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College Visit Report - St. Olaf, Carleton, and Macalester

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We made our visit of St. Olaf, Carleton, and Macalester in August in association with St. Olaf’s Summer Visit Day.

St. Olaf

St. Olaf had the lowest key, easy going feel to it. St. Olaf is built on the top of a hill and is set off from the city of Northfield. There doesn’t seem to be business district nearby though downtown Northfield about 1 1/2 miles away which is full of fun shops, restaurants, and coffee shops. There is a bus that runs between St. Olaf, Carleton, Target. St. Olaf has a beautiful, sunlit science center, chapel, and activities center. 95% of the student live on campus. The activities center has the usual pool, climbing wall, gymnasium but is currently putting in a hockey rink. Participation in theater productions, instrumental and vocal groups are options at all 3 schools. My DD for who food is critical was greatly impressed with the gf crumb cake served at the reception and the 2 gf desserts served at lunch. Carleton is also in Northfield. The two share libraries, dining privileges, and, I believe, classes.

Carleton

Our visit at Carleton was kicked off with the Admissions rep in the information center with the statement, “Carleton is for nerds.” The bar is definitely raised at Carlton. A capstone project is required for every major, while they are optional at St. Olaf, and few students double major. On a trimester system, students tend to study abroad in the fall. I asked both the rep and our tour guide about the competitiveness of the student body; both reassured me that the students are supportive and not cut throat. As a highly selective school, the info session included some information about applying to colleges in general such as applying to safeties, matches, and reaches. Carleton’s campus is in the middle of a residential neighborhood and it has acquired and repurposed a number of the neighboring houses so that the campus does not have a distinct boundary and bleeds out into the neighborhood. The campus is also denser than many due to the restrictions of its site. 100% of Carleton’s students live on campus. Oddly enough, we did not even see or hear about the athletic center though at the other two schools we heard that they competed against Carleton. Northfield’s downtown is just a couple blocks from campus which appealed to my DD who occasionally likes to escape.

Macalester

Macalester, the quirkiest of the three, is in the heart of St. Paul. It is at the intersection of two bus lines which can easily take the students downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul. The school takes advantage of its location and 3/4 of the students do local internships. Students are required to live on campus their first two years and their dorms were older. The internships and the living arrangements seemed to give the student body a more outward focus, definitely more than St. Olaf and Carleton. Macalester prides itself in being international; for the Midwest, it does have a higher than average number of international students. The cafeteria served a wide range of food from ethnic to typical grille food. Campus is fairly typically in layout with some connected buildings which is beneficial in Minnesota winters. There appeared to be a restaurant district nearby but unfortunately the nearest ice cream shop was 1 1/2 miles away.

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I live pretty close to Macalester!  I think there is ice cream shop (Nelson's) about 1/2 mile from the SE corner of campus.  That shop is on a direct bus line  from campus.  LOL.  ?  

I actually love all 3 of these schools!  My son is interested in music and we are full pay so hoping for merit, so he just applying to Olaf of those 3.  I suspect it would cost about about 1/2 as much for kid to attend Olaf as Carleton with his stats and it's definitely the choice for musicians/performing artists and I do think with their merit dollars they have their own nerd contingent.   We actually heard nothing about sports or the athletic center on our visit there?  Interesting!  We're going back next month for an interview and a music session.  I've heard from locals applying that Carleton is not the best with financial aid.  I do know at least 1 student there right now having a fantastic experience!  And I know a bunch of alumni from all these schools too.

Mac's location is really nice.  It's urban while still having a campus feel and having some green spaces, etc.  The students there really do seem to get out into the larger community.  I actually wish there were more LAC's like that.  My son's best fit is an academically strong LAC with strong music but he'd also love to be urban.  

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Thanks for that! Interesting to hear that Macalester is the quirkiest of the three....DS has kept it on his list because on paper it seems like a good fit (and he likes the idea of having a more urban school in the mix--he mostly has a lot of small town and rural options), but it comes across as kind of vanilla and blah from everything we've seen online (virtual tours and the like)...the need to bring the quirk a little more in their marketing materials ? . 

