The Benefits of Early Decision

If Grinnell is your first choice, we encourage you to apply Early Decision. Whether you decide to apply Early Decision I or Early Decision II, you will receive your admission decision months earlier than if you apply Regular Decision, which means you won’t have to wait until the end of your senior year to determine where you will be attending college.

The acceptance rate is also higher through our Early Decision rounds than through Regular Decision. For the Class of 2016, acceptance rates by decision round are listed below.

Fall 2016 Acceptance Rates

  • Early Decision I & II (combined): 47%
  • Regular Decision: 19%

The Early Decision program is binding.  If you are accepted under either round of Early Decision, you must withdraw your applications to other colleges. You may not apply to more than one institution as an Early Decision candidate.

All Early Decision applicants must read and sign the Early Decision Agreement found in the Common Application. You must complete the Early Decision Agreement form with your secondary school guidance counselor.

Early Decision and Financial Aid

Need-Based Aid

While the binding nature of Early Decision means you will not be able to compare financial aid offers among colleges, the aid package you receive under Early Decision at Grinnell is the same as you would receive if admitted under the Regular Decision plan. Early Decision I candidates must submit their financial aid forms by November 15. Early Decision II candidates must submit their financial aid forms by January 1.

If you apply for financial aid and submit all of the necessary forms on time, you will receive your financial aid package at the same time as your admission notification.

All applicants, regardless of decision deadline, are also encouraged to complete the Net Price Calculator, which will provide an early indication of how much and what types of need-based aid you may qualify for as an incoming first-year student.

Learn more about applying for need-based aid at Grinnell.

Merit-Based Aid

All Early Decision candidates are also automatically reviewed for a merit scholarship. There is no separate application for merit aid and you will learn if you have received a merit scholarship when you receive your admission notification.

Learn more about merit scholarship offerings at Grinnell.

Early Decision Deadlines

If you decide that Grinnell is your first choice and that Early Decision makes sense for you, please note our Early Decision deadlines.

Early Decision I:

  • Application Deadline: November 15
  • Admission Notification: Mid-December
  • Deposit Due: January 9

Early Decision II:

  • Application Deadline: January 1
  • Admission Notification: Early February
  • Deposit Due: February 15