Welcome to Grinnell College, Class of 2019!

Grinnell College is committed to supporting guests with disabilities throughout New Student and Family Orientations. Please call 641-269-3700 if you have a disability that requires accommodation for participation in an event.  

New Student Orientation: August 21–26, 2015

We are currently working hard to plan New Student Orientation. Please check back for updates. If you have any questions at this time, please email New Student Orientation.

Students and their families can arrange their travel plans so that they can check in to their residence hall between 1– 5 p.m. on Friday, August 21, before orientation programming begins on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Students can settle in to their rooms and visit several offices before the end of the business day on Friday. Alternately, a Saturday morning arrival is possible for those who are not able to travel on Friday. Students could check in from 8–10 a.m. on Saturday and visit most campus offices.

There will also be various family orientation sessions and events planned for the evening of Friday, August 21, and during the day on Saturday, August 22. Many families will depart campus after 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 22, when their students become occupied with student-only orientation programming. But, some families will choose to leave on Sunday, August 23, due to traveling a great distance.

The first tutorial class (first-years only) is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 23; the first full day of classes (all students) is Thursday, August 27.

New Student Checklist

Roommate Form (completion online via your applicant status page) – Deadline: May 31

    Tell us about yourself and we will match you by hand with a compatible roommate.

 First –Year Tutorial Preferences – Deadline: June 30

    Rank your top five choices for your tutorial here.

 Final High School Transcript – Deadline: July 1

    Send this by mail to the Office of Admission.

 Health Form(s) – Deadline: July 15

    Fill out these forms so that we can provide the best care possible.

 Advising Information Form – Deadline: July 19

    Start off a great advising relationship by sharing about yourself.

 Disability Disclosure Form (if needed) – Deadline: July 31 if possible

    Request academic and other accommodation(s). We can be most helpful to you if you return this form

    early, although you are welcome to make requests at any time.

 Religious/Spiritual Affiliation Card – Deadline: August 1

    Fill out this form to find out about religious and spiritual communities and opportunities on campus.

 OrgSync Profile Setup – Deadline: August 1

    OrgSync is an online community that fosters interest in community service and volunteering. Setup a profile and browse through various campus service groups and other volunteer opportunities.

 RSVP for IPOP (International students only) – Deadline: August 1

    The International Pre-Orientation Program (IPOP) helps prepare participants for a successful transition to life and learning at Grinnell.

 Shuttle Service (if needed) – Deadline: August 4

    Flying to Des Moines, Iowa? Book a shuttle from the airport to campus.

 Family Registration for NSO – The "Family Registration" link now closed.

 MyStudentBody – Deadline: August 22 (Available August 1)

    MyStudentBody is an online course that will help you prepare for decisions about alcohol and other drugs, wellness, and the prevention of sexual violence.

 Health Insurance Waiver (required if using parent's insurance coverage) – Deadline: August 29

    Fill this out to confirm your insurance information.

 ITS New Student Course – Deadline: September 1

    This module introduces you to technology systems and resources across campus.

What to Bring (Or Buy When You Arrive)

Here is a list of suggested items that current and past students have found useful during their time at Grinnell. None of these items are required. Be sure to coordinate with your roommate as well!

Short on space while traveling to Grinnell?  You can find everything you need locally!  The Grinnell Chamber of Commerce has created a Packing List that includes suggestions for local retailers.

Room Furnishings
  • Bed linens (extra long twin - 36x80 in)
  • Blankets and pillows
  • Mattress pad
  • Alarm clock/clock radio
  • Laundry items (e.g. basket/bag, soap)
  • Office supplies (e.g. pens, stapler, tape, dry erase markers)
  • A small set of dishes, cups, and silverware

The weather is typically warm until after fall break. If you are not returning home before Thanksgiving/Winter Break, you will want to include heavyweight jackets, gloves, hats, boots, etc.

