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St Olaf College Reviews

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  • 08/22/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    16 out of 16 people found this review useful. 1 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Undecided: the liberal arts philosophy allows for experience in many different fields to inform your decision. Sciences (especially Biology and Natural Science): Biology is the top major at St. Olaf, and on an extra-curricular level, the campus is making a big push to go green and use renewable energy. Music and the performing arts: The Music department is almost like a small conservatory within a liberal arts college, and the other arts (theatre, dance, visual art, etc.) have strong programs that work together to create entertaining and thought-provoking pieces and performances. Political Science and advocacy: Not only is the political science department strong, but many students are involved in some sort of political campaign or volunteer organization. For example, every spring break, busloads of St. Olaf students make a trip to different parts of the US to do service work with Ole Spring Relief. The most recent trip was to Nashville, TN. English and literature: English is another one of the top 5 majors at St. Olaf and many students are involved in one of the conversation programs (Great Conversation, American Conversation, Asian Conversation, Science Conversation). There are also frequent open mic nights where original poetry or music is performed.

    Tips for prospective students

    I will repeat that I am a strong advocate for the liberal arts education. While looking for your future college, be sure to find a place that includes your areas of interest, but do not limit your possibilities. St. Olaf has so many strong departments that it is not uncommon for someone to change their major multiple times (and still graduate on time!)--even people who come in with what they think is a set track to their future. I would not say that this is in any way wishy-washy or lenient, but rather challenging, informative and shaping.

    Bang for the buck

    While tuition is steep, it is good to look at all that is available to students for free--or rather included in the cost. All concerts, recitals, theatre performances, sporting events, dances, lectures, movies, athletic facilities and transportation is free or at the very least at a discounted price. You don't even need to save your quarters for laundry! I know that I would be spending much more out of pocket on a regular basis if I did not have these forms of entertainment and other facilities available to me on campus for next-to-nothing.

    Am enjoying being here

    The St. Olaf community is one that provides not only a great study environment, but also a great deal of care a support for its students. It truly becomes a place to call home because it allows you to feel comfortable learning, growing, and having fun not only in the classroom, but in student organizations and residence life as well. This community extends past the student body to faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and the Northfield community. Once an Ole, always an Ole!

    Am learning a lot

    Of course in the classroom I feel that I am learning from some of the brightest professors I will meet, but I am also learning a lot about myself through classes I take, interactions with others on campus, volunteer and abroad opportunities, and extra-curricular activities. I also strongly advocate the liberal arts education that is offered at many institutions including St. Olaf. It gives students a chance to look at many different fields--some that they may never have imagined being of interest to them--that most often supplement, or even inform, their major. Psychology majors take theatre courses and investigate how one becomes a character while a music major takes Physics and learns more about sound waves and perception. Meanwhile a student on the Pre-Med and Spanish track might take an Anthropology course that completely reshapes how they see their future. The possibilities seem endless!

  • 04/27/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    10 out of 10 people found this review useful. 2 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is really safe, the only threat would be other students and people here seem to be kind-hearted.

    Greek Life

    There is no greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many clubs and activities on campus there are sometimes not enough students to support them. If you want to get involved there are definitely opportunities.

    Great for these types of students

    Open-minded, questioning and curious students willing to live in a small community in a residential setting.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is a Norweigan, Lutheran heritage to the campus which comes out in events during Christmas Festival and heritage days. People flock to the campus in Norweigan sweaters to enjoy dinners of lutefisk and lefsa. During the normal school year though, it is like any other college campus and there are not an overwhelming amount of blonde hair and blue eyed students.

    Bang for the buck

    St. Olaf is one of the most expensive private colleges in MN. You do get a great education, but with the job market, make sure that the price of your degree is worth what you want out of school. If you just want a degree to get a job, St. Olaf is not for you. You have to want to grow as an individual and discover yourself to make it worth the cost.

    What to do for fun

    Students learn to create their own fun. There are not a lot of big concerts or parties like at a large university so gatherings are mostly small groups of friends.

    Food and Dining

    The food at St. Olaf is amazingly good, healthy, and sustainable. Much of it is locally grown and students learn to really appreciate well cooked and diverse meals.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms at St. Olaf are outdated and crowded. However, the beauty of the campus and ease of which you can get around campus makes them tolerable. Living in such close proximity with a variety of people challenges you in your interpersonal skills. As you progress through school, there are options to live in a single room or off-campus if you prefer.

    Academic Rigor

    Professors at St. Olaf really care about your growth as an individual and will challenge you with assignments. If you ask for help, you will receive it and students are encouraged to be engaged and active in their learning both in and out of class.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure that you want to go to a residential campus. Most students do not have a car and it is not very easy to get to the twin cities. There are benefits and downsides to going to college in a small town, so make sure it is right for you.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf is truly a liberal arts college where you are challenged to explore your interests and find your passions. There are a plenitude of activities to get involved in and many faculty willing to help you. The campus is gorgeous and it is a wonderful place to spend four years.

  • 03/02/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    7 out of 17 people found this review useful. 1 person found it offensive. 3 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Bio/chem >Brand new awesome building called regents. Built to learn /study. grow. excell. Music Great con.

  • 04/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    7 out of 7 people found this review useful. 4 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is relatively safe and has active security that patrol. I have felt safe walking at night, however it is very easy and acceptable to call the St. Olaf Public Safety for a ride. There is also a volunteer EMF organization that works closely with Public Safety. They provide two-person call during the academic year from 7pm to 7am, all weekend, and special events. They also have instructors certified through the Red Cross to teach CPR, AED, and First Aid for those who would like to learn and earn certification. After 11pm students use key cards to enter dorms because they are locked for security.

    Greek Life

    There is no Greek Life. Instead, if you wish to live in a house associated with the campus there are Honor Houses that are very nice. I have not lived in an Honor House but have heard they are full of great fellowship and worth it.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are numerous clubs (everything from academic to Quidditch to theater to volunteer organizations to dancing), honor societies, as well as many recreational sports and classes. If you want to view current clubs, check out the college's website (www.stolaf.edu), click current students on the left, then choose Student Organizations. A note of caution: it is very very easy to get involved in activities and become over-extended, make sure you get enough rest too! If you enjoy music there is a variety of opportunities and all of the performing groups are top-rate. The fine arts programs all have amazing professors, so if you become involved in their out-of-class activities you will find wonderful mentors. Professors still practice their crafts professionally in the Twin Cities or elsewhere, whether dancing, acting, directing, performing music, conducting, or creating art.

    Great for these types of students

    Bright and well-rounded individuals who are reflective and thinking people. Those who care about making a positive difference in the world and doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Effort and the will to try is very important. Most students will find outlets for their interests at whatever level they wish, whether arts, athletics, academics, volunteering. Students who like to be involved will find much to do. Those who are friendly, positive and honest will make friends very quickly.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Unique experiences include the annual Christmas Festival by the choirs and orchestra, a nationally recognized performance. Um Ya Ya is chanted quite often, especially at athletic events.

    Bang for the buck

    The networking opportunities during and after college are extremely helpful. Ole's, the nickname for those who are attending or have attended St. Olaf, are very willing to help one another whether in internships, advice, anything. For example, I received the opportunity to work as a student worker at a University of Kansas Medical Center research lab because I was able to contact an alum that is a senior researcher in the lab. If you want to gain experience in something, whether leadership or otherwise, opportunities on campus are abundant. You can join or create an organization for almost anything. St. Olaf is known for its study abroad programs in 46 different countries. One can study abroad for January Interim, a semester, or a whole year concentrating on almost any area of academics.

    What to do for fun

    If you enjoy the performing arts, there are always music events, dance performances, and theatrical plays happening. The Pause hosts entertainment guests and dances. There are many athletic events to choose from. Buntrock Commons has a theater that hosts movies, including recent Oscar-nominated movies. If you want to leave campus, it is easy to walk to downtown Northfield, a quaint town with character.

    Food and Dining

    The cafeteria is amazing. There are several different stations including pasta, vegan, burgers, sandwiches and more. In the morning one can request an omelet and choose from a variety of ingredients. There are other dining options on campus including a nice restaurant, a Panera-like cafe called The Cage, The Pause which is open late and has pizza that can be ordered, a mini-cafe in the science building with delicious coffee drinks, and a student-run cafe in one of the dorms. Much of the food is grown locally which is good for the environment because of reduced energy for travel. Milk, microwave dinners and ice cream can be bought in the convenience section of the bookstore.

