Students Say

Founded in 1846, Grinnell College is a small private liberal arts college in Iowa where innovative intellectual discourse is central to learning. Guided by a commitment to academic rigor and a “commitment to social justice,” the school stresses self-governance (“Self-Gov is Love”) and the “very supportive” student body has the power to make change on campus. “Grinnell operates on self-governance which means the students are held accountable for their actions by their fellow students rather than being cited by RAs or school officials,” says a student.

Overview

Applicants
6,058
Acceptance Rate
28%

Test Scores

SAT Reading
630 - 740
SAT Math
660 - 760
ACT Composite
30 - 33

Deadlines

Early Decision
November 15

Early Decision II
January 1

Regular
January 15

Other Admission Factors

Academic

Rigor of Secondary School Record
Class Rank
Academic GPA
Recommendation(s)

Overall

Students Say

Founded in 1846, Grinnell College is a small private liberal arts college in Iowa where innovative intellectual discourse is central to learning. Guided by a commitment to academic rigor and a “commitment to social justice,” the school stresses self-governance (“Self-Gov is Love”) and the “very supportive” student body has the power to make change on campus. “Grinnell operates on self-governance which means the students are held accountable for their actions by their fellow students rather than being cited by RAs or school officials,” says a student.

Learning at Grinnell “can be characterized as entering into a dialogue with professors and classmates.” The curriculum stresses the methodology as well as the content of a given discipline; professors “expect students to be able to evaluate scholarship critically and come to their own conclusions.” Faculty here are “incredibly diverse” and “eager to teach in a small liberal arts college,” and “they all are willing to meet outside of class and leave their schedule open to help you.”

Grinnell is one of the few schools without required general education courses, and students here “are truly free to explore their passions without feeling obligated to study things they don’t enjoy.” The school encourages students “to try a bit of everything” whether or not it’s related to their major, and is “wonderful about bringing in important speakers to help you learn outside of the classroom.” However, the school’s size means there aren’t as many classes offered as larger universities, and “some classes are only offered in either the spring or fall semester.” Still, the school dedicates tons of resources for students, and “individual needs, especially academics related ones, are always met.” The college also heavily subsidizes “spring break volunteer trips, conference travel costs, student groups, unpaid internships, trips to job-shadow alumni, and so much more.”


Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
9:1
Total Faculty
199
with Terminal Degree
180

107
Men
92
Women
34
Minority
2
International

Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
10 - 19

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
85%
Graduate in 5 years
89%
Graduate in 6 years

Majors

  • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies

  • Ethnic, Cultural Minority, and Gender Studies, Other

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer Science

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • English Language and Literature, General

  • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

  • Chinese Language and Literature
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • French Language and Literature
  • German Language and Literature
  • Russian Language and Literature
  • Spanish Language and Literature

  • History

  • History, General

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Mathematics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Philosophy
  • Religion/Religious Studies

  • Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry, General
  • Physics, General

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General

  • Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Economics, General
  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Sociology

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Art/Art Studies, General
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General
  • Music, General


Degrees

Bachelor's

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Internships
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School

Internship

Prominent Alumni


Herbie Hancock
Musician

Bob Noyce
co-founder, Intel; co-inventor, integrated circuit

Thomas R Cech
Chemist; Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Mary Sue Coleman
President, University of Michigan

David White
General Counsel, Screen Actor's Guild

Amy Johnson
Internationally acclaimed opera singer

Sam Tanenhaus
Editor, New York Times Book Review

Dates

Financial Aid Rating
98
Application Deadlines
Feb 8
Notification Date
Apr 1

Required Forms

FAFSA
Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent

Bottom Line

The tab for tuition, fees, room and board, and everything else at Grinnell comes to about $57,517 per year. About 87 percent of Grinnell’s students receive some form of financial aid, though. Need-based financial aid packages for freshman includes $36,762 in gift aid on average.

