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.


Any international student who indicates on the Common Application an intent to be considered for need-based financial aid must complete Grinnell's need-based application process. See Applying for Aid for detailed instructions.   

Merit Scholarships

Each year Grinnell College awards a limited number of merit scholarships to 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.


No separate scholarship application is required.    

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 8–9 hours per week) to earn $2,500 during the academic year.  The typical pay rate is $9.50 per hour.  These funds are paid twice monthly and issued directly to you through direct deposit.  You may use these earnings to contribute to the comprehensive fee, book expenses, personal spending money, and travel for breaks.  Students may 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.


Complete the need-based aid application process. See Applying for Aid.

Employment Authorization

The offer of on-campus work assumes eligibility for employment in the United States. International students must hold F-1 student status to be eligible for employment authorization. 

Under U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations, F-1 students are permitted 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.

Grinnell College International Student Loan (GCISL)

Most students receiving gift aid from the College are also awarded a student loan as part of the need-based aid package. A loan is borrowed money that must be repaid.

The interest rate is fixed at 5 percent. No interest accrues on the loan while you are enrolled at least half time at Grinnell. Repayment begins six months after your Grinnell enrollment ends. You may be eligible for deferment providing appropriate conditions are met.

In most circumstances, a creditworthy cosigner is needed for this loan. A cosigner is someone who is willing to sign the loan agreement with you. If no cosigner is available, you may request a cosigner waiver from the Office of Financial Aid. In the event you are unable to pay the balance of the loan, the cosigner will be responsible for paying back the loan. In addition, the cosigner authorizes Grinnell College to annually assess his/her creditworthiness and must be approved by the cashier.

It is your responsibility to secure a cosigner who:

  • is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident living in the United States,
  • is at least 21 years of age,
  • is not enrolled in a college or university, and
  • is creditworthy.

If your award includes a Grinnell College International Student Loan, you will receive more information, including instructions on how to complete your loan paperwork, over the summer.