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Grinnell College is a small, undergraduate-only institution that educates 1,700 students on its Iowa campus. The campus is located in the small town of the same name, which has a population of under 10,000. Grinnell is approximately an hour's drive from Des Moines, where students can find loads of cultural and internship opportunities.

Overview of Grinnell College

While on campus, Grinnell's students have 42 areas of study to choose from. While that may seem small by the standards of a major university, students are free to create an individual course of study that integrates multiple disciplines, thus creating a wholly individual college academic experience. Since the college provides a low student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1, each scholar has ample opportunity to pursue their passion and expand on their creativity.

When not immersed in Grinnell's intensive academics, students find time to engage with others around their favorite interests. Some delve into organizations which focus on topics such as social justice, politics, food, or the arts. Others may prefer more physical activities such as co-ed soccer, belly dancing, kickboxing, or yoga. For a less-structured workout, the Bear Recreation and Athletic Center includes an 8,000 square foot fitness center, complete with all sorts of fitness equipment to keep body and mind strong and sharp.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting Town: Remote
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 9:1
Graduation Rate 89%
Year Founded 1846

Student Enrollment

Total Students1,733


Undergraduate Student

Male NA
Female NA

Graduate Student

Male NA
Female NA

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Top Rankings For Grinnell College



Male 3,863
Female 4,141


Male 850
Female 994

Acceptance Rate23%

Male 22%
Female 24%

Enrollment 460

Male 230
Female 230
Application Fee NA
High School GPA Recommended
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations Required
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline January 15
Common Application Accepted Yes

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Grinnell is a small, private liberal arts college. As such, its tuition costs are necessarily more than that of publicly funded colleges and universities. However, since Grinnell provides such a strong academic foundation for students, the cost is worth it. For the gross cost, Grinnell's costs for tuition, books, and supplies is around $55,000 per year. Once living costs are factored, Grinnell students and their families see a total gross price tag of $71,000. However, this number decreases once financial aid packages are tallied.

In fact, once grants and scholarships are factored into the educational accounting, a year at Grinnell only costs an average of $29,000. Students from lower income households see an even lower cost of $12,000 per year. Even the top income households only pay $36,000, which rivals the cost of some publicly funded universities.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $29,404
Average Total Aid $38,498
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Room & Board $13,292

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $54,354
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $54,354
  • Books and Supplies - $900
  • Room & Board - $13,292
  • Other - $2,200


Grinnell College is a small liberal arts institution that offers students focused attention from a faculty that includes top scholars in their field. The school also offers its bright, motivated students an environment that fosters fellowship, learning, and fun. This is all an excellent recipe that yields outstanding academic results. Those results are shown in Grinnell's educational statistics, including their retention and graduation rates.

The retention rate is a number that shows how many first-time, full-time students return to campus for their second year. A high retention rate indicates that students and their families are satisfied with the classes, resources, and even the social life on campus. Grinnell's retention rate is an outstanding 94%, a figure that is hard to beat anywhere.

That stellar retention rate yields a likewise phenomenal overall graduation rate of 89% with 85% graduating in four years. This means that the friends who bond in the first-year dorms are likely to celebrate their diplomas together in four years. This may all be attributable to the fact that Grinnell provides students an average class size of 9. When colleges have such a small student-to-faculty ratio, their students are able to receive more hands-on, individual attention and can even pursue independent research projects that might not be possible at large universities.

Student Population Total

Student Population 1,733

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : No

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Social Science Majors 84 Total Graduates / 21%
Political Science and Government, General 29 Graduates
Sociology 23 Graduates
Econometrics and Quantitative Economics 20 Graduates
Anthropology 12 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 70 Total Graduates / 17%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 42 Graduates
Biochemistry 28 Graduates
All Computer Information Science Majors 46 Total Graduates / 11%
Computer Science 46 Graduates
Physical Sciences 38 Total Graduates / 9%
Chemistry, General 23 Graduates
Physics, General 15 Graduates
Mathematics and Statistics 25 Total Graduates / 6%
Mathematics, General 25 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 35%

Outcome & Salary

Grinnell alumni are found in leadership positions coast-to-coast. Some become IT professionals with top financial institutions and others become NASA scientists. Since they all start their careers with one of the best educational foundations possible, it's no wonder that they are such high achievers. Upon starting their careers, Grinnell students report income that ranges from $16,000 to $40,000. These starting salaries are modest, but every Grinnell graduate has the knowledge and talent that makes their subsequent career chapters soar to the stratosphere.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $56,300
College Grads Average Salary $68,707
College Grads Mid Career Salary $110,700
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $687,070
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,794,070
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $117,616
10 Year Projected ROI $569,454
20 Year Projected ROI $1,676,454
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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