Bang For Your Buck

Grinnell was founded by a group of Iowa pioneers in 1843, and that pioneering spirit still informs the college’s approach to education. Grinnell’s endowment these days is in the range of a billion dollars. That’s billion, with a B, so admission here is in no way contingent on your economic situation. If you can get admitted here (no small feat), Grinnell will meet 100 percent of your financial need. The college is even moving to meet the full demonstrated institutional need of select international students. In a typical year, Grinnell awards over ten times more in grants than in loans. As part of the culture of alumni support, the college also raises specific funds from alumni to reduce, at the time of graduation, the indebtedness of seniors who have demonstrated a solid work ethic both academically and cocurricularly. Eligible students may designate one summer devoted to either an approved Grinnell-sponsored internship or summer research at Grinnell. In return, the expected summer earnings contribution of $2,500 will be eliminated for that one summer only. One student notes that “on-campus employment is virtually guaranteed.”

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$35,514

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$37,153

Average Need-Based Loan
$3,894

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$16,315

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
51%

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package
$42,327

Financial aid provided to international students
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition
$46,574
Required Fees
$416
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
$900

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
No
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodoloy
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based
 

National Merit Scholarship; Dollars for Scholars Matching Funds
Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Other
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Non-Need-Based
Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
Yes

Direct Lender
Yes

Overall

Students Say

Grinnell is a school filled with an “odd bunch” of students who are “genuinely interested in developing relationships with each other and a connection with the greater world.” All “have a quality about them that is a little bit awkward and silly and most people feel comfortable expressing this.” “You can always find someone who really understands your brand of crazy,” says a junior. This group of “socially conscious scholars” is traditionally “liberal, very intelligent,” and “willing to critically think about every issue or belief mostly in constructive ways.” There is no set formula for fitting in; “almost everyone finds people that they are comfortable with here.” Grinnell is also home to a large international student population, hailing from more than eighty countries.

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
1,734
Out of State
92%

International
15%
Foreign Countries Represented
47

Demographics

8.65%
Asian
6.76%
African-American
9.05%
Hispanic
67.84%
Caucasian
2.50%
Unknown
15.41%
International

55% female
45% male
92% are out of state
96% are full time
4% are part time

Overview

Students Say

“Fun predominates in the academic community and support systems” as well as in nonacademic ways. After being hard workers during the week, “almost everyone likes to go out on weekends and let loose a little bit,” whether “in a traditional party environment with beer and drinking games on weekends, or something as goofy as a weekly Nerf gun battle in our science facility on Friday nights (yes, there’s a club for that).” There are in fact many different organizations run by students, and “there’s always some sort of performance going on.” Popular movies are shown for free on campus, and concerts and themed dance parties are held. “Even though we are located in a small town in Iowa, most students don’t feel the urge to hit a bus or car to Des Moines, Chicago or the Twin Cities every weekend,” assures a student. “We make our own amusements; surprisingly little property destruction results of this boredom compared to other college towns I know.” Grinnellians are “very passionate about wellness, respect and being politically correct,” and this translates into a lot of talks, dialogues and activities to promote all three of these aspects. “If you have an opinion be prepared to defend it,” says a student. There are of course some social divisions (notably athletes and non-athletes), but “not in a harmful way.” “People love to dance here. People love to deconstruct social constructions here.” It’s “an amazing mix of silly times and very smart people.”

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
88%
Help finding off-campus housing
Yes

Quality of life rating
86
First-Year Students living on campus
100%

Campus Environment
Village
Fire safety rating
84

Housing Options

Cooperative
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Special Needs Admissions


Type of Program
For all students with disabilities

Director
Joyce M. Stern

College Entrance Tests Required
Yes

Interview Required
No

Documentation Requred for LD
Current written evaluation from qualified professional indicating results from testing, a specific diagnosis,

Documentation Requred for ADHD
Current written evaluation from qualified professional indicating results from testing, a specific diagnosis,

Special Need Services Offered

Calculator allowed in exams
Yes

Dictionary allowed in exams
Yes

Computer allowed in exams
Yes

Spellchecker allowed in exams
Yes

Extended test time
Yes

Scribes
Yes

Proctors
Yes

Oral exams
Yes

Notetakers
Yes

Distraction-free environment
Yes

Accommodation for students with ADHD
No

Reading machine
Yes

Other assistive technology
Yes

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
200
Number of Honor Societies
2

Number of Social Sororities
0
Number of Religious Organizations
16

Sports

Athletic Division
Division III

2% participate in intercollegiate sports

Men's Sports (Pioneers)
11 Sports

Baseball
Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Football
Golf
Soccer
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Women's Sports (Pioneers)
11 Sports

Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Golf
Soccer
Softball
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball


