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Saint Olaf College: Rankings, Courses, Admissions, Tuition Fee, Cost of Attendance & Scholarships

Founded by Norwegian Lutheran immigrants in 1874 St. Olaf College is a private college located in Northfield, Minnesota. The university has a total enrollment of 3,048 students and a student-faculty ratio of 12:1.

Saint Olaf College offersadmissions across 85 undergraduate and pre-professional courses in the fields of Arts, Music, Theater, Languages, Biology, Exercise Sciences, Mathematics, Psychology. Around 95% of students stay on campus. The college received #20 ranking for best undergraduate teaching by U.S. News & World Report, 2018.


Type of UniversityPrivate
Year of Establishment1874
Campus SettingRural
Total Enrollment3,048

Saint Olaf College Rankings

Ranked #62 in National Liberal Arts Colleges according to US News & World Report.

Ranked #51 in Best Undergraduate Teaching according to US News & World Report. 

Ranked #33 in Best Value Schools according to US News & World Report.

Best Christian Colleges in America #5 of 358 as per Niche rankings.

Best Colleges with No Application Fee in America # 10 of 515 as per Niche rankings.

Best College Food in America # 18 of 1,385 as per Niche rankings.

Saint Olaf College Campus

Saint Olaf College

The college has a 300-acre campus which has 350-acre adjacent woodland, restored wetland and native tallgrass prairie under the college ownership.

  • The campus has buildings and facilities for Academics, Administration, Athletics, Dining, Library, Residence Halls, Alumni, Bookstore, ATMs, Parking and trails for walking.
  • The Campus has residential and dining facilities for the students.
  • The Flaten Art Museum at the college campus has international, national and artworks of students of the college. It is a center of attraction for locals and visitors too.

Residence Facilities at Saint Olaf College

The College has 11 residential halls namely Ellingson Hall (174 first-year students); Hilleboe Hall (125 upper-class students); Hoyme Hall (200 first-year students): Kildahl Hall (156 first-year students; Kittelsby Hall- High-rise building (238 first-year students); Larson Hall (300 upper-class students); Mellby Hall (190 upper-class students); Mohn Hall Second high-rise residence hall (300 first- and second-year students); Rand Hall (245 upper-class students); Thorson Hall (240 upper-class students); Ytterboe Hall (400 upper-class students)

  • The College also has ten service project houses, a multicultural house, a gender and sexuality house, an international house, and seven world language houses. These accommodate around 140 upper-class students.
  • Residential halls have basic amenities, free laundry facilities, vending machines, common kitchens, and recreational facilities and study rooms, etc.
  • The dining facilities include Stav Hall Cafeteria, The Cage, King’s Dining room and the Lion’s pause. Besides this, the college has full-time meal times for resident and non-resident students. 
  • The accommodation is provided at a very reasonable price and costs USD 5 to 9,000 for a year and the meal plans cost around USD 4-6000.

Programs offered at Saint Olaf College

The College offers only undergraduate programs mainly in the areas of Arts, Music, Theater, Languages, Biology, Exercise Sciences, Mathematics and Psychology.

The College also offers international and off-campus programs. Around 85% opt for study abroad programs in countries and places like Aberdeen, Buenos Aires, Dakar, Konstanz, Quito, Sydney, and Shanghai. The students have to pay an additional program fee and out of pocket expenses for these.

Application Process

International students who want to seek admissions at Saint Olaf College can follow the below-mentioned application details:

How to Apply: Students can apply via the Common Application or Coalition Application.

