St Olaf College
Northfield, MN, USA

Reviews

St Olaf College
4.29 Average Rating

Kelsey from Portland, OR

a current student here
18 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Sign in to rate & review

Andrea from Lenexa, KS

a current student here
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sign in to rate & review

Mid-Western Student

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
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.
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.
Academic Rigor
This is a challenging school, with of course some majors being more rigorous.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Great for these types of students
Intellectually-curious, driven, humanitarian, and quirky individuals.
Clubs and Activities
There is a co-curricular fair once a semester, so there are plenty of chances to get involved in new clubs!
Greek Life
There is no Greek Life on this campus.
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.
Sign in to rate & review

Robert from Ferndale, WA

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
St. Olaf is a fantastic, small school with a great community. Options are endless here, and it is so true that a Liberal Arts education really does prepare you on a much deeper level than your average university or college. I've learned a lot already, and I'm only 1 semester in to my 4 year career here; if you're interested, I highly suggest this place, a great fit for all types of people!
Tips for prospective students
Visit the campus! It is cold here, there's no doubting that. It's also in a small town, and it is just the kind of setting you need to see and feel to understand. Most people love it, but I know it isn't for everyone; before committing or rejecting this as a possibility, it would behoove you to visit!
Academic Rigor
This is not a cake-walk, but it's not impossible either. Everything you are taught has an application in life, that's the beauty of a Liberal Arts education. It takes being a good student to get in here in the first place, so odds are if you're admitted, you're easily cut out for the academic side of life here.
Dorm Life
Some of the dorms are on the small side (especially mine) but for the most part, they're comfy, cozy, and get the job done. You won't be cramped and uncomfortable, but it's not like you'll have an enormous amount of space either. Most students leave their doors open, which is great for building relationships with neighbors! In addition, halls appoint their own hall councils, which put on some cool little events throughout the year, from dances to movie nights to poker nights. The social aspect of living on campus here has definitely been a pleasant surprise.
Food and Dining
The cafeteria here was voted into the top 10 in the NATION! We have a fantastic amount of choices, the food quality is unbelievable, and it never gets old (which is so important when you eat 14-17 meals there a week). Besides the caf, there's a student-run pizza shop, which delivers anywhere on campus and is open really late all week, plus The Cage, which is almost like a fancy concession stand with a huge amount of options. Plenty of variety here, and all of it is grade A quality.
What to do for fun
There's events being held every weekend by at least 3 different organizations, making it easy to always find something to do. The sports at St Olaf are super fun, and students show some huge support for the soccer, football, and hockey teams. Also, there's plenty of off-campus parties to go to (St. Olaf is a dry campus, so no alcohol on campus) that round-out the whole what to do for fun scene.
Bang for the buck
It's not a cheap school, but you get a lot out of it. In-state is more manageable, too, but either way there is a lot of upside to attending school here. Being here is a blast, it's 4 years I'm excited to spend at St. Olaf, and then afterwards you enter a job market with a degree from St. Olaf. Doesn't get much better than that.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
St. Olaf is a very old campus, and somewhere way back it has a huge Norwegian history (I believe the founders of the school). Due to this, there's a whole lot of Norwegian stuff going on, including the famed-Christmas Fest. St Olaf is widely known for the music department, cranking out fantastic musicians annually, and just after Thanksgiving, the choirs and orchestras of St. Olaf put on mass shows during Christmas Fest, which is even televised in certain areas.
Great for these types of students
St Olaf is perfect for:

Good students, those who study, work hard, and pay attention.
Musicians
Student-Athletes


It's hard to nail down a type here, because there's so many different types of people who come to St. Olaf. Really, fitting in here is being yourself, being different, being unique. Everyone is welcome and all can succeed.
Clubs and Activities
I'm a member of the hockey team, so I don't have as much time to join clubs or other activities. I played some inter-mural sports earlier in the year, which was organized well and was a much higher skill level than expected, making it more fun and competitive. There's organizations for everything, too, so if sports isn't your thing, you can still keep yourself busy on top of school.
Greek Life
THERE IS NO GREEK LIFE!

While there isn't a Greek system, students find plenty of ways to have fun. There are off-campus parties, some cool places in-town to check out too. If your deciding factor for picking a school is whether or not you can be in a fraternity/sorority, then you probably don't belong at St. Olaf (and maybe should re-consider your plans for college entirely).
Campus Safety
St. Olaf is safe, as there aren't a whole lot of dangers that plague the area. Little to no disturbances, nothing to worry about here. However....

The dry campus policy creates more problems than it avoids. The idea is to eliminate alcohol consumption, but this is college, so people drink. Since the punishment for being caught is so high, students do whatever they must to keep it hidden; the most common tactic is to pregame by drinking a lot quickly before going out to parties, and then carrying backpacks with additional alcohol with them. The result is kids drinking too much too fast, so ambulances can be spotted almost every weekend coming to St. Olaf to help some kid out who drank too much. The other problem is that since it is so against the rules, kids overreact when people are drunk or passed out, which means many ambulances are called prematurely and unnecessarily. It seems counter-intuitive, but the dry campus policy definitely does more harm than good.
Sign in to rate & review

Erin from Elmhurst, IL

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
Clubs and Activities
Anything you can dream of is at St. Olaf, even Harry Potter Club!
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.
Sign in to rate & review

Laurel from New Haven, CT

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
St. Olaf is a great learning community. The people you meet are amazing. The food is also the best.
Tips for prospective students
Get involved with student activities!!
Academic Rigor
St. Olaf is no easy school. It's often referred to as the Harvard of the Midwest.
Dorm Life
Many of the girls on my floor freshman year bonded and are still good friends.
Food and Dining
The dining services on campus are fantastic!
What to do for fun
Movie bus, walk through the natural lands, go to concerts and dances, make your own fun.
Greek Life
None
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.
Sign in to rate & review

Margaret from Norwalk, IA

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Awesome professors that help you to understand the material and put it into real life situations.
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.
Tips for prospective students
Apply for Financial aid. Visit and meet some people on campus.
Great for these types of students
Hard working and friendly.
Sign in to rate & review

Hannah

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
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.
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.
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.
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.
Food and Dining
Our cafeteria is often ranked top in the nation. Enough said.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Greek Life
None.
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.
Sign in to rate & review

Ava from Wisconsin

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
Sign in to rate & review

Josh from Beaverton, OR

a past student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
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.
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.
Academic Rigor
You will work your butt off to get an A. This institution is nothing like high school so get ready to 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Greek Life
None. But there is a supply of athletes and bros who will give you more than enough frat-boy-minded exposure.
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.
Sign in to rate & review

Similar Colleges