Macalester College Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.




Macalester take pride in its diversity. 20{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} are international and 49 states are represented. Were an eccentric bunch, it is difficult to feel out of place hear. Although we just erected a 20 million dollar new athletic facility, were still warming up to athletics. So, if your favorite thing to do is watch school sports you may want to do some additional research. Macalester was voted most LGBT friendly school a few years back. Although we come from many different places and socioeconomic background, we get along well.


Liberal, Quirky, Smart. But in reality they are across the spectrum, somewhere around 15-20{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of students are international students, which leads to lots of diversity and learning about other cultures even just in the dorm halls. Students here are predominantly liberal, but conservatives aren't unheard of.


Intellectual, bright, encouraging.


My classmates are fun, quirky, enthusiastic, socially aware, and politically active.


The student body is very diverse geographically which is very nice. About 25{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} come from the Midwest, mostly from MN and WI, but the largest demographic are the students from the West Coast (CA, OR, and WA). The other large demographic is NYC followed by other East Coast cities. There is an international population on campus which is extraordinary, and regardless of what others say, the international students fit in with the very personable, open minded, and internationally minded domestic students.


Smart students come from around the world and across the country and they are hard-working, fun-loving, quirky, social, socially-responsible and generally good people and good friends.


Agnostic liberal hipsters who enjoy good intellectual conversation but are actually a lot more down to earth, fun and chill than they appear in class.


Fun, crazy, talkative, friendly, outgoing, occasionally annoying but good-hearted and lovable.


My classmates are mostly liberals with a search for knowledge and stive to use that knowledge to better the world.


Very intelligent people who want to learn for the sake of learning.


My classmates seem to be perfectly content to be students and never get a job for the rest of their lives.


Many are too eager to be involved


Very politically aware and left-leaning, very open to all races, sexual orientations, etc.) There is a little bit of different types of students staying together (ex. athletes hang out with athletes, internationals with internationals), but there are many exceptions.


Macalester is very liberal and so the community respects all views and ways of life. There is a high international population which is really nice. Most people are very humble and every one is treated equal regardless.


The Macalester student body is not very athletic and sports are not very popular. Frisby on the lawn maybe on exception but very little in the way of intermurial sports. The hispster look is very popular and there is rarely a baseball cap in sight. As far as social groups there is some mixing between international students, domestic students of color and white domestic students but it does happen. Most students come from well educated and wealthy families.


Tons of hippies who don't know what they're talking about. The school presents itself as multicultural but the majority of students are not (and by majority i mean like 70{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c}) Most of the kids come from Minnesota, middle class and up, and white.


The student body is broadly segmented into three parts - internationals, domestics of color, and everyone else. Obviously there are crossovers and subdivisions, but that's the general experience of pretty much everyone on campus. It's hard to integrate certain parts of the population with other - jocks, for example, tend to stay away from events about multiculturalism, while internationals tend not to care about domestic political events, etc. The LGBT community is significant and vocal, but there are of course bigots here like there are everywhere else - they're just socially less acceptable. Additionally, the LGBT community tends to be white-dominated, which can be hard at times for queers of color (though they do have their own group in addition to the Queer Union). People here are extremely laid back about dress. Extremely. A freshmen complained to me that she always felt dressed up because she put thought into her choice of dress for the day. It's true - if you wear nice jeans and a top and think to accessorize - you're dressed up. It's never been so easy. If that's hard for you, hopefully you find some fashion-conscious people; I promise there are plenty - they just tend to stick together. Most of Mac is from white suburbia, as with any college; but a huge number are not from this country at all. 70{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of the student body is on financial aid, which can be uncomfortable for some, but less so for other, depending on your economic background. While most here claim to be liberal - most are just politically apathetic. Sure, we want Obama in office, but not many will go out and do something about it other than get to the rally. Few attend the anti-war protests. I don't think you can judge Mac too harshly on this, though - percentage-wise, I'm pretty sure we're in line with other campuses nation-wide - most of the youth today really is just politically lazy.


Very ethnically diverse. On the other hand, people of the same ethnicities tend to hang out with each other.


Mostly white, suburban. International students are mostly on financial aid, normal backgrounds. Higher academic standing than the non-international students. There is a mild segregation between the internationals & non-internationals. Many are not as politically aware as advertised, and individually are not too politically active. Predominantly left, sometimes blindly so.


The students are very accepting of all kinds of people. Everyone interacts very well. There are some cliques, as with any school, but they are not exclusive. Generally, everyone knows everyone and gets along very well.


