Students smiling during a class

Transfer Applicants

Grinnell College recognizes the global implications of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and we understand that it is a quickly evolving situation. Our highest priority is for the health and well-being of everyone affected by COVID-19.

If your school has closed temporarily or has moved to distance learning in response to the coronavirus outbreak, we understand that you may not be able to meet Grinnell College’s posted deadlines for application materials. The Office of Admission is glad to work with you and will be flexible with the deadline.

If you have questions, please contact us.

Why Grinnell?

Grinnell College provides individually advised learning for the intellectually motivated. Our curriculum does not include distribution requirements, so you will work closely with your academic adviser to develop an academic program that suits your interests. With a highly-talented and diverse student body, including students from all 50 states and more than 50 different countries, Grinnell College is in the middle of everywhere, right where you want to be.

We are dedicated to promoting excellence in liberal arts education, a diverse community, and social responsibility, and we use our resources to provide extraordinary experiences for our students.

Grinnell College invites applications from students who have completed at least one year of college coursework. You can find information about our transfer program and how to apply as a transfer student below.

Transfer Eligibility

Grinnell will consider you a transfer student under these circumstances, even if you’d like a do-over. Since graduating from high school:

  1. You have studied at another U.S.-accredited college or university and will have earned 12 or more transferrable credits by the time you enroll at Grinnell.
  2. You have studied at another university that is not a U.S.-accredited institution and will have taken classes for more than two semesters by the time you enroll at Grinnell.

Transfer Applications

If you have any questions about the transfer application process, please contact Katy Tucker, Grinnell College’s transfer liaison.

Here’s what we need from you to complete your transfer application, by the transfer deadline below:

  • The Common Application: All forms, including the Registrar’s Report are available through the Common Application. If you graduated from high school more than one year ago, you do not need to submit the Final School Report form or the Counselor Recommendation form.
    • If you have not already done so, we encourage you to submit the Common Application for Transfers before sending in other materials. Submitting the Common Application triggers our system to create your Grinnell College Application Portal, which will allow you to see the status of all missing and received documents. You will also use this portal to view your admission decision.
  • Official final secondary/high school transcript
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended
  • Two written academic evaluations from current or former professors (If you’ve been out of high school for less than one year, you may submit one academic evaluation from a high school teacher.)
  • Optional: Official SAT or ACT scores
    • In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, students applying for transfer admission for  fall 2021 are not required to submit an SAT and/or ACT test score. We will revisit this policy in spring 2021 to determine if it will remain in place for future applicant cycles. Read more about this policy.

If you applied to Grinnell in the past as a first-year or transfer student, you may be eligible to re-use some of the documents listed above. This will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. While transfer applicants are not currently eligible for merit-aid, you may apply for need-based financial aid. Please contact Pam Sittig for questions about Grinnell’s financial aid process.


Transfer Admission Deadlines, 2020–21
Application Deadline April 1
Admission Notification Mid-May
Deposit Due June 15

Selecting a Major

You can study something new at Grinnell. You don’t need to study the same thing as at your previous institution. Your transfer student adviser, Belinda Backous, and your academic adviser will work closely with you to design an academic program that fulfills your needs and the College’s requirements for graduation.

DMACC Transfer Students

If you are a Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) student considering transfer, see the Frequently Asked Questions for DMACC transfer students. Grinnell College and DMACC have an agreement to encourage qualified DMACC students to consider transferring to Grinnell.

Transfer of Credits

We assess all university-level coursework for transfer. If your application is successful, we will provide you with an estimate of the number of credits that will transfer at the time of your admission. We will conduct a final official evaluation of your transfer credits prior to your arrival in August.

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