Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Tuition for St Olaf College is $46,000 for the 2017/2018 academic year. This is 66% more expensive than the national average private non-profit four year college tuition of $27,755. The cost is 116% more expensive than the average Minnesota tuition of $21,305 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 57th in Minnesota amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 3rd most expensive 4 year college in the state. Price does not vary by residence.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $10,430 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Northfield should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,000.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $900 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $900 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The annual tuition and living expense budget to go to St Olaf College was $58,330 for the 2017/2018 academic year. The cost is the same for all students regardless of Minnesota residence status as there is no in-state discount.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 IPEDS survey response for St Olaf College and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for St Olaf College
Estimated Budgets
Minnesota Resident Total Budget $58,330
   In-State Tuition$46,000
   Other Fees$0
   Room and Board$10,430
   On-Campus Other Budget$900
   Books and Supplies$1,000
Non-Resident Total Budget $58,330
   Out-of-State Tuition$46,000
   Other Fees$0
   Room and Board$10,430
   On-Campus Other Budget$900
   Books and Supplies$1,000


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $58,330 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported St Olaf College net price for in-state students is $28,019* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

87% of St Olaf College students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $23,841. 14 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,252. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend St Olaf College, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for St Olaf College
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$28,019*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid87%
Average Total Grant Aid$23,841
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants14%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,252

Average Net Price by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$11,792
$30,001 to $48,000$12,061
$48,001 to $75,000$18,918
$75,001 to $110,000$23,307

Average Financial Aid Mix - $58,330 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $58,330. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 42% - $23,841

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, St Olaf College or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 9% - $5,184

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 49% -  $28,405

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Is it Worth the Cost?

To make a comparative assessment if St Olaf College is worth the price, measures of it's relative value for tuition dollar can be examined. We've calculated an academic national percentile rating of 90/100 for St Olaf College. Considering an average net price paid of $26,276, this leads to an overall value ranking of 69/100. This places the school 112nd on our national Best Value Colleges ranking as a provider of a very high value education compared to actual overall price paid.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Private Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. St Olaf College
Macalester College13.6% more expensive

Cost of a Degree

When considering ability to pay for college, the annual cost is often discussed but it's the "all in" multi-year degree cost which matters in the end. Let's take a look at what it could really cost for four years at St Olaf College.

Estimated 4 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 4 year bachelor's degree at St Olaf College is $233,320 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 4 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $26,276 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $105,104**

If you end up on the "five year plan" and need an additional year to graduate, your five year cost could be as high as $291,650 or $131,380 using an average net price.

**Based on a 4 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at St Olaf College are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at St Olaf College
Price per credit hour$1,438
Cost for one class (3 credit hours)$4,314
Cost for one class (4 credit hours)$5,752


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 46% of St Olaf College students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $5,184. The reported average student debt upon graduation is $27,637.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for St Olaf College? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $105,104, 100% of the estimated average net price for a four year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $130,409.96. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at St Olaf College. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 87% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $26,276. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our St Olaf College student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

St Olaf College Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$1,086.75
Amount Borrowed$105,104.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$25,305.96
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$130,409.96

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend St Olaf College? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending St Olaf College, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $130,409.96 would be needed to afford a $1,086.75 monthly payment in the example $105,104.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to St Olaf College in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $39,560 to $46,000. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 3.3%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 4 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current 4 year cost of $233,320.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for St Olaf College.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$80,217$320,869
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$102,380$409,520
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $130,666$522,662
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $151,262$605,047

Tuition History

What was tuition at St Olaf College five, ten, fifteen or twenty years ago? Hop into our time machine and take a look. Pay attention to how aggressive the school has been with price increases in the past as it provides indication as to how the school may raise tuition in the next few years. Historical tuition and fees for all available data years back to 1987 follows.

YearTuitionAnnual Increase

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at St Olaf College to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Social Work Bachelor's Degree 24 62% costlier
Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 23 42% costlier
Music Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 15 54% costlier
Economics, General Bachelor's Degree 13 30% costlier
Asian Studies/Civilization Bachelor's Degree 12 11% costlier
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 11 40% costlier
Religion/Religious Studies Bachelor's Degree 11 23% costlier
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 11 40% costlier
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 11 44% costlier
Biology/Biological Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 10 44% costlier
Art/Art Studies, General Bachelor's Degree 9 49% costlier
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 9 42% costlier
English Language and Literature, General Bachelor's Degree 9 45% costlier
History, General Bachelor's Degree 8 43% costlier
Spanish Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 8 35% costlier
Music, General Bachelor's Degree 7 41% costlier
Philosophy Bachelor's Degree 7 29% costlier
Environmental Studies Bachelor's Degree 6 19% costlier
Social Studies Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 6 56% costlier
Physics, General Bachelor's Degree 5 33% costlier
Russian Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 4 11% costlier
Religious/Sacred Music Bachelor's Degree 4 71% costlier
French Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 3 26% costlier
American/United States Studies/Civilization Bachelor's Degree 3 12% costlier
Music Theory and Composition Bachelor's Degree 3 25% costlier
Human Development and Family Studies, General Bachelor's Degree 2 57% costlier
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse Bachelor's Degree 2 63% costlier
Dance, General Bachelor's Degree 2 29% costlier
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies Bachelor's Degree 2 45% costlier
Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 2 19% costlier
Ancient Studies/Civilization Bachelor's Degree 2 3% costlier
Women's Studies Bachelor's Degree 2 23% costlier
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 2 37% costlier
Computer Science Bachelor's Degree 2 39% costlier
Art History, Criticism and Conservation Bachelor's Degree 2 19% costlier
Ancient/Classical Greek Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 1 1% costlier
Kinesiology and Exercise Science Bachelor's Degree 1 52% costlier
Music Performance, General Bachelor's Degree 1 46% costlier
German Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 1 24% costlier
Russian Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 4% costlier
Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 1 10% costlier
Latin Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 1 12% costlier
Latin American Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 10% costlier
Norwegian Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 1 29% costlier
Medieval and Renaissance Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 2% cheaper


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for St Olaf College or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford St Olaf College in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a St Olaf College student loan.

Prepayment Option

About St Olaf College

St Olaf College is a four year private college located in Northfield, Minnesota.  The school is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church faith.  Full time enrollment is 2,990 and part time is 50.

Only undergraduate degrees are offered at this school.

St Olaf College
1520 St Olaf Ave
Northfield, Minnesota

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

St Olaf College is a private not for profit institution.

St Olaf College cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=174844 IPEDS survey data.