access these resources or if it seems too late for this to be helpful, have your student meet with either Ann Minnick, the Director of Academic Programs or Jim Hoppe, Dean of Students.

How are academic advisors assigned to students?

The professor for the student's first year seminar course serves as their academic advisors for the first two years. Second semester of sophomore year students declare their majors. Generally at this time they also select a faculty member from their major as an advisor. Other than first semester freshman year, students can change advisors by completing a form in the Academic Programs Office.

How does my student choose what classes to take?

All students meet with their academic advisors prior to registering for the next semester's classes. Advisors discuss requirements and help students develop a plan for the upcoming semesters. An academic advisor’s signature is required in the registration process.

How can parents access information on the various study abroad programs and opportunities and how might parents be involved in their student's Study Abroad experience?

The International Center's website is a helpful resource for information on study abroad programs. IC staff are happy to respond to questions about specific programs (studyabroad@macalester.edu). The best advice we can offer for parent involvement is for you to learn as much as you can about the country where your student will be studying so you can ask good questions (and communicate often) while they are abroad.

What role does Mac play in the safety, academic progress and communication with the students who are studying abroad?

Mac staff and faculty stay in touch with students, mostly via regular emails, while they are studying off campus. From the outset and as the semester progresses, we carefully monitor the State Department travel and country unrest warnings. Also, staff in the Study Abroad Office keeps in contact with the directors of the various programs in order to stay abreast of our students’ experience while away. The College does have a seldom used but highly effective Emergency and Safety plan for off campus study.

What is J Term and what opportunities are there during this time for students?

The (long) break between first and second semester is often called J Term or Interim. Students are encouraged to use this time for internships, independent study projects or to participate in one of the academic travel opportunities sponsored by Macalester faculty. Students can earn up to two credits during this time and there is no tuition charge for these credits. Specific programs change each year and students learn of them through departmental emails and postings around campus.

In order to stay in campus residence halls during January students are required to be registered for an internship or independent study opportunity; be a member of an in-season intercollegiate sports team; have a student employment position that requests coverage in January or be an international student.

What are the most popular majors at Mac?

Biology, Economics, Psychology, Political Science and English have the highest number of majors in recent years. Art, Biology, English, History, Math/Computer Science, Psychology and Spanish have had the highest total enrollments in department classes in recent years.

How can I order a birthday cake for my student?

Bon Appetit, our on-campus catering, offers cakes, cookies or bars to be picked up by your student at the Campus Center for birthdays or those special occasions. You may call Leah Thomas at 651-696-6313 or email leah.thomas@cafebonappetit.com for more information. Orders must be placed five days ahead to ensure delivery. PJ Murphy's Bakery (651-699-9292) and Francesca's Catering Bakery (651-227-5775) also deliver birthday cakes to campus.