    Dorm Life

    The sense of community in dorms is very strong and there are many options of rooms to choose from. Some buildings are modern in style, some have intriguing history, all are beautiful. There are kitchens for students to use, gathering rooms with comfy couches and chairs, tv's to use. Some dorms have small chapels.

    Academic Rigor

    St. Olaf College is highly-ranked in academics. The math and science programs are highly regarded. The college has a wonderful new science building and a Biomedical Studies Concentration that can go with any major. St. Olaf College has a strong liberal arts tradition. One learns to integrate subjects and so doing becomes more creative in solving problems, which is a necessary skill in post-college careers. The music programs are top-notch and the ensembles are nationally recognized. St. Olaf College is also ranked ninth among US baccalaureate colleges in the number of graduates who earn doctorates, especially in the fields of math/statistics, religion/theology, music, arts, medical sciences, physical sciences, chemistry, life sciences, education, social services, and foreign languages. St. Olaf College is known for producing Fulbright Fellows and Rhodes Scholars as well as preparing students for medical school. About 80 percent of graduating seniors who apply to medical school are accepted, compared to a national average of 49-50 percent. Classes are relatively small so students recieve more attention than many other schools. The professors are all brilliant and very much respected in their fields.

    Tips for prospective students

    A good academic record and high scores on the ACT or SAT help. It is also very good to be well-rounded. Show in your essays that you are a reflective and thinking individual. Visit the campus and take advantage of opportunities such as attending classes and activities.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf College has excellent academics, wonderful performing and fine arts programs, a gorgeous campus, one of the best cafeterias in the USA with nutritious and local food, a new environmentally sound science building, beautiful art and dance building, and a state-of-the-art athletic building with a climbing wall. More than that, St. Olaf College is a true community and one ends up with life-long friends and mentors. A focus on ethics and making the world a better place permeates each class, and St. Olaf College is also highly-ranked in study abroad programs as well as the number of students who volunteer afterward in organizations such as the Peace Corps.

  • 06/20/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 6 people found this review useful. 5 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    It is a very safe and inviting campus. We have an honor code in the classrooms and even in the Commons, students leave their backpacks sitting outside of the cafeteria unattended without fear of theft.

    Greek Life

    There is no Greek Life on this campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a co-curricular fair once a semester, so there are plenty of chances to get involved in new clubs!

    Great for these types of students

    Intellectually-curious, driven, humanitarian, and quirky individuals.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every December there is a large choir concert called Christmasfest. It is broadcast all over the country and everyone dons their Norwegian sweaters and attends for good music and Christmas carols. It is a tradition that it snows during Christmasfest - somehow it happens every year at least once that weekend!

    Bang for the buck

    As a private institution, the school is very pricey. That being said, it does well with the money given and is constantly working towards sustainability.

    What to do for fun

    Though it is a small town, with another college nearby there are always plenty of events going on. The town itself has great dining opportunities. During weekends, there are always movies, dances, and concerts to attend.

    Food and Dining

    St. Olaf uses Bon Appetit food service and is consistently ranked one of the top college cafeteria's in the country. Along with the school's environmental club, the cafeteria is continuing in it's goal of becoming even more food conscious, buying local ingredients and reducing waste whenever possible.

    Dorm Life

    As a small, community based school, St. Olaf has a four-year housing requirement. It is possible to request off-campus housing if you want to live elsewhere, but with your friends in the dorms, it's a lot of fun. The dorm rooms themselves are nothing out of the ordinary, but they're comfortable.

    Academic Rigor

    This is a challenging school, with of course some majors being more rigorous.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be put off by the rural location, the community on campus is fantastic and there really is a lot to do in Northfield. Get involved, but don't overextend yourself.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf College is a small liberal arts college in the rural town of Northfield, Minnesota. It has a Norwegian, Lutheran heritage that is seen throughout campus, from our accordion club to our Limestone buildings. In addition to its esteemed academics and beautiful campus, the cafeteria food is fantastic.

  • 07/28/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 6 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Hard working and friendly.

    Tips for prospective students

    Apply for Financial aid. Visit and meet some people on campus.

    Am enjoying being here

    I love it here!! The campus is beautiful and the people at the school are wonderful. Its a great community to be a part of.

    Am learning a lot

    Awesome professors that help you to understand the material and put it into real life situations.

  • 04/24/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 7 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    St. Olaf is generally a very safe campus. I have walked back to my dorm at 2 in the morning and have never worried about my safety.

    Greek Life

    None

    What to do for fun

    Movie bus, walk through the natural lands, go to concerts and dances, make your own fun.

    Food and Dining

    The dining services on campus are fantastic!

    Dorm Life

    Many of the girls on my floor freshman year bonded and are still good friends.

    Academic Rigor

    St. Olaf is no easy school. It's often referred to as the Harvard of the Midwest.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get involved with student activities!!

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf is a great learning community. The people you meet are amazing. The food is also the best.

  • 01/01/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 8 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    You feel safe walking back alone in the night from the library. If you are feeling lazy, public safety is open 24 hours and will take you anywhere to your destination.

    Clubs and Activities

    Anything you can dream of is at St. Olaf, even Harry Potter Club!

    Great for these types of students

    Love life, open to new things, musical or enjoy listening to music or the arts, and ready to have fun!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    CHRISTMAS FEST!!! St. Olaf Choir plays on National TV every Christmas season. They are phenomenal and ranked high in the nation. Behind the scenes, there are people from around the world that come and watch this concert that takes place for a week. Campus is beautiful with radiant decorations and Holiday fever in the air. Students, alumni, and St. Olaf enthusiasts alike are adorned in ugly sweaters and embrace the Norwegian traditions of Cafeteria food, such as Lutefisk and other unique Norwegian food that you would never try on your own. Only at St. Olaf!

    Bang for the buck

    Fantastic Financial Aid and network. Piper Center was innovated recently and it has endless opportunities for jobs, networking, resume consulting, internships, scholarships, etc. Everyone is here to help you.

    What to do for fun

    This school has everything you need to have fun. They have an superb events coordination staff, which plays movies, concerts, plays, outings, dances, and things you never thought of that always give you something to do!

    Food and Dining

    EXCELLENT! My mom's cooking is good, but you can't beat St. Olaf. You have your own desert area with fresh baked cheesecakes, cookies, etc. Great vegetarian, vegan, gluten, etc options. There is a chef that makes your own omelets for you, like Benihana style! Students who have severe food allergies are greatly accommodated by the head chef, and students are able to text the chef to tell him what they want to eat!

    Dorm Life

    Students are respectful but know how to have fun. The community is tight within the cooridors. We had a fun Hoe-Down, Murder-Mystery Party, Fast Food Formal, Winter Walk, breakfasts, and much more. It is so fun!

    Academic Rigor

    You have to work hard to do well at this school. Professors hold their students up to these high standards because they want to help us be better thinkers and develop our own understandings. This school is not invested in training you for a specific career but this Liberal Arts education prepares you for life and beyond. It gives you the tools to operate the 2/3 of your life when your not working.

    Tips for prospective students

    St. Olaf embodies students that behold a strong work ethic and commitment to helping others, therefore try your best in high school. They really value students and help you become the best person you can be. Come here if you looking for the most excellent food, endless fun events (concerts, dances, theatre, etc) and enjoy the community of students that love being Oles.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf College is a gem. Musicality and class transcends throughout, as it embraces a strong diverse community, with rich traditions that make St. Olaf a magical Harry-Potter-like place to enjoy studying. Christmas Fest sets St. Olaf apart from any school in the world, where people come from all over the country (compelled by the pride of being an Ole) come to reunite with the Norwegian culture by wearing ugly sweaters for a week as well as eat the traditional Norwegian food, such as Lutefisk.

  • 06/20/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    3 out of 6 people found this review useful. 9 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Highly motivated students.

    Tips for prospective students

    Apply for scholarships/aid!

  • 05/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 10 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Public Safety works around the clock to make sure the students feel safe. There is a non-alcohol policy on campus so it is possible to be written up for consuming and/or possessing. Overall, Northfield is a safe and friendly town.

    Clubs and Activities

    Clubs for various majors and academic interests. Volunteer opportunities. Intramural and club sports.

    What to do for fun

    The Pause is an area for students to relax, do homework, and socialize. It contains a television area, a small eatery with some of the best pizza, and a large stage and entertainment area where dances take place. Frisbee and campus golf are popular outdoor activities in the nice weather. Caf tray sledding down the hills is popular in the winter.

