What We Look For In an Application
The St. Olaf Admissions Office values relationships with students and families. We want you to engage with us in the ways that feel authentic to you and that help you get the best sense of the college; in turn, we remember you and your story, learn about why you’re interested in St. Olaf, and get to know you better throughout the process. In the spirit of transparency, we do consider your engagement with us throughout the application review process — here are a few ways to make yourself stand out in a meaningful way:
- Visit St. Olaf: Schedule a visit to St. Olaf, virtually or in-person. We offer a variety of ways to engage with us in-person individually or during a visit day program. We also offer virtual tours, conversations with professors, and chances to connect with current students. visits for students. Think about what you need to see and learn to get the best sense for how you can get the most out of the St. Olaf experience.
- Interview with us: We travel around the U.S. and the world and offer in-person interviews throughout the fall. Additionally, the Admissions staff offers virtual interviews via Calendly — find your Admissions Officer to see availability and sign up. The word interview sounds more intense; we approach these as conversations with you. Prepare to talk about your academic interests, how you engage in the community around you, any events or experiences that positively or negatively impacted your high school career, and about your college search process. And ask us questions!
- Meet us when we visit your area: If we travel to your area, meet us at a college fair, CBO visit, or at your high school. Some of our most memorable interactions with future Oles happen at these meetings — even if you only have a few minutes to say hi and ask a question before you head to class.
- Write a great St. Olaf Writing Supplement: The Supplement’s questions are specific to your interest in and knowledge of the college. When we review applications, this is the best place for us to hear from you — in your words — why you’re interested in St. Olaf. Take time with the short answer questions and additional essay. Be yourself, take care with your writing, and let your personality shine. Some of our most memorable Supplement responses are remembered year after year.
- Submit your application materials on time! This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re attentive with submitting your application on time — including your need-based financial aid, fine arts, and nursing applications (if applicable) — this gives us a good sense for your level of interest in St. Olaf.
This list is also not exhaustive. We want you to engage with us in the ways that make sense for you, and we promise to meet you there. All is all, we want to be yourself as you apply and ultimately decide where to enroll. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you have questions about demonstrating your interests or other parts of the process.
We know this process can be stressful and that you already have a lot on your plate. Trust us when we say that you taking the time in this way means so much to us and speaks volumes. We hope that getting to know more about us and engaging with our Admissions staff leads to a deeper understanding of all you can gain from and add to our community.