See what students say:


The unique appeal of Grinnell College, according to students, is that you’ll get “elite academics in a small-town environment” and a “great educational experience” that many describe as “the best you can find in the Midwest.” The overall sense is that “the students are smart, professors outstanding, and the administration does a good job of bringing the world to Grinnell.” That plays out in the “depth at which courses are taught,” with some proudly noting that there’s an “emphasis on understanding rather than rote learning.” Enrollees also benefit greatly from “small classes” and an “open curriculum” that enables students to pursue whatever interests them.

While there’s “a lot of reading and assignment,” students don’t mind that rigor, saying that “it is genuinely enjoyable to learn here” and noting that “academics are intense at Grinnell, but as a result I’ve learned so much.” Much of that can be attributed to professors who, by and large, “welcome questions and critique and genuinely care about learning.” They also make it easy to foster “strong relationships” with them: “I’ve been to so many of their houses for meals with my classes.” A classmate concurs, adding, “There are many departments here at the college that have great faculty, and they are usually quite willing to engage with students and help them when they need it.”

Student Body

From the moment you step foot on the campus of Grinnell College, you can sense that this is a “tight-knit community” where students are free “to be whoever [they] want… without judgment or reservation.” This results in a lot of “passionate, quirky, [and] curious” individuals who tend to maintain “high standards for themselves.” Peers are also described as “really smart and driven,” so much so that “I feel like everyone I know is working to achieve some rather impressive goals and are actually making good progress.” Students tend to identify as liberal and are “not afraid to challenge the status quo or how things are,” especially when it comes to “social issues.” Additionally, undergrads note that there’s “a higher-than-average percentage of students in the LGBTQ+ community,” though some also note that many peers seem to be “white, predominantly middleand upper-class” kids who “went to quite well-funded high schools.” Regardless of background, students mostly agree that on campus, everyone is “down to earth and friendly” or at the very least, benefiting from a “lack of pretentiousness” that fosters a sense of community. As this student concludes, “My favorite thing about the Grinnell student body is inclusivity. I never feel like I am not welcome at an event, and while social groups exist, nothing has ever been cliquey or exclusive to me.”

Campus Life

Grinnell is “very academically oriented” and accordingly, undergrads dedicate a lot of time to schoolwork. But when they want to kick back and relax, the college sponsors numerous events ranging from “All-Campus Parties (which are hosted by the student government)” to bingo, dances, trivia, and more. Many students also participate in clubs and extracurricular activities, and the fact that “you only need five people to start a club” means that “it’s very easy to make your own,” which goes a long way to explain the range of niches filled by DAG, a club devoted to foam sword-fighting; the fiber arts club; a “low-stakes band class”; GORP (Grinnell Outdoor Recreation Program); mock trial; and so much more. Additionally, “intramural sports are slowly becoming popular again.” The most commonly shared concept is that Grinnellians are quite adept at making their own fun, in ways that can be life-changing: “I watched a lunar eclipse with a group of people who I didn’t know before 1:00am that night; I still keep up with them.” And, of course, plenty of people choose to unwind by simply “watching bad movies on Saturday nights.”

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Emma O'Polka Armah
Assistant Director of Admission

Office of Admission
1227 Park Street
Grinnell, IA 50112



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Humanities and Social Studies Center (HSSC)
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center (JRC)
Robert N. Noyce '49 Science Center
Charles Benson Bear '39 Recreation and Athletic Center
Burling Library
Grinnell College Museum of Art, Two buildings on campus are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Mears Cottage and Goodnow Hall

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 and Stew Art Studios, Grinnell Farmers Market

Campus Tours

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

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

M-F; Saturdays during school year

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Coach Directly

Advance Notice

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available


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 at 1227 Park Street.

Local Accommodations
Housing on campus is not available. 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), Best Western Pioneer Inn & Suites (641-236-6116) 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 .


Applicants: 11,498
Acceptance Rate: 9%



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