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Early Decision and Early Action

“I visited Macalester and knew right away that is where I wanted to be.”

Alec Beatty ’19

Macalester offers two application pathways for first-year students interested in applying early. Macalester’s financial aid policy is to meet the full demonstrated financial need (100%) of every admitted student.

Early Decision

Early Decision is the best option for students who know that Macalester is their first-choice college, and if admitted, are ready to enroll. Early Decision is restrictive in that students must withdraw all other applications assuming the financial aid award makes attendance at Macalester financially feasible.

EARLY DECISION I: November 1 Application Deadline

EARLY DECISION II: January 1 Application Deadline

Benefits of Applying Early Decision

FINANCIAL AID
Because students who choose Early Decision agree to enroll at Macalester if they are admitted, Early Decision applicants are eligible for our early financial aid assessment. 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.

TIMING
Early Decision applicants receive their admission decisions early in their senior year. Early Decision I applicants learn of their admission decisions by December 6; those applying under Early Decision II are notified by January 31.

The Admissions Committee evaluates Early Decision candidates with the same standards as students applying in Regular Decision.


Early Action

New for the Fall 2021 incoming student cohort, Early Action is a non-restrictive option for students that are ready to apply to Macalester on November 1. Early Action applicants receive their decision by December 20.

Benefits of Applying Early Action

FINANCIAL AID
Students applying for need-based financial aid will receive financial aid decisions much earlier than those who are admitted through Regular Decision. 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 Action as they are for Regular Decision.

TIMING
Early Action applicants receive their admission decisions by December 20, early in their senior year and more than three months earlier than Regular Decision.

FLEXIBILITY
Early Action applicants may apply to other colleges through regular decision and other non-restrictive early action plans. Admitted students can accept the offer of admission on or before the May 1 National Reply Deadline.


Admission Rates

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 RatesEarly DecisionRegular DecisionAll Applicants
Fall 201852%41%41%
Fall 201958%31%32%
Fall 202061%38%39%

Only you can decide whether applying early makes sense for you. If you have any questions, contact us at admissions@macalester.edu or (800) 231-7974!


Ximena Silva-AvilaXimena Silva-Avila ’20

Tucson, Arizona
Majors: Mathematics & Political Science

Why Early Decision?

I looked for small liberal arts colleges that met 100% of demonstrated need AND were in big cities. Macalester was the only place that I felt really fit the bill. So I attended an information session at my high school and fell in love. The location, the size, professors, classes, extracurriculars, and financial aid fit my list perfectly. I was ready to commit so I applied Early Decision. 

What do you love about Mac?

Macalester’s location made my internship at the Minnesota State Capitol possible. Internships are a great way to expand your experience and build meaningful professional relationships.I love that the Mississippi is a mile away from campus. And you probably won’t be pushed harder in a more caring and compassionate environment to grow academically, socially, and emotionally…while being able to enjoy great food.


Julia CarpenterJulia 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 BeattyAlec 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.

After Macalester: Alec graduated in May, 2019 with a Political Science major and History minor. He was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship which will take him to Kosovo. As a receiver on the Macalester Football team, Alec broke school records and earned All-American honors.