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Grinnell College - IowaSchools.net

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Grinnell College

Grinnell College is a private undergraduate liberal arts school located in Grinnell, Iowa. Named one of America’s best colleges by U.S. News and World Report, the school was founded as Iowa College in Davenport by New England Congregationalists in 1846. After about a quarter of a century, the school eventually moved to its current location in Grinnell. In addition to the main school, Grinnell College also owns the Conard Environmental Research Area that sits about 14 miles away from the main campus. Approximately 1,600 students attend this college.

Grinnell College Degree Programs

Grinnell College has been consistently recognized for providing high-quality education in a number of fields. About 95% of the school’s 150-member faculty possesses doctorate degrees in their fields. The programs of study are organized into three departments: humanities, science, and social studies. Here is a sample of the topics you can study at Grinnell College:

  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Chinese and Japanese
  • Education
  • Gender and Women’s Studies
  • General Literary Studies
  • History
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Neuroscience
  • Physical Education
  • Psychology
  • Spanish
  • Theatre and Dance

The school encourages students to take an active part in the development of their study programs.  Grinnell offers a few resources to help students explore their interests and expand their knowledge.

  • Plus-2: With the approval of the instructor, a student can add 2 credits onto a class which will allow them to study it more in depth independently.
  • Independent Study: This option allows the student to design their own course around an area of academic interest. The work may entail guided reading or a specific project such as reproducing a science experiment.
  • Directed Research Projects: Students work under the direction of a faculty member to complete a research project designed by the teacher.
  • Mentored Advanced Projects: Another option for students to work with a faculty member on scholarly research or a project. Oftentimes students are contributing to an ongoing faculty research project.

Grinnell participates with 13 other schools to provide students with a chance to earn course credit in off-campus and study abroad programs. These programs provide students with the opportunity to learn about different cultures while obtaining hands-on experience in their fields of study.


To be considered for entry to Grinnell College, students must show that they are able to complete the high-level college courses at the school. Admissions staff looks at how the student performs in college preparatory classes taken in high school. Students must graduate from an accredited high school program or equivalent and obtain high scores on the SAT or ACT. Recommendations from a school counselor and two academic instructors are also required.

International students are required to take the TOEFL. Transfer students must complete at least 62 credit hours at Grinnell to graduate from the school. All students are required to submit a $200 deposit to reserve their seats.

Grinnell College Tuition Costs

Tuition and fees for one year of education at Grinnell are as follows:

  • Tuition: $39,250
  • Room: $4,372
  • Student Activities: $366
  • Health Fee: $194

Payments must be made one month in advance of the start of the semester. Grinnell also offers a monthly installment plan which is administered by a third-party provider. Students can also use federal financial aid, scholarships, grants, and private loans to pay for their educations. Grinnell has a number of student jobs as well.

Campus Life

All full-time students under the age of 22 must live onsite. Exceptions are made for students who are 22 or over, live with their parents, live in Grinnell, are legally married or in a civil union, or have one or more children. On-campus housing consists of 19 residence halls that offer single-, double-, triple-, and quad-occupancy rooming options. There are several substance-free residence halls and some with gender-neutral rooms. A few have computer labs and laundry facilities on site. Students can rent lofts and mini-fridges from the school.

Campus activities include sports programs and student organizations. Men and women can participate in basketball, baseball, football, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, softball, and volleyball. The Office of Student Activities plans student activities including movie nights, special events, concerts, and parties. There are over 50 student groups including All Boys Movie Night, Art Club, Cycling Club, First Year Council, Grinnell College Campus Democrats, and Pagan Discussion Circle.


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