Grinnell College students apply for and receive national, merit-based fellowships and awards at exceptionally high rates. This success, in part, speaks to the power of the individually advised curriculum combined with strategic co-curricular and extracurricular involvement in service-learning, internships, independent study and research, and more. National fellowship screening committees for competitive awards are more easily able to identify students of exceptional promise when applicants have already taken advantage of the wealth of opportunities afforded to them as Grinnell students.

The Center for Careers, Life, and Service administers many of the College’s fellowship and award application processes, including those for select national, merit-based awards and for certain Grinnell-specific awards. Please feel free to contact Dr. Steve Gump, director of global fellowships and awards, if you have questions or would like information about any of the awards listed below—or about any other competitive scholarships or fellowships for which Grinnell students or alumni may be eligible. Details and specific application requirements and instructions for current Grinnell students and faculty are on GrinnellShare (requires secure login).

National, Merit-Based Awards

(Click here for an incomplete list of historical recipients.)

Grinnell-Specific Awards

(Click here for a list of historical recipients.)

  • Baumann Essay Prize: in honor of longtime Grinnell history professor Frederick Bauman (1889–1967), a $2,500 prize awarded each spring to the student who writes the best essay—taking an interdisciplinary and historical approach—on the general topic of “ideas and society.” All current students may submit essays for consideration.
  • Boyer Community Service Fellowship: in honor of Sarah Boyer ’08, an approximately $3,000 award given annually to one or more students to fund a service project in the community of Grinnell. All current students may apply.
  • President’s Medal: the highest honor Grinnell College gives to students; the award, conferred at Commencement, recognizes the one member of the senior class who most closely represents the “ideal Grinnell student.” By nomination only.
  • Schwab Prize for Community Service: in memory of Lori Ann Schwab ’95, a $1,500 prize awarded each spring at Baccalaureate to a graduating senior who has made a profound impact on the campus and local community during her or his time in Grinnell. By nomination only.
  • Stouffer Fellowship: established by Elsie Stouffer ’24, an approximately $18,000 fellowship that provides funding for graduate study. All senior women who are fluent in French, Spanish, or Portuguese and who are committed to a career in public service in Latin America may apply, and the award money need not be used immediately after graduating from Grinnell.


College awards $100,000 prizes to Deborah Ahenkorah and Maria Vertkin in ceremony Oct. 27.

Peter Coyote '64, an Emmy Award-winning narrator and accomplished actor and author, presents "Intention: The Only Force on Earth We Can Control" on Oct. 1.