Early Decision is an excellent option for first-year applicants who know that Macalester is their first-choice college in time to apply by the early application deadlines of November 15 (Early Decision I) and January 1 (Early Decision II). Students who enroll through Early Decision must withdraw all other applications assuming the financial aid award makes attendance at Macalester financially feasible.

The Admissions Committee evaluates Early Decision candidates with the same standards as students applying in Regular Decision. In the most recent first-year classes, Macalester enrolled 30 percent through its Early Decision application rounds

Applicants considering Early Decision should consider the following:

  • Timing. Early Decision applicants receive their admission decisions early in senior year. Early Decision I applicants learn of their admission decisions by December 15; those applying under Early Decision II are notified by February 1.
  • Financial Aid. Macalester’s financial aid policy is to meet the full demonstrated financial need (100%) of every admitted student with grants, scholarships, loans, and/or part-time jobs. The factors that determine your financial aid award, including merit-based scholarship opportunities, are the same in Early Decision as they are for Regular Decision. In other words, eligibility for financial aid (and merit) is the same for Early Decision and Regular Decision.
  • Admission Rates. Many colleges and universities nationwide have experienced a significant increase in students applying through Early Decision or Early Action application rounds. Admission rates to an institution can vary widely depending on the application round a student selects. To what extent this occurs is a good question to ask college admission officers. To assist your decision-making process, we have included Macalester’s most recent admit rate history, by decision round, below.
    First Year Admission Rates Early Decision Regular Decision All Applicants
    Fall 2015 59% 38% 39%
    Fall 2016 53% 36% 38%
    Fall 2017 52% 41% 41%
    Fall 2018 53% 41% 42%
    Only you can decide whether applying under the Early Decision plan makes sense for you. If you have any questions, contact us at admissions@macalester.edu or (800) 231-7974!


    Julia Carpenter
    Julia Carpenter ’20
    Stevensville, Michigan
    Majors: Psychology & Creative Writing

    Why Early Decision?

    I knew that I wanted to go to Mac after visiting and didn't see a reason to wait. While everyone else was deciding which school to pick, I was able to look forward to going to Mac in the fall.

    What do you love about Mac?

    Mac has given me so many unique opportunities to explore academic interests, meet people from all different backgrounds, and continue to play softball competitively. The people I have met here are the hardest workers and most motivated people I know. They've taught me to be more concerned about the world outside Macalester, whether that means thinking about environmental sustainability or paying attention to the political climate in the U.S.

    Academics are challenging and rigorous, but they are rewarding. I have learned so much in my classes here and discovered subjects I’ve grown to love. The professors care about you as an individual and take all of the extra steps to help you succeed - something I really valued when choosing a small liberal arts education. Athletics have never gotten in the way of academics for me - the professors are really understanding and accommodating if we miss a class for a game. More than that, I was drawn to the D3 level because it would allow me to prioritize academics over sports - my education wouldn't have to be sacrificed because of my commitment to athletics.

    Alec Beatty
    Alec Beatty ’19

    Topeka, Kansas
    Major: Political Science
    Internships: UBS Financial services company (2016) and Skyhawks Sports Academy (2017)

    Why Early Decision?

    I visited Macalester in early June of my high school junior year and knew right away that is where I wanted to be. Knowing Macalester was my #1 school, going ED1 was an easy decision. It not only helped me finish a long and tiresome process of college searching, but also showed the school and coaches I was just as invested and committed to them as they were to me.

    What do you love about Mac?

    I love Macalester because it will challenge you intellectually, socially, and as a football player, physically. The interactions with the variety of people you meet here will help you shape who you strive to become in life. At Macalester, the opportunities are endless to meet new people, join clubs/activities, or just try something new.

    Coaches and professors alike put you in a position to succeed. Professors are personable when you have scheduling conflicts due to sports or need extra time outside of class. If you are willing to learn, they will always be willing to help.

    Why Macalester