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For High School Counselors

Your guidance and advice creates the pathway for high school students imagining their college career. Discover what life and learning mean at Macalester, and help them know when our school is the right fit.

Visit Macalester

High school counselors are welcomed and encouraged to visit Macalester and join our info sessions and student-led tours. Our visits team will find the date and time that works best for your schedule. Group visit requests can also be arranged based on availability. Please note, due to staff and student scheduling, we are typically unable to accommodate walk-in visits.

Macalester Workshops

Workshops to Guide Students’ College Search

These recorded workshops are geared at making the college search and application process easier. Interest in Macalester is not required (but we hope to leave a great impression). Topics like writing a college essay, filling out the Common App, and navigating financial aid are just a few of the choices. Workshops are available to view anytime.

Students walking and talking


In addition to contacting Macalester Admissions directly, counselors can now view their students’ application status, add documents, and view admission decisions for Macalester using Slate.

For seniors

Early Financial Aid Assessment

For high school seniors who know Macalester is their college of choice and want to apply Early Decision, the Early Financial Aid Assessment gives them an early view of their financial aid package. It can reduce the worry about a binding decision and give them the motivation to apply Early Decision I or II.

Let’s Meet

We enjoy the opportunity to visit high schools and college access related Community Based Organizations both in-person and online. If you would like to invite a Macalester staff member to a college fair, workshop, case studies, panel discussion, or school visit, please send a message.

Macalester Campus

Connect with Us

Questions about Macalester, your application, or the application process? Get in touch with the Admissions Officer for your region.


  • How does the admissions committee review applications?

    Macalester Admissions practices holistic admission review. Factors such as academic performance in context, recommendation letters, essays, leadership experience and potential, and extracurricular involvement are thoroughly reviewed by the Admissions Committee. The most important part of your application is something students are already working on throughout high school; their performance in high school! It is this performance that is the best predictor of success in college.


  • Application deadline challenges due to illness, internet outages, or other natural or manmade disasters.

    Macalester Admissions staff are committed to supporting applicants affected by circumstances beyond their control (such as severe illness, internet blackouts, natural or manmade disasters, etc.) that prevent them from submitting the Common Application by our published deadlines. As soon as you are able, please contact our office at [email protected] to explain your circumstances.

  • Do you require test scores?

    Macalester has a permanent Test-Optional admissions policy includes ACT, SAT, 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 scholarships. 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, please submit your scores to our office or self-report them in the Common Application. 

  • Should students interview?

    Macalester interviews are offered to applicants who have begun their application process. Interviews are reserved for domestic applicants who are rising seniors, seniors, or prospective transfer students.
    Admissions interviews at Macalester are optional. Interviews are an opportunity to share or address anything you’d like included in your application.

    All interviews are conducted by a Macalester staff member and are only offered virtually.

    Interviews for rising seniors begin on August 1. Seniors who wish to interview must do so by February 1 of their senior year. Transfer students must request an interview by April 15. Each student may only interview once, and interviews are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Learn more or schedule your interview here.

  • What classes should students take in high school?

    The best preparation for college is a balanced and rigorous high school curriculum. For balance, students should take classes in all five academic core subjects: English, mathematics, history or social science, laboratory science, and world language. Challenge themselves by taking the advanced curriculum available at your school whenever possible. Some examples include honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. Most applicants will complete at least 20 academic core courses by the time they graduate high school.

    If you’d like the perspective of an admissions staff member on your course selection in high school, please get in touch with [email protected].

  • Can students receive college credit for classes they’ve taken? Can they use these credits to place out of classes at Macalester?

    Macalester College will accept a maximum of 32 semester credits earned prior to matriculation. College/university credits, summer-session college credits, credits earned through a post-secondary education program, College Board Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and GCE A- Levels are included in this 32-credit maximum. College/university courses will be evaluated once an official transcript is sent to Macalester directly by the sponsoring college/university. Transcripts are required for credit evaluation and transfer of credit. Please arrange for them to be mailed to the address below, or sent via secure electronic transmission to Macalester College. For more information refer to the Registrar FAQ.

  • How selective is Macalester?

    Macalester is a highly selective liberal arts college. Current information about acceptance rates can be found here.


  • Do you have a minimum GPA?

    Since school systems vary greatly, we look at an applicant’s high school record in the context of their school system rather than listing a minimum GPA. We also recognize that many school systems worldwide do not report a GPA or rank in class; in those cases, that information is not required. Whatever the system, we look for evidence that the applicant has academically performed at a very high level and has pursued a rigorous curriculum.

  • Advice for sophomores and juniors?

    Academically, sophomores and juniors should focus on their classes, paying attention to the recommended secondary school curriculum mentioned in the question, “What classes should I take in high school?” and take advantage of the rigor available. Continue their involvement in extracurriculars they care about that are available. Keep an open mind and start thinking about their priorities (college size, setting, particular majors or extracurriculars, etc.) for college. Then connect with the staff and students at those colleges to get a taste of the college experience before narrowing down a list. Learn more about Macalester’s programming and visit opportunities here.