    Food and Dining

    Bon Appetite provides the perfect mixture of foods to be served at St. Olaf College. St. Olaf has been top rated for some of the best food for private schools in the United States. The staff are amazingly friendly and efficient with their duties. There are a variety of foods to choose from: Mexican, Italian and Asian cuisine, burgers, grains, organic food, salad bar, cereal, desserts, and a home line that changes daily. The food is very savory and the dining hall is beautiful.

    Dorm Life

    As a freshman you are placed into a dorm with an unknown roommate. Although some dorms have fairly small rooms, the dorms are kept in fairly nice condition. The maintenance staff are very helpful and will listen to most needs. After freshman year you are placed in a drawing to choose your next dorm room, which can be fairly stressful. As you get older there is a better choice of dorm rooms with more space and the choice of living off campus.

    Academic Rigor

    If you are interested in receiving one of the best educations in Minnesota then St. Olaf is the place for you. Although academically challenging, St. Olaf prepares you for the life ahead of you. The professors provide valuable support and the college has a variety of resources, all which help you to accomplish future goals.

    In three sentences

    A friendly and open campus with a great atmosphere. A perfect environment for students to receive their necessary education. The people are friendly and the teachers are highly intelligent.

  • 05/31/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 11 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    After college I think I will not going to encounter a place as safe as St.Olaf college again. I lost so many items such as my key and ipod but I always got them back.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are different clubs such as Asian club, Boxing Club, Yugioh Club, and many more clubs.

    What to do for fun

    During my free time I like to play basketball with friends and used my time to go over homework.

    Food and Dining

    I never gone hungry. The food at St. Olaf college was really that damn good. There were different types of food such as Asian food and Mexican food. However, sometime we can get tired of them.

    Dorm Life

    My dorm life was great. I was placed into the smallest dorm of the campus. However, I had the best year of my life, almost everyone in the same dorm know each other.

    Academic Rigor

    The academic side is a little hard particularly for me because I am a new citizen to the United States. However, the school and my connection with professors really got me to create a new lens to view the world around me.

    Tips for prospective students

    The best tip is to know how to manage your time and do not ever procrastinate.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf College is an amazing campus. The students there are very welcoming. It has the best food out of all the colleges in the nation.

  • 06/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 12 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    As mentioned before, campus safety is of utmost importance, and largely because of the community and trust that is built, there is hardly ever a problem in terms of safety. Dorms and buildings do lock at night, and there are safety precautions in place, but drastic measures are rarely taken, and it is thanks to the student body and faculty and staff that Saint Olaf has such a safe, open environment. Every day backpacks, laptops, cellphones and purses can be found left in common areas or café tables for hours at a time, with no fear of theft, and our Post Office boxes do not have locks. Both of these things speak of the campus-wide trust that is held in high regard, and also speaks about our community as a whole.

    Greek Life

    None.

    Clubs and Activities

    Many clubs and activities are available around campus. Some include the Student Government Association, Presente (the Latino awareness club), the Volunteer Network, the After Dark Committee (a planning committee for fun nighttime events on campus), mentoring for students in Northfield or Minneapolis, and the campus radio station, where students can host their own radio show every week.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Many of the dorms are considered haunted and every year there is a ghost tour on Halloween. On Fridays, flowers are sold and can be stuffed into friends' or boy/girlfriends' Post Office boxes. During finals time, we have many activities including paws for finals where local individuals bring their dogs so students can play with them to relieve stress, and a silent library dance party in which students play their ipods and dance in the library in silence.

    Bang for the buck

    Saint Olaf is very expensive, but there are endless opportunities and resources on campus for students, and classes and professors are definitely worth the money. The community that is built, and the way students are taught to think critically for themselves is something that is priceless.

    What to do for fun

    Saint Olaf is a dry campus; this does not mean that there is no alcohol use, but it is a definitely a safe, open, non-threatening environment. Otherwise, there are many things to do on and off-campus almost all the time. Whether it be visiting the cafés or bars in downtown Northfield, visiting the Carleton campus - a 20-minute walk - or participating in the many activities offered around campus, there is never a dull moment. There are free movies on the weekends, galleries to visit, theater and dance performances to see, excursions and scavenger hunts, sledding down our great hills in the winter, and often there are special activities like laser-tag, casino nights or carnivals. Many students are also involved in many student organizations and volunteer work in various ways.

    Food and Dining

    Our cafeteria is often ranked top in the nation. Enough said.

    Dorm Life

    As a residential college (96% of students live on-campus all four years), the community at Saint Olaf is extremely important. The College works hard to create a safe, open environment where everyone is welcomed. JCs (Junior counselors; students in their third year who live in freshman dorms and act as guides for them during their first year) do their job extremely well, creating welcoming environments, hosting fun events and educational activities, and always being present to answer questions or handle emergency situations. Many times, very close relationships are created in freshman corridors and with the JCs. Laundry is free, floors are divided by gender, a kitchen can be used at all times, and every dorm has a great lounge with TVs, pool tables, darts, music practice rooms and pianos.

    Academic Rigor

    Academically, Saint Olaf is very rigorous. Professors expect very much from their students, and students definitely rise up to the challenge. Saint Olaf has an Honor Code in place, which means that it is up to the student's honor in the classroom; for example, the professor is never present during an exam, and students must sign the honor pledge before turning it in.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't put-off an interview or a campus tour, as these will very likely make your decision in choosing a college. Keep connected with admissions counselors, advisers, and don't be afraid to reach out to current students to find out more about whether or not it's a right fit. If you do decide to go to Saint Olaf, be prepared to work very hard (in the classroom and outside as well) and make close friends quickly.

    In three sentences

    The Saint Olaf campus is beautiful, welcoming and friendly, and although Saint Olaf has a stigma of hosting purely blonde-haired, blue-eyed, middle-class students we are actually in fact quite diverse, and becoming more so as time passes. The resources provided for students are almost endless, and professors are incredibly helpful and caring of their students. Classes are challenging and students are encouraged to speak their minds, hold their own opinions, and challenge themselves and others.

  • 08/07/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    2 out of 3 people found this review useful. 13 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    It's a bit expensive but I feel that it would be worth it.

    Will enjoy being here

    It seemed to have a strong sense of community.

    Will learn a lot

    From what I saw when I visited the campus, it looked like a fantastic school!

  • 10/11/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 14 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    If you prefer a nice, quiet, place.

    Tips for prospective students

    This college seems to be more towards the Arts. The sport facility is not that great.

    Will enjoy being here

    The campus is very beautiful. Everything is clean and sleek. It's a very nice place for someone that prefers more of a silent environment, as there is no heavy traffic or streets surrounding St. Olaf. The Twin Cities are just 30-45 minutes away, so going there on the weekends won't be a hassle.

  • 06/09/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 15 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students who love being involved in many many many activities, and who are not afraid to be creative and imaginative. Musicians are always welcome, because St. Olaf has one of the best music programs in Minnesota.

    Bang for the buck

    The cost of St. Olaf is definitely paid back in the education that you receive there. Students at St. Olaf are learners, growers, artists, and innovators. St. Olaf is definitely the place to receive an education beyond other private liberal arts colleges.

    What to do for fun

    Music concerts abound during the weekends and even during the week. Attend as many as possible! St. Olaf's theater department also does productions, any they never disappoint. Northfield is also a wonderful little town, and there are awesome places to visit in town, especially the Indian restaurant Chapati.

    Food and Dining

    St. Olaf is ranked nationally for their amazing food. Even though it can get repetitive, I feel as if I am always being fed the best quality food around the country.

    Dorm Life

    I lived in Hoyme my First Year on the Hill. It was a fantastic community, and my strongest friends are from the dorm I lived in. Embrace the dorm lifestyle, but don't forget to get out once and awhile!

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are always fun and exciting, and especially challenging. I learn from classes, not only about the subject being taught, but about life and even about myself.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get involved! St. Olaf students are known for their involvement in community activities, extracurricular activities, and music ensembles. Challenge yourself, go outside the box. St. Olaf is for those who are creative and innovative, and are here to change the world.

    In three sentences

    A fantastic environment for a growing musician, St. Olaf College combines the rigor of a music conservatory with that of a liberal arts institution. Attending St. Olaf has allowed me to strengthen connections with musicians, peers, and professors. If you want to live in a community that is both nourishing yet challenging, St. Olaf College is for you!

