Macalester welcomes all students who have experienced the effects of displacement to apply and will ensure applications are given full consideration regardless of their official status. In line with the United Nations, Macalester acknowledges differentiations beyond students with official status as an asylee or refugee in the United States, including students who identify as a:

  • Refugee currently residing in a country outside of the United States: Someone who has been forced to flee their country because of persecution, war, or violence and is recognized by their current country of residence as having official refugee status.
  • Displaced Person: Someone who has been forced to flee or leave their home or place of habitual residence as a result of armed conflict, internal strife, repeated violations of human rights, or natural and human-made disasters. This can include an Internally Displaced Person who has not crossed an international border but was forced to move to a different region within their own country to flee conflict.
  • Asylum Seeker: Asylum seekers say they are refugees and have fled their homes as refugees do, but their claim to refugee status is not yet definitively evaluated in the country to which they fled.
  • Stateless Persons: A stateless person does not have a recognized nationality and does not belong to any country. Statelessness situations are usually caused by discrimination against certain groups.

Committee for Refugee Student Access (CRSA)
In the fall of 2016, then-senior Farah Haddad rallied a group of like-minded students who believe in Macalester’s responsibility to admit and support refugee and displaced students. Since the creation of Committee for Refugee Student Access (CRSA), student members have collaborated with administrators, faculty, and staff across campus to modify policies and attitudes in order to make admission to Macalester accessible for refugee and displaced students. CRSA is currently working towards establishing an endowed scholarship that will provide a sustainable path for future generations of refugee and displaced students to thrive at Macalester.


Macalester provides a financial aid package equal to 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students Admitted refugee, displaced person, asylum seeker, and stateless person students who are not permitted by law to work in the U.S. would receive additional student loans to replace the amount typically earned through student employment.

Get Started With the Macalester Part 1

Seniors and transfer applicants can begin their application by submitting the Macalester Part 1.
Regardless of whether you apply Early Decision or Regular Decision, this is a great first step in applying to Mac. It takes minutes to complete; first-year applicants who complete it before November 15 will have their application fee waived. After completion, you will receive login information for your applicant portal, enabling you to see your current application status and get communication designed to keep your application on track.

Application Checklist Items

Common Application
Create a Common Application and choose Macalester for your college list. In keeping with Macalester’s values, we encourage students who self-identify as a refugee, displaced person, asylum seeker, and stateless person, to indicate so on the Common Application. Students can identify themselves by providing documentation with their application such as proof of status in their current country of residence; scan of a United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) card; and/or personal narrative within the Common Application essay, Additional Information section, or Macalester supplemental questions.

Students who do not hold an official refugee or asylum status visa within the United States should select “I do not hold a currently valid US non-immigrant Visa” on the Common Application.

If you wish to be considered for financial aid, you must indicate your interest when you apply via the Common Application. Applying for financial aid.

$40 Application Fee
Submit Macalester Part 1 or the completed Common Application by November 15 and the $40 application fee will be waived. If you are eligible to receive a fee waiver based on financial hardship, indicate so when you complete your Common Application.

Submit scores from either the ACT or the SAT. Self-reported test scores will be accepted in the admissions process. Admitted students who decide to enroll will be required to submit official score reports. Macalester’s testing codes are 2122 (ACT) and 6390 (SAT). Testing Policy

In addition, non-U.S. citizens applying for admissions must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), unless English is the first language or primary language of instruction (waiver requests can be made through the student’s Applicant Portal).

Self-reported test scores will be accepted in the admissions process.

Optional Arts Portfolio
If you have made a substantial commitment to the arts in the areas of fine arts, music, theater or dance, you are welcome to submit samples in your applicant portal.

Checklist Items to Be Completed in the Common Application
Your counselor and teachers will be prompted to complete their portion of the following forms online via the Common Application process.

Early Decision Agreement
If you are applying Early Decision, the Early Decision Agreement certifies that Macalester is your first-choice college and agreement that, if admitted, you will enroll at Macalester and withdraw all other college applications. Learn more about Early Decision

High School through Junior Year Transcript
Request that your secondary school(s) send Macalester official transcript(s) of all classes and grades beginning with 9th grade. More about transcripts…?

School Report
Request that your school counselor or teacher complete the School Report and Counselor Recommendation.

Two Academic Teacher Recommendations
Invite two teachers of core academic subjects (English, social studies, foreign language, mathematics, or science) to submit recommendations.

Mid-Year Report and First-Term Senior Year Grades
Early Decision applicants must request that a school official (counselor or registrar) send us their first-term senior grades (e.g., first quarter or first trimester). When the marking period ends, students must ask school officials to also complete the Mid-Year Report and send us an updated transcript as soon as it becomes available.

Regular Decision applicants must request that a school official (counselor or registrar) complete the Mid-Year Report and send us an updated transcript if senior year first-term grades are not on the initial transcript.


Anne K. Walsh ’80
Director of Admissions