St. Olaf College | News

Just admitted? Here’s what comes next

The St. Olaf College Class of 2025 has been admitted! If you’re one of our newly admitted students, a big congratulations from all of us here on the Hill.

We know the college admissions season can be a stressful time, even during “normal” years. That’s why it’s so exciting to help you envision your time here at St. Olaf. In fact, we made a website just for you! Below you’ll find a guide for the site, tips and tricks from a St. Olaf student, and information about what makes St. Olaf so special.

Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Chris GeorgeCongratulations on your admission to St. Olaf College! Be proud of your accomplishments and excited about the possibility of becoming an Ole. To turn that possibility into a reality, I invite you to explore information about our academics, the social environment, and opportunities for study abroad, internships and career preparation.

Where to Start
So what’s first? If you click Get Started,” you’ll be able to read about our “Virtual Admitted Students Experience.” Since this year has required some creative solutions, we’re offering flexibility in how and when you tour our beautiful campus. You can opt for a Zoom tour with a live guide, a recorded tour, or a driving tour complete with audio guide. Following those links will also give you a chance to see the other activities that St. Olaf offers, like virtual financial aid appointments or a video call with faculty. You can also make your enrollment deposit here so that we know to expect you next year!

Screenshot of a web page about the virtual admitted student experience with a photo of the St. Olaf campus in the background.
Click “Get Started” on the Admitted Students Experience web page to learn all about St. Olaf and what you need to do to become an Ole!

Getting Oriented
We’re still working on getting the official orientation schedule worked out for the fall, but don’t worry — it’s gonna be great, and we hope you’ll be able to join us! There will be a few orientation models over the summer (it’s not homework, we promise) and tons of ways to connect with admitted Oles. This includes our yearly Common Read, summer social events, and on-campus orientation in the fall. More on that later. There’s specific info for transfer and international students on this page too, as well as information for families in case mom or dad have their own questions. Speaking of, you’ll find frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page.

Screenshot of a web page about New Student Orientation.
You’ll do all kinds of things at New Student Orientation, like learn about living in community at St. Olaf, meeting your academic advisor, and getting information about student organizations.

Conversations Programs and Learning Communities
What makes St. Olaf so special? There aren’t any bad answers, but there is one that’s especially good: the students! If you want to get a jump-start on growing your community and your academic interests, the Conversations Program may be right for you! In these programs, students devote a portion of their coursework to the interdisciplinary approach of a certain topic, and they move as a cohort through a variety of professors and subjects. Many Oles meet their closest friends this way.

Screenshot of a web page about Conversations programs with a black-and-white photo of students and a professor in class in the background.
Join one of the Conversation programs to learn in a cohort of students who share your academic interests!

There are a lot of great options to consider here: The Asian Conversations Program just expanded to a two-year sequence, and the Environmental Conversations Program is a timely favorite. On this page, you’ll also see programs like Race Matters — a two-semester seminar on race and modern America — as well as our pre-health and pre-law programs, finance fast track, and integrated chemistry and biology track

Getting Connected
A bit further down, you’ll see ways to connect with your potential classmates. There’s a Facebook group just for the incoming class, and you should give St. Olaf a follow on Instagram. If you use the hashtag #StOlaf2025, you might even get featured on the St. Olaf Admissions Instagram account! (Hint: We love to see future Oles posing with their acceptance packages, especially in interesting places.)

You can also explore where other accepted students are from. If you’re not a Midwesterner, this is a great way to figure out if there are any Oles near you. With St. Olaf’s broad reach, you might be surprised! And if your parents are still a bit nervous or want to connect with other Ole parents, there’s a Facebook group for them too.

Screenshot of the home page for the St. Olaf Class of 2025 Facebook group.
Connect with your fellow Oles on the St. Olaf Class of 2025 Facebook page!

If you’re going to be an Ole, you’ll need your very own St. Olaf email. With so much going on here, you’ll get used to checking it pretty often. While you can stay up to date using your applicant account, you’ll need to make a St. Olaf email account to accept financial aid and officially commit. Make sure to read all the way through that page as you make your decision to make sure you’re kept in the loop. Below that section is the link to financial aid. You’ll be able to review your award and figure out your expected contribution. We know this can be scary, so if you have any questions, make sure to book a one-on-one with a financial aid counselor. They’re some of the friendliest, most helpful people on campus. They (almost) make finances fun. 