Application Fee: 

Basic Admission Requirements

  • Official transcripts of High school/College degree. These transcripts must be attested by the issuing university or Board.
  • Proof of English Language proficiency test(s) 
  • One Teacher evaluation form from an academic area.
  • Scores of Exams to study in the USA
  • Financial support documents and Passport copy

Cost of Attendance

The estimated cost of attendance for international students to study at the university is mentioned-below:

Cost HeadExpenses in USD (Approximate) Academic year
Tuition Fees51,450 USD
Room and Board (on Campus) 6070+559011,660 USD
Books and Supplies1,000 USD
Personal Expenses900 USD
Total65,010 USD

Scholarships & Financial Aid for International Students

The college provides financial aid in the form of Merit-based scholarships and need-based scholarships for students to afford their study in the USA

  • The merit scholarships offered are Buntrock (USD 25,000 per year), Presidential (USD23,000 per year), Dean’s (USD 21,000 per year), Faculty (USD 19,000 per year), and St. Olaf (USD 17,000 per year). All these scholarships are given on the basis of admission application, academic performance and letters of recommendation.
  • The college also provides scholarships in the areas of Art, Dance, Music, and theater amounting to USD 6 to 12,000 per year.
  • All these scholarships are renewable by maintaining a level of academic performance.
  • Some of the scholarships also require you to work as a brand ambassador for the college and the scholarship. 
  • Besides this, the college has some specific subject related awards and need-based financial help. The college also helps students apply for state grants and loans to meet their study expenditures.

Alumni Network

Ole Connect is the alumni platform of the college. The College alumni organize reunions, recreational events, sports events, conduct philanthropic events, scholarships and help in mentoring the students. Celebrating Black and Gold and Celebration on the Hill for Christmas and reunions are some of the signature events of the alumni.

  • The alumni organize regional events and awards besides providing financial aid to the students.
  • Some notable alumni of the College are James Reeb, Civil rights activist; Edward Sövik, Architect; Al Quie, Governor Minnesota; Barry Morrow, Screenwriter; Gretchen Morgenson, Journalist; Ole Rolvaag, Writer; Traci Lambrecht, Writer; Jonathan Tweet, Game Designer; Justine Siegal, Basketball Coach; and Ernest Lawrence, recipient of the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics.


The College has the Piper Center for Vocation and Career and subscribes to the online job portal Handshake that allows the students to upload their resume and look for the suitable available positions. The portal also helps in polishing and acquiring employment skills. The employers are also able to post their requirements on the portal.

Peer advisors are available from morning 10 to 8 pm and they help in reviewing the resumes, cover letters, assist with job and internship applications, and help in finding suitable jobs and careers for the future. The students can take help from these advisors for improving their employability skills also.

The College also organizes career fairs, interaction with companies and alumni also creates job opportunities for the campus students. 95% of the students of the college are able to get a job within 2 years of graduation and after 6 years they earn around USD 50,400 per year against the national average of USD 33,028.

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Saint Olaf College Overview

Institution TypePrivate (Not for Profit)
Student Population3137
FAFSA Code002382
Accreditation NCA

Admission & Dates

Early action Deadlines

November 01

Application Deadline

April 01

Application Results

Regular decision Deadlines

January 15

Application Deadline

April 01

Application Results

Read more about admission seasons and deadlines

Test Scores for International Applicants

ExamsAvg. ScoreMin. ScoreMax. Score% Submitted
SATCheck Detailed Score127511501400 27%
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing635580690-
ACTCheck Detailed Score282531 80%

Saint Olaf College Acceptance Rate


Acceptance Rate


Total Applicants


Total Enrolled






Undergraduate Program43.2%
Total Applicants7259
Total Enrolled3137

Saint Olaf College Enrollment

Saint Olaf College Enrollment3137
Undergraduate Enrollment3137
Graduation Rate
Average Graduation Rate76.8%

Attendance Cost

On Campus Accomodation
Books & Supplies$1,000 / Year
On campus, Room & Board$10,430 / Year
On Campus, Other Expenses$900 / Year
Off Campus Accomodation
Off campus (not with family), Room & Board$10,430 / Year
Off campus (not with family), Other Expenses$900 / Year
Off campus (with family), Room & Board$900 / Year
Off campus (with family), Other Expenses$900 / Year
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Top Accreditations [Institutional & Program Wise]

