Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Aid
For New Students and Families
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.
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
Was I considered for a merit scholarship?
Yes, merit scholarships are awarded at the same time the admission decision is made, and all admitted students are given consideration.
Can I appeal the amount of my merit scholarship or apply for more next year?
The amount of merit scholarships cannot be appealed and will remain at the same amount for a total of eight semesters provided a 2.75 cumulative GPA is maintained. Additional merit aid is not awarded for performance while enrolled at Grinnell.
Will Grinnell match my larger financial aid offer from another school?
When a school awards its own funds, it determines the guidelines for determining need and awarding institutional aid. Grinnell's goal is to award sufficient financial aid to make a Grinnell education attainable. We understand that we may not be the lowest cost option. However, we will not increase a student's financial aid to match another school's award. If you believe the Financial Aid Office may have misinterpreted information on the aid application, we would be happy to discuss what data was used to calculate eligibility and consider adjustments if errors were made or circumstances change.
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, when possible. Income changes taking effect later in the fall semester through the spring semester typically do not impact eligibility until the following academic year. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for a Reconsideration Request Form. (If your family's income goes up unexpectedly, your aid package will be adjusted accordingly the following academic year.)
Will my need-based financial aid change in subsequent years?
Grant awards remain consistent from year to year unless a substantial change has occurred with your family's financial circumstances. Changes in undergraduate enrollment of siblings and changes in family income may alter eligibility in subsequent years.
Modest annual increases in grant aid and student loans are made to assist families with increases in cost of attendance.
Does Grinnell participate in the Veteran's Administration Yellow Ribbon Program?
Yes, beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
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