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You're right kokotg.  Mac's marketing material is quite boring and doesn't really show the school well.  I noticed the marketing changed shortly after we started getting mailings.  It's a great school!  

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2 hours ago, kokotg said:

Thanks for that! Interesting to hear that Macalester is the quirkiest of the three....DS has kept it on his list because on paper it seems like a good fit (and he likes the idea of having a more urban school in the mix--he mostly has a lot of small town and rural options), but it comes across as kind of vanilla and blah from everything we've seen online (virtual tours and the like)...the need to bring the quirk a little more in their marketing materials ? . 

 

Funny because dd got a ridiculous letter from Macalester (she thought it was a joke) that literally said, "blah blah blah..."  It was awful and we hated it.  I'm going to try to attach it - I've never attached anything here before.  

blahblah.jpg

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2 hours ago, kokotg said:

Thanks for that! Interesting to hear that Macalester is the quirkiest of the three....DS has kept it on his list because on paper it seems like a good fit (and he likes the idea of having a more urban school in the mix--he mostly has a lot of small town and rural options), but it comes across as kind of vanilla and blah from everything we've seen online (virtual tours and the like)...the need to bring the quirk a little more in their marketing materials ? . 

Interesting because of all of the marketing material my DD has gotten, she has enjoyed Macalester’s the most. That is saying a lot because last year Mac’s rep at the local college fair implied that DD was not prepared to attend based on her dual enrollment high school. Usually that would have turned her off to a school but this time it didn’t. 

The info presentation was the most creative and interesting that we have seen following 4 students through their years and beyond at Mac. In addition, the tour guides and students panelists were quirky. 

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3 minutes ago, Arch at Home said:

Interesting because of all of the marketing material my DD has gotten, she has enjoyed Macalester’s the most. That is saying a lot because last year Mac’s rep at the local college fair implied that DD was not prepared to attend based on her dual enrollment high school. Usually that would have turned her off to a school but this time it didn’t. 

The info presentation was the most creative and interesting that we have seen following 4 students through their years and beyond at Mac. In addition, the tour guides and students panelists were quirky. 

 

I really wish we could visit before he applies, so we could get a better idea--but hearing a first hand report is the next best thing!

So far our favorite college mail was from Carleton: they sent a flyer complete with instructions on how to turn it into an origami penguin ?

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3 minutes ago, kokotg said:

 

I really wish we could visit before he applies, so we could get a better idea--but hearing a first hand report is the next best thing!

So far our favorite college mail was from Carleton: they sent a flyer complete with instructions on how to turn it into an origami penguin ?

I will have to see if DD got one of those. 

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I've attended a few conferences at Carleton and from my sample size of one department (history), I was impressed. Everyone from the school involved with the conference was professional, yet friendly in a real sort of way - not just conference friendly is that makes sense. It struck me as a place that took their academics seriously but not in a cut-throat way. 

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I'm a St. Olaf graduate, and I really enjoyed it there.  That was eons ago though, and things may have changed.  ?  It always felt like a lot was going on, very student friendly, great rapport between students and teachers, politically engaged.  Weekends were lively because so many students lived on campus.  It did have a midwestern preppy feel to it, but I think that's changed.  From what I gather, it draws a lot more students from other parts of the country now.  I was a California transplant, and I remember thinking it was funny that I was walking around in my bell-bottoms and hippie blouses and everyone else wore Norwegian sweaters.  (That was in the early 80's.  :))  It was a very warm and safe-feeling campus.  I wasn't there for the music or science, like many were.  I was involved with their athletics.  My dh went there too (that's where we met).  He's very bright and really researched carefully schools that had a top-notch political science program and ended up there.  He wasn't disappointed.  We walked downtown on weekends sometimes, and it was an easy walk down the hill.  But, there was also so much going on on campus, we didn't feel that need too often.  It's a Lutheran college so does have a subtle Christian emphasis (and even daily chapel -- completely optional and often the time is used for more secular, inspirational talks;  it varies).

