College Visits: Macalester College

February 3, 2019

by Barbara Harris

A critical part of being a College Admissions Adviser is visiting college campuses to get a true feel for what the college has to offer. It is only through visiting you gain the vantage point of what the students look like, act like, the overall mood of the place and whether it's a place that would truly fit the student you are working with.

On a chilly January day (-8 F), I visited Macalester College in St Paul MN. Macalester has been listed as one of the "hidden ivies" and seems to be popping up more often on student's potential college lists., so I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. The campus is physically small but is well integrated into the neighborhood. The school is also small, only 466 Freshman but what comes across is that it's a great place to set your own course, to get to know your professors and to stand out on those majors where undergrad Professor recommendations are critical, for example Pre-Med. Students come from all over the country and the globe to attend. Many to major in Political Science and International Relations where they can attend the Koffi Anan (a Macalester grad) School of Public Policy. Students described the typical Macalester student as creative, a bit quirky, and politically or socially involved. While the campus is small there is great access to neighboring colleges: The College of St Thomas is literally a few blocks away, Hamline University if just a half mile away and the huge campus of University of Minnesota is bike riding distance as is the huge football stadium, so there is definitely access to all aspects of college life.