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Apply to Grinnell

You’re ready to take the next step in becoming a Grinnellian.

We’re here to tell you what you need, connect you to resources, and help you with any questions.

Admission to Grinnell is highly selective, and our students come from all different backgrounds. However, while no single factor guarantees admission, there are some characteristics that are undeniably Grinnellian, and can help you stand out from the rest. For example, showing that you’ve taken a challenging, balanced high school curriculum. That you’re ready to explore the world and contribute to the greater good. And that you’re eager to find your place in a supportive, inspiring community. If this sounds like you, request information to get access to additional information about application timelines, scholarships, and the college search process. If you want to start your admission application early, you can submit the Preliminary Application starting the summer of your senior year through December of the same year. This is an optional part of the application process that demonstrates interest to Grinnell, as well as allowing you to receive more information about timelines, scholarships, events in your area, and the college search process. Lastly, to complete your application, we’ll need you to submit the Common Application and a few other things.

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First-Year Applicants

We’re thrilled that you’re interested in becoming a full-fledged Grinnellian. Let’s talk timelines, scholarships, and everything you can expect when applying to Grinnell. We’re here to help you with the application process and answer any questions you might have.

Let’s begin

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    Application Requirements

    The Common Application. Letters of recommendation. Test scores. Portfolios. Interviews. There’s no minimum GPA or test score to get into Grinnell. We take a look at the full scope of your application to determine if we’re the best fit for you.

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    Early Decision Applicants

    If we’re your first choice, you should consider applying Early Decision. Not only is the acceptance rate higher than with Regular Decision, but you’ll receive your admission decision months earlier. That’s true whether you apply Early Decision I or Early Decision II.

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    Recommendations and Portfolios

    What do others think about you? Have you led teams and organizations? You’ll need to submit a couple different letters of recommendation so we can know you better. Auditions and portfolio reviews are not requirements for admission, but for students interested in the arts, you’re welcome to submit your work for us to review. That way we can get the full scope of the talent and passion you’d bring to our community.

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    We’re proud to partner with QuestBridge, a national nonprofit organization that connects high-achieving, underserved high school students with educational opportunities at some of the best colleges and universities in the United States. Every year, QuestBridge provides these opportunities to low-income high school students across the country through its College Prep Scholarship program and National College Match program. We're also honored to participate in Questbridge's three National College Admissions Conferences every year.

International Applicants

We’re excited to have you join our community. To apply, you’ll submit all of the standard application requirements, along with a few extra things.

Learn More

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    International Student FAQs

    We thought you might ask. Here are some answers to the questions we commonly get from our international students.

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Transfer Applicants

Every school has a different feel. We’re thrilled that you’re interested in Grinnell. Know that no matter where you are in your college career, we’re here to work with you and make sure you have the resources and guidance to complete the application process.

Transfer to Grinnell

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    DMACC Preview Program

    We’ve partnered with Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in an agreement to encourage qualified DMACC students to consider transferring to Grinnell College. Check out the Grinnell College/DMACC Preview Program. This will give you ample time to see whether we’re a good fit for you, so you can make sure you’re taking the right courses to lay the groundwork for a Grinnell degree.

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Advanced Scholars Program

If you’re a current high school student with outstanding academics, this program gives you the opportunity to study at Grinnell College while you’re completing your diploma requirements. This is a great option, especially if you’ve exhausted your school’s course offerings in certain subjects.

Go to Grinnell early

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Meet the Staff

We’re excited to meet you and uncover all the great things you’ll bring to our community. Our staff members have a wide range of expertise, and we’re happy to talk through your specific questions about applying to Grinnell or where a Grinnell education can take you.

Get to know our team

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    Contact the admission team

    We’re here for you. Our staff provides resources and guidance, and of course, we’re here to answer any questions you have about Grinnell or the college application process. Just let us know.