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Returning Students

Current/Returning Students

You’ll apply each year for need-based financial aid, which will allow us to take into account any changes in your family’s financial circumstances, as well as changes in the College’s comprehensive fee.

Please carefully review the information below as some processes have changed. If needed, you may book an appointment with a financial aid counselor.

Important Dates

Oct. 1, 2020: Application process opens for 2021–22

April 1, 2021: Deadline to apply for need-based financial aid

The Office of Financial Aid will process returning student financial aid applications on a rolling basis. Keep these things in mind:

  • Eligibility cannot be determined until the Board of Trustees approves the Comprehensive Fee for 2021-22.  This is typically in January.
  • Award notifications for the earliest applicants are estimated to be delivered beginning in February.
  • Students planning to participate in an off-campus study program during the fall 2021 semester will be awarded when costs associated with the program are set. This may be as late as June.
  • Students missing the April 1 deadline will be processed on a rolling basis after all on-time applicants are awarded. Grant assistance may be impacted when deadlines are not met.

Required Forms

Note: The CSS Profile is only required if 2021–22 is the first year you are applying for need-based aid; i.e. you have not completed it in a previous year for Grinnell.

Grinnell’s 2021–22 Online Financial Aid Application

Make sure you are in the 2021–22 award year, and click on the menu to find the Aid Application tab.

2021–22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • 2019 federal income tax information will be reported.
  • When prompted, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for tax-related questions. It is the fastest and easiest method for completing the income questions and should reduce the likelihood of being selected for Federal Verification.
  • For those not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, 2019 federal tax return line numbers are listed in the FAFSA instructions. Use caution as errors may cause your FAFSA to be selected for Federal Verification, requiring additional documentation.
  • Report asset amounts as of the date you file the FAFSA.
  • The household size and number in college questions refer to the 2021–22 school year.

Is my file complete?

Regularly review the status of required documents. New documents may be added, especially after filing your FAFSA, or the status may change. Log into the Online Financial Aid Office and click on the menu to find the Documents and Messages tab. On the top of the screen, check to be sure you are in the 2021-22 award year.

Should I submit my parents’ 2019 federal tax returns and W-2 forms?

Do not submit 2019 tax documents unless they are specifically requested by the Office of Financial Aid.

Should I submit my parents’ 2020 federal tax returns and W-2 forms?

Do not submit 2020 federal tax documents unless estimated 2020 income was used for your current year (2020–21) financial aid. If this applies to you, the documents will be listed on the Documents and Messages section of the Online Financial Aid Office and should be submitted directly to the Office of Financial Aid.

Unusual Circumstances

If unusual circumstances are affecting your family’s resources (e.g. decrease in parent income, unusually high out-of-pocket medical expenses not paid with pre-tax earnings), it is recommended that you or your parents discuss those circumstances with a financial aid counselor. If the counselor believes the changes might impact aid eligibility, you/your parents may be asked to submit a signed copy of the 2019 and/or 2020 parent federal tax return, including schedules and W-2 forms and other supporting documentation, along with a Request for Reconsideration form.

Federal Verification

When you receive the email that your FAFSA has been processed, log into your FAFSA and review your Student Aid Report. If it indicates your FAFSA was selected for Federal Verification, visit the Online Financial Aid Office to see what additional documentation is required and the Federal Verification webpage for detailed instructions.

What’s next?

You will receive an email notification as soon as your award has been posted to the Online Financial Aid Office.

Non-need-based awards, such as merit scholarships and tuition remission, are renewed automatically provided renewal criteria is maintained. No additional forms are required.

Note: If you previously received need-based aid, please notify the Office of Financial Aid that you no longer intend to apply.

All financial aid for international students is renewed automatically. No additional forms are required.

Individual Financial Aid Counseling

If you are interested in how your off-campus study choices will impact your financial aid or your out-of-pocket cost, you may use the calculator below or schedule an individual appointment.

If your award includes ACM, GLCA, or staff tuition remission and you plan to attend a program other than Grinnell-in-London or Grinnell-in-Washington, or your award includes Grinnell POSSE Scholarship, the calculator will not be accurate. Please schedule an individual appointment with financial aid online or by calling 641-269-3250.

Estimated Net Price Calculator for Off-Campus Study (OCS)

The Estimated Net Price Calculator for Off-Campus Study is designed to help you compare the cost of OCS vs. studying in Grinnell, determine estimated financial aid, view direct and indirect expenses, and estimate your out-of-pocket cost for off-campus study.

  • Select the term you would like to study off-campus, then click ‘View Report’

  • Click on ‘Net Price Calculator’ for the program you choose.

  • If the program you are considering is not in the program list, please let us know so that we can add it.

  • Information may only be available for the current academic year, until cost information is available and students are awarded for the upcoming year.

