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For High School Students

We’re thrilled your college search has led you to Macalester. Our goal is to help you enjoy the process, connect you to resources. and serve as a guide throughout your search.

Start with these easy steps

Macalester Residence Hall

1. Introduce yourself!

We encourage you to fill out our Request Information form. You’ll receive communications about our Mac community – academic departments, financial aid, student organizations, and our surrounding cities.

Macalester Students eating in Café Mac

2. Get to Know Us

We offer virtual information sessions, one-on-one video chats with Admissions staff, and connections to current Mac students. Students also join you in a live online tour of our campus, sharing their unique experience at Mac.

Macalester Counselor

3. Meet your team

Your regional Admissions rep and other staff are ready to address whatever is on your mind. Learn more about them in their personal bios and connect when you have questions or want to hear more about life and learning at Mac.

Inaara Peermohammed Macalester

Learn more about applying

The Common App or QuestBridge Application is how you complete your application to Macalester. Read more about the process and view the key steps and deadlines.

Finding the best fit

Colleges and universities have a wealth of information available on their websites, which can be extremely helpful, but also incredibly overwhelming. To help filter the information, be sure to think about your priorities. Here are just a few questions to get you started.

  • Do the mission and values align to my beliefs?
  • Does the college support my academic field of study?
  • What student support services are available for me?
  • Is the geographic location important?


  • Do you require test scores?

    Macalester adopted a permanent Test-Optional admissions policy, starting with the Fall 2021 first-year class. This includes ACT, SAT, SAT II, AP, and IB.

    We aim to reduce the anxiety many students experience regarding standardized exams and hope to provide applicants more freedom and flexibility in presenting their best selves to the Admissions Committee.

    There will be no penalty for students who choose not to submit test scores in the selection process or distribution of merit scholarship. You can learn more about our Test Policy here.

    If you believe your standardized test scores will add another positive layer to your application file, then please feel free to submit scores to our office or self-report them in the Common Application. 

  • How will you review transcripts, considering grading policy changes and distance learning due to COVID-19?

    We understand that some school districts modified their grading processes to a Pass/Fail system, while other districts continue to use their Letter Grade system. We review applications on a case-by-case basis and are very intentional about understanding the context of a student’s high school experience. We will review your transcript within the context of how your school district responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    We know some students were challenged by the transition to virtual class sessions and this may have impacted their ability to be successful. We encourage those students to let us know about their experiences with virtual learning in the Common Application, under the Education Progression section and/or the Additional Information section.

  • What if my non-academic pursuits were affected by COVID-19 or distance learning?

    We recognize that many students are unable to pursue internships, volunteer opportunities, jobs, and other experiences due to the pandemic. Rest assured that we will evaluate your application carefully, fully aware that 2020 endeavors were impacted.

  • Should I interview?

    Admissions interviews at Macalester are recommended, but not required. Interviews are conducted online by Admissions counselors, interns, and interviewers, and usually take 30 minutes. Seniors who wish to interview must do so by February 1 of their senior year. Each student may only interview once.