  • 06/23/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 16 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    You are safe everywhere and at anytime. Safe Ride is like an on-campus taxi service and there is no charge. Other than the officers giving out excessive parking tickets, and the squirrels... the campus is very safe.

    Greek Life

    None. But there is a supply of athletes and bros who will give you more than enough frat-boy-minded exposure.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a ton to do. If you choose to hide on your computer and phone you will never see it but there are opportunities all over campus.

    Great for these types of students

    All... though there is a small representation of minorities on campus. Admissions continues to push greater and greater diversity but minorities represent a small percentage of student body.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The windmill right off the hill is a fun reminder of the green campus. Study in one of the new lounges of Regents or Tomson or the LINK at some point. Buy pizza from the Pause. It's the best in town and for less than $1/slice, you can't go wrong.

    Bang for the buck

    St. Olaf is expensive. You're going to take a financial hit but if you can make it work, you won't regret it.

    What to do for fun

    Excellent exercise facilities means you can always do something physically active by yourself or with a group. Join the intramural sports groups with friends from your hallway or stairwell. Go see the natural lands. Go visit other dorms. Go hear one of the many large music ensembles perform. Join one of the bazillion clubs.

    Food and Dining

    Top of the country. You will eat really well. Seating can be a little crowded after 6pm but otherwise you make it work.

    Dorm Life

    Dry campus means you will drink if you want to drink and you will always have friends just a few minutes away. The students are mostly respectful of decisions and values so one rarely feels pressured to do anything with which they are not comfortable.

    Academic Rigor

    You will work your butt off to get an A. This institution is nothing like high school so get ready to work.

    Tips for prospective students

    Talk to your roommate... The land of MinnesotaNICE usually means non-confrontational and unnecessary pent up frustration. Developing interpersonal skills will only help you in the long run.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf is an incredible school with professors and staff who genuinely get to know the student body. You will not eat in a better cafeteria anywhere! Come find yourself as an Ole and join this incredible community.

  • 01/15/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 17 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I feel very safe, security is apparent, the teacher and staff care about us.

    Clubs and Activities

    I'm in the ballroom dance club and the swing dance club, I am on the Hoyme Hall Councel as a corridor representative, I'm in choir, I am also a Hosting Ambassador( which means i host prospective students for a night and give them a tour of campus and show them what life is like on the hill.)

    Great for these types of students

    Any one seeking a diverse cultural experience in a close nit college community.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Sledding on the hill with food service trays

    Bang for the buck

    I always wanted to be an Ole, now that I am one.....life just doesnt get any better.

    What to do for fun

    Dance, Sail and attend the down time activities provided by St. Olaf. There is not need to leave campus to have fun, St. Olaf takes care of its students

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is like being at home with one big family, everyone watches out for everyone else

    Academic Rigor

    The classes are challenging and can push me to my limit, however, there are so many resources to help you.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard, play hard, and go with it.

    In three sentences

    To be an Ole is a great honor and an experience I will have with me my entire life.

  • 01/02/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 18 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I have NEVER felt unsafe on our campus or even right off campus. Public Safety is amazing and there are always three or four officers out all day every day. We also have something called Safe Ride. Safe Ride will pick up a maximum of two people until midnight every day. I take advantage of this when I park my car late at night and do not really want to walk in the dark, by myself all the way back to my dorm. They will also pick you up if you need a ride from campus to off campus houses if you live there. It is great and there are never any questions asked regardless of the way you are utilizing the ride. Regardless, I truly appreciate the campus safety at Olaf. I never ever question my safety.

    Greek Life

    There is not a greek life at St. Olaf. One unique thing is that we have Honor Houses. These houses are right along the outer parts of campus. Many are language houses for example I know of the Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and German houses and I know there are a few more. These language houses host activities pertaining to the language and culture and usually the students that live there are either majors and/or natives from that country. We also have honor houses like the Poetry House, the Gay Pride House, and Diversity House, just to name a few. It is really fun to go down to the houses on the weekends and see what activities will be in store!

    Clubs and Activities

    As I said, you will always be able to find something that interests you. Music, radio, sports, politics, economics, faith, anything you can think of I will bet you Olaf has a club, organization or activity that will be suiting to you!

    Great for these types of students

    Honestly any type of student will feel welcomed at Olaf. If you are an athlete or interested in music you will love it, if you want a challenging academic schedule you will love it, and if you enjoy meeting new and interesting people you will love it. There are also quite a large number of foreign students that come from all over the world to attend Olaf. I have learned about many different cultures and it has been fun meeting people who are different than me!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The first thing that comes to mind for me is our school song :) It is very catchy and is one of my favorite things to do at sporting events. It may be more special to the soccer program but after we win games we go over to our fans and everyone sings the fight song! My favorite place to hang out on campus is the Pause. There is a room with a big screen TV that usually has some sort of sport game on and also includes a pool table and some couches. Lots of people fall asleep there when the walk back to your room is just too much! The Pause has AMAZING food as well. The pizza is always a delicious late night treat and the shakes are delicious as well. I enjoy studying best in the library but you can pretty much go anywhere. For math, it is nice to go in Thompson Hall (which is also where the admissions office is located) because they have white board walls that you can write all over. Regents is also a favorite of mine. On the third floor there is a spot where there are windows instead of a wall where you can look out and see for miles and miles. In the fall and winter months it is especially beautiful and peaceful.

    Bang for the buck

    St. Olaf is pretty expensive if you just look at the numbers. I work three jobs to help my parents pay for my tuition but I enjoy working that much and that hard because I love being a student at Olaf so incredibly much! The professors are one of a kind and with the post-graduation opportunities that we are provided I know that I will be successful and that my education here will be worth the money.

    What to do for fun

    I am not sure where to even begin - there are so many things to do on camps and off campus. On campus, there are a huge amount of clubs and organizations you can take part in. There are different religious organizations, political awareness groups, unique sport teams, etc. You can also apply to take part in some organizations and groups that plan fun activities for the students at St. Olaf, for example, what music artists will visit the school each fall and spring, the Pause Dances that take place every couple of weeks, support for sporting events, etc. I am a member of the Women's soccer team and it is a blast! Athletics are an important part of the Olaf community and even students who do not play a sport like getting involved and cheering on the teams. Another cool part of Olaf is the music department. There are always concerts going on whether it is people in the world famous choir or just some awesome kids who want to show their talents off. Off campus activities are also really fun. Northfield is a beautiful little town and there are always events going on downtown. Just a few weeks ago there was a Christmas event with light shows, caroling, bands preforming, horse and carriage rides, and discounts at all the local stores. That is just one example of the things that go on all the time!

    Food and Dining

    AMAZING. I have nothing negative to say about the food and dining at St. Olaf. It is sort of a buffet-like style with a few different lines with different types of food for your choosing. Having organic food is very important to the staff and a lot of the food is from nearby farms in Northfield. Theres options for all the food groups and it is very easy to eat healthy (but also not so healthy..the desserts are so yummy!). Lastly, for the vegetarian or gluten free people, there are options all day, every day for them!

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life rocks. I know most people in my dorm and everyone loves to hang out with each other. We all support each other in our studies but can also take breaks on the weekends and have fun and be together. There is an option to live in a dorm all four years which I find really great. The dorms are very clean and actually pretty upscale for a few of the schools I visited.

    Academic Rigor

    The cool thing about Olaf is that YOU decide how hard you want to work and what grades you want to get. The professors give you the tools but you are the one that puts the work in, and usually everyone wants to do well here. It is a neat environment to be in!

    Tips for prospective students

    Take your time in choosing your college or university. Make sure that you go and visit schools you are interested in, even the ones you think you'll never attend! That is most important in my opinion. Make sure to take your time on your essays as well. It's good to brag! Good luck!

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf is everything I could have asked for. It is academically challenging, has great profs, there is an abundance of things to do each and every day, and the food is always delicious! I have met some amazing people while being here and would not trade being a student at this college for the world.

  • 01/15/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 19 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Since it is so quite, it doesn't seem like there is much harm done at all.

    Great for these types of students

    Hardworking, friendly, and interactive.

    Bang for the buck

    It may be very pricy, but I think from the way it looks, that it is totally worth it!

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to get Financial aid and scholarships. Keep the GPA up!!!

  • 05/08/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 20 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    Best caf in the country. The food is fresh, healthy and delicious!

    Dorm Life

    Practically everyone lives in dorms and they're all pretty nice. You get to live by your best friends if you choose! It's a lot of fun.