Mac's student body is refreshingly diverse, though still predominately white. However, we have students from all over the world, and from nearly every socio-economic background. A fair number of students are fairly wealthy and pay full tuition, though many do not. Mac's financial aid department is very, very generous. Students tend to be very politically active and left leaning, though there are certainly exceptions. We frequently have intellectual discussions outside of class, and certainly discuss future plans/careers. There is less social mixing of race, academic interest and social habits than we would all like to see.


As a typical leftist liberal arts school, Macalester is extremely welcoming of different ethnicities and orientations, but somewhat hostile towards religion. In terms of socio-economic status, the student body is highly diverse. This is probably a reflection of Macalester's financial aid policies. Students are from incredibly varied places. An extremely large proportion comes from outside the country, and domestic students come from every state. One of the characteristics of Mac students is political activism. People work for several different causes, from the environmental crisis to support for a political candidate. Students are so socially and politically aware that they often feel like they and their fellow students aren't doing enough to change the world. A student who would feel out of place at Macalester is one who focuses most of his or her energies on athletics, or one who values partying and social life over academics.


Great. A lot of weird people. Big international population of students that you really feel. A lot of people say that they are exclusive but I disagree with that - anyone can hang out with anyone, so long as they try.


I am constantly amazed by the LGBT friendliness of the campus. Coming from a very LGBT-friendly area, I expected less openness and tolerance, perhaps because of the school's location in the midwest. However, I misjudged both the school and the twin cities. What is especially refreshing at Macalester is the lack of novelty with which people approach those of other sexual identifications or orientations. Where some student bodies may react to a transgendered student by treating them like a curious exhibit, students here aren't surprised by much. Recently, a dorm was set aside as being "gender-free," so that students can have an environment where their gender identification does not have to affect their living arrangements. It had very widespread campus support. There is a huge lack of socio-economic diversity on campus, which especially in recent years can be attributed to the school ending need-blind admissions. Most students here are middle-class and above, and while most people I know are not necessarily wealthy, the school is not very accessible for working-class students. Another problem I see is the divide that occurs between international and domestic students. This is not based on race or ethnicity, but on the fact that the international students all come for their own orientation, at least a week before other students arrive. This means that they meet each other and become close friends before the domestic students arrive. This happens in the dining hall, although the cafeteria is small enough and the tables are close enough together that it's not very noticeable. People are certainly friendly, and hang out in larger groups that are mixed, but as far as close friends are concerned a divide certainly exists. Students are generally very politically aware, and range from slightly left of center to very left. Students to either side of that are in a minority, but there are enough of them (and enough students who don't pick friends based on political opinions) that it's not the end of the world. Sometimes the liberal rhetoric and Obama lovefests get a bit tiresome, but perhaps that just my cynical beyond-left approach.


The school is very diverse (racially, socio-economically, etc) but is not immune to the exclusive cliques that form anywhere. The international student body is a huge asset to the college but it not always accessible to the domestic students.


Macalester has a dominant body of international students who feel very cocky when they come to macalester but then feel more humble after getting B- in their econ classes. A student who loves watching the 700 club with Pat Robertson would certainly feel out of place. However, I may be a counter case. Students are very active politically. However, most of them have a very fairy tale outlook towards politics. Students don't talk about how much they earn. We despise wealth and money. Instead we live an aesthetic life of pot and cocaine.


Macalester is definitely a diverse campus. I have friends from all different backgrounds, races, and origins. Students here interact a lot and are very politically and socially aware. Students wear whatever they want whether it be doll-like beautiful dresses or the pj's they woke up in 5 minutes before coming to class.


One of the major complaints I have about Macalester's student body is the lack of integration of its diverse student body. While there are a ton of different places of origin, religions, races, and ideas represented in the Mac student body, some people are resistant to mingling with others who are different from them. While social integration at Macalester is sometimes unsuccessful, and there is sometimes tension between various groups of people, I really do appreciate Macalester's attempt to combine so many people who are bound to learn from each other in some way, at least a little bit.


We are all awesome and unique. Some are more unique than others, which makes observing very entertaining sometimes. Especially in the cafeteria.


Diverse, friendly, talkative, and helpful.


