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Apply for Aid

The financial aid application process varies depending on what type of financial aid you want, your citizenship status, and whether you are a prospective or returning Grinnell student.

Merit Scholarships

Dec. 1 is Grinnell’s priority deadline for merit scholarships. Only the Common Application or the QuestBridge Application must be submitted by this deadline for priority consideration. No separate scholarship application is required. Merit scholarship eligibility is determined based on the application for admission.

Need-Based Financial Aid

Important Dates

Aid Applicant Status

Early Decision I Applicant

Early Decision II Applicant Regular Decision Applicant Fall Transfer Applicant Returning Grinnell Student

Financial Aid Deadline

Nov. 15 Jan. 1 Jan. 15 April 1 April 1

Aid Notification

mid-late December early February late March or early April mid-May on a rolling basis beginning by early May

For prospective students, financial aid deadlines correspond with admission deadlines. See below for a step-by-step guide on applying for need-based financial aid at Grinnell College.

How to Apply for Need-Based Financial Aid

The table below provides an overview of what is required to apply for need-based financial aid. Click on the status that applies to you for more information.


Need-Based Aid Application Requirements
  FAFSA CSS Profile

Parent Federal 
Tax Documents

Grinnell Online Financial Aid

Prospective Domestic and Eligible Noncitizen Students





Prospective International and Domestic Noncitizen Students





Returning Domestic and Eligible Noncitizen Students




Returning international and domestic noncitizen students do not reapply for need-based financial aid since their aid is automatically renewed annually.

Consideration for Federal and State Aid Only

Prospective students who submit only the FAFSA will be considered for the following types of financial aid:

  • Iowa Tuition Grant
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Subsidized Direct Loan (if requested)
  • Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan (if requested)
  • Federal PLUS Loan (if requested)

Guidance for Completing FAFSA and CSS Profile

The 2023–24 FAFSA and CSS Profile uses income from two years prior (2021) for determining need-based aid eligibility. These forms are available beginning October 1, 2022.

Tax data should come directly from your 2021 federal tax documents. The FAFSA and CSS Profile instructions reference the tax return line numbers you need to report. If eligible, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in the FAFSA to download tax information directly from the IRS.

If your family is experiencing unusual circumstances and the 2021 income does not accurately reflect your current situation, please feel free to provide additional information and documentation directly to the Office of Financial Aid using our secure site.

The household size and number in college questions refer to the 2023–24 school year. All other information requested on the CSS Profile and FAFSA, including marital status and assets, should be reported as of the date the application is submitted.

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