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Undocumented Applicants

If you are an undocumented student, you are welcome to apply and join the Mac community. We are here to support all students in their application process and their time at Macalester.

Requirements for Your Application to Macalester

  • Common App Account & Application

    At you can create an account and choose Macalester for your college list. There are many resources to help you in your application process – including an Application Guide for First-Year Students. If you do not disclose this information in your Common Application, please call the Admissions Office to update your record as an undocumented student applying to Macalester. If you wish to be considered for financial aid, you must indicate your interest when you apply via the Common App. Macalester does not have an application fee.

  • High School Transcript

    Request that your secondary school(s) send Macalester official transcript(s) of all classes and grades beginning with 9th grade, through junior year.

  • Two Recommendation Letters

    Required: Two recommendation letters

    • One recommendation letter from a counselor or school official
    • One recommendation letter from a teacher – An evaluation from a teacher in one of the core academic subjects (English, social studies, world language, mathematics, or science.

  • 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. More about Early Decision

  • Senior Year Grades

    Early Decision and Early Action applicants must self-report in-progress senior grades using the In-Progress Grades form in your portal checklist. Grades must be submitted between the following dates:

    • ED I between November 1 and November 18 
    • EA between November 1 and December 1
    • ED II between January 1 and January 18

    Regular Decision applicants must request that a school official (counselor or registrar) send us an updated transcript by February 14 if senior year first-term grades are not on the initial transcript. If an updated transcript is not available before February 14, please contact [email protected]

Optional Items

  • ACT or SAT

    Macalester has a Test-Optional admissions policy for 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 to consider which portion of their academic record they would like Macalester to consider in the review process. 

    There is no penalty or disadvantage for students who choose not to submit test scores in the selection process. All applicants are given equal consideration for admission and scholarship opportunities. 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. Macalester’s testing codes are 2122 (ACT) and 6390 (SAT).

  • Art Samples or 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 application portal.

  • Online 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 recommended, but are not required. Your interview will be part of your application file, so it’s 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.

  • Additional Recommendation Letter

    Applicants are not required nor encouraged to submit more than the two required recommendations. However, if you wish to have an additional letter of support, we ask that you choose carefully to ensure that the additional recommendation provides a new perspective not already present in your application.

Application Deadlines

Macalester accepts the Common App or QuestBridge Application.* Learn more about all the key dates associated with each application process, and find out why Early Action or Early Decision may be right for you.

  • Early Decision I November 1, 2024
  • Early Action November 1, 2024
  • Early Decision II January 1, 2025
  • Regular Decision January 15, 2025

* Applying as a QuestBridge Scholar? View important dates and deadlines for QuestBridge Scholar Program applicants, which differ from Macalester’s deadlines.

Early Decision

Ready to choose Macalester?

If your sights are set on Macalester, why wait? Early Decision is an excellent option for first-year applicants who know Macalester is their first-choice college.

Financial Aid Policy

Macalester’s long-standing commitment to internationalism and multiculturalism includes a significant financial aid fund for qualified students. The College meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students. Admitted undocumented students who are not permitted by law to work in the U.S. would receive an additional Macalester student loan to replace the amount typically earned through student employment.

To apply for financial assistance, undocumented candidates must complete the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Financial Aid Profile. Undocumented students residing in Minnesota may be eligible to receive state grant funds under the MN Dream Act (also known as the Prosperity Act). More information about this application process can be found on the MN Office of Higher Education website.

Undocumented Applicant Contact

Elyan Paz
AVP and Dean of Admissions
[email protected]

Admissions FAQs

  • How are undocumented students and those in the process of applying for asylum in the U.S. considered in the admissions process?

    In Macalester’s admissions process, undocumented students are considered domestic applicants.

  • Are students in the process of applying for asylum in the U.S. considered international or domestic?

    In Macalester’s admissions process, students who have pending asylum cases in the U.S. are considered international applicants. We ask that they keep us informed of changes to their asylee status.

  • How would you advise an undocumented student to reveal their status?

    Student records, including applications, are protected by FERPA. The best way to indicate status is through your admissions application or by phone call. Emails are not a secure platform and we do not encourage students to share this sensitive information by email.

  • How does citizenship status affect their application?

    Applicants with a completed application are given full consideration for admission regardless of citizenship status.

  • Is there a separate/different application process for refugee and displaced students who are outside the U.S.? What if they are not able to submit certain application requirements?

    Refugee/displaced/stateless students follow the same application process as all other applicants. Information about how to apply is available on our Apply webpage.