We went to Carleton when we wanted a quieter weekend to study.  We'd take a shuttle to their campus and spend the day in their library.  It had the reputation of being very highly academic, even more so than St. Olaf (which also had a very academic feel to it).  I used to imagine that everyone there spent their entire weekends in the library studying -- haha.  I'm sure it wasn't quite like that though.  I really don't know much about Carleton.  It did have a nice, comfortable feel to it though!

We've known several people in recent years who have gone to Macalester.  I love, love, love that neighborhood.  It's one of my favorite neighborhoods in the TC.  (And is the neighborhood my dh grew up in.)  It used to have a hippie vibe (back in the 60's/70's);  several of my hippie-leaning relatives went there back in the day.  I picture it being like a mini-Berkley back then.  Several children of friends of ours have gone there in recent years, and interestingly, about three of them left after the first year or two, or questioned leaving.  This is just random views of people of course, so take it for what it's worth!  These friends are liberal leaning, into environmental studies, etc.  They said it didn't quite feel comfortable for them.  It has a great academic reputation, but felt more elite than it used to, and a little judgy.  Not as warm an atmosphere as they'd hoped.  Still liberal leaning, so I thought it was interesting that even some of my liberal leaning friends would feel uncomfortable there.  On the other hand, one of my dd's has said that she probably would have enjoyed going there.  Between the academics and other political and social-justice type opportunities, she feels it might have been a really good fit for her.  So there you go!

I actually think I would have enjoyed any of them.  I would have found my niche.

 

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On 10/16/2018 at 8:47 PM, Kassia said:

 

Funny because dd got a ridiculous letter from Macalester (she thought it was a joke) that literally said, "blah blah blah..."  It was awful and we hated it.  I'm going to try to attach it - I've never attached anything here before.  

blahblah.jpg

 

We actually thought this one was funny. The day it came we had received a stack of college mail (like every other day) and this one seemed to sum up the blur that all the advertisements have become. It was actually a welcome change for us. Like it or hate it -- it definitely gets attention.

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3 minutes ago, Woodland Mist Academy said:

 

Like it or hate it -- it definitely gets attention.

 

Yes!  I thought the same thing!  I hated it but posted it on my facebook page where a lot of people commented on it.  

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I remember a few years ago Carleton sent my daughter, unsolicited, a full-sized frisbee wrapped in plastic. It was ironic, because their commitment to living green was emblazoned boldly on the excessively packaged and undesired frisbee which traveled a couple thousand miles to get to her ?

Carleton is a great school though, and I know a happy recent grad of Macalester  and a current student at St Olaf (amazing operatic singer.) Lots of great opportunities in Minnesota (I went to school there too.)

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On 10/18/2018 at 4:44 PM, J-rap said:

I'm a St. Olaf graduate, and I really enjoyed it there.  That was eons ago though, and things may have changed.  ?  It always felt like a lot was going on, very student friendly, great rapport between students and teachers, politically engaged.  Weekends were lively because so many students lived on campus.  It did have a midwestern preppy feel to it, but I think that's changed.  From what I gather, it draws a lot more students from other parts of the country now.  I was a California transplant, and I remember thinking it was funny that I was walking around in my bell-bottoms and hippie blouses and everyone else wore Norwegian sweaters.  (That was in the early 80's.  :))  It was a very warm and safe-feeling campus.  I wasn't there for the music or science, like many were.  I was involved with their athletics.  My dh went there too (that's where we met).  He's very bright and really researched carefully schools that had a top-notch political science program and ended up there.  He wasn't disappointed.  We walked downtown on weekends sometimes, and it was an easy walk down the hill.  But, there was also so much going on on campus, we didn't feel that need too often.  It's a Lutheran college so does have a subtle Christian emphasis (and even daily chapel -- completely optional and often the time is used for more secular, inspirational talks;  it varies).

We went to Carleton when we wanted a quieter weekend to study.  We'd take a shuttle to their campus and spend the day in their library.  It had the reputation of being very highly academic, even more so than St. Olaf (which also had a very academic feel to it).  I used to imagine that everyone there spent their entire weekends in the library studying -- haha.  I'm sure it wasn't quite like that though.  I really don't know much about Carleton.  It did have a nice, comfortable feel to it though!

