For Families

Family Resource Guide

Other Offices and Services

Office of Admission

641-269-3600 or 800-247-0113

The Office of Admission is generally the initial point of contact for future Grinnell College students and alumni.  Each year, the twenty members of the admission staff host approximately 2,000 campus visitors, process approximately 4,000 applications for admission, visit secondary schools and college fairs in more than one-half of the 50 U.S. states and 15 other countries, personally meet with over 2,000 prospective students, and conduct a direct mail/e-mail campaign to an estimated 150,000 secondary school students.  The underpinning of this effort is a commitment to enrolling an academically superior, talented, and diverse student body composed of students from all 50 states and 50 other nations.  By promoting interaction between prospective students and professors, current students, alumni and staff, the admission staff seeks to identify those students best matched with the College.

Office of Development and Alumni Relations

641-269-4801 or 800-241-5084

The Office of Development and Alumni Relations includes a number of functions. The office includes the following:

  • Alumni Relations — coordinates efforts to maintain strong ties with the College among Grinnell’s alumni body, through programs including Reunion and Alumni College, Alumni Council, classletters, alumni gatherings held around the world, and more.
  • Communication — coordinates and implements the College’s communication, marketing, and media relations programs. Examples include the Grinnell website; The Grinnell Magazine, g-mail, media relations, writing/design/editing services for publications intended for an off-campus audience, Grinnell News Online, and more.
  • Conference Operations and Events — maintains the College Calendar, a comprehensive list of events and reservations on campus (available by clicking “calendar” on the website) and the Campus Memo; provides logistical and planning support for Commencement, building dedications, Public Events concerts, convocations, and other large-scale events; coordinates and supports summer programs on campus; and more.
  • Development — a number of fundraising programs and support functions are coordinated under “development,” including the Pioneer Fund, the College’s annual giving program; major gifts, large commitments, usually in the $25,000 to $500,000 (and higher) range; planned giving; donor stewardship; and more. Many staff members in development travel extensively to meet with alumni and solicit gifts for the College.
  • Alumni and Donor Services — manages and maintains extensive alumni/friends database and provides services for other team members, including mailing lists, reports, and more.

Athletic Office


The Office of Athletics and Recreation directs the intercollegiate and intramural athletic programs, and physical education classes. It also assists club teams and the wellness program. It schedules all athletic events, maintains equipment, and oversees the athletic facilities on campus. The office also oversees the Athletic and Fitness Center. Family members who are visiting current students are welcome to use the fitness center and pool by procuring a guest pass from the athletic office.


Students may cash checks at the Cashier Office for up to $100 or the Campus Bookstore for up to $20 during regular office hours. There is an ATM machine located in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center. Grinnell has seven banking institutions if your student wishes to open an account in Grinnell. They are: 

  • F&M Bank, 641-236-7544;
  • Lincoln Savings Bank, 641-236-3121;
  • Grinnell State Bank, 641-236-3174;
  • Patriot Bank, 641-236-7700;
  • Wells Fargo Bank, 641-236-7575;
  • Community 1st Credit Union, 641-236-7267; and
  • University of Iowa Community Credit Union, 641-236-8822.

Grinnell College Pioneer Bookshop

824 4th Ave.641-236-1696

Operated by Grinnell College, the Pioneer Bookshop is located in downtown Grinnell. It features books about Iowa, the prairie and the Midwest.  Bestsellers, fiction, biographies, cookbooks, books on gardening and children’s books are always available. In addition to books, the Pioneer Bookshop has framed
photography of the Grinnell community and Grinnell College as well as art prints from Midwest artists. Educational toys, stationery, journals, cards, Grinnell College clothing and emblematic gifts round out the offerings.  Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday until 8 p.m. and Saturday 10-4.


641-269-3424 or FAX 641-269-4888

The College Bookstore is located on Park Street on the campus side of Carnegie Hall, north of Herrick Chapel. The College Bookstore is your first source for textbooks and supplies. We work with faculty to ensure that textbook titles and editions on our shelves match those required for class discussion and study. All titles are available to purchase in the store before the first day of classes.  Titles we have in stock earlier can be purchased or reserved online. In addition to required textbooks and supplies, you will find a large selection of general reading books, including titles from small and alternative presses.  The College Bookstore features quality emblematic clothing, unique gifts, greeting cards and convenience items. We offer a flexible return policy and accept the following payments:  the Pioneer One-Card, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express, personal checks and cash.  Hours are extended at the beginning of the semesters.  Regular hours when classes are in session are Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bucksbaum Center for the Arts


The departments of art, theatre, and music, as well as the Faulconer Gallery, are housed in the center. All performance events are free. Theatre productions are ticketed due to space limitations. The Box Office is open the week of the performance from noon to 5 p.m. Call 641-269-4444 for ticket information.
See the Campus Calendar for a schedule of events.

