I love Macalester. My professors are some of the most supportive and yet challenging people I have ever met. The opportunities (academic, extracurricular, etc.) I have been presented with are so much more than I have ever had in my life. The friends I have made here are people I believe I will love and learn from for the rest of my life.
Macalester College is such a great school. Professors are always available and are very helpful to students. Everyone on campus seems to get along with each other and coming to Mac is one of the best decisions I've ever made. It's located in a great neighborhood, many students from all over the country and outside the country, and academic excellence.
A small and cute school with very friendly people. You can walk around campus and eventually memorize everyone's name's, even the janitors! The school may be small, but they are very focused on academic and artistic intelligence and the staff help students every step of the way in pursuing their dream school. Career centers offer many outside classroom experiences such as jobs and internships because they have partnerships all around the city. Shops and clothing stores are just across the street and the neighborhood residents are friendly and respectable. The only downside to this school is that because it is small, their athletic departments are not in the big leagues. If you are a artistic, nerdish (I mean this in the nicest way), and liberal, this is school is the one for you.
I regularly recommend Macalester College. When I visited the school, I immediately had a positive feeling about the campus; I visited in spring, when students are regularly out playing frisbee, studying under trees, handing out fliers for campus events--all of the quintessential college activities. This view of Macalester as "the type of college you see in the fliers" has remained the same after more than a year here. Its small size means that it is easy to find your "group." Some characterize the grouping of friends at Macalester as "cliquey," but I find that while I have a central friend group, I could go sit with anyone from the football players to someone I've seen in one of my classes without worrying about fitting in. This small size also means that professors are extremely accessible. Office hours are easy to get to and happen often, so if you take advantage of these, it is easy to find professors who will forward you interesting articles, potential jobs, and prompt reference requests. I get an email from my advisor weekly, and was able to precept (TA) for a Statistical Modeling class he taught because of this connection. As for the math department, it is highly underrated. I came into Macalester with an intention to study international studies, and soon realized that I cared more for quantitative than qualitative data. I took Applied Multivariable Calculus II my first semester at Macalester, and fell in love with the way that Macalester professors ensure each student knows why the math we are learning is relevant. Even in Linear Algebra--a notoriously hard course at every university--we were taught how to use our knowledge to solve problems that ranged from biological to economic. I cannot recommend Macalester enough!
Macalester is a mediocre college with mediocre students and professors. There are some very interesting courses that you will not find elsewhere but on the whole classes are a hit and miss. Academic quality often suffers from disorganized professors or students who don't know how to handle the material. I have encountered a good number of students who are indifferent to learning, which is surprising for a liberal arts college. There are very few intellectual types on campus, and I have had very few satisfying discussions on serious topics outside the classroom. I would characterize most of the student body as "fashionably social-justice oriented" and "liberal without really knowing why". I am far-left myself but it sucks how many students take on political identities simply to fit in and shut out conservatives. As a result, no meaningful discussion takes place on campus. Most students have tight-knit cliques often formed around majors, extracurriculars, nationality and race. The last two can be subtle at times and while many student do not overtly discriminate, they chose to self-segregate. Thus, Macalester often oversells multiculturalism and internationalism. However, the administration is definitely committed to advancing these goals but for some reason the student body just isn't receptive. The campus is too small and claustrophobic, and residential facilities suck big time.
Party school. No depth. Lots of insecure students. Don't know how to debate or listen to one another. Bunch of weirdos. Vapid discussion. Suspicious of intellectual dialog. Feels like high school. Must play a sport or have some artistic talent. Bad weather. Avoid if you want to be a nerd.
Macalester is a great liberal arts school meant for someone who is the most comfortable in a small setting with a community that will support them. There is a large academic support system that is ranked 35 in the nation. Beyond that there are many opportunities for students of color to reach support.
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