Make sure to bookmark the “New Student Checklist.” Those are all the things we need from you before you start your college experience. Oh, and remember the “no homework yet” thing from before? There is a little homework. If you decide to attend St. Olaf, we ask that you take the relevant placement exams. You can read all about it on the page, but depending on high school coursework and intent to study certain subjects, this can include languages, chemistry, computer science, math, or writing.

Screenshot of a web page with the New Student Checklist.
Refer to this checklist to make sure you are keeping on track with all of your tasks that need to be completed before move-in.

College Credit and Career Counseling
Speaking of high school coursework, if you took Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Cambridge A Level (CAL) classes, you may be eligible to opt out of certain general education requirements and gain course credit before you get to the Hill. This page includes information on how to get your scores to St. Olaf.

Likewise, if you participated in Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO), College in the Schools (CIS), and Dual Enrollment Courses, you’ll need to arrange for your transcript to be sent to St. Olaf so we can count this credit as well. This FAQ should handle most questions, but feel free to use the “contact” links with any outstanding inquiries. 

Finally, St. Olaf College is proud of our Piper Center for Vocation and Career where students can get connected with jobs, internships, career advice, volunteer opportunities, and more. If you’re thinking, “It’s too early to be worrying about my career,” think again! St. Olaf prides itself on equipping students for whatever comes next, and it is never too early to start preparing — even if you just want to get involved with volunteering or talk to an Ole alum in a field you’re considering. 

What Now?
If you’re like many Oles, you’re still curious about life on the Hill. That’s why we’ve included some links below for you to check out. Feel free to browse these links and the rest of the St. Olaf website. We hope these will be helpful for you as you make your college decision.

Live video feed — Curious about student life on the Hill? Want to take in a concert or catch a game? Maybe you want to check out a chapel service or hear a lecture. For all that and more, look no further than our live streams and archived video.

Students gather outside and sign up for organizations at tables.
Students attend the co-curricular fair every fall to learn more about student organizations and clubs on campus — just like these Oles did several years ago.

List of student organizations — Interested in finding your fit? St. Olaf has hundreds of student organizations, so no matter what your interests are, we’ve got you covered. Are you an environmentalist? Check out the Environmental Coalition! Play the accordion? Check out Accordion Club! Swing Dancing? Curling? Volunteering? A Capella? Bodybuilding? Debate? Actuarial Science? You name it, we’ve got it. And that’s not even mentioning our honor societies, student government, or hall councils!

Music organizations — St. Olaf is a musical place. Nearly one-third of all students participate in an ensemble of some sort, whether that’s an orchestra, choir, band, or any of our chamber organizations. You don’t even need to be a music major! For first-year students, there are two choir options (Viking Chorus and Manitou Singers), but all other ensembles are open by audition except for Collegiate Chorale, our non-audition choir for treble voices. Some students even participate in multiple types of ensembles, sometimes running back and forth between the St. Olaf Orchestra and a choir during the renowned St. Olaf Christmas Festival.

Students carrying drums smile in the foreground with students sitting in bleachers behind them.
There are plenty of music organizations for students to join on campus, such as the student-led pep band.

Athletic Facilities and Campus Athletics — In case you’re worried about missing leg day, St. Olaf has high-quality workout and recreation facilities, including a full gym, weight room, climbing wall, ice arena, indoor track, basketball courts, racket sport facilities, a pool, and more. In case you prefer team sports, we have intramural options and club sports, too.

Dining on Campus — St. Olaf is well known for its dining options, too. Stav Hall, the campus cafeteria, caters to all dietary restrictions with a fresh and local menu that changes every meal. You can even sign up for daily emails about the menu. The Cage, St. Olaf’s made-to-order dining area, is open all day and serves coffee, wraps, burgers, baked goods, and so much more — all of which can be purchased with Flex Dollars, which are automatically added to your Ole Card as part of your meal plan. Make sure to order the crispy chicken wrap — it’s unbelievably good. Then again, so is everything else. And when the midnight pizza craving hits, St. Olaf’s Lion’s Pause serves up cheesy pizza slices, cookies, milkshakes, and other late-night offerings.

Women's basketball players cheer for their team members with fans in the background.
St. Olaf has many varsity athletic teams, club sports, and intramural sports that students can join — or cheer on.

So there you have it. We hope all this information will give you a feeling for what to expect at St. Olaf. In fact, the only thing missing is you! As you make your college decision, the admitted students website and links it holds can serve as a great resource. And if any other questions arise, please feel free to use the email addresses and phone numbers listed on the website, or contact us here:

We’re looking forward to meeting you, and we hope to see you on the Hill soon!