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Fall Open House Invites Prospective Students to “Discover Grinnell”

Curious about Grinnell? Then consider coming to campus for our annual fall open house, Discover Grinnell! This two-day program, offered twice in October, invites prospective students and their families to experience a holistic introduction to all things Grinnellian. While campus tours, general information sessions, and overnight visits are available all year, Discover Grinnell offers “a much more in-depth view of Grinnell, as well as the opportunity to interact with a lot more faculty and students,” says Rachel Arseneault ’10, assistant director of admission and coordinator of campus visits and events.

At Discover Grinnell, you will have the opportunity to eat at the Marketplace Dining Hall, explore campus on general and department-specific tours, and attend targeted informational sessions that highlight the unique attributes at the core of a Grinnell education. Topics of these sessions include:

Grinnell’s Distinct Vision: The Transformative Power of Engagement
Grinnell pursues a distinctive, inquiry-driven, and individualized approach to education. Learn how Grinnell’s emphasis on engaging pedagogy, close ties with faculty, international exploration, and opportunities for challenge and growth outside the classroom create an innovative approach to the liberal arts for all our students.
An Individualized Approach for Every Grinnellian: Teaching, Learning, Research, and Advising
Discover how Grinnell’s unusual and highly effective individualized approach to advising, teaching, and research sets us apart. Faculty and student panelists will share insights about Grinnell’s unique First-Year Tutorial, the individually advised curriculum, and opportunities for mentored research.
Global Grinnell: International Engagement
Learn about the multiplicity of semester- and year-long study abroad programs, opportunities for course-embedded travel in the First-Year tutorial and other classes, and countless opportunities for international engagement right here on campus.
Experiential Learning and Life Beyond Grinnell
From the first week of classes, students are encouraged to thoughtfully consider how their own professional development can be pursued in accordance with their values and passions. At this seminar, you’ll learn about opportunities for internships, externships, fellowships, graduate and professional school advising, and professional coaching for prestigious awards, prizes, and fellowships.

An informational seminar about admission and financial aid will also be held, as will a resource fair featuring faculty from every department as well as staff members from Academic Advising and Student Affairs. Families are encouraged to attend.

To get a firsthand sense of what it’s like to live and learn at Grinnell, we encourage prospective students to stay overnight with a student host. You’ll get to hang out, enjoy a trivia night, and attend a class of your choice the following day. Besides an overnight bag, all you’ll need to bring is your “curiosity and questions,” says Arseneault.

Registration for the programs on September 24-25 and October 29–30 is currently open.

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.