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Laurel Scholarship and Mentorship Program

In commitment to Grinnell’s mission to "provide a lively academic community of students and teachers of high scholarly qualifications from diverse social and cultural circumstances," we are pleased to present the Laurel Scholarship and Mentorship Program.

This program is a Chicago-based, small mentorship program that offers pre-arrival programming, a full-tuition scholarship, and additional need-based financial aid to assist with the cost of room and board for those who qualify. Up to 10 scholarships will be awarded annually.

Through this program, students will benefit from the opportunity to bond with a cohort and prepare for the college transition with mentorship from faculty, alumni, staff, and returning Laurel Scholars. Chicago is the largest metro area in proximity to Grinnell College and Laurel Scholars will have the opportunity to be mentored by the robust network of alumni who live, work, and impact the daily lives of Chicago residents. Cohorts will reflect a diverse range of experiences and backgrounds and many will be from families that have been historically excluded from higher education (i.e., first-generation, low-income, Native American, and underrepresented students of color). 

Scholar success at Grinnell is supported through robust internship and community development program components. Scholars will also be eligible to receive grant support for technology and software, and additional financial aid for those who need assistance with the cost of room and food. For information on eligibility and how to apply, please scroll down or click the link to take you to the requirements and how to apply here

Start the process with a Preliminary Application (2 minutes)!


For the Application

Christian Morris

Your Contact

Meet Assistant Director of Admission Christian Morris ’18.

Group photo of 10 students


Eligible candidates have:

  • A home address in the City of Chicago or Cook County, Ill.
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • A record of academic success in a rigorous college-prep curriculum
  • Exhibited courage, determination, and/or leadership
  • Demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the well-being of their families, communities, and/or schools.
A cohort of Laurel Scholars sits at a restaurant table


All eligible applicants for admission to Grinnell College will automatically be considered for the scholarship. There is no separate application required, and students do not need to indicate on their application that they are interested in the scholarship. Please note:

  • Grinnell College defines a full application as either the Common Application or the QuestBridge Application.
  • Those wishing to be considered for need-based financial aid, in addition to the Laurel Scholarship, should follow the application instructions outlined on the financial aid webpage.
  • Applicants will be considered for the scholarship during Early Decision I, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision, but preference will be given to Early Decision applicants. Transfer applicants and QuestBridge Match students who match with Grinnell will not be eligible to receive the scholarship.


Learn More

Nominating students

Do you know a student who would be a good fit for this program?

Nominate your students here!

Current Student Scholars

Toluwanimi Johnson

Tolu interacts with peers kindly, praising classmates for their presentations or arguments in class, and is someone who supports fellow students.

Teacher Reference for Tolu Johnson, 2021 Laurel Scholar
Kyla Pereles

Kyla is among the most capable and intellectually curious students I have ever had the opportunity to teach.

Teacher Reference for Kyla Pereles, 2021 Laurel Scholar
Essi-Adokou headshot

Essi’s achievement reflects a work ethic unmatched by any current or former student.

Teacher Reference for Essi Adokou, 2021 Laurel Scholar
Aziza Mabrey-Wakefield headshot

Aziza sees injustice and she fights it with action and filmmaking. I admire her work.

Channel Turbides, Former Grinnell College Multicultural Program Specialist

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