Grinnell College

Grinnell College


Founded in 1846, Grinnell College is a private, co-educational, liberal arts college that seeks to educate its students in the liberal arts through free inquiry and the open exchange of ideas. Grinnell provides a lively academic community of students and teachers of high scholarly qualifications from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. The college aims to graduate women and men who can think clearly, who can speak and write persuasively and eloquently, who can evaluate critically both their own and others' ideas, who can acquire new knowledge and who are prepared to use their knowledge and abilities to serve the common good.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Open House, Fly-in, Visit Grinnell Diversity Preview Program (GDPP)

Grinnell offers a fall fly-in opportunity through the Grinnell Diversity Preview Program. Through GDPP, selected students of color and/or first-generation college students are provided a fully funded opportunity to experience life as “Grinnellians.” Grinnell also invites select students of color and first-generation college students to fly-in, free of charge, to its April Admitted Student Programs.

Special Admissions Policy Need-Blind Admission

Grinnell is committed to need-blind admission and accessibility for academically qualified students, and thus offers significant financial aid. Grinnell meets 100 percent of demonstrated need, and awards over $30 million in financial aid every year.

Summer Bridge & Orientation Grinnell Science Project

Grinnell has a program for traditionally underrepresented students in the sciences called the Grinnell Science Project (GSP). This program, developed in the early 1990s to prevent students of color and/or first-generation college students from abandoning academic goals in the sciences, brings students to campus one week before New Student Orientation to introduce them to the study of science at Grinnell College. Learn more about Grinnell Science Project

Summer Bridge & Orientation Peer Connections Pre-Orientation Program

Once students deposit they are invited to participate in the Peer Connections Pre-Orientation Program (PCPOP). PCPOP introduces students to the variety of services available at Grinnell College, tutoring opportunities and pairs PCPOP participants with a currently enrolled student mentor and a faculty or staff mentor. Learn more about Peer Connections Pre-Orientation Program

Student Life & Support Office of Social Commitment

Grinnell’s Office of Social Commitment provides volunteer opportunities throughout the city of Grinnell for current students. Grinnell partners with local schools, after-school centers and programs, and with our local head start program. In addition, Grinnell assists students in seeking out and completing applications for post-graduate service opportunities with organizations such as Teach for America, AmeriCorps, Grinnell Corps and the Peace Corps.

Student Diversity

  • 1,699
  • 45/55
  • 16%
    First-generation college students
  • <1%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 8%
  • 6%
    Black or African American
  • 8%
  • <1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 52%
  • 5%
    Two or more races
  • 5%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 18%

Student Success

  • 93%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 86%
    Six-year graduation
  • 83%
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 100%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 88%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 184
    Full-time faculty
  • 35
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 9:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Biology, Computer Science, English, Mathematics, Economics

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    African Students Union, Asia and Asian American Association, Asian Media and Culture Club, Chalutzim, Concerned Black Students, International Students Organization, Queer People of Color, Student Organization of Latinx, Vietnamese Student Organization


Cost of Attendance

  • $48,322
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • $436
    Required Fees
  • $11,980
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $47,683,361
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $45,183
    Average aid package
  • $18,780
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 19%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 68%
    Students with financial need
  • 68%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 68%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 100%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 7,370
    # of applicants
  • 20%
  • n/a
    Average HS GPA
  • 31
    ACT Composite
  • 640—750
    SAT Critical Reading
  • 660—780
    SAT Math
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Writing
  • n/a
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 1/15
    Regular application closing date
  • n/a
    Application Fee
  • n/a
    Application Fee (online)
  • yes
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • yes
    Early decision plan
  • 11/15
    Early decision application closing date
  • n/a
    Early action plan
  • n/a
    Early action application closing date