St. Olaf College

Outcomes of a St. Olaf Education

St. Olaf College challenges students to excel in the liberal arts, examine faith and values, and explore meaningful vocation             in an inclusive, globally engaged community nourished by Lutheran tradition.

St. Olaf is a leader among liberal arts colleges in documenting the outcomes of the educational experience described in its mission.  We gather and share evidence that students accomplish the learning goals the college has established, such as critical thinking, effective communication and collaboration, the ability to integrate and apply knowledge, and the capacity for thoughtful reflection on religious belief  and ethical convictions.  We also track our success in helping students to discern their vocations — what they are called to do — and then to translate their callings into careers and commitments characterized by professional accomplishment, financial independence, and personal fulfillment.

Within one year of their commencement, more than 95% of St. Olaf graduates report that they are employed, pursuing graduate education, or engaged in full-time service work.  Click on the links below, and on the navigation tabs to the left, to learn more about the educational, professional, and personal outcomes of a St. Olaf education.

Professional accomplishment

  • St. Olaf graduates overwhelmingly describe their professional work as intellectually stimulating, personally rewarding, and supported by the skills they gained in their undergraduate education.
  • Many St. Olaf graduates pursue advanced degrees, a prerequisite for professional accomplishment in many fields, and affirm that the college prepared them well for the rigors of graduate education.
  • Graduates of the college exercise leadership roles in all walks of life.

Financial independence

  • Within five years of their graduation, a large majority of St. Olaf alumni report a level of compensation that supports their desired lifestyle.
  • St. Olaf student indebtedness is lower than the statewide average.  Less than 1% of St. Olaf graduates default on their student loans, compared to a national default rate of 11%.

Personal fulfillment

  • Alumni believe their St. Olaf experience prepared them well for lasting and meaningful relationships, social and civic engagement, and lifelong learning.
  • Alumni also describe their professional work as personally meaningful.