Macalester's student body is one of its major selling points, and it highlights the diversity on campus as well as the high percentage of international students. Both of these are definitely noticeable, but there tend to be some divides among students. While there is no real racial split, international students tend to move in their own social circle to some extent, because they arrive around a week earlier than everyone else and go through their own international student orientation. Everything tends to break down and become more varied by the end of the year, but there is a definite grouping of international students. Because Macalester is so liberal, it can be difficult to be a conservative on campus. There is a college republicans group on campus which works to raise awareness, but they are fighting a losing battle against an overwhelming majority of liberal students. Generally there is no outright discrimination against conservatives, but when considering policy the general choice is between liberal and less-liberal, and conservatives have to work to make their voices heard. If you are a conservative, come prepared to both learn alternative views and defend the views you maintain. Intellectually, Macalester's student body is both incredibly intelligent and laid-back. There are very, very few stupid people here, and a good quantity of outright geniuses. However, there isn't much (or any) academic competition, and most students tend not to stress too hard about school in general. Everyone has an issue and cares about the world, but these issues tend to override the importance of actual schoolwork.


I think a conservative student might feel out of place at Mac, although there are a certain number on campus. There a wide variety of racial, relgious and socio-economic backgrounds. I don't see the international and domestic students interacting very much at all in social circles. I think students are very politically aware and politically active, with people from the very far left to the center.


Macalester is far from a 'regional' school- students from many walks of life and all over the world end up here. Its institutional commitments to multi-culturalism and internationalism put it miles above many in terms of diversity and inclusiveness, but there are still complaints to be had. Students tend to hang out with people similar to them, creating three distinct separations- international students, white domestic students, and domestic students of color. Students are left-leaning and somewhat radical. There might be 7 Republicans on campus, and they are all probably on the football team. Macalester students are socially awkward kids who dress weird, have strange inside jokes, and were probably not traditionally 'popular' in high school And we take that as a compliment! Socialites and sorority girl/frat boy types might find Macalester a miserable place while us nerds are perfectly happy in our little utopia of social awkwardness. Though it breeds a very high level of sexual frustration as many of us are too socially awkward to date successfully! Macalester's financial aid is really good for a $40,000/year school. Most pay nothing close to that, so you get a really good school with some actual diversity in terms of social class. My group of friends consist of some people who's parents write the astronomical check each year, and others who are on full federal and Macalester grants because they have no money at all. It really varies and rarely comes up.


Macalester is WAY diverse with many students from all over the world. There are also many student organizations that allow students to learn more about each other and other cultures.


Republicans might feel a little out of place at Macalester because very few students are openly conservative. There isn't really a dress code at Macalester. There are plenty of hip stylish kids but then there are a lot of people that do not care at all what they wear, and then there are the few eccentric weird kids who wear pirate hats or what have you. There is not much domestic diversity, not many African Americans. Most black students are from Africa or Jamaica. There are international students, but they definitely stick to their own groups. Most Macalester students are from . . . . Well I'd say maybe 1/4 is from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Then 1/4 is from other countries. 1/4 from east coast, 1/4 from west coast. That is really rough and probably inaccurate. It seems like the majority of Macalester students are from wealthy backgrounds, this is kind of true, but not everyone there comes from money. It was never a problem or an issue at all while I was there. Most students are liberal. The student body is not as radical as it could be, a lot of Democrats, social reform etc. There is a small but strong group of active radicals. They give Mac a more radical face than it deserves. Students do not talk much about how much they'll earn one day, most people i know think they'll be poor.


A really well-rounded group of individuals, from many different backgrounds. Lots of international kids. Generally pretty left leaning, but open to discuss. Actually, dying to discuss. All the time. People at Mac also don´t really think about the outside world and future careers, or how much money they´ll make. The atmosphere is just competitive enough, and everyone really wants to help their colleagues out. The kind of student that would be out of place at Mac arre blonde, Hollister girls with their parents money who just wanna party. That doesn´t fly. Anything else is cool.


Macalester students tend to have a certian attitude and think highly of themselves simply because we go to Macalester. It is almost a pretentiousness, but not quite. But, there is extensive LGBTQ diversity (Mac was voted the #1 most accepting of the queer community), and a decent amount of racial and religious diversity, with a lot of that being international students. I have found little socio-economic diveristy at Mac, which is frustrating at times. There are very few cliques, some of the sports teams come close, but other than that there's not really any. One of the things I love is that clothing doesn't matter, and it is not unusual to see someone wearing bright purple and green striped spandex pants with a lepeord print shirt, and no one bats an eyelid. There are fads here, but they are different than the usual Northface, Uggs, and Abercrombie and Fitch fads. They are American Apperal, kafias, and Patagonia. The same is true of music. Most of the students here were the strange, alternative-types in highschool, so now a college filled with them brings out certian trends.


Macalester is a very liberal college, which does not tolerate intolerant people. Athletes would feel out of place at macalester if for no other reason then the athletics are pretty terrible. there is not a huge minority population either, but macalester tries to componsate by having a larger then normal international population.


