Grinnell CollegeGrinnell College, nicknamed the “Little School on the Prairie,” is about halfway between Grand Rapids and Des Moines and was founded in 1846. The rural setting on 120 acres is an ideal locale for its tight-knit community. Close bonds are formed in part because all students are required to live on-campus during their four years. With an undergraduate population of just over 1,700 students, Grinnell has the resources to attract well-respected faculty members. More than 95% of faculty members hold doctorates or terminal degrees in their field. Surveys completed by students at the end of each semester carry great weight. In a very different trend from most colleges, no classes are taught by graduate students. Class sizes also remain small with a student to faculty ratio of nine to one. About 65% of classes have less than 20 students.

Grinnell College campusThere are 27 majors and 18 concentrations offered. The most popular majors include: social sciences; biological/life sciences; computer and information sciences; and foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics. Students can also design their own courses of study. However, all students must complete the “solecore” or general education requirements. They must take the First-Year Tutorial, a one-semester special topic seminar that focuses on inquiry, critical analysis and writing skills. All majors classes are chosen with the guidance of a faculty member within the focused department of study. Grinnell College does not offer any remedial or basic-level classes. If students need help, labs and a learning center are available. To graduate, students are required to complete at least 32 credits in their major and a total of 124 credits.

Grinnell CollegeThe school has a busy social atmosphere on campus. Although there is no Greek life, there are activities and concerts every week. A well-known event, the Titular Head Film Festival, allows students to show their own films. Many students also belong to social activism groups. (Grinnell is a top school for sending students into the Peace Corps.) Also, over 50% of students take part in the study-abroad programs. Grinnell College has a burgeoning athletic department. The Grinnell Pioneers compete in 18 sports in the NCAA Division III Midwest Conference. About one-third of students participate in at least one varsity sport during their undergraduate years.

Grinnell’s ability to allow students to pursue their own interests helps to form a collaborative and creative community. Students’ meaningful relationships with classmates and faculty members also aid in the production of a top-tier liberal arts education. On-campus activities and sports programs result in Grinnell College graduates being ready to take on the world.


Acceptance Rate

Grinnell acceptance rate

Class Standing

Grinnell top 10% in high school

SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

Grinnell College SAT score range

ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

Grinnell College ACT test score

Application Deadlines

Early decision (Round 1): Nov. 15

Early decision (Round 2): Jan. 1

Regular decision: Jan. 15

Admissions Information

Freshmen Admissions
Number of applicants: 8,004
Enrolled: 460
Yield: 24.9%
Acceptance rate: 23.1%

Early Decision Admissions
Number of ED applicants: 348
Admitted: 197
ED acceptance rate: 56.6%

Waitlist Admission Statistics
Number of waitlisted applicants: 785
Admitted off the waitlist: 10
Waitlist acceptance rate: 1.3%

Transfer Admissions
Number of transfer applicants: 89
Admitted transfer applicants: 3
Transfer acceptance rate: 3.4%

Average GPA: N/A
Top 10% of High School: 62%

Middle SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
SAT Composite: 1400-1510
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 670-740
SAT Math: 700-790

Middle ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
ACT Composite: 31-34
ACT English: 32-35
ACT Math: 27-33

Standardized Test Requirements

Grinnell College does not require the SAT/ACT SAT/ACT not required

Grinnell does not require the writing portion Writing portion not required

Grinnell does not require the SAT subject tests SAT Subject Tests not required

Score Card

Graduation Rates

Grinnell graduation rate

Loan Defaults and Rhodes Scholars

Grinnell score card

Salary After Attending

R&D Expenditures

Campus Safety

Score Card Information

Graduation Rates
4 years: 84.9%
5 years: 88.4%
6 years: 88.7%

Loan default rate: 1.0%

Total Rhodes Scholars: 14

Salary after attending: $49,100

R&D Expenditures: $4.95 million

Campus Safety
Sex offenses: 5
Robberies: 0
Aggravated assaults: 0
Burglaries: 2
Car thefts: 2

Financial Aid

Net Cost and Total Expected Cost of Attendance

Grinnell College financial aid

Average Net Price By Income

Student Debt

Grinnell student debt

Additional Information

Tuition, room and board (2020-2021): $67,646

Total estimated cost of attendance (2020-2021): $70,346

Net Cost
Average: $29,404

By income
$0 to $30,000: $11,945
$30,001 to $48,000: $14,818
$48,001 to $75,000: $12,486
$75,001 to $110,000: $22,085
$110,001 and more: $35,934

Graduates with student debt: 61%

Average student debt at graduation: $20,093

Student Body

Student Residence

Undergraduate Class Sizes

Grinnell undergraduate class sizes

Student to Faculty Ratio

Grinnell College student to faculty ratio

Student Population

Additional Information

Student to Faculty Ratio: 9 to 1
Women: 54%

Undergraduate Class Sizes
Under 20: 64%
20 to 39: 36%
40 to 99: 0%
100+: 0%

Student Population
Total: 1,733 (all undergraduate)

Student Residence
In State: 8%
Out of State: 73%
International: 17%
Unknown: 2%

Grinnell College student population

Grinnell College seal

Grinnell College

This page was last updated in November 2020.