Campus Parking Regulations


Students are permitted to bring motor vehicles to campus.  Students must purchase a parking permit to park their vehicle on campus each year and are responsible for all fines attributed to that vehicle. Parking permits are issued Monday - Friday during the day.  Campus Parking regulations can be viewed in the student handbook.

Care Packages for Students

The Office of Development and Alumni Relations, with the Student Alumni Association, offers care packages twice annually. Letters are sent out in the fall and in the spring to all domestic families regarding the content and cost of these packages. Care packages assembled by the Student Alumni Association feature a variety of food and health products along with a specialty item selected each semester. Past specialty items include Grinnell umbrellas, flashlights, beach towels and travel mugs. There are also several businesses in Grinnell which will make and deliver gifts to students: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Grinnell will bake and deliver birthday cakes for Grinnell College students. Call 641-236-6254 to place an order. Danish Maid Bakery will also deliver baked goods to students. Call 641-236-4145. Bates Flowers & Greenhouse offers fresh flower arrangements, green plants, unique gifts, or balloon bouquets. They are Teleflora and FTD associated and deliver on campus. Call 800-319-3197 or 641-236-3197. Flowers on Fourth will deliver cut flowers, fresh and silk flowers, green and blooming plants, balloon bouquets, or gift baskets. They are Teleflora, AFS, and Redbook associated. Call 800-801-MUMS (6867) or 641-236-7554. Bountiful Baskets specializes in unique gift baskets for all occasions. Suggested gift baskets for students are Cookie Bouquets, Final Finale Basket, Happy Birthday, and Wishing You Well. Local delivery is a complimentary service. MasterCard and Visa accepted. Call641-236-0058. Sheryl Parmley, owner.



The Cashier Office oversees financial transactions between the student and the College. Services provided to students include billing and collection of all fees and deposits, health insurance enrollment, loan maintenance and other cashier related functions.


Students attending Grinnell often bring with them a range of supplies, particularly those from warmer climates who may find that they need to acquire appropriate outerwear for the colder months.  Especially now when airlines are charging extra for checked baggage, it is important to know that most, if not all, school supplies can be purchased right here in Grinnell.  Not only is there a national discount store, but the Chamber of Commerce has also worked to ensure that college essentials can be found in town.  Please visit the Chamber of Commerce for more information on shopping resources.  At the Chamber, you may also purchase “Chamber Bucks” at a 10% discount with your Grinnell College ID.  Not only does this increase your student’s purchasing power, but it also keeps shopping local, helping the small town economy.

Computers and Information Technology Services


Grinnell College Information Technology Services oversees computing on campus. The systems available to students include PCs, Macintoshes, Linux workstations, and laser printers. Access to campus computing facilities is excellent. Computer labs are located throughout campus for student use, including in the residence halls. Use of the computers is free.

All residence hall rooms and college-owned student houses are networked. If you have questions concerning computer use on campus or bringing your own computer to campus, please call Information Technology Services.

Conference Operations & Events


Conference Operations and Events serves as the heart of campus event coordination. The team functions as a one-stop shop for reserving space, requesting room layouts and equipment, and receiving event-planning assistance. The office serves as the Commencement headquarters and supports major event programs such as Scholars' Convocation and Public Events. See the campus calendar for a comprehensive list of events and reservations on campus.

Dining Services


Marketplace Dining

The college’s state-of-the-art dining facility in the Joe Rosenfield ‘25 Center serves 20 meals per week in a marketplace environment for students on meals plans, other members of the campus community, and campus guests. Multiple choices (many prepared to order) are always available, including vegetarian, vegan, ethnic, and other traditional favorites such as pizza, deli, and comfort food.

All first-year first-semester students are required to participate in the full meal plan; other resident students participate in meal plans determined by their living location and class standing. Special medical diets are accommodated and may be arranged through Health Services and the Office of Dining Services. See Dining Services for information on meal plans, menus, and other services.

The Spencer Grill

Also located in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, The Spencer Grill is a popular and convenient gathering place for students, faculty, and staff.  The menu features fresh ground coffees and coffee drinks, individual pizzas and Panini sandwiches, and fresh baked goods from our own on-campus bakery.     