  • Light and heavy items
  • One nice outfit
  • Book bag
  • Rain gear
  • Computer
  • Memory stick
  • Extension cords/power strips
  • Cell phone/charger
  • iPod/earphones/charger or stereo/CDs/etc.
  • Camera
Personal Care
  • Towels and washcloths
  • Shower caddy
  • Toiletries (e.g. soap, toothbrush, shampoo)
  • Medications (e.g. prescriptions, pain relievers, antacids)
Things to Think About
  • Desk, floor, or clip lamp (halogen lamps not allowed)
  • Air/room fresheners (candles are not allowed)
  • Fan
  • Rug/carpet
  • Posters, pictures of family and friends
  • Picture hangers, small tacks, or mounting putty
  • Daily planner/organizer
  • Emergency phone numbers or address book
  • Swimsuit
Important Things
  • Medical information
  • Two forms of ID (passport, birth certificate, drivers license, social security card) needed for completing forms for work, loans, etc.
  • Approximately $450/semester for books
  • Approximately $150/semester for other last-minute needs/expenses
What Not to Bring

Grinnell College takes recycling and waste reduction seriously. One of the largest sources of landfill waste is what students throw out at the end of the academic year. In order to reduce this waste, we encourage students to ask themselves several questions when purchasing items to furnish their rooms. First, "do I really need this item?" If the answer to this question is yes, "is it constructed well enough that it will be worth keeping or donating in a couple of years?" Anticipating the fate of items purchased will help us reduce the number of those items that are thrown in dumpsters. Additionally, many items are left behind each year that could be re-used by students. Those items are saved and will be sold at a flea market sponsored by the Student Government Association during New Student Orientation. This sale includes things like laundry baskets, storage containers, rugs, lamps, lights, alarm clocks, free hangers, and more. Before buying these items new, please stop by the sale at the beginning of the year. Although the end of the year might seem far away, planning for it now can make the entire process easier on yourself, your family, and the environment.

Pre-Orientation Programs

Before New Student Orientation begins, some new students may be eligible to participate in a pre-orientation program. See below for summaries and contact information for the various programs.

International Pre-Orientation Program (IPOP)

An International Pre-Orientation Program (IPOP) is held just prior to NSO. The program is designed for new international students, language assistants, and US students living abroad. Participants explore Grinnell and discuss cultural and regulatory issues that impact student life. The schedule includes campus and community tours, shopping for items that don't 'pack well', and time to open a bank account and apply for a Social Security Number. Students meet their Host/Friendship Family, get to know Grinnell staff and faculty and have a great time with some of their new classmates.

Peer Connections Pre-Orientation Leadership Institute (PCPOP)

The Office of Intercultural Engagement and Leadership will invite select members of the incoming first year class to the Peer Connections Pre-Orientation Leadership Institute (PCPOP). The three day leadership training will offer effective college strategies to focus on academic success, peer mentorship, social justice and personal wellness. The pre-orientation leadership model is centered on the successful transition and adjustment to college life. PCPOP targets first generation, underrepresented populations and student athletes for this comprehensive program. (Family members are welcome to attend designated information sessions and social events.) Early registration is required for all first generation and underrepresented student populations. Please email all inquiries to Stephanie Snow '03, Intercultural Engagement & Leadership.

Residency Policy

Grinnell College is a residential college with 19 residence halls and eight College-owned houses. All new students are required to live on campus, which means enrolling in our room and board plan. Exceptions to this policy are made only for students whose parents are Grinnell College faculty or staff; students who live with their parents in the Grinnell area; students who are 22 years old or older; or students whose children live with them. A student may not move out of the residence halls without permission from the Residence Life Office. First-year students may not live in College-owned houses. 

Our philosophy regarding residential life is a simple one; we expect students to treat each other and staff members with the same respect they would receive from others. But simplicity can be deceiving. Our residential life program works as well as students want it to work, involving considerable effort on the part of students. Students are treated as adults, and have a great deal of freedom and responsibility regarding their individual and collective behavior. In self-governance, the Residence Life Coordinator's (RLC) role is one of counselor, adviser, educator, and non-disciplinarian. Each RLC has a student staff consisting of peer counselors called Student Advisers. Together, the RLCs, Student Advisers, and Hall Wellness Coordinators provide a structure for self-governance within the halls.