We've known several people in recent years who have gone to Macalester.  I love, love, love that neighborhood.  It's one of my favorite neighborhoods in the TC.  (And is the neighborhood my dh grew up in.)  It used to have a hippie vibe (back in the 60's/70's);  several of my hippie-leaning relatives went there back in the day.  I picture it being like a mini-Berkley back then.  Several children of friends of ours have gone there in recent years, and interestingly, about three of them left after the first year or two, or questioned leaving.  This is just random views of people of course, so take it for what it's worth!  These friends are liberal leaning, into environmental studies, etc.  They said it didn't quite feel comfortable for them.  It has a great academic reputation, but felt more elite than it used to, and a little judgy.  Not as warm an atmosphere as they'd hoped.  Still liberal leaning, so I thought it was interesting that even some of my liberal leaning friends would feel uncomfortable there.  On the other hand, one of my dd's has said that she probably would have enjoyed going there.  Between the academics and other political and social-justice type opportunities, she feels it might have been a really good fit for her.  So there you go!

I actually think I would have enjoyed any of them.  I would have found my niche.

 

So... did you take a class with my Uncle?  Professor Leming? Sociology...

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I love that Macalester blah blah letter!  

I attended high school in Iowa, and Carleton definitely attracted the smarter kids in my class.  

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We got back from our second visit to St. Olaf last evening. The campus was covered with snow but the walks were clear and most were where sneakers. Campus is fairly compact and has only one dining hall.

DD spent the night in the dorm and then we did the typical visit, admissions presentation, tour, spoke with financial aide, she sat in a class, and we both ate lunch with a student in the cafeteria. DD had a good overnight. There were two prospective students and as their hosts were friends, they hung out as a group playing ping pong, pool, touring the best study spots, and grabbing shakes. DD had been provided with not only meal passes but $10 for the snack bar/coffee shop so the shake, the next mornings' coffee drink and pastry were all on the school.

St. Olaf definitely scored points on food. DD is on a gluten-free diet and St. Olaf definitely has the best accomodations. DD had a waffle (albeit frozen at breakfast), a pastry from the the coffee shop, and two desserts for lunch. No other school we visited came even close. Standare gf sweet fair is Udis brownies or chocolate chip cookies and ice cream.

Our tour guide and lunch student were both engaging, fairly knowledgable, and low key. The guide had homeschooled through 10th grade and then dual enrolled and earned a AA prior to graduation which is similar to DD's situation. The guide claimed that she had successfull transferred a large number of credits including some which qualified for her major. In hindsight, I wished that we had talked to an Admission's person about transfer credits, honors, and a few other items but that was not an option when signing up and I did not think to ask to do that.

DD was impressed with the buildings with their expanses of windows and light wood. Even the dorm room had a large bay window which differentiated it from others we had seen.

DD attended a 300 level conservation class. She said that the students did not participate in discussion without prompting. The professor spent quite a bit of time both before and after the class talking to the two prospective students and gave DD a contact for further information.

My impression is that St. Olaf is not as competitive as Macalester and Carleton but still provides a quality education. They work with students with unique major desires to make them work.

DD was quite pragmatic about St. Olaf. She acknowledged that there were somethings that she would prefer not to have like the religion requirement but realized that she would have some type of reservation about every school. She is still hopeful that one of her outstanding schools will accept her but feels comfortable with St. Olaf if that does not happen.

 

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Thanks for the updated recap! I wonder if the snow is still going to be around when we're there in a couple of weeks 🙂 . People not talking in class was one thing DS noted at the first class he sat in on in Hendrix, which kind of bummed me out....but then on our next visit he tried a different class, and there was a lot more discussion. It's so hard to tell anything from a single visit (or even two!), but that's all they have to go on to make such a big decision. Glad your DD feel like St. Olaf would be a good option! 

