See what students say:

Academics

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.”

Student Body

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.

Campus Life

“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.”

Overview

Applicants
7,349
Acceptance Rate
24%

SAT & ACT Test Scores

SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
670 - 745
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
700 - 785
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
30 - 34

Testing Policies


ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

SAT Essay Policy
SAT with or without Writing accepted

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)

Selectivity Rating


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Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
9:1
Total Faculty
210
with Terminal Degree
188

110
Men
100
Women
42
Minority

Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
2 - 9


Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
78%
Graduate in 5 years
82%
Graduate in 6 years
84%

Majors

  • AREA, ETHNIC, CULTURAL, GENDER, AND GROUP STUDIES.

  • Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group 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.
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics.
  • 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

Experiential
Internship

Notable Faculty


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, Association of American Universities

David White
Exec. Dir. and Chief Negotiator, Screen Actor's Guild

Amy Johnson
Internationally acclaimed opera singer

Sam Tanenhaus
Historian and Author, writer-at-large New York Times

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
78%
Graduate in 5 years
82%
Graduate in 6 years
84%

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

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

Experiential
Internship

ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Starting Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)
$51,200

Mid-Career Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)
$96,700

Starting Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)
$53,800

Mid-Career Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)
$103,500

Percent High Job Meaning
48%

Percent STEM
41%


Students Say

Grinnell undergrads do pretty well for themselves. Indeed, according to PayScale.com, the average starting salary for these students is $48,800. Students are thankful that the “Grinnell College alumni...are very proactive in providing students with assistance in the form of... employment, or mentorship.” And, even if undergrads are unable to hook up with an alum, they can always turn to the Center for Careers, Life and Service (CLS). Besides interview prep, job shadowing programs, and on-campus recruiting, the center also houses the Service Learning and Civic Engagement Program, which helps students find co-curricular service learning opportunities. Grinnellink internships are specific (and paid!) opportunities with college alumni and friends and are open exclusively to Grinnell students. Off-campus study experiences, whether abroad like Grinnell-in-London, or at a U.S. location like Grinnell-in Washington, offer more ways for experiential learning to complement coursework.

Dates

Application Deadlines
Jan 15
Notification Date
Apr 1

Required Forms

FAFSA
Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$45,007

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$43,783

Average Need-Based Loan
$3,862

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
60%

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$18,694

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package
$39,468

Financial aid provided to international students
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition
$53,872
Required Fees
$482
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
$900

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

On-Campus Room and Board
$13,292
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
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 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

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

Direct Lender
No

Financial Aid Rating

Overall


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
1,716
Foreign Countries Represented
44

Demographics

7.87%
Asian
5.31%
African-American
7.57%
Hispanic
50.33%
Caucasian
4.65%
Unknown
19.26%
International

54% female
46% male
92% are out of state
98% are full time
2% are part time

Overview


Campus Life

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

First-Year Students living on campus
100%

Campus Environment
Village

Housing Options

Cooperative
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Special Needs Admissions

Program / Service Name
Accessibility and Disability Services

Type of Program
For all students with disabilities

Director
Autumn Wilke

College Entrance Tests Required
No

Interview Required
No

Documentation Required for LD

See documentation guidelines: https://www.grinnell.edu/about/offices-services/academic-advising/disability-services#documentation

Documentation Required for ADHD

See documentation guidelines: https://www.grinnell.edu/about/offices-services/academic-advising/disability-services#documentation

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
Yes

Reading machine
Yes

Other assistive technology
Yes

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
105
Number of Honor Societies
2

Number of Social Sororities
0
Number of Religious Organizations
5

Sports

Athletic Division
Division III

9% participate in intramural 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.

76/99

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

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet
100

Fee for Network Use
No

Partnerships with Technology Companies
No

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
No

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Rachel D Arseneault
Assistant Director of Admission and Coordinator of Campus Visits & Events

Address
Office of Admission
1227 Park Street
Grinnell, IA 50112

Phone
800-247-0113

Email
admission@grinnell.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Two buildings 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
Grinnell Arts Center, Farmers' Market

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday and selected Saturdays
8am-5pm and 8am-12:30pm
800-247-0113

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Academic year: Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat 8am-12:30pm
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
admission@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), and Hotel Grinnell (641-236-9250). 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). The Guest House Bed and Breakfast (641-236-5843 or 641-236-6161) is southeast of town, 7 minutes from campus .


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