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Overall Score: 78.03

St. Olaf College

Northfield, MN
St. Olaf College is particularly well-known for its music department, but the liberal arts school offers a broad range of majors. (Aside from music, popular ones in recent years include biology, economics, psychology and chemistry.) Located in southeastern Minnesota, St. Olaf was founded by Norwegian Lutheran immigrants whose legacy is still evident in the school's Lutheran affiliation and renowned Nordic studies program. Academics are rigorous, with a general education core that every student must complete, and St. Olaf's 86% graduation rate – slightly over what would be expected from schools of a similar caliber – is a testament to this rigor. It might get (very) cold in the winter, but St. Olaf students find plenty of ways to keep busy indoors through clubs, performing arts groups, and service organizations. Social life mostly takes place on campus, in nearby Northfield (which Oles share with students from rival Carleton College), or 45 minutes away in Minneapolis-St. Paul. St. Olaf is also one of the most forward-thinking colleges in the country when it comes to environmental sustainability. A wind turbine provides much of the school's electricity, and students run the campus organic farm that provides produce and flowers to the local St. Olaf community and educates students on sustainable food initiatives.


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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