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Student Body

Carleton's student body is notoriously difficult to categorize, but if we had to choose just one word to describe them, it would be curious. They're an intellectually insatiable group that approaches learning with enthusiasm, energy, and a uniquely Carleton brand of playfulness. Broad-ranging interests are common, and friendships seem to cross all traditional boundaries.

Students at a Glance

  • 2035 students
  • 53% female, 47% male
  • From 50 states and 34 countries (8% international)
  • 22% identify themselves as people of color
  • Marty Baylor
    Marty Baylor (faculty) says:
    Carleton is for students who love to learn something new. Whether it’s trying something they have never done before like jewelry making or delving deeper into a subject they have seen before, Carls live to learn.
  • Adriana Estill
    Adriana Estill (faculty) says:
    Students here are committed to learning broadly, across the curriculum; they're curious and let that curiosity lead them into unmarked territories; they are self-reflective and thoughtful about their strengths and weaknesses; finally, they know when to reach out for help, and that that's not a sign of weakness.
  • Sam Patterson
    Sam Patterson (faculty) says:
    Carleton students are eager to learn, energetic, eager to learn, unpretentious, eager to learn, and possessed of good humor.
  • Marielle Foster '16
    How would you describe the students at Carleton? Marielle Foster '16 says:
    Inclusive, respectful, eclectic and slightly idiosyncratic people who didn't necessarily click in high school tend to bloom here. There is a niche for everyone, and the most wonderful thing is to meet people who combine very different social circles and activities.
  • Kathleen Galotti
    Kathleen Galotti (faculty) says:
    Carleton students are hard to sum up in just a few words--there are extraverts and introverts, students who love arts, and students who love sciences, and students who love both. The sort of student who thrives here is one who actively seeks a challenge, who likes to be around other smart learners, who isn't afraid of hard work, and who doesn't grade grub.
  • Marlena Hartman-Filson '13
    How would you describe the students at Carleton? Marlena Hartman-Filson '13 says:
    Imagine your friend's adventurous aunt just returned from an archeological dig. One night, she prepares a dish for you from the region she was stationed in. It's warm and it smells kinda good, but it's lumpy and the predominant spice is unfamiliar to you. Do you try it? (Good fit for Carleton.) Do you scrunch your nose and push it away? (Not such a good fit for Carleton.) Do you not eat it, but make it into a miniature replica of the city of Pompeii? (Good fit for Carleton.)
  • Asim Manizada '13
    It's hard to characterize the student body. I think it would be pretty accurate to say that a majority of the people are quite serious about academics and that the population is friendly and receptive.
  • Al Montero
    Al Montero (faculty) says:
    Carleton students are not just intellectually curious, they are courageous. They are asked to do things that they have never done before, face risks they have never faced, and then they tackle the challenge not sure how things will pan out. Fail or succeed, they emerge the better for it, and then they ask for a new challenge.
  • Scott Carpenter
    Scott Carpenter (faculty) says:
    Carleton students thrive on challenges. Their curiosity leads them in directions that make them nervous. They work hard, sleep too little, play furiously—and they each do it with their own personal panache.
  • Emily Balczewski '16
    How would you describe the students at Carleton? Emily Balczewski '16 says:
    There is no typical Carl; we are all a bit...quirky. But I think what unites the campus is a mutual desire to succeed and have passion for SOMETHING. Whether you are really into academics, sports, music, the environment, or all of the above, it doesn't matter--as long as you invest yourself in some way!
  • Anna Chance '15
    How would you describe the students at Carleton? Anna Chance '15 says:
    A good fit: Involved, friendly, curious, accepting, hardworking, self-forgiving, modest, and genuine. Bad fit: Judgmental, lazy, and afraid to try new things.
  • Yansi Perez
    Yansi Perez (faculty) says:
    I had a student who was completely engaged with her studies (one of the best I've had) and also completely engaged with her political activism. Most Carleton students are like this one--fully engaged in EVERYTHING they do.
  • Susan Jaret-McKinstry
    Susan Jaret-McKinstry (faculty) says:
    Students are willing to engage with everything - their classes, teachers, friends, ideas, adventures, expectations - and let everything in their world be expanded, reimagined, and reconsidered. All with curiosity, openness, and wit.