    Applicants who are unable to contact school officials or teachers to submit their academic records, provide letters of recommendation, etc. due to circumstances beyond their control should contact [email protected]. There are certain requirements that cannot waive, such as education records/transcripts, but Macalester Admissions will consider alternatives and workarounds on a case-by-case basis.

  • Are there any resources or advice you can share with refugee and displaced students living outside the United States and want to pursue their education in the U.S.?

    There are a number of non-profit organizations and agencies dedicated to supporting refugees and displaced persons. If they are able, students should connect with their nearest EducationUSA Advising Center. In addition to helpful online resources, EducationUSA advisors may be able to help connect students with additional resources and support for applying to schools in the United States. Another resource is the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The UNHCR has numerous programs and resources, including helping refugees continue their education.

  • What other piece of advice would you give an undocumented student hoping for admission at your school?

    Macalester practices holistic admission review. Factors such as academic performance in context, letters of recommendation, essays, leadership experience and potential extracurricular involvement are thoroughly reviewed by the Admissions Committee. During the summer our counselors host a series of admissions-focused workshops. We recommend that you review the recordings for information about the college admissions process. 

  • Can undocumented, refugee, displaced, US asylum seekers receive scholarships? Is there a special scholarship available?

    All admitted students are considered for merit-based scholarships, regardless of citizenship status. No additional merit scholarship application is required.

Financial Aid FAQs

  • Are undocumented students eligible for need-based aid?

    Macalester’s long-standing commitment to internationalism and multiculturalism includes a significant financial aid fund for qualified students. The College meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students. Admitted undocumented students who are not permitted by law to work in the U.S. would receive an additional Macalester student loan to replace the amount typically earned through student employment.

    Additionally, each year we select several admitted students from Minnesota for the Minnesota Opportunity Scholarship. For this particular need-based scholarship, preference is given to students who are  Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), first generation to college, and/or undocumented.

  • What financial aid application should refugee/displaced/stateless use to apply for need-based financial aid?

    All refugees/displaced/stateless students, including students with pending asylum cases and are  residing in the United States, should follow the financial aid application process for international students. International Student Financial Aid

  • What financial aid application should undocumented students use to apply for need-based aid?

    To apply for financial assistance, undocumented candidates must complete the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Financial Aid Profile. The CSS PROFILE costs $25 for the first school and $16 for each additional school you would like your information sent to. Eligibility for a fee waiver is assessed at the time you complete the PROFILE. The College Board offers some guidance to give you an idea of if you might qualify for a PROFILE fee waiver

  • Since I am an undocumented student in the US, and my parents pay taxes, have savings accounts, and have assets within the US, will using your college’s net price calculator for domestic students give me an accurate figure of what my expected family contribution could be?

    MyInTuition and the Net Price Calculator estimates will not be accurate for undocumented students since these online tools are designed to include federal aid and work study eligibility. Information from the completed CSS Profile allows us to consider taxes, savings, and asset information for families in the financial aid application process.

  • I understand that your college meets FULL demonstrated need for ALL students (including international students) but due to the fact that I reside in the US, is your institution still need-aware/need-sensitive towards my application? Does applying for financial aid factor into the decision of whether I am admitted into your school?

    Macalester is committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of every student we admit. Unfortunately, our financial aid budget is not unlimited, so the amount of financial aid an applicant requires is a factor as we decide which students will be offered admission. Students requiring large scholarships will face greater competition in the selection process.

Student Life FAQs

  • How does Macalester support undocumented students?

    There are systems of support for undocumented students at Macalester College. The Lealtad-Suzuki Center for Social Justice (LSC) works to provide support and resources for undocumented students. In addition, the LSC will host social gatherings and resource workshops for undocumented, refugee, displaced, US asylum seekers, and immigrant students throughout the academic year. 

  • Does the campus public safety enforce immigration law? Does your school allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers on campus without a warrant?

    Public safety officers at Macalester are employees of the College and are not contracted through the Saint Paul Police Department. The Macalester Department of Public Safety and the Macalester community believe all students are entitled to a safe and secure environment for community members to live, learn, and work regardless of citizenship status. Macalester does not permit Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers on campus, nor does it allow enforcement of immigration law by campus safety officers without a warrant. 

  • Does Macalester share student immigration status with ICE?

    No. Student records are protected by the Family Educational and Privacy Act (FERPA). This federal law protects the privacy of these records at educational institutions, including elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities.

  • Does Macalester provide confidential legal support to students with immigration law questions and issues?

    Any current undocumented Macalester student who needs assistance understanding their rights can work with the Lealtad-Suzuki Center for Social Justice to locate confidential legal support in the Twin Cities.

National and Regional Resources

Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

Informed Immigrant | Aid Eligibility Requirements for non-US Citizen