Institutional Accreditations
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Program Wise Accreditations
Music ProgramsNational Association of Schools of Music
Nursing ProgramsCommission on Collegiate Nursing Education
ProgramsNational Association of Schools of Dance
ProgramsNational Association of Schools of Theatre
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Total FacultyFull TimePart timeGraduate Assistants
  • 2019

  • Forbes logo


    RANKED  #116

    Overall (National)

    College rating

    based on 1 student ratings




    avatar image
    Amber juran, USA Bachelor in biology
    Saint Olaf College
    Recently passed out , Batch : 2019


    I first heard about St Olaf from my high school biology teacher who was an alum. She raved all the time about how great of an experience and education she got during her four years and, knowing that I wanted to pursue a degree in biology, I kept it on my list. Then, when application season was actually upon me as a rising high school senior, I turned to the college board school search feature and St Olaf popped up as the top school for my requirements. At that point, I knew I at least needed to apply, even if I ended up going to the University of Minnesota like I had planned ever since I knew what college was. St Olaf uses the common app so the application itself was free and really simple. I applied to 4 colleges total, 3 of which used the common app, so adding St Olaf’s few specific questions to my already prepared application was no hassle at all. Most high school counselors tell their college-bound seniors to apply for safety, a reach, and a dream school. Knowing St Olaf’s high expectations of its students but also knowing I would likely rank in the top 10% of my graduating class, St Olaf became all 3 of those for me. It wasn’t guaranteed that I would make the cutoff for the incoming class, but at least on paper, we seemed like a perfect match. As for picking the biology program itself, I knew I wanted to study biology no matter where I went but the program at St Olaf particularly intrigued me because even though it is a liberal arts school known for music, biology is one of the biggest majors. Additionally, as a liberal arts school, the credits required for the major alone (only about 10 classes total) were fewer than other universities I looked at, allowing for students to explore interests in other fields and study abroad without having to worry about not being able to graduate on time.

    Course Curriculum - 

    The biology course curriculum specifically is fantastic. It allows students a taste of each major sector of biology but also allows space to take more classes and dive into the subjects a student finds the most intriguing. The GE requirements as a whole are also well balanced. Being a liberal arts college, there are more GEs here than at a university, but these requirements allow the school to ensure that each student gets a well-rounded education and leaves the college not just knowledgeable in their major subject but at the very least familiar with many topics and their applications in the world.

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    10, Jan 2020 read more
    1520 St Olaf Avenue



    The Lion's Pause0.03 Km
    Ole Store Restaurant0.6 Km
    El Tequila Mexican Restaurant1.63 Km
    Froggy Bottoms River Pub & Lily PADio1.76 Km
    Carbone's Pizzeria1.83 Km
    The Tavern of Northfield1.88 Km
    Tokyo Grill1.88 Km
    Chapati1.89 Km
    The HideAway Coffeehouse and Wine Bar1.93 Km
    Mandarin Garden Restaurant1.93 Km
    Domino's Pizza1.94 Km
    VFW Post 4393 (Veterans of Foreign Wars)1.95 Km
    Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza2.62 Km
    Gran Plaza Northfield2.67 Km
    Fielders Choice Tap & Table3.01 Km
    L & M Bar & Grill & Patio3.96 Km
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    Bus Station

    St. Olaf College0.16 Km
    Three Links0.8 Km
    Greenvale Apartments0.99 Km
    Northfield Manor1.21 Km
    South Oak Apartments1.58 Km
    Ensley Apartments1.78 Km
    Viking Terrace2.07 Km
    Library2.11 Km
    Culvers2.21 Km
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    Helipad Hospital1.57 Km
    A2 Global Shipping5.79 Km

    Shopping Mall

    River Park Mall1.83 Km

    Super Market

    Family Fare Supermarket2.07 Km
    Cub Pharmacy3.24 Km
    Cub Foods3.28 Km

    Book Store

    Carleton College Bookstore2.11 Km

    *All distance are measured radially. Actual distance may vary

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