Every student room is equipped with a private phone. In the event of an emergency, Student Affairs staff members are willing to help locate a student to deliver emergency messages.  Once classes begin, a Residence Life Coordinator (RLC) and a Student Affairs dean are on call (24 hours/day, 7 days/week) to respond to student emergencies.  Call the Campus Safety and Security Department at 641-269-4600 to request the assistance of the Residence Life Coordinator and/or a Student Affairs dean on call.


Many students work on campus during the academic year either through the work-study program or in a position they obtain on their own.  In order to receive payment for their work, the Accounting office must first have an I-9 and a W-4 on file for the student.  Each student must present either a passport or two other forms of identification (original birth certificate, original social security card, driver’s license) when completing these forms.  The forms may be completed in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on Saturday during New Student Orientation, or with the Cashier Office, at the John Chrystal Center, during normal business hours.  The forms need to be completed before a student is allowed to begin working.    

Facilities Management


Facilities Management maintains the physical buildings and grounds of the campus. The custodial staff works out of this office, as do the utility crews and groundskeepers.  Repairs in the residence halls are handled through work orders filled out by the appropriate residence life coordinator (RLC) or Student Affairs.

Financial Aid


The Office of Student Financial Aid administers both merit-based and need-based assistance, including grants, scholarships, loans, and student employment.  Returning students who wish to receive need-based aid must submit all necessary documents to the office by March 1 each year.  Over winter break, additional information about the financial aid process will be sent directly to the student’s home.  Awards for returning students are subject to annual review, and renewal may depend on continued need and/or satisfactory academic performance.  In addition, students and parents are encouraged to call if they have any questions or concerns about the application process or if their family circumstances change significantly. For more information or application forms, visit the financial aid website.

Health Insurance


Students are required to carry health insurance while attending Grinnell. Students are encouraged to maintain full coverage through a parental or personal policy. Students who are insured under a policy other than the one offered by the College must provide insurance information on their health card. Students who do not return insurance information on their health card will be required to purchase insurance through the College and will be enrolled in the College’s student group insurance. They will be billed for the cost of the insurance.

Premiums are payable to the Cashier Office. Insurance brochures and claim forms are available from Student Health and Counseling Services. Students should know the details of their coverage and their policy number. Student Health and Counseling Services should be notified when a change in insurance occurs.



The Grinnell College Libraries are the gateway to the changing world of texts, images, and sound.  Burling Library is open more than 100 hours each week with extended hours later in the semester.  Kistle Science Library in the Noyce Science Center is open approximately 80 hours per week.  The Libraries’ collections of over 525,000 volumes, 32,000 audio and video tapes and discs, 20,000 journal titles (paper, microform, and electronic), 250 databases are selected to support the curriculum of the college and the basic research needs of the faculty. Electronic journals and databases are available on-campus and remotely. Interlibrary services make the book and journal holdings of libraries across the world available to Grinnell students.

The library staff is a dedicated, enthusiastic team focused on providing students with the information and services they need to pursue their college education.  Librarians are knowledgeable about information resources and research techniques, and are eager to work with students to locate the best materials for their research.  Librarians offer a variety of opportunities for consultation: the reference desk is staffed more than 40 hours each week; individualized “library lab” appointments offer the opportunity to receive uninterrupted, in-depth assistance from a reference librarian; and Library Research Techniques, a two-credit course, helps students to research more effectively in college and afterwards.  

For a complete list of services, consult the Libraries’ web page.

Off-Campus Study


There are various college-approved off-campus study programs available to Grinnell College students.  Information regarding these programs is available from Off-Campus Study Office.

Pioneer One-Card or P-Card (Campus ID)

Grinnell College uses a combined photo ID and proximity card system called the Pioneer One-Card or P-Card. This card is used as a proximity access card when gaining entrance to the residence halls and houses, and academic buildings; for borrowing privileges in Burling Library; use of the Fitness Center;  and for redeeming meal plan meals and services. Deposits may also be made to the campus cash declining balance account to enable the P-Card to be used in the College Bookstore, The Spencer Grill, campus laundries, and vending machines. Parents may use a credit card to add money to a student’s P-Card campus cash account by contacting the Cashier’s Office at 641-269-4100.

Post Office


Campus Mail Services is located on the 1st floor of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center.  Each student is assigned a mail box when he/she enters Grinnell College.  A four digit mail box number and combination code will be distributed to first-year/transfer students during the summer prior to the start of the academic year.  The mail box number will remain the same from year to year.  Mail should be addressed to the student, Box ####, 1115 8th Ave., Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa 50112-1670.  This full address is also required for shipping packages by United Parcel Service or USPS Express.  These carriers will not deliver to P.O. Boxes.  

