See what students say:


A commitment to the common good is the overarching theme of Grinnell College, a private liberal arts school in Iowa. With “an articulated commitment to social responsibility,” students can choose from more than five hundred courses each year and more than eighty study abroad options. “Academics here are difficult,” but “classes are also in-depth and engaging” and “Grinnell has great support systems” should you find any course to be too challenging. And while professors “may make you work hard, they are just as committed to helping you as you are to trying.” They have “a deep understanding of both their subject material and how to teach it” and are “willing to take substantial time to make sure individual students are keeping up.” Many classes are based on “engaging, thought-provoking discussion” (including language classes) and professors “know how to pivot any student response for productive discussion,” often incorporating creative learning methods to do so. “My political science class featured extensive political theory games run by the professor [such as] designing nations, playing as competing social movements, [and] trying to keep others from polluting common resources,” says a student. Each professor “lets their personality shine through lectures and class discussion,” and “you will [quickly] learn which professors speak to your interests, and you will likely stick with them.”

Student Body

This is a “motivated, vibrant, interesting and interested, and … very, very smart” group of students. On top of being “unpretentious and down-to-earth,” they also tend “to be passionately [in favor of] social justice.” In pursuit of that, Grinnellians are “very curious people” and “are usually busy and working on some combination of academic and extracurricular projects.” With a “common interest of learning and being intellectually stimulated as well as being critical of societal practices and other big picture problems occurring today,” this is a “very inclusive environment” where “resistance to unique expression is often looked down upon.” To that extent, “all students are invited to any on campus or off campus event.” One student says, “Everyone can find their tribe here.” Another puts the student body in perspective: “There [must] be something different about you if you’re willing to trek to rural Iowa for your undergrad education.”

Campus Life

There are “lots of niche interests” here and there’s a club for almost every one of them—there’s even “Nerf at Noyce, which is the club dedicated to spending Friday nights in the enormous science building playing giant games with Nerf guns.” With options like that, “basically every student is involved in some extracurricular activities.” However, “studying will take a good portion of the weekdays” at this “always busy” school, so “fun is usually reserved for the weekends, which are full of socializing and club activities.” Students note that when it’s warmer out, “students can be seen LARPing [live action role-playing] outside on the field, or playing Frisbee with a group of friends.” Outside of those on-campus activities, “you better be creative and active in searching for/creating your own fun, because Grinnell is no metropolis.” And while there aren’t a lot of events in Grinnell, “there are a variety of locations off campus (pubs, bars, bowling alleys, farms, restaurants, and parks)” where students can also decompress.

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

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

Office of Admission
1227 Park Street
Grinnell, IA 50112



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

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

Information Sessions

M-F; Saturdays during school year

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
2 weeks

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office

seniors:weekday-academic terms


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 .


Applicants: 7,349
Acceptance Rate: 24%



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