Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for New Students and Families

How much does it cost to attend Grinnell?

The 2014-15 comprehensive fee is $56,617 (tuition & fees, $45,620; room and board, $10,997). When determining eligibility for assistance, annual allowances are made for the following expenses: Books & Supplies $900; Personal Expenses $1100; Travel Expenses $200-$1100, depending upon home state/country.

How is financial need calculated?

The primary responsibility for meeting the costs of higher education rests with you and your family to the extent that you are able to pay. The difference between the cost of your education and the calculated ability of your family to meet those costs is the eligibility for financial assistance. To calculate each family's ability to pay, Grinnell uses federal and institutional formulas that take into account the information reported by the family on the financial aid application. The family share of expenses calculated by these formulas represents our best estimate of your family's capacity to contribute to your education cost.

How will Grinnell meet my financial need?

Grinnell provides financial aid awards using a combination of grants, loans, and campus jobs. The two primary types of aid at Grinnell are "gift" (scholarships and grants) and "self help" (loans and work). While the majority of your institutional need will be met with scholarships and grants, most of our financial aid packages combine gift aid with self help. Financial aid awards may be adjusted when you receive additional outside sources of funding.

How much aid is available at Grinnell?

Generally, we award financial aid on the basis of need to maintain economic diversity among our students. In 2013-2014, Grinnell awarded approximately $54.5 million in scholarships, grants, work and loans; $48.4 million of that was gift aid. 

What if my circumstances change?

If an event such as a death or job loss means that your family will have substantially less income than anticipated, we will work with you to adjust your aid for the current academic year. If your family's income goes up unexpectedly, your aid package will be adjusted accordingly the following academic year.

When will I receive my financial aid notification?

If all required forms are submitted, you will be notified of financial aid eligibility with your admission decision by the following dates:

Early Decision: December 20
Early Decision II: February 1
Regular Decision: April 1
Transfer: May 15

Does Grinnell participate in the Veteran's Administration Yellow Ribbon Program? 

Yes, beginning with the 2014-15 academic year. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Returning Students

What types of financial aid programs can I apply for by completing the Grinnell College Office of Student Financial Aid application process?

You can apply for the following federal, state, or need-based institutional financial aid. Question 2 lists the forms that must be completed.

  • Federal Pell Grant -- a federal grant based on expected family contribution
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) -- a federal need-based grant of limited funding
  • Iowa Tuition Grant -- a state grant based on financial need and expected family contribution
  • Grinnell Grant -- an institutional grant based on financial need
  • Federal Perkins Loan -- a long-term federal loan administered by Grinnell College
  • Grinnell College Loan -- a long-term institutional loan
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct/Stafford Loans -- long-term federal loans
  • Federal Work-Study -- federally subsidized student employment
What forms should I complete if I want to renew my merit scholarship?

None. You will receive an Award Notification during the spring semester.

How can I be certain that I will be considered for the need-based aid programs listed above?

Submit the required documents to our office postmarked by April 15.

What should I do if my parents or I file our federal tax returns with the IRS after the April 15 deadline?

Please plan to have tax returns completed, including a signature, and submitted to IDOC by April 15.  Be sure to include all schedules and W-2 forms.  If filing an extension, submit a signed copy of the request to file an extension to our office. An estimated award will be processed, but not finalized until a signed copy of the tax return is submitted to IDOC.

Priority will be given to those students who have submitted all of the required documents by April 15. Students who submit documents after April 15 may have their grant assistance reduced.

What must I do if no tax return will be filed?

If you and/or your parents will not file a 2013 Federal Income Tax Return, submit all W-2 forms and a non-tax-filer statement to the College Board IDOC Service

Iowa is my state of legal residence. Am I required to apply for the Iowa Tuition Grant?

Yes. Use the FAFSA to apply. It is standard policy not to use college funds to replace state grants denied because of lateness or failure to apply by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission's July 1st deadline.

What must I do if I am participating in a Grinnell College approved Off-Campus Study (OCS) program?

Students studying off-campus may experience a delay in their award notification if the OCS program is delayed in providing the Financial Aid Office current budget data. Fall OCS awards are made in June and Spring OCS awards are made in November provided all appropriate deadlines are met.

After I submit all of the required information, when can I expect to hear about my eligibility for financial aid?

Students generally can expect to receive notification of their eligibility in June. Students who have not submitted all of the required documents by April 15 may have grant assistance reduced.

If I still have questions about the application process or the documents, what should I do?

If you have questions, please contact: Grinnell College Office of Student Financial Aid Grinnell, Iowa 50112-1690 Phone (641) 269-3250 finaid[at]grinnell[dot]edu