St. Olaf stuck out to me because of its excellence both in music and in academics, specifically mathematics (my double major). It seemed to have the best balance between conservatory quality music training and a highly regarded liberal arts education.
The whole mission of the college is centered on developing the unique talents of each student. From the passionate professors to the beautiful campus, the students feel special and can believe that they are capable of bettering the world with their education.
It promises small classroom sizes, individual attention and a quality education.
It's simultaneously Lutheran, heteronormative and Norweigan, yet environmentally friendly, worldly and diverse.
I loved it there and would go back in a heart beat! I think the St. Olaf experience is one that can't be matched by other schools!
The professors. Each student gets the proper attention and specialized help from every professor. For example; if a student's grade on a test is lower than a B-, they will have to schedule an appointment with a professor to find effective study methods. Almost every class gives participation points. Lastly, most of the professors are graduates of St. Olaf, so they love to keep traditions, help the students, and bring in their kids once in a while. I have had end-of-the-year parties at many of my professor's houses.
It is very environmentally friendly and has a strong alumni network. It is also very well known especially in other countries and has strong study abroad programs.
Olaf is great if you want a diverse academic experience, lots of off-campus opportunities, a vibrant history and culture, and community feel. If you want an independent, chaotic, or prestigious school, Olaf probably isn't the best fit for you.
The campus, its history, the great professors, and the emphasis on community.
St. Olaf has a great pre-med program compared to other small liberal arts colleges. It also had a wonderful feel on campus. Everyone was nice and willing to help out with anything. The students really seemed to know what was going on. St. Olaf has a movie theater, a club (the Pause), and many other things to do on weekends.
The sense of community is extrememly prevalent on campus.
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