    Academic Rigor

    It's a lot of work, but you really learn so much. The professors are great. Of course some courses are easier than others, but you will always be learning new things.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf is a very welcoming and great place to be! It really is like a bubble on this hill, but in a great way. You will meet some of your best friends in the entire world here and learn a lot at the same time.

  • 06/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 21 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Safe ride will pick you up at anytime to drive you to your dorm.

    Greek Life

    There are parties but it's not as bad as other college partying.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are tons of clubs for everyone!

    Great for these types of students

    The education is worth the price in the future.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    One unusual tradition is the anually chritmas gifts to all residents living in a dorm. Depending on your dorm, you will recieive a specific gift from your dorm.

    Bang for the buck

    Even though it is very expensive, $48,000 a year, you will get an amazing education and help finding a job after college.

    What to do for fun

    For fun there are weekly events, frequent dances, and club activities.

    Food and Dining

    The food is rated like the first or second best college food in the united states.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are close knit communities but some are better quality than others.

    Academic Rigor

    Because it is a private four-year college the academic courses are very rogourous but you will learn what you need to graduate.

    Tips for prospective students

    My tip would be to definitely apply to as many clubs and activities as possible to get the most out of your college experience.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf is home to the Oles. It is a small private college with only about 3,500 students living together in a close community. St. Olaf College is a school where school is fun but also important.

  • 07/03/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 22 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    Wonderful food and dining options at their caf, including a salad bar.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are small, but nice, and in beautiful buildings that look like something from a Harry Potter movie set.

    Academic Rigor

    Very rigorous academically, but worth it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get in touch with the great admissions staff!

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf College is an amazing school in an absolutely beautiful area of the United States. The staff are friendly and welcoming, and there are many opportunities to extend your academic learning to different parts of the world.

  • 07/27/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 23 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    One of my favorite things about St. Olaf is the face that I can leave my belongings anywhere and know that they will be safe. Apparently that isn't true at other colleges! I leave my backpack in common areas with my phone and laptop open. I've never locked my dorm room door. I love it.

    Clubs and Activities

    I was involved in a sport and had the time of my life!!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The mixers and events on campus are fun. It is a great transition place for students looking for a small, but welcoming environment.

    Bang for the buck

    St. Olaf is expensive, there isn't any other way to say it. I love the school, but it's stressful seeing the tuition raise every year.

    What to do for fun

    St. Olaf is a beautiful campus, so I loved spending time outside playing frisbee and campus golf during the spring and sledding during the fall. The Pause dances are always a good option too. There are always interesting activities going on, you just have to schedule them in.

    Food and Dining

    I have never eaten such delicious food in all of my life. We're the best, no doubt about it. There are a plethora of choices every night and options for every style of eater.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are a lot of fun and you have the opportunity to meet great people. Depending on who your Area Coordinator is, there is more and less freedom. Advice? Make friends with people on your floor in the first week. You'll feel right at home for the rest of the year.

    Academic Rigor

    The professors at St. Olaf expect the best because they know you can achieve that. Yes, the homework and studying does get exhausting, but push yourself and you'll do great. Demand excellence and things will run smoothy.

    Tips for prospective students

    College can be a tumultuous time, but it is crucial to remain true to you from the very beginning. This is your time to shine and become exactly the person you have always wanted to be, so don't let anyone stop you. Seek out opportunities on campus to nurture your interests.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf was a wonderful experience. The people are the nicest I have ever met and the campus is the most beautiful I have ever seen. I loved my two years at St. Olaf College.

  • 07/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 24 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    St. Olaf is one of the safest places I have ever been. Everyone looks after one another and Public Safety does a good job of keeping the strange people off campus. People feel so secure they leave all there stuff everywhere because they don't have to be afraid of it being stolen.

    Greek Life

    Not existant.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are plenty of clubs for everyone and they bring in concerts and dances every semester.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every winter for Christmasfest they serve traditional Norwegian food in the cafeteria.

    Bang for the buck

    While St. Olaf does offer many services on campus for free and has an amazing food service they still charge almost $50,000 a year, which is a little pricey. The faculty there is amazing, however, and they do try to help you as much as they can in finding the right path for you and making sure you can do something after you graduate. You just have to be follow up and attend these events or you will miss out on these free services.

    What to do for fun

    There is usually something going on campus and if not you can always catch a concert up in the cities which is only 40 minutes away. A good time is always had in the intramural sports leagues which go on all year.

    Food and Dining

    One fo the best food service providers hands down.

    Dorm Life

    Most students live on campus so that is where most of the socializing happens. The problem is that Public Safety and RA's also live on campus so there aren't too many big parties unless you know people who live in a house off campus.

    Academic Rigor

    Depending on the department and professor some classes are more challenging than others. For the most part they are pretty manageable but every now and then you find yourself in a class that seems too easy to be a college level class.

    Tips for prospective students

    Bring lots of cold weather clothes and never ever try lutefisk.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf is a small liberal arts school full of fun and nice people. St. Olaf prides itself in its choirs and Norwegian affiliation, but if your not a member of either there are still many opportunities to fit in. The professors are kind and always willing to help you if you find yourself falling behind and even like it when you just stop by to chat.

  • 08/14/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 25 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    None

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Christmas fest is a huge deal! 4 days of the cutest old couples and families all dressed in their norwegian sweaters, and everywhere on campus is decorated with christmas trees and wreaths, but watch out for the traditional norwegian food in the caf - lutefisk is gross!

    What to do for fun

    Join a campus organisation!

    Food and Dining

    We've been ranked in the top 5 college cafeterias for several years now! While the food is healthy and the cafeteria workers are great, ít deos get old after a while, adn nothing is ever spicy

    Dorm Life

    Since everyone, or almost everyone, is in a dorm, they are great communities and a lot of fun! Your freshman dorm ends up being your St Olaf family in many ways.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are not easy, but professors are always there to offer some extra help or guidance.

    Tips for prospective students

    Bring warm clothes and an electric blanket! it's freeezing!

    In three sentences

    St. olaf is a wonderful place to study! The community is very welcoming and fun, and you couldn't ask for better professors - they're engaged and available and genuinely want to help students.

  • 10/16/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    26 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    norweign and students who are curious in exploring their fields of interest.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Lutefest week, where all we eat are fish.

    What to do for fun

    There are intramural sports, students organizations, and events hosted by the student government association.

    Tips for prospective students

    Always ask questions and go to talk to your professors.

    In three sentences

    St Olaf College is a great liberal arts college that allows you to explore a variety of different classes for different career fields. The college has a strong study abroad program that encourages all their students to seize the opportunity of studying abroad. Lastly, the college is very inclusive in all their activities such as the student government associations and group organizations.

  • 11/08/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    27 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I always feel safe on campus. I have no problem walking back to my dorm across campus at night alone. If there are any problems Pub safe is always available to help.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are tons of clubs and activities, in many different areas, to get involved in on campus.

    Great for these types of students

    St. Olaf's great for anyone interested in music or science. Students who are more academically focused and who want a good liberal arts education should go here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every year St. Olaf puts on Christmas Fest which is a combination church service/choir concert where the world famous St. Olaf choirs and orchestra perform. We also have lutefest each year where the campus spends a day partying and listening to campus bands and participating in various activities.

    What to do for fun

    St. Olaf puts on many different activities throughout the year including dances, concerts and speakers, most of which are free. There are also dances put on by the ballrooms in town. There are a lot of different clubs and organizations to join that have their own activities. You can also go into Northfield and explore town, or even go into the Cities.

    Food and Dining

    All students eat most of their meals in Stav Hall, or the Caf. Their also options to eat at the Cage, a cafe, and the Pause, a pizza and snack kitchen. The food is great! There usually a lot of different options, including different options for vegetarians/vegans and those with food allergies.

    Dorm Life

    Most of the friends you make your freshman year will come from your first-year dorm. Many of the freshman dorms are relatively good in room size and they all have kitchens, lounges and free laundry. Each dorm puts events on throughout the year.

    Academic Rigor

    St. Olaf is very academically focused. Most students put their academics first but they usually do so in a more social way, through study groups and group help sessions. The professors are also usually very helpful and willing to work with students having a hard time.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get to know the people in your freshmen dorm, but also get out and a wider range of people. St. Olaf offers many great activities and programs, many of them free! I suggest you try and go to many as you can, even the events that don't sound exciting at first can surprise you.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf is a great school both academically and community wise. St. Olaf has a very welcoming and accepting atmosphere which makes it easy to learn. Students are also encouraged to participate in community service activities.

