Home » Apply to Grinnell

Apply to Grinnell

Calendar Customer Code: 
admissions-4
Contact Email: 

Meet admission counselors on the road!

Grinnell College’s Office of Admission is staffed with a team of road warriors — admission counselors who crisscross the nation (and the world!) in the fall. We want to meet you, whether at your high school, a college fair, or when we conduct off-campus interviews.  The glamour of room service cheeseburgers, missed flights, and broken-down rental cars aside, meeting prospective students is something we love to do. A conversation is also one of the best ways for you to learn about Grinnell. If you get a chance this fall, we encourage you to come speak with us; you can find out if we’re visiting a high school or offering interviews near you. Ask us the questions you need answered; don’t settle for the responses to FAQs we post online. For those of you who aren’t able to visit, we also hope that meeting us helps put a human face to Grinnell.

Writing the college essay

We’re sure that there are some students who love and look forward to writing the college essay, and a massive “HOORAY!” to all of you. That said, we imagine that for many of you, it’s a process that involves at least a little agony and procrastination. It’s hard. It’s hard to write a brief, concise essay that says a bit about who you are and what is important to you. We can’t make it easier to sit down and do the work, but we can tell you this:

  1. Be genuine. Work hard on refining the ideas and structure of your essay, but don’t work too hard to impress us. If you’re trying too hard, we can tell.
  2. Be simple. Not everyone has climbed Mount Everest or saved people from a burning building, and that’s OK. Thoughtful reflections on part-time jobs and on childhood memories have been the bases for some of the best essays we’ve read. It’s hard to go wrong with simple and sincere.
  3. Be clear. Ask someone else to read your essay when you’re done. Does that person understand what you’re trying to say?
  4. Be brief. College admission officers read MANY essays, and keeping it to the required word length is much appreciated.
  5. Be careful. Proofread your essay. Have others proofread your essay. Then check it again.