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1 hour ago, kokotg said:

Thanks for the updated recap! I wonder if the snow is still going to be around when we're there in a couple of weeks 🙂 . People not talking in class was one thing DS noted at the first class he sat in on in Hendrix, which kind of bummed me out....but then on our next visit he tried a different class, and there was a lot more discussion. It's so hard to tell anything from a single visit (or even two!), but that's all they have to go on to make such a big decision. Glad your DD feel like St. Olaf would be a good option! 

MN is having a big snow melt right now. Temperatures have risen and they were supposed to get a lot of rain. Flooding is predicted.

The not talking has always pushed my DDs to prefer the highly selective schools. It definitely could have been this class but my older DD had a similar experience in an St. Olaf humanities class a couple years ago. That said this DD may not have a more selective option. 

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On 3/13/2019 at 7:42 PM, Arch at Home said:

MN is having a big snow melt right now. Temperatures have risen and they were supposed to get a lot of rain. Flooding is predicted.

The not talking has always pushed my DDs to prefer the highly selective schools. It definitely could have been this class but  older DD had a similar experience in an St. Olaf humanities class a couple years ago. That said this DD may not have a more selective option. 

 

On 3/13/2019 at 7:42 PM, Arch at Home said:

MN is having a big snow melt right now. Temperatures have risen and they were supposed to get a lot of rain. Flooding is predicted.

The not talking has always pushed my DDs to prefer the highly selective schools. It definitely could have been this class but my older DD had a similar experience in an St. Olaf humanities class a couple years ago. That said this DD may not have a more selective option. 

 

On 3/13/2019 at 7:42 PM, Arch at Home said:

MN is having a big snow melt right now. Temperatures have risen and they were supposed to get a lot of rain. Flooding is predicted.

The not talking has always pushed my DDs to prefer the highly selective schools. It definitely could have been this class but my older DD had a similar experience in an St. Olaf humanities class a couple years ago. That said this DD may not have a more selective option. 

Hi, my duh brought my ds16 to visit St Olaf last Friday. Ds really likes it. However, when we read the brochure, we found that only 6 PSEO credits can transfer. I read that your tour guide had a lot credits transferred, I would love to know it is true. It would be great because ds will do PSEO for his junior and senior years and will have 16 classes he will dual enroll for. That is a lot of college classes. We do hope St Olaf will allow him to let these credits transfer and count so that it will take off at least one year of college time. 

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50 minutes ago, JadeOrchidSong said:

 

 

Hi, my duh brought my ds16 to visit St Olaf last Friday. Ds really likes it. However, when we read the brochure, we found that only 6 PSEO credits can transfer. I read that your tour guide had a lot credits transferred, I would love to know it is true. It would be great because ds will do PSEO for his junior and senior years and will have 16 classes he will dual enroll for. That is a lot of college classes. We do hope St Olaf will allow him to let these credits transfer and count so that it will take off at least one year of college time. 

A couple of years ago I know that the number on credits that transferred was severely limited. I have no reason not to believe our guide but I definitely recommend following up with the school if this is critical in the decision making process.  

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The bit about 6 PSEO/DE classes transferring at Saint Olaf is still true as far as I know.  That info is still on their website.  I know other PSEO students who have chosen not to pursue Saint Olaf for that reason.

My senior is  accepted there and has an ok financial offer from them but between our public flagship options throwing a bunch of money his way and accepting all his PSEO credits.  He's interested in dual degree.  And having really amazing music teachers actively recruiting him at other schools, we are probably going to pass on Saint Olaf.  Which is a shame.  It was very high on my kid's list and I still think in some ways could have been his best fit.  Their music department has not been overly welcoming or forthcoming with information in our experience.  He may hail mary and see if he can set up a sample lesson down there for a better feel, but I'm definitely leaning toward another option for him right now.  

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On 10/16/2018 at 1:36 PM, Arch at Home said:

We made our visit of St. Olaf, Carleton, and Macalester in August in association with St. Olaf’s Summer Visit Day.

