Throughout its long history, Grinnell College has upheld an ideal of social justice and responsibility. As part of this historic commitment, and in an attempt to match the talents, energy, and idealism of our students with the needs of our local and global communities, Grinnell College has created the Grinnell Corps, six one-year, post-graduation service programs for students.
All six programs provide graduates with the opportunity to undertake a one-year service Fellowship supported by the college in the year immediately following their graduation. The programs are designed to be open for applications from as many students as possible, with no prerequisites or requirements; however, as noted above, students are only eligible to participate in Grinnell Corps programs in the year immediately following their graduation. All of the Grinnell Corps Fellows' reasonable expenses during their year of service, including transportation, stipend, housing, and insurance, are covered under these programs. All Fellows are expected to submit monthly reports to the Office of Social Commitment, as well as longer quarterly reports to be posted on the Grinnell Corps website. As feasible, Fellows are also brought back to campus in the semester after their return to the US to give a presentation on their year of service.
The Grinnell Corps programs are carried out in conjunction with partner institutions. Grinnell provides the funding for the programs; the Fellows provide the labor; and the partner institution provides the service opportunity. Currently, three of the Grinnell Corps programs - those in China, Lesotho, and Thailand - are education-related programs; the Namibia Fellows work in conservation-related efforts; the Grinnell fellow works for the local anti-poverty agency; and the New Orleans fellow assists a housing reconstruction organization. There are currently 10 fellowships each year; two in each of our four international programs, and one in each of our two domestic programs.
Applying to Grinnell Corps
The Grinnell Corps welcomes applicants with disabilities. Each Grinnell Corps location and position has unique features and qualities, so applicants with disabilities who want to discuss, in advance of applying, what accommodations may be needed to successfully complete a Grinnell Corps fellowship are encouraged to contact Doug Cutchins. Once accepted, a Grinnell Corps fellow needing an accommodation for a disability should talk with Doug Cutchins regarding necessary documentation and the accommodation process. Doug will then work with the applicant and the site to arrange for reasonable accommodation.
International students are also welcome to apply for Grinnell Corps fellowships. However, in some cases, it may not be possible to obtain the necessary one-year visa for participation in the program. International students are strongly encouraged to contact Doug Cutchins before submitting an application to discuss whether or not their participation in a desired program is possible.
Stafford and Perkins loans are generally deferrable for Grinnell Corps service, but it is up to the individual fellow to obtain this deferment. Fellows who have loans made directly by Grinnell College will not be able to defer these loans during their period of service. However, fellows can take advantage of forbearance for a period of time after graduation, after which the college will reduce payments to interest plus a few dollars in principal. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to talk with Financial Aid, the Cashier's Office, or their lending agency for additional details based on their individual circumstances.
Orientation and Training
All Grinnell Corps Fellows will be required to take part in a mandatory orientation and training program which will either take place between spring break and commencement, or in the days following commencement.