  • 01/02/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    0 out of 1 people found this review useful. 28 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    SO SAFE

    Great for these types of students

    white, friendly, smart, Minnesotan

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Norwegian sweaters

    Bang for the buck

    it's expensive.

    Dorm Life

    perfect

    Academic Rigor

    Chemistry is tough but you'll pass.

    Tips for prospective students

    Join clubs. take advantage of the gym. Intramurals are fun!

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf is well known for its friendly community and its happy atmosphere. Students can spend time with their friends in the quad or just chill out in the Pause. There are so many nice people here

  • 02/25/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    29 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    St. Olaf is actually one of the safest places you could possibly be. We leave things sitting around all over the place, and no one steals them, because that would be a gross violation of our community. This year's most prominent campus danger alert featured a feral kitten on the loose. Typical.

    Greek Life

    We don't have Greek Life at St. Olaf.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a club for everything. And if there isn't one, you can start one.

    Great for these types of students

    Musicians, scientists, hipsters... really everybody has a place here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    St. Olaf has a lot of traditions, and everyone loves them. You'll have to come to find out!

    Bang for the buck

    St. Olaf is expensive, but for the most part, you get your money's worth.

    What to do for fun

    The Pause is not just a pizza place. It is also a sort of club. Dances in The Pause are held regularly, and have a very high turn out. The Pause also hosts a variety of entertainment, from magicians and hypnotists, to famous musicians. Some recent artists to note are Ingrid Michaelson, Ok Go, and Trampled by Turtles. There is also a little movie theater that shows movies that were recently in theaters. There is always some sort of awesome event happening over the weekend, thanks to the After Dark Committee and the Music Entertainment Committee.

    Food and Dining

    The cafeteria at St. Olaf is one of the best in the country, and has really good food. Most students keep their meal plan and eat in the cafeteria all four years, unless they live off campus. St. Olaf also has a small cafe called The Cage, which also has awesome food. There is also The Pause, which serves pizza and other food. They also have delicious shakes.

    Dorm Life

    St. Olaf is a residential college, which means that most students live on campus all four years. Everything you could possibly need is on campus or within easy distance, by walking or taking a bus that shuttles between St. Olaf and downtown/Target. The dorms are of good quality, and most people stick around for the weekends. There is always something to do on campus! We even have our own pizza place and movie theater that shows movies that haven't been released to DVD yet.

    Academic Rigor

    The liberal arts education is great, the classes (depending on which ones you take) are demanding without being too overwhelming. At the end of each semester, I know that I walk away having learned a lot.

    Tips for prospective students

    The most important part of your application is your essay. Let the admissions officers see who you are and why you care. If you aren't sure what you want to major in, or are worried that St. Olaf doesn't have your major, don't worry too much. Most students come to St. Olaf undecided, and the liberal arts education you receive does a great job of helping you find out what you're interested. The classes you take will not only help you learn more within your major, but will help you to be well-rounded, academically. Also, if St. Olaf doesn't have your major, you can always design your own major!

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf holds a strong sense of community and is full of social justice-minded students. If making a difference is important to you, everything at St. Olaf is designed to help and encourage you with that. St. Olaf is best known for it's exemplary science and music programs, and about 1/3 of the school is involved in at least one of the campus music ensembles.

  • 04/07/2013

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    30 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Public safety does a great job. It's not a rowdy town or campus. Public safety is very quick to respond, and often offers rides to single or even pairs of students coming back from town late at night.

    Greek Life

    Aside from some honor clubs for specific fields of study, there is no Greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    I was not very involved due to my choice of classes, but there are a variety of activities. Athletics is probably not our strong suit, but there are a lot of music ensembles, social justice and volunteer groups, and other just plain fun clubs. Swing dancing and ballroom are two highly popular clubs that are highly involved in campus life.

    Great for these types of students

    If you are a hard worker, like an academic challenge, and want to meet friendly, inquisitive people, this would be a good fit for you.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Well, Jesse James Days is Northfield tradition commemorating the day the James-Elder Gang did not rob the bank. It is cowboy-themed, with a carnival and lots of events. St. Olaf's big tradition is Christmas Fest. Many of the students, music majors or not, participate in ensembles, and Christmas Fest has a national reputation for musical excellence. Over four performances in the beginning of December, the campus is beautifully decorated and swarming with people in Norwegian sweaters who come for the music and dinner of traditional Norwegian foods, including the dreaded lutefisk. Don't eat in the cafeteria every night of Fest- you will really hate ham and meatballs for a while otherwise, although no one could possibly get tired of lefse.

    Bang for the buck

    St. Olaf can be pricey, but I personally felt that I received an above-average education, and that the opportunities I was given far outweighed the cost. The school makes a huge effort to allow students to study abroad if they will, and I think the last statistics said roughly 2/3 of us did study abroad. In addition, once you graduate, our career center is still willing to help with advice and resume assistance in the 2-3 years following graduation. The alumni network is very strong and connected in the Midwest, and many of them are open to talking to or even assisting students during the career search process.

    What to do for fun

    There are a lot of on-campus activities like dances, concerts, and extracurriculars. Northfield is well known for Jesse James Days, which usually takes place soon after school starts. If Northfield is too quiet for you, Minneapolis and St. Paul are a half an hour drive away,a nd many students go to concerts and events over the weekend.

    Food and Dining

    The cafeteria is fantastic. Catered by Bon Appetit, which also runs the cafe in the student commons, provides lots of fresh, well-balanced, and local options for all types of dietary needs. Randy Clay, who runs the cafeteria, is a beloved campus celebrity and lets the students post on a bulletin board outside the cafeteria about what they do/don't like, and suggestions for meals. The Pause is a student run kitchen that is very cheap, but has slow turn times on items like pizzas. Dining in Northfield is pretty good, with some fast food options, as well as more upscale and ethnic restaurants as well.

    Dorm Life

    For the most part, students live in the dorms. St. Olaf is on a hill, and all other non-dorm housing including the honor houses and any apartments are downhill towards Northfield. Each dorm has its own personality and attracts different class years and personality types. Do a little research and ask around before choosing a dorm- you might not want to be in a quieter, more studious dorm if you really enjoy impromptu parties on the weekend.

    Academic Rigor

    This is not high school, and slacking is not an option if you want to earn good grades. That said, I never encountered a professor that was unwilling to help me with a question or concern, and there are a lot of resources available if you need help. Just be forewarned, there will be times during any given semester where you will feel overloaded.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be yourself! St. Olaf can be a little preppy and overly studious at times, but the students are incredibly friendly and are open to new experiences and people. Don't be afraid to ask tons of questions about anything and everything when you visit- the guides enjoy answering questions, and most of them are pretty frank about what they do and don't like about the school.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf is stresses community, academics, and personal growth through activities and involvement. Even though the courses can be rigorous and stressful, the school offers a lot of extracurricular activities where you can relax, meet people, and explore new interests. Fantastic study abroad opportunities help expand your horizons even when you aren't on campus, and the alum network is very active.

  • 04/16/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    31 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Apply! You can create whatever college experience you want here.

    In three sentences

    A wonderful small private school. Small class sizes, lots of professor interaction, an accepting community, and lots of opportunities for research and study-abroad.

  • 05/16/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    32 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I have never felt unsafe on campus. I'll walk alone to my room at 2am and not even think about feeling unsafe.

    Greek Life

    None! Instead, people join clubs, live in honor houses, and meet people they live with in their freshman dorms.

    Clubs and Activities

    We offer over 250 clubs, 27 varsity sports, and even more intramural sports. There are plenty of ways to get involved.

    Bang for the buck

    You can form some really great connections with professors, other students, and alumni. Though you pay a lot for your education, you graduate with a great system of connections.

    Food and Dining

    The food here is AMAZING. I lose weight when I come back to school because it's so easy to eat healthy.

    Dorm Life

    A lot of students here live on campus, so dorm life is fun! The dorms are all really nice--even the worst one is better than my friend's sophomore dorm at the University of Minnesota.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes at St. Olaf will challenge you, and you will spend plenty of time studying, but you will not be too overloaded. If you're accepted, you're probably smart enough for your classes. If you struggle, there are free tutors in every subject.