Sustainability

Long known for its academic excellence, Iowa’s Grinnell College distinguishes itself equally as a leader in college sustainability practices. The college has declared that the new buildings Grinnell constructs will be built to at least LEED Silver certification. Existing LEED certified buildings include an Athletic Center that collects runoff rainwater for recycling and geothermally heats and cools its facilities, a dining hall that composts all food and paper waste, and a Science Center with heat recovery laboratory exhaust systems and a rainwater-irrigated greenhouse. Grinnell residence halls provide single stream recycling containers for all renewable materials. One administrator adds that the college “has dedicated one of its student houses as an Ecohouse and will use that house to demonstrate green technologies, energy conservation, water conservation, and local foods to the Grinnell community.” Grinnell similarly offers a host of academic and extracurricular options for students interested in applied sustainability learning. Notably, the college’s Center for Prairie Studies coordinates the Grinnell Area Local Foods Alliance, takes advantage of Grinnell’s rich history in Iowa to cultivate unique, location-specific agricultural, historical, and public affairs internships for students, and connects students with environmental opportunities at local farms, foundations, and other sustainable organizations. Grinnell allows students to create dynamic and interdisciplinary academic concentrations in environmental studies, global development studies, and policy studies, all of which address sustainability issues.

Green Rating
83
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Yes

School employs a sustainability officer
Yes

% food budget spent on local/organic food
8%

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share
Yes

Car Sharing Program
Yes
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2014.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security


Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

Email and Web Access Available
Yes

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet
100

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms
19

Average Number of PC's per Lab
12

Network Access in Dorm Rooms
Yes

Network Access in Dorm Lounges
Yes

Fee for Network Use
No

Student Web Pages Permitted
Yes

Student Web Pages Provided
No

Partnerships with Technology Companies
No

Online Class Registration Available
Yes

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers
No

Undergraduates that Own Computers
95%

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
No

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses
No

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations
No

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Amy Van Manen
Visit Coordinator

Address
Office of Admission
1103 Park Street
Grinnell, IA 501121690

Phone
800-247-0113

Email
askgrin@grinnell.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Two building on campus are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Mears Cottage and Goodnow Hall
Faulconer Gallery
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center
Bucksbaum Center for the Arts
Charles Benson Bear '39 Recreation and Athletic Center
Robert N. Noyce '49 Science Center; Burling Library

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Downtown Grinnell's restaurants and coffee shops
Rock Creek State Park
The Grinnell Historic Museum
Ahrens Park
Strand Threatre
Iowa Transportation Museum, Grinnell Arts Center, Farmers' Market

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday and Saturday
8am-5pm and 9am-noon
800-247-0113

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Academic year: Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat 9am-noon
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
Yes

Information Sessions
Available

Times
M-F; Saturdays during school year

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
2 weeks

Contact Email Address for Visit
askgrin@grinnell.edu

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Available

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Limitations
seniors:weekday-academic terms

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
The Des Moines and Cedar Rapids airports are approximately 1 hour from campus. Transportation is available most days during the academic year, except during breaks, holidays, and exam periods. There is no charge for this service but reservations must be made at least 10 days in advance. Flights should be arranged to arrive and/or depart between 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. CST.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From I-80, take Exit 182; drive north on Highway 146 for 3 miles to Grinnell. Turn right (east) on 6th Avenue and proceed 3 blocks. Visitor parking for the Office of Admission, located in the John Chrystal Center, is on the left.

Local Accommodations
Prospective students are welcome to spend an evening in the residence halls throughout the academic year. Contact the admissions office at least 10 days in advance. Housing on campus is not available for parents or others traveling with you. Within walking distance of campus you'll find the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast (641-236-7520), the Marsh House Bed and Breakfast(641-236-0132 or 641-236-6782), the Spaulding Inn Bed and Breakfast (641-990-1316) and The Guest House Bed and Breakfast (641-236-5843 or 641-236-6161). Four hotels are located a short distance from campus on Highway 146, just off I-80: Comfort Inn and Suites (641-236-5236), Country Inn and Suites (641-236-9600), Super 8 (800-800-8000), and the Days Inn (800-325-2525).
Grinnell College campus - Image 0
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Key Stats

6,058
Applicants
1,734
Size
28%
Acceptance Rate
1400
SAT Scores

Rankings & Lists