St. Olaf

St. Olaf had the lowest key, easy going feel to it. St. Olaf is built on the top of a hill and is set off from the city of Northfield. There doesn’t seem to be business district nearby though downtown Northfield about 1 1/2 miles away which is full of fun shops, restaurants, and coffee shops. There is a bus that runs between St. Olaf, Carleton, Target. St. Olaf has a beautiful, sunlit science center, chapel, and activities center. 95% of the student live on campus. The activities center has the usual pool, climbing wall, gymnasium but is currently putting in a hockey rink. Participation in theater productions, instrumental and vocal groups are options at all 3 schools. My DD for who food is critical was greatly impressed with the gf crumb cake served at the reception and the 2 gf desserts served at lunch. Carleton is also in Northfield. The two share libraries, dining privileges, and, I believe, classes.

Carleton

Our visit at Carleton was kicked off with the Admissions rep in the information center with the statement, “Carleton is for nerds.” The bar is definitely raised at Carlton. A capstone project is required for every major, while they are optional at St. Olaf, and few students double major. On a trimester system, students tend to study abroad in the fall. I asked both the rep and our tour guide about the competitiveness of the student body; both reassured me that the students are supportive and not cut throat. As a highly selective school, the info session included some information about applying to colleges in general such as applying to safeties, matches, and reaches. Carleton’s campus is in the middle of a residential neighborhood and it has acquired and repurposed a number of the neighboring houses so that the campus does not have a distinct boundary and bleeds out into the neighborhood. The campus is also denser than many due to the restrictions of its site. 100% of Carleton’s students live on campus. Oddly enough, we did not even see or hear about the athletic center though at the other two schools we heard that they competed against Carleton. Northfield’s downtown is just a couple blocks from campus which appealed to my DD who occasionally likes to escape.

Macalester

Macalester, the quirkiest of the three, is in the heart of St. Paul. It is at the intersection of two bus lines which can easily take the students downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul. The school takes advantage of its location and 3/4 of the students do local internships. Students are required to live on campus their first two years and their dorms were older. The internships and the living arrangements seemed to give the student body a more outward focus, definitely more than St. Olaf and Carleton. Macalester prides itself in being international; for the Midwest, it does have a higher than average number of international students. The cafeteria served a wide range of food from ethnic to typical grille food. Campus is fairly typically in layout with some connected buildings which is beneficial in Minnesota winters. There appeared to be a restaurant district nearby but unfortunately the nearest ice cream shop was 1 1/2 miles away.

The nearest ice cream shop is 1.5 miles away..HOWEVER.....that really is not so far to walk when considering how many calories are being consumed. But I did want to add that MPLS/ST Paul have an AMAZING public transit system. When I lived there so long ago, we would just go stand on the corner where we knew the bus would come and not even worry about schedules.  I have been TOLD the rivalry between Olaf and Carleton has tapered through the years, but it was pretty bad 25-30 yrs ago. Carleton's bathrooms were coed back then, would assume they still are now.  St Olaf has an amazing musical thing near Christmas.

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SOunds like great visits! I had fun reading it even though I've never been to the midwest and son is committed to PennState.

However, I would point out- with the very important ice cream shop, that your dd will not be there for prime Minnesota ice cream months, eh?  🙂  I mean, I guess September is an ice cream month, and May?  But the rest of the year I'm thinking ice cream will not be the food of choice.  😛

I think Careleton sounds great! 

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1 hour ago, Calming Tea said:

SOunds like great visits! I had fun reading it even though I've never been to the midwest and son is committed to PennState.

However, I would point out- with the very important ice cream shop, that your dd will not be there for prime Minnesota ice cream months, eh?  🙂  I mean, I guess September is an ice cream month, and May?  But the rest of the year I'm thinking ice cream will not be the food of choice.  😛

I think Careleton sounds great! 

We are an ice cream family. Our motto is “It’s never too cold for ice cream. “ Though it could be too cold to walk 1 1/2 miles for ice cream. 😃

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17 minutes ago, Arch at Home said:

We are an ice cream family. Our motto is “It’s never too cold for ice cream. “ Though it could be too cold to walk 1 1/2 miles for ice cream. 😃

We were at Macalester today and thought about going to the closest ice cream place....the website said it was still closed for winter 😞 

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On 3/13/2019 at 4:52 PM, Arch at Home said:

We got back from our second visit to St. Olaf last evening. The campus was covered with snow but the walks were clear and most were where sneakers. Campus is fairly compact and has only one dining hall.

