Parent and Family Handbook

Housing While at Macalester

At Macalester, residence halls are a place to learn. Approximately 70% of our students live on campus in a variety of settings: residence halls, language houses, theme living communities and residential class communities. Our residence halls are managed by trained, professional staff who have Master’s degrees in fields related to counseling and educational administration. In addition, each hall is divided into smaller sub-communities of approximately 35 students, facilitated by trained upper-class students.

Most students live in double rooms with roommates. Each living space is complete with beds, desks, desk chairs, closets, bureaus, and telephone. Most rooms are carpeted. Parents are usually interested to know that Residential Life staff are successful in providing strong peer resource networks and effective referral processes. If you ever have a concern about your daughter/son we encourage you to contact us.

A unique residential feature available only to first year students is the “residential” first year course. When your son/daughter registers for classes for the Fall, he/she has the option of selecting a first-year course with a residential component. Students in these classes live in close proximity to each other as an academic community. While not all first year courses offer the residential component, these classes have become a positive tradition at Macalester.

Students can easily become involved in a wide range of community activities. Residential Life staff work closely with students to provide support and structure for a successful transition into the college’s academic and social arenas.

Research shows that students who live on campus acquire better GPAs and report greater satisfaction with their College experience because of the easy access to campus resources, programs, and social support. Macalester College has a two-year residence requirement for all students, as we believe that residential living is a positive contributor to overall student success and persistence. This requirement means that all students must live on campus for their first two years at Macalester. We do not guarantee housing for upper-class students or transfer students.

Residential Life has information for students and their parents about residence hall life, including information about what to bring to campus, dining options, and how to get involved in residence hall activities. Residential Life also provides off-campus listings about off-campus housing on their website. Although not owned by the College, off-campus apartments and houses can be listed through the College’s off-campus housing listings. Residential Life staff also provide programs and information for first-time tenants and living successfully off campus.