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The Requirements: Three essays of 300 words each
Admissions wants to know how you will take Macalester’s commitment to internationalism, multiculturalism, and service to society and apply it toward your education. Think about the lived experiences that have shaped you as a person and made your perspective unique. What lessons have you learned and applied? Is there anything you can teach your classmates or peers about your culture, religion, identity, race, ethnicity, or community service work that may introduce them to new ideas and experiences? Macalester wants to know how your personal perspectives, hopes, and/or lived experiences will affect the conversations you have and the ways in which you engage with the campus community, so tell them a story that helps them to imagine the kind of student you’ll be on campus next fall.
When you attend a college, you also become an integral part of the city in which you live. Whether you’re working part-time at a cafe or playing on a rec soccer league, you will be rubbing elbows with locals. What does Macalester’s location have to offer you? Do some research on neighborhoods and public spaces (museums, parks, etc.). Imagine you’re there on your first weekend, what do you do? Maybe you’ve had the opportunity to visit the campus and surrounding city, if so, what did you notice? This is your chance to not only imagine your future, but also help admissions envision you as a thriving member of their community.
Let us start by saying: This prompt is not for everyone. If your GPA has not dramatically increased or decreased during your high school career, move along. If, on the other hand, you’re thinking, “Yes! An opportunity for me to explain!” then read on.
Your transcripts are like Garfield Minus Garfield (if you don’t know what this is, you’re welcome). Sure, we can see that something’s changed from frame to frame, but we don’t know why. Grades need context. Admissions doesn’t know why or how things happened–good or bad. Take a look at your grades and note any anomalies or odd jumps/drops. Think back to that time in your life and tell your story. Maybe you’d moved schools or had a sports injury. Maybe you started meeting with a tutor after school and climbed from a fall semester C in geometry to a spring semester A. No matter your story, you are not alone in your journey of ups and downs–high school is a veritable war zone of distractions and possibilities. And, remember, everyone loves a comeback.