  • 07/09/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    33 of 41

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are so many things that happen on campus every single day, it's quite hard to decide what to do every day after class and on the weekends. During the weekdays many student groups bring in guest speakers or artists to speak or perform. Student organizations have weekly group meetings and activities open to campus. The Pause is the student-run pizza cafe where you can always grab a bite or hangout in the lounge with the big screen TV or play pool on the pool tables or just chill around the booths and tables. Every weekend there are screenings of recently released movies in the student theater or you can take the Saturday movie bus which costs only $5 including the transportation and the movie ticket to the local movie theater. The Pause is also a popular venue for dances, concerts, and shows which happens about every weekend. There are a lot of nature hiking trails around the campus, so if you're ever up for a walk with scenic views we've got it.

    Food and Dining

    By far, St.Olaf ranks as one of the top college dining in the nation. Every day there is a large selection of food to choose from that caters to everyone's taste. You have your Home line which is usually comfort food such as mashed potatoes, steak, chicken, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, green beans, etc. and this meal changes every day for lunch and dinner. You have your Tortilla line which is where you can make burritos or tacos with a wide selection of meats and fresh condiments. You have a Pasta line where you can get pizza and pasta dishes with different pasta choices and pasta sauce selections. The Grill line where you can get your burgers and veggie burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, and fries. The Bowl line where you can get stir-fry and choices of rice or rice noodles. The salad bar is by far the best thing in the dining hall with a large selection of greens, condiments, and dressings. The Grains line is the vegetarian line made with gluten-free products. Fruits and vegetables are available fresh every day and toasters and panini makers with bread,bagels, and english muffins are available every day. The dessert section waits for you at the end of the dining hall with specialty cakes, cookies, and delicacies. Cereal is available any time. As for drinks, you have the choice of Coke products, juices, milks, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and chai. The food selection here is wonderful and I would not be able to imagine my college life without it.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is going to be where you are going to make your first encounters with your peers. Especially for your first year as a freshman, the school does a great job of having junior counselors for all freshmen on campus. You would meet weekly with your counselors and they live right down your hall if you ever have any questions or just want to hang out. Sometimes your JC's would plan activities and group dinners outside of weekly meetings just to spend time together as a corridor. Living halls are gender segregated by floors of a dorm building with curfews, but it's great to hangout with all your friends on either floors before curfew. All freshmen live in freshmen dorm halls and when you move into your next upperclassmen years all of the halls are mixed with other years. By then, it's a great time to meet and connect with students of other years. However, sometimes it's hard to make those connections as you have already establish relationships with people from your first year, but always keep an open and positive mind for all those that you meet.

    Academic Rigor

    The academic rigor of St.Olaf is quite challenging. Many students will say it depends on your major-for example those in the natural sciences may have up to 3-5 hours or more of lab-whereas, other majors may not. However, other students in different majors may have a lot of essays to write, texts to read, compositions to be completed, practices to meet, etc. In the end, we all have work to be done that needs time put in it. Being a private liberal arts college, it's important that you do what work needs to be done and even more as all areas of study encourages and challenges to think outside the box. Of course, academics are not the only part of college life, but it is a major part of it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Students, be sure to visit the campus as, you should for all potential colleges, as being physically present on campus will give you a perspective into the college life. Always make sure to connect with students you meet on campus either around or in the classrooms you may choose to visit as they can give you so many different perspectives into college life. Not all Oles live the same Ole life on campus, the student population itself is quite diverse, more diverse than I thought going into my first year. Be sure to spend a weekend as a prospective student and you will be hosted by one of our very own Oles. St.Olaf is a private liberal arts college and yes you will obtain an liberal arts education but also be sure to do your research and see what areas of study you have in mind. Many students I've met worry about living in a small college town far from the cities, make sure it's what you want or would like to experience and you can do so by staying over for the weekend.

    In three sentences

    St.Olaf College strives to provide a liberal arts education for all its students aiming at its missions to become global citizens. The culture of St.Olaf has changed over the years from its Norwegian origins to contemporary and very present America with its ever-growing diverse student population and global curriculum, which allows students to reference to present-day events. St.Olaf encourages its students to be ambitious, no matter what costs, and does so especially in their financial assistance.

  • 07/10/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    34 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are occasionally some unnerving experiences with people who've been drinking too much, but on the whole I feel like I can walk across campus safely at any time of day, and we don't get many outsiders.

    Greek Life

    None whatsoever

    Great for these types of students

    Nature-loving, environmentally conscious, interested in area studies (especially Hispanic and Asian, but there are some good Russian Studies profs as well).

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We have three-hundred acres of natural lands--woods and prairie. It's fantastic. St. Olaf is very Norwegian and very Lutheran (although it is fine to be neither of those here), and so the Christmas traditions are very strong.

    Bang for the buck

    I was able to get great financial aid, so I think that I am definitely getting my money's worth. I do think that it is unnecessarily expensive for those paying full price.

    What to do for fun

    We have concerts here every year--I went to a Matt and Kim concert and it was soooo much fun. I love to work out in the gym or run in the natural lands (300 acres of prairie and woods). There are enough restaurants around that I (at least) don't get bored, and a bus ticket will get you into the Twin Cities.

    Food and Dining

    The food is fantastic. I am a vegetarian and I have vegan friends who don't complain, haha :). Aside from the caf we have the Cage, which has the atmosphere and fare of a coffee shop, the Pause, which is student-run and has pizza, pizza-bagels, nachos, and shakes.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are very nice but I am very disappointed by the lack of dry-campus enforcement. Drunks abound (not just people who are politely drinking and keeping it to themselves--I mean complete drunks and strangers who will get in your face and make life hard for you). Other than that, dorm life gets a five-star review from me.

    Academic Rigor

    My freshman year was easier than high school and my sophomore year was much more rigorous and fun. Even first semester last year when I felt like I was losing my mind for four months straight, I ended up with a 3.91 GPA and on the Dean's list--when I was always a solid 3.6-GPA kind of student in high school. It can be done!

    Tips for prospective students

    Come to St. Olaf if you love nature and quiet settings. Two people I know, including my roommate from last year, have or are trying to transfer to a school in a big city. If you want to be in a metropolitan area, save yourself the hassle and ignore this place! We are twenty-ish minutes from downtown Minneapolis, so it is possible to find excitement, but if you want the atmosphere of a city 24/7 then St. Olaf is not for you. It can be hard to be a minority here, but there are many kind, supportive students and genuine friends if you look hard enough. Most of my friends are international students--definitely hang out with them!

    In three sentences

    A wonderful place if you don't need a lively metropolitan setting. Professors will support you. Expensive but you can get financial aid if you really need it, and the work-study opportunities are excellent.

  • 08/07/2013

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    35 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    none.

    Food and Dining

    Bon Appetite rocks.

    Tips for prospective students

    Enjoy your time on the hill while it lasts

    In three sentences

    Um Ya Ya! Olaf gave me a great liberal arts education. I had a wonderful experience here and strongly encourage anyone who is considering it to apply.

  • 09/03/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    36 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The school makes it very clear that safety is a priority. Before classes start, all students are educated on the danger and consequences of alcohol, drugs, and sexual violence. There are also systems in place that encourage students to help each other and get help if they are struggling with anything, big or small. Each student has access to confidential and non-confidential resources that assist with student problems. The campus is a very secure place and Northfield is a safe town. Because students help each other and the focus of the school is on community, someone can feel safe here.

    Greek Life

    There is no Greek life on campus and that is a bonus for many students.

    Clubs and Activities

    With a fairly small student body, St. Olaf offers many activities and clubs in which one can feel welcome. In addition, most of these clubs put on events for the whole school. There is always something to do at St. Olaf and the majority of students try new things to meet people and have fun.

    Great for these types of students

    Driven Students Musicians/Music Lovers Performers Outgoing Students International Students Friendly/ Enthusiastic Students

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The traditions that are slightly unusual are very fun and make St. Olaf a unique place. For one, awkward prom during Week One freshman year is an event in which everyone dresses up in goofy clothes and dances without any cares. It is a great way to meet people and have fun.

    Bang for the buck

    St. Olaf is a more expensive school. It does, however, make up for it with a quality education and an enthusiastic alumni network that can help students land jobs. It is also important to note that St. Olaf is very generous with financial aid, which often puts it at the top of seniors' college lists.

    What to do for fun

    Student organizations do a great job of planning fun events. Some of the most popular and memorable, particularly for freshman are dances, playfair, Chorus performances, plays, sporting events, outdoor movies, hall competitions, concerts on campus, and much more. Northfield is also a very cool town with an active downtown. Also, it is famous for its Defeat of Jesse James Days in the fall and St. Olaf is an integral part of the celebration. Lastly, if there's not a specific event coming up, clubs, teams, and hanging out in the residence halls can keep students busy.