DD spent the night in the dorm and then we did the typical visit, admissions presentation, tour, spoke with financial aide, she sat in a class, and we both ate lunch with a student in the cafeteria. DD had a good overnight. There were two prospective students and as their hosts were friends, they hung out as a group playing ping pong, pool, touring the best study spots, and grabbing shakes. DD had been provided with not only meal passes but $10 for the snack bar/coffee shop so the shake, the next mornings' coffee drink and pastry were all on the school.

St. Olaf definitely scored points on food. DD is on a gluten-free diet and St. Olaf definitely has the best accomodations. DD had a waffle (albeit frozen at breakfast), a pastry from the the coffee shop, and two desserts for lunch. No other school we visited came even close. Standare gf sweet fair is Udis brownies or chocolate chip cookies and ice cream.

Our tour guide and lunch student were both engaging, fairly knowledgable, and low key. The guide had homeschooled through 10th grade and then dual enrolled and earned a AA prior to graduation which is similar to DD's situation. The guide claimed that she had successfull transferred a large number of credits including some which qualified for her major. In hindsight, I wished that we had talked to an Admission's person about transfer credits, honors, and a few other items but that was not an option when signing up and I did not think to ask to do that.

DD was impressed with the buildings with their expanses of windows and light wood. Even the dorm room had a large bay window which differentiated it from others we had seen.

DD attended a 300 level conservation class. She said that the students did not participate in discussion without prompting. The professor spent quite a bit of time both before and after the class talking to the two prospective students and gave DD a contact for further information.

My impression is that St. Olaf is not as competitive as Macalester and Carleton but still provides a quality education. They work with students with unique major desires to make them work.

DD was quite pragmatic about St. Olaf. She acknowledged that there were somethings that she would prefer not to have like the religion requirement but realized that she would have some type of reservation about every school. She is still hopeful that one of her outstanding schools will accept her but feels comfortable with St. Olaf if that does not happen.

 

St. Olaf is a "Lutheran" school but quite secular.  It does have a religion requirement, but I have several good friends who would call themselves atheists and loved it there.  Religion is taught more philosophically.  Of the three schools you listed, St. Olaf truly has the most beautiful campus.  🙂  

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5 hours ago, J-rap said:

St. Olaf is a "Lutheran" school but quite secular.  It does have a religion requirement, but I have several good friends who would call themselves atheists and loved it there.  Religion is taught more philosophically.  Of the three schools you listed, St. Olaf truly has the most beautiful campus.  🙂  

Dd in her second visit realized that there were a lot of “religion” classes which addressed religion’s interface with secular culture, the Bible in Film, and world religions. These classes though not her first choice would interesting to take. 

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My kid is athiest and thought there were enough options for him at Saint Olaf.  Like they had religious symbolism in famous films, in Harry Potter, etc.  We know plenty of non-religious/non-Lutherans who've attended.  It's not a conservative campus at all.

We actually live local to Mac.  So much so that when I took my kid to tour he wondered why the heck anyone would want to attend.  LOL.  I strongly disagree.  I will attend Mac in my next life.  😉 

The closest ice cream is only .8 miles walking and is on a direct bus route.  That one is the one open seasonally.  It actually opens this weekend!

https://goo.gl/maps/GiTHj4qceRz

If you need winter ice cream, you can take the bus straight down Grand Ave to Grand Ole Creamery

https://goo.gl/maps/my9XrRsstcP2

or Izzy's is open year round.  That is my favorite!  That is 1.6 miles and single bus accessible too.

https://goo.gl/maps/DeyHuRpyruz

Snuffy's Malt Shop is 1.1 miles and that's a burger/malt place.  Also walking/single bus accessible

https://goo.gl/maps/nEbpNRoSjMF2

Just doing my part for local ice cream consumption!

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