Admitted international students who demonstrate financial need are eligible for grant assistance. We assess financial need based on the information you and your family accurately and truthfully provide.

Requirements: Any international student who indicates on the Common Application an intent to be considered for need-based financial aid must submit the International Student Financial Aid Application (ISFAA). See Apply for Aid. The CSS PROFILE may be submitted in place of the ISFAA. Please note: Grinnell does not provide fee waivers for the CSS PROFILE.  

Merit Scholarships

Each year Grinnell College awards merit scholarships to a few admitted international applicants who demonstrate exceptional scholastic abilities and leadership skills.

You do not need to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for merit scholarships.  Scholarship amounts vary.

Requirements: No separate scholarship application is required.  However, if you do not intend to apply for need-based aid, the Certification of Finances must be submitted directly to the Office of Admission via email or by fax (1-641-269-4800)

Scholarships and Fellowships

The Scholarships and Fellowships for International Students page has more resources for International Students.

Campus Employment

If campus employment is part of your financial aid award, a campus job can provide sufficient hours (typically 8–10 hours per week) to earn the amount.  The average pay rate is $8.50 per hour.  These funds are earned through bi-weekly checks issued directly to students.  They can choose to use these earnings to contribute to the comprehensive fee, book expenses, personal spending money, and travel for breaks.  Students might earn more than the amount recommended if they work during breaks.

The College will assign a campus job (usually in Dining Services) prior to your arrival.  You are responsible for following through on the offer of employment by confirming your job assignment and by maintaining your position through good performance.

Requirements: Complete the need-based aid application process. See Apply for Aid.

Employment Authorization

International students must hold F-1 student status to be eligible for employment authorization.

F-1 students are allowed to work on campus for up to 20 hours a week while school is in session, and up to 40 hours a week during break periods.  We do not guarantee summer campus employment, but F-1 students may also apply for these positions.


The College offers some loans to international students.  The maximum loan is currently $4,000 per year. 


  • Complete the need-based application process. See Apply for Aid.
  • Have a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident as an approved cosigner.  A cosigner is someone who is willing to sign the loan agreement with you and is promising that, in the event you are unable or unwilling to pay the balance due on the loan, he or she will be responsible for repaying the loan.