Quote from Emily Mendoza '14

Our financial aid philosophy includes the belief that students should contribute to their education, but their debt burden shouldn't limit their future career choices.

Because grants and scholarships make up 84 percent of the average financial aid package, our graduates leave Macalester with lower than average student loan debt.

  • Macalester’s class of 2013 has 23% lower student loan debt than the national average according to a recent analysis by the Project on Student Debt, produced by a nonprofit Institute for College Access and Success.

chart of financial aid package composition Fall 2015

Even as tuition has increased, the percentage of Macalester’s overall tuition paid through loans and government grants has declined from 21.9 percent in 2005–06 to 11 percent in 2015. Donors provide funding for the much-needed Macalester grants and scholarships that students don’t need to repay.

Managing Resources Wisely

Each year, approximately 2,000 students and their families invest in Macalester by enrolling. We honor and respect each investment by guiding the college’s finances with goals that are intentional, thoughtful, and in tune with our mission. Remarkable advances in financial stewardship sustain and drive the college’s momentum:

  • Last year marked the college’s 41st consecutive year with a balanced budget.
  • Macalester continues to generate administrative cost efficiencies and maintain one of the lowest administrative staff-to-student ratios among its peers.
  • Macalester’s endowment has outperformed its policy benchmark over the long term and ranks in the top quartile of endowment portfolios over ten years.


Line graph showing endowment performance.

All endowment figures are recorded as of June 30 each year—rather than Macalester’s fiscal year-end of May 31—in keeping with industry practice.