    Food and Dining

    The food at St. Olaf is unmatched. Although a smaller school, it makes up for size with good quality meals, variety, and options. Having one cafeteria makes Stav Hall a unique place in which everyone comes together to eat. The meal plan is simple and efficient, which is not always the case with other schools. The other places to eat around campus with account money have just as good of food and are very popular.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are a fun place to be on any given day and foster a sense of community within one's own hall. Size of the room's vary from building to building, but all give enough space for storage, recreation, and work. Through the Roommate preference form and the housing process, the staff at St. Olaf do a great job matching up roommates who have similar schedules but different interests so that everyone can be exposed to something new. The multiple common areas have much to do and provide a good place to relax and meet up with friends.

    Academic Rigor

    The reputation of St. Olaf is rooted in its academic rigor. In each class, one is expected to be challenged, frustrated, and stressed. Most courses describe a 3 to 4 hour workload of reading, writing, and problem-solving in between classes. Also, tests are tough and require thorough preparation. Nonetheless, the professors are consistent in their expectations and are always there to help a student in need of more time or assistance. It is important to note the great reputation St. Olaf has for molding musicians, performers, mathematicians, and scientists.

    Tips for prospective students

    Look at all the options St. Olaf gives you. St. Olaf has a wide variety of majors and courses to study, but one has to take the time to look in order to find an area of study that appeals to them. Also, take a visit. The welcoming atmosphere of the school cannot be captured online or through a letter in the mail. Lastly, check your email and keep track of whats next. It is easy to fall behind on key tasks even after being admitted to a college or university. Sometimes, missing a deadline means work to catch-up and even not getting preference for classes and housing.

    In three sentences

    The tight community of St. Olaf makes it a very special place to come and study. Its academic reputation attracts only the most dedicated students from across the United States and beyond. The enthusiasm of both current students and alumni about their alma mater speaks volumes to the influence St. Olaf has on those who study here.

  • 09/17/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    37 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    None.

    Clubs and Activities

    If you think of it, they have it.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who like to serve others, and be a part of a community. And who like to be busy!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    St. Olaf has many unusual and fun traditions - for example every year at Christmas they hold Christmas Fest which is a huge yuletide celebration complete with Norwegian foods and customs, and of course, music!

    What to do for fun

    For fun you can go into Downtown Northfield which is an easy walk or bus ride away, you can take a bus into Minneapolis. You can rent a bike from the library (or use your own) and bike around, you can hang out with friends, there is lots to do here - join clubs!

    Food and Dining

    The food is AMAZING.

    Dorm Life

    Some of the rooms are a little small, depending on which hall you are assigned to, however the buildings are clean with nice bathroom and laundry facilities. Plus, there is a printer in every dorm! Since mostly everyone lives on campus for four years, it creates a really strong community where every one lives and learns together.

    Academic Rigor

    The courses are challenging and require a lot of work. There is a big emphasis on learning how to write to communicate as well as think analytically about things in the classroom and the world around you. I am very satisfied.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you're thinking about St. Olaf (or any school), make sure you visit the campus and do an overnight if possible. This will help you know if this is the right fit for you and if you will find your kind of people here.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf is a fantastic college with high academic standards and close-knit, fun community committed to serving the greater good.

  • 10/21/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    38 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Public Safety is kind and friendly. People have an incredible sense of trust. For example, people leave their doors unlocked, leave the bags outside the cafeteria filled with laptops and other expensive things. Nothing is stolen.

    Greek Life

    There is none to speak of. Fraternities and sororities do not exist on campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many clubs and activities... and if there isn't an club for something you are interested in, St. Olaf provides a way for you to create your own club. MANY incredible clubs have started this way.

    Great for these types of students

    Activists Musicians Thespians People interested in the sciences or mathematics People interested in the humanties

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Our fight song is in a waltz.

    Bang for the buck

    It's not cheap, but Olaf provides very good financial aid.

    What to do for fun

    Plenty of performance opportunities to go to. Lots of concerts and theater performances. The athletic scene leaves something to be desired. Also, since it is in a quiet town, there is little to do off campus in way of concerts or events. However, the cities are only a bit away and Olaf provides transportation up there for certain events.

    Food and Dining

    St. Olaf has the best food among all colleges. Look it up.

    Dorm Life

    St. Olaf is blessed with a vibrant Residence Life staff. The dorms themselves vary in quality. Kildahl hall is the worst of the dorms, a freshman dorm which has not been renovated in decades. However, all the other dorms are classy and very high quality.

    Academic Rigor

    There are easy courses and difficult courses. The two hardest courses on campus: Organic Chemistry and Music History. The student has the opportunity to coast if they so choose, but invariably they choose to take the difficult courses because they are far more rewarding.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be afraid to ask for help. And no, the Ole Choir members are NOT part of a weird cult. Also, despite being notorious for the music department, it has a phenomenal theater department.

    In three sentences

    Saint Olaf is great for the intellectual activist. The curriculum is geared tailored toward the individual needs of the students. The professors are fantastic.

  • 02/06/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    39 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    St. Olaf has had a couple campus issues (of which I don't know much about), but Public Safety (out security system on campus), has managed to deal with the problems in an effective and efficient.

    Greek Life

    Sadly, there is none.

    Clubs and Activities

    St. Olaf offers a wide variety of clubs and activities for students. There is literally something for everybody, an if you don'f find something that interests you, then you could propose your own idea! Its a great way to stay active on campus, and meet people with similar interests as you.

    Great for these types of students

    St. Olaf is great for students with a passion for music, students who are work oriented, and students who are ready to face a challenge.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    So far, I have not heard of any traditions or unusual locations on campus.

    What to do for fun

    Personally, I enjoy the school-hosted dances on campus. But other than that, you can go downtown to the bowling lanes, visit restaurants, explore some of the shops down there, or just take in the scenery and enjoy being off the hill for a while.

    Food and Dining

    We've ranked pretty highly on the list for the best cafeteria's in the nation. So, the food here is pretty good, but it eventually might become repetitive. That is when you try some foods from the Cage, travel to downtown Northfield and find a restaurant your interested in, or try your hand at cooking.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are okay, nothing too special. Personally, I wish the dorms were modernized, but they are okay for what they are.

    Academic Rigor

    St. Olaf is definitely offers a difficult academic regiment, so it is crucial that you always stay on top of your work. It will get difficult at times, but as long as you keep yourself motivated and remain positive, then it should be enough to keep you working hard. Also, if you find yourself falling behind, St. Olaf offers academic support centers that help with whatever you may be struggling in. There is no excuse for you to not do your best, or get the help you need.

    Tips for prospective students

    Specifically for minority students, the culture shock you'll experience is going to be he toughest thing to adapt to. St. Olaf does not offer a very diverse background at all, so it might be something that you're not used to. But as long as you remain open-minded and are willing to meet new people, then you should be just fine.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf offers a rigorous academic regiment that constantly challenges students to think and analyze critically. It offers up some of the best travel abroad programs in the nation, allowing students to fulfill their dreams of actually experiencing first hand another culture. Finally, it brings up together a community of students who push each other to succeed and reach any goals and desires one may possess.

  • 03/11/2014

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    40 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Seems very pricy, but if I go there, hopefully they'll offer good scholarships.

    What to do for fun

    Northfield seems like a small small town, but most of the action is brought to the campus I think.

    Food and Dining

    I've been reading everywhere that the food is fantastic and consistently nationally ranked in the top 10. It seems like everyone is in love with what's cooking.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms seemed pretty good. About average for a college.

    Academic Rigor

    From what it sounds like, it seems like you need to learn when you work hard so that you can play even harder.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work for it.

    In three sentences

    St. Olaf has a beautiful campus, despite the frigid Minnesota air. The buildings seem great and well kept, especially science buildings and a great looking and sounding church. The food is really good.

  • 04/07/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    41 of 41

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    If you're looking to make great friends in an idyllic setting, while getting a rigorous liberal arts education, St. Olaf is the place for you! I'm not gonna lie--classes are hard and push you. But it's worth it every day. I love every minute I'm here, even in the long Minnesota winter.

    In three sentences

    Community-based smallish school is perfect for making lifelong friends! Events and opportunities abound, everyone is friendly and we have an honor code--meaning we can leave our backpacks and computers wherever and can trust each other. Northfield is a gorgeous small-town setting for the school nicknamed Hogwarts by some.