If you are shipping student belongings to the College before school begins, please limit each box to 50 pounds.  Storage at Campus Mail Services is limited at the beginning of the academic semester, so please do not send belongings more than a week before the student’s arrival. Most packages do not fit inside mail boxes. A parcel slip will be placed in the student’s mail box to notify them that a package is waiting, and students may visit the Mail Services window during business hours to claim their items.

Campus Mail Services strongly discourages sending perishables (i.e., food) to students by any carrier (UPS, U.S. Postal Service, Fed Ex, etc.).  The College is not responsible for perishable items that arrive in the mail room.  If it is absolutely necessary to mail a perishable item, please notify the student beforehand.  

Packages arriving on a Friday may not be accessible until business hours the following Monday, or later if a national holiday falls on that day or during that period. Students are responsible for picking up their own personal mail and parcels. In the event that a student will be out of town or unavailable to pick up mail or packages for an extended time (academic break, multiple day athletic event, etc.) they may discuss options with the Mail Services Manager at ext. 3421. Students are not allowed to pick up mail addressed to other students.

Students, with the assistance of mailroom staff, may FAX documents from the mailroom. Family members who wish to FAX documents to a student, should include the recipient’s name and total number of pages prominently on the first page. The mailroom fax number is 641-269-3406.



The Registrar’s office has overall responsibility for maintaining the academic records of all students as well as FERPA compliance. Specifically the Registrar evaluates transfer and program credits, monitors degree requirements and progress toward graduation, and oversees all matters related to course registration, including production of the Schedule of Courses, preregistration, registration, and course drop and add forms.  The office also processes requests for academic transcripts, major declaration forms, and maintains home address information for students and parents. In addition, Students petition the Committee on Academic Standing through the Registrar when asking for exceptions to academic regulations.


During the academic year, limited storage is available in residence hall trunk rooms (totes, boxes, small room items, etc.).  The RLC of each residence hall will post times the trunk rooms may be accessed.  At the end of the academic year, all items must be removed from the trunk rooms by the date posted.  Please note: Items left in the trunk rooms after the deadlines are considered abandoned and will be discarded.  During the summer the college trunk rooms are managed by an outside vendor, C&K Transfer (641-236-3418).  C&K stores student belongings for a nominal fee.  Large items, such as furniture or bicycles, are taken by C&K to their storage facility off campus for the summer.  Students enrolled in off-campus study programs or who are on leave during the semester should contact C&K for storage arrangements.  Information regarding storage is posted in the residence halls.


Each student room has a telephone that can be dialed directly. There is a small charge for telephone service at the beginning of each semester. The telephone number will be mailed to the student with the room assignment in late July. A personal voice mailbox will be available for each student at no extra charge. Each student may apply for an authorization code number that enables the student to make direct-dial long distance telephone calls from the room phone. The student will then receive a monthly bill for long distance calls. The long distance calls go over the College telephone network. Students are charged a flat rate per minute for domestic calls (based on time of day). International direct dial is also available. AT&T is the default operator service for Grinnell College. For alternative operator or calling card service, students need only dial the carrier’s access number. The College has its own PBX system and an operator is on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For information, call 641-269-4000. The Office of Safety and Security can be reached at 641-269-4600 for emergency messages.

Student Travel

Shuttle Service - Beginning and End of School Year

Facilities Management provides shuttle service from the Des Moines Airport to the College in August. Information regarding this service is mailed to new students in June.  Arrangements may be made by calling Facilities Management at 641-269-3300.

Student Travel - Other

The College carpool may be used for approved student transportation if cars are available. Arrangements for a car and driver are made through Facilities Management, 641-269-3300.

Students who have made a carpool reservation and do not show up for the ride will be charged a minimum of two hours of drive time and mileage. After two no-shows, the student will not be allowed to reserve a car and driver.

Student use of car pool transportation is permitted for:

Students who need transportation for college related reasons during the semester may reserve a car and driver. Mileage and driver costs are billed at the regular college rates to the department sponsoring the event, SGA, or the student requesting the service, depending on the circumstances. The reasons include:

  • college related appointments.
  • Internships sponsored by Career Development.
  • Community service sponsored by Career Development.
  • GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc. sponsored by Career Development.
  • Job interviews/graduate school interviews sponsored by Career Development.
  • Medical appointments out of town arranged by the Health Center.
  • Student organizations traveling to a College sponsored activity (i.e. conference, meets, tournaments, etc. Not for personal use.)

Transportation to the Des Moines or Cedar Rapids airports for travel due to a family emergency, job interview, etc. is permitted and charged to the student’s account at the rate of $0.30 per mile (car)/$0.40 per mile (van) plus driver and other miscellaneous expenses.

