Grinnell College uses the Common Application exclusively. We strongly encourage electronic submission of the Common Application and we will waive the application fee for students who apply online. We also require the 2012-2013 Common Application Grinnell College Supplement, which is also available at the Common Application website. Please visit their website to register and submit your application and supplement form. (After choosing Grinnell College as one of your colleges, you will be able to click on the Supplement tab to complete and submit your supplement form.)
What we look for
We receive thousands of applications every year and we read each one carefully. We employ a holistic approach to application review, and look for applicants who have sought challenge and excelled academically, who have done well on standardized tests, and who have demonstrated commitment to activities beyond the classroom.
Your high school transcript is one of the most important parts of your application. We are looking for students who have chosen a rigorous workload and who have excelled. We're also interested in students who have pursued a balanced academic program. Our recommended secondary school program is as follows:
- Four years of English
- Four years of mathematics (at least through pre-calculus)
- Three years of laboratory sciences
- Three years of social sciences
- Three years of a foreign language
Applicants must take either the ACT or the SAT. We look at your best composite ACT score, and for the SAT, we consider your best individual critical reading and math scores.
Promise of Contribution
We realize that the college experience is more than just academics. In fact, Grinnell's vibrant campus life relies on students with diverse interests who share their talents widely. So, we'd like to know about your involvement outside the classroom. We're especially interested in students who have demonstrated commitment and achievement, as well as those who have held positions of leadership.
We also pay close attention to your personal essay and your letters of recommendation, as well as to your interview (admissions interviews are recommended for all applicants, but not required). These components of the application help us to learn more about you and all that you have to offer Grinnell.