students work together

DMACC Preview Program

Applying and Getting In

Why should a DMACC student consider transferring to Grinnell College?

Because you are intellectually motivated. Because you want a rigorous academic experience. Because you want to make a significant contribution to the world. Grinnell can help you with that. We offer an exceptional academic experience, a lively and diverse community, and a college experience that is personal in scale and international in scope. You will be challenged here, in the best of ways. Professors will expect thorough research, thoughtful analysis, and creative thinking. You, with your adviser, will be responsible for co-creating your own personalized curriculum, and you will graduate well-prepared for advanced study or the career of your choice. Grinnell alumni are international leaders in science, music, public service, law, medicine, business, engineering, and more. And, Grinnell ranks in the top 10 of all U.S. institutions for the proportion of its graduates who earn Ph.D.s.

What kind of student does Grinnell look for?

Grinnell is committed to attracting and retaining highly qualified individuals who collectively reflect the diversity of the United States, including students from varied ethnic, racial, religious, and socioeconomic experiences, as well as international students from more than 50 countries. Grinnell students share a passion for life, intellectual curiosity, and a lively interest in the world and each other. If you're interested in joining this energetic and close-knit community, Grinnell is for you.

What are the minimum requirements to successfully transfer to Grinnell from DMACC?

Grinnell College is a highly selective institution, so most successful candidates for admission will have attained the following minimum requirements:

  • 3.0 or higher GPA
  • No grade below a B-
  • High grades in most recent courses
  • Study in mathematics through Calculus 1
  • English 105 and 106
  • In addition, we look favorably on active community involvement, employment, and/or college-based activities outside the classroom

Do I have to wait until I've completed two years at DMACC to apply and see if I'm accepted?

No! Due to a special agreement between DMACC and Grinnell College, any DMACC student in good standing can chart a path to transferring to Grinnell College. 

Are all qualified DMACC students eligible to apply for transfer to Grinnell?

Yes, students from any DMACC campus or learning center are eligible to apply for transfer. However, space is limited and not all those who meet the minimum requirements are guaranteed admission. Generally speaking, the stronger a candidate's academic record, the greater the likelihood of admission.

Will my classes from DMACC be accepted for credit at Grinnell, or will I need to repeat some classes?

The majority of credit earned at DMACC with a grade of C or higher (C- does not count) will be applied toward the total number of credit hours required for graduation from Grinnell College. However, some of Grinnell's majors and concentrations have additional specific course requirements and may not permit DMACC classes to satisfy these requirements. If you have specific questions regarding DMACC credit transfer, please contact the Grinnell College Registrar by email or by phone (641-269-3450).

If I transfer before I've completed my degree at DMACC, can I transfer the credits I earn at Grinnell College back to DMACC to receive my associate degree after I've left DMACC?

Yes. Per DMACC procedure, up to the last 10 credits can be waived by applying for an exception with the Registrar. DMACC will grant credit for select Grinnell College courses, enabling transfer students to graduate with both a Grinnell bachelor's degree and a DMACC associate degree. Please contact DMACC credentials staff, 515-964-6647, for more information.

The Grinnell College/DMACC Preview Program

What are the benefits of being in the Grinnell College/DMACC Preview Program?

Up close and personal interaction with Grinnell College during your time at DMACC. This will help you see if Grinnell is a good fit for you and help you lay the groundwork for transferring. The program may include:

  • Personal meetings with Grinnell College staff including:
    • The Grinnell College Registrar to discuss course selection, transfer credits, and a potential major
    • Dean for Student Success and Academic Advising Joyce Stern to discuss academic support and student life at Grinnell 
    • Transfer Admission Coordinator Christian Morris who can help you navigate the transfer application process
    • A Grinnell financial aid counselor to help you see how a Grinnell education is affordable

Cost and Financial Aid

Can I afford to attend Grinnell College?

Grinnell College is dedicated to making a Grinnell education affordable for all admitted students. We are proud to have a need-blind admission policy. That is, we are one of the few schools in the country that does not consider ability to pay when we evaluate your credentials for admission.

Grinnell bases financial aid packages (need-based financial aid) on your family's financial need. We meet 100% of demonstrated financial need, as calculated using information from the CSS Profile. If you receive financial aid from Grinnell, you may apply that aid toward approved off-campus study programs, including more than 70 study-abroad programs.

Find out more about the types of aid available, including what forms are required to apply, on our Financial Aid Office's website.

Campus Living

Where is Grinnell College? Can I commute from Des Moines?

Grinnell is located approximately 50 minutes east of Des Moines, directly off of I-80 (exit 182). At Grinnell College, learning happens both in and out of the classroom and much of the intellectual life of the College happens outside the classroom environment. Because we believe that our students have a much richer experience living on or near campus, we expect students to live on campus unless granted an individual waiver. Students are also expected to attend full time once they are accepted (part-time enrollment is not permitted).

What kind of support is available in Grinnell if I'm married or have a family?

Grinnell's residential system incorporates a range of housing options. If you are accepted to Grinnell as a nontraditional student and need housing other than what is offered on campus, we will work with you to find suitable arrangements near campus so you can still engage fully in the life of the College. The community of Grinnell is also fortunate to have excellent child care available at the Grinnell Community Daycare and Preschool, a full-service community-supported facility offering preschool and child care with programs for infants through fourth grade. Other community resources, including housing, healthcare, schools, and recreation, can be found at Grinnell College Community Partnerships, Planning, and Research.

Transition Support for Transfer Students

Since most students begin as first-year students, do you have any special support for those who transfer in later?

At Grinnell College, the student/faculty ratio is 9:1, allowing all students to develop close relationships with professors. Like other students, you will have a faculty adviser who will work with you throughout your time at Grinnell to plan a program of study -- helping you balance the cultivation of existing interests with the discovery of new ones. However, Grinnell also recognizes that transfer students often have different questions, at different times, than students who matriculate as first-year students. For this reason, Grinnell College offers a special orientation to transfer students as well as support throughout the year as needed.

More Information

How do I learn more?

On both the DMACC and Grinnell College campuses, there are people on staff who can answer questions about this exciting partnership. At DMACC, please direct any questions to your academic adviser (515-244-4226). At Grinnell College, please contact the Grinnell College Registrar (641-269-3452), with any questions you may have.

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