International students may reserve a car and driver to pick up parents and siblings from the Des Moines or Cedar Rapids airports. The student’s account is billed the rate of $0.30 per mile (car)/$0.40 per mile (van)plus driver and other miscellaneous expenses.

If a College car is already traveling to the airport, a student and/or guest may ride along on a “space available” basis. The student’s account is billed a minimum of $30 each way per student account, and is split among all other passengers.


  • Call Facilities Management, x3300, give name and ID number.
  • Student's account will be billed for finding a driver, driver wage, and car costs.
  • No-shows in Grinnell will be billed $20.
  • No-shows elsewhere will be billed driver and travel cost.
  • No transportation will be arranged without an ID number or account number.

Student use of car pool transportation is not permitted for:

  • Transportation of friends or family from the Des Moines or Cedar Rapids airport/train stations.
  • Non-College related events.
  • Personal use/enjoyment.
  • Transportation to/from airports other that Des Moines or Cedar Rapids (see above).
  • Transportation to/from the Des Moines airport when Des Moines shuttles are available.

Cab Information from Des Moines:
Alpha Taxi: 515-280-1813 or
Yellow Cab: 515-243-1111
Capitol Cab: 515-282-8111
Gene’s Transportation and Delivery: 515-249-1127

Cab Information from Cedar Rapids: or 800-725-8460, 319-337-2340

Phone Numbers

Where to Call

Area Code is 641
Switchboard: 269-4000

Academic Advising 269-3702
Admission 269-3600
Alumni 269-4801
Athletics 269-3800
Bookstore 269-3424
Cashier Office 269-4100
Career Development 269-4940
Chaplain 269-4981
Commencement Information 269-3178
Computer 269-4901
Conference Operations and Events 269-3178
Development 269-3200
or 866-850-1846
Dining Services 269-3661
Facilities Management 269-3300
Family Weekend 269-4633, 269-4801,
or 866-850-1846
Financial Aid 269-3250
Fine Arts 269-3064
Harris Center (director) 269-3714
Harris Center Info Desk 269-3253
Health Center 269-3230
Information 269-4000
Information Technology Services (Computer Center) 269-4901
Intercultural Affairs 269-4846
International Student Affairs 269-3703

Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center

Director 269-3714
General information 269-3715
Library 269-3350
Newspaper (Scarlet & Black) 269-3325
New Student Orientation 269-3700
Off-Campus Study 269-4850

Physical Education Complex

Cage 269-3834
Office 269-3800
Post Office 269-3421
President of the College 269-3000
Registrar 269-3450
Residence Life 269-3713

Residence Life Coordinators:


Younker, Smith, Clark, Gates, Rawson, Langan 269-3865
Norris, Cowles, Dibble 269-4110
Main, Cleveland, James 269-3435
Loose, Read, Haines 269-3761
Lazier, Kershaw, Rose, Rathje 269-9871
Security 269-4600

Other Contacts

Fall arrival 269-3300
Breaks 236-3600
Sports Information 269-3675
Student Activities 269-3714
Student Affairs 269-3700
Student Government President 269-4212
Telephone Services 269-4901
Treasurer 269-3500
VP for Student Affairs 269-3702
VP for Academic Affairs & Dean of the College 269-3100
Yearbook (Cyclone) 269-3325

Travel Resources


Des Moines 515-256-5050 (Information and paging)
Cedar Rapids 319-362-8336 (Information and paging)
Kansas City 816-243-5237 (Information and paging)


American Airlines 800-433-7300
American West Airlines 800-235-9292
Delta Airlines 800-221-1212
Northwest Airlines 800-441-1818
TWA 800-221-2000
United Airlines 800-241-6522


Amtrak 800-872-7245 (Ottumwa)
Greyhound Bus Depot 800-231-2222 (Schedule and fares)
515-243-1773 (Des Moines)
319-337-2127 (Iowa City)

Limousine Service

Des Moines Old Market Limousine 515-253-9589
Smithson Limousine 515-285-6346
Cedar Rapids Crystal Elegance Limousine 319-378-1650
Marshalltown Ma & Pa Limousine Service 641-752-1916

Car Rentals

Des Moines Airport Avis 515-245-2585
Budget 515-287-2612
National 515-285-3359
Cedar Rapids Airport Avis 319-366-6418
Budget 319-363-9595
Hertz 319-365-9408
National 319-363-0249
National 800 Numbers Avis 800-831-2847
Budget 800-527-0700
Hertz 800-654-3131
National 800-227-7368