U.S. Students Applying for Need-Based Aid

Attention: the steps below are required to apply for Grinnell College funded financial aid. If you wish to apply only for federally funded financial aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-study, and the Federal Direct Student Loan, you only need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Admission Round

Early Decision I Early Decision II Regular Decision 2017 Fall Transfer


Nov. 15 Jan. 1 Jan. 15 April 1

By the deadline that corresponds with your admission application round, complete the following steps to apply for need-based aid:

Step 1 Common Application
  Indicate your intent to apply for need-based aid.
Step 2 CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE for 2017-18
  On or after October 1, 2016, complete the CSS PROFILE online to apply for institutional grants.  Grinnell College’s code is 6252.
Step 2a *CSS Non-custodial PROFILE
  If your biological/adoptive parents are not married (or are separated) and are living apart, your noncustodial parent must complete the CSS Noncustodial PROFILE online.  You will receive instructions when completing the CSS PROFILE. If you have no contact with your noncustodial parent, you may complete a request to waive this requirement
Step 3 Federal Student Aid ID
  Create FSA IDs for you and at least one (custodial) parent. These separate usernames and passwords will be used to complete and sign the FAFSA.
Step 4 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  On or after October 1, 2016, complete the FAFSA which will determine your eligibility for all federal and state based financial aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant, Direct Stafford Loans, and Iowa Tuition Grant. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (if eligible) to transfer 2015 tax return data to the FAFSA. Do not make changes to the transferred data. Grinnell’s school code is 001868.
Step 5

*Parents' 2015 federal tax return (signed) and W-2 forms


On or after November 1, submit a signed copy of your custodial parents' 2015 federal tax return, including schedules and W-2 forms, online to IDOC, the College Board's secure portal for financial document submission. Grinnell requires all students who wish to be considered for institutional grants to provide parent tax returns for verification of PROFILE data. 

*The deadline for the NCP form and for the custodial parent tax return and W-2 forms is extended one week beyond the corresponding application round deadline to allow for timing delays associated with the NCP PROFILE and IDOC.

What’s next?

Admitted students who have met their application round deadline will receive a notice of financial aid eligibility with the admission decision.