The student body is very diverse. Lots of international students and students of color.


People are liberal. And accepting. Sometimes they try a little too hard to be PC but its always well intentioned. The large international portion of the student body tends to stick together. I primarily believe this is due to the extra week of orientation before the domestics get to campus. It kind of backfires, instead of gradually introducing them to life in the US, they form tight bonds with each other and have already formed little cliques by the time the rest of the students arrive. I've seen this trend continue throughout my entire time at Mac. But hey, theres lotsa love. And everybody gets along really well. You're almost guaranteed to find someone (or five) who shares your weird eccentric passion, be it rock climbing or brains!


There is a wide range of students at Macalester. Most are leftist in their views and like to think of themselves as more radical than they might actually be. People are generally open to those who go against the grain, as long as they do it with pride and can speak for themselves.


There is no such thing as a "typical" Macalester student- students come from all over the world, different racial and economic backgrounds, with many interests and passions. Most are liberal (which can be a disadvantage because there is a lack of friction to create depth in conversation) and share many beliefs about social justice. However, when it all comes down to it, cliques are still sadly separated along international/domestic, racial, and economic lines.


One of the reasons I came to Mac was because it felt more diverse than other schools its size. There is a significant international population so I always feel like I amlearning about other ways of life. Many say that the internationals are segregated but if you have one friend in that group you can easily become really close. So I would say there is definitely mixing of domestic and international students. Within the U.S. there is a wide variety of students from all over, not just from Minnesota or the Midwest. I also feel like financial backgrounds are varied, considering Mac is very expensive. All of my friends come from upper middle class backgrounds but there are definitely people from other backgrounds that I know, upper and lower class.


Macalester has a great reputation for being an open place to express one's racial, religious, sexual-orientation, or any other identity attribute. I know kids whose parents are so rich they'll pay every cent of that $180,000 or however much the cost will be after 4 years. I also know kids who come from backgrounds where their parents weren't able to pay any of the cost, and the school gives them aid. I know republicans, democrats, anarchists, communists, moderates, socialists, I know Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Athesits, Agnostics, and none of them chastise each other for their views.


There really are all different kinds of people on campus and I love it because it's not like that where I come from. I come from the infamously "most anti-liberal state" in the country, so... I honestly feel like there is a general acceptance of almost everybody on campus and its neat to see the variety of people. Obviously, most people on campus are liberal, but not everyone here is super interested in politics. I was worried about that at first because politics has always bored me, but it's been fine. I have actually become more politically aware just since being here, so it's nice to be educated in that respect, even on a surface-level


There are all types of students here, I don't think anybody would really feel out of place. However, at least in the first two years when we live on campus, I think everyone becomes a little bit more similar--which may be where the Macalester stereotypes come from. We begin to wear pajamas or clothes that resemble pajamas to class, because we live right there. And we begin to nitpick about problems in our small world, and become really concerned about waste within the dorms and dining halls, justice, how everything at Mac is run. I think this is actually healthy. It gives you a whole different approach to the "outside world." There are more upper class students than make me comfortable, being from a working class family myself. However, getting past politics and stereotypes, I have found friendships with a lot of people who initially turned me off. Not good to limit yourself like you did in high school based on preconceptions.


Campus diveristy is amazing. Mac students need to have open minds, because they are exposed to people from all over the world, with incredibly different stories. Generally, students come from a wealthier background (it's an expensive school!), but they are not economically oriented (much unlike UST, just down the road). Students pursue what they love--they generally want to help others, more than they want financial success for themselves. As smart as they are, Mac students still drink, and they still use illegal substances. It's not hard to find other students who don't drink or use drugs, but, on weekends, there are always parties and other substance-related activities happening. It's always difficult to meet people on weekends, because you never know if they're drunk or high, or what not.


Macalester is ranked by the Princeton Review as the Number 1 most gay friendly campus. Additionally, the student body is extremely diverse, representing 75 countries. We also have a lot of socio-economic diversity. As indicated above, all students are passionate, for a sport, political view, or academics, and it shows in campus events, publications, etc. The student body primarily represents varying degrees of left from political moderates to anarchists, but all groups respect each other. The student body is pretty well represented in the "Big Picture" section.


Macalester students are very active in everything they do. Protests, dance parties, and conversations about pressing issues are commonplace. People at Mac come from everywhere. It isn't uncommon that you will have a group of friends all from different states or countries. Mac students are very aware, mostly liberal, and most of all they are accepting and outgoing. Lots of students volunteer, or are active in campus activities.