  • For a breakout of the OCS estimated costs, review the ‘Cost Information’ section below.

If you have questions, contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance.

Cost Information

Aid Policies Related to Off-Campus Study

Please review the following documents:

Students may use Grinnell-funded financial aid for one off-campus study program.  The program must be a Grinnell-approved program.  Students approved for an OCS program who wish to receive aid must go through the same financial aid process as students intending to remain on campus. All financial aid deadlines and requirements still apply. Awards for the fall semester are generally mailed in June, and awards for the spring semester are mailed in November.

Certain conditions apply to OCS that may affect your award:

  • Merit scholarships and Grinnell international grants can be used for OCS but cannot be adjusted upwards to reflect increased costs.

  • Tuition remission benefits can only be applied to Grinnell-in-London and Grinnell-in-Washington OCS.

  • Students are not permitted to work abroad. Therefore, Federal work-study/campus employment eligibility may be replaced with loan.

  • Aid will not under any circumstances exceed the cost of attendance.

Unapproved Programs

Students who decide to attend an off-campus study program not approved by the OCS Board are not eligible for aid through Grinnell College, nor can Grinnell be responsible for notifying lenders that students have enrolled elsewhere.

Calendar and Costs

Summer Term Costs

Summer Term I

May 31 through July 10

Summer Term II

July 13 through Aug. 21

12-Week Summer Term

May 31 through Aug. 21


$1,750 per 2 credit course

$3,500 per 4 credit course

$437.50 fee for INT 300

$1,750 per 2 credit course

$3,500 per 4 credit course

$437.50 fee for INT 300

$1,750 per 2 credit course

$3,500 per 4 credit course

$437.50 fee for INT 300





Meal Plan




Summer offerings will be limited, and priority for enrollment in these courses will be given to specific groups of students:

  • students who are living on campus
  • international students who temporarily relocated to other parts of the United States but are not able to depart the country
  • students lacking credits from interrupted off-campus study programs
  • students who complete fewer than 12 credits this spring due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Summer Courses at Grinnell

For students who elect to enroll in one or more of the classes offered this summer, the costs of tuition, room, and board will be set at a fraction of the academic year costs and, for students with financial need, financial aid will be awarded. The costs of housing and a meal plan for those who live on campus will be less than what it will cost for most students to live elsewhere. You are encouraged to discuss your living arrangements with a financial aid officer to help guide your decisions.

A maximum of four (4) credits may be taken over the entire summer session.

Financial Aid

Limited summer session need-based financial aid is available to Grinnell College students who receive need-based financial aid during the fall or spring.

To initiate your application for summer complete the Summer Session Financial Aid Application.  

Grant Assistance

A limited amount of Grinnell Grant is available to students registered for summer courses at Grinnell.  Grant amounts will be determined based on the percentage of grant received in 2019-20 in relation to the total cost of attendance.  You must be enrolled in a summer course at Grinnell and have received need-based grant assistance during 2019-20 to be eligible.

Students receiving stipends for MAPs or internships are not eligible for grant aid, as the stipend is intended to assist with living costs. Students taking a MAP will be enrolled for four credits with a tuition waiver and are therefore not eligible to take any other summer session courses.

Student Loans

All students interested in borrowing may inquire about receiving a Grinnell College Loan.

Student Employment

A limited number of summer student employment opportunities will be made available to students. While priority will be given to students living on campus, students eligible for summer work opportunities include:

  • Students enrolled in Summer Session I, II, or both sessions
  • Students registered for fall 2020 classes at Grinnell (including F-1 visa holders)
  • Others as approved by the vice president for finance and treasurer of the college

Graduates of the class of 2020 are not eligible to work during the summer.

Summer employment opportunities are limited to positions deemed essential to the core mission of the College and must be approved by the Dean’s Office in coordination with the student employment coordinator.

Available jobs will be posted in Handshake.

A student employee may not work more than 20 hours per week in all jobs combined.

Summer Campus Housing

On-campus room and board are available to students who are currently residing on campus and who meet one of these criteria:

  • students enrolled in a class, a remote MAP or INT 300/CPT during Summer Term I, II, or both terms
  • international students registered for fall classes at Grinnell
  • F-1 seniors currently in campus housing who are awaiting OPT or will begin a U.S. graduate program in August
  • students residing on campus this spring who gain approval to work on campus a minimum of 20 hours per week
  • students residing on campus this spring who are receiving departmental funding to participate in specialized, program-specific online offerings at another institution

Grinnell is unable to guarantee housing to students not meeting one of the previous criteria and, due to public health concerns and travel bans, we cannot expand summer access to residence halls to students who do not continue living on campus through the end of spring semester. The cost of a room on campus compares favorably to the rates typically available in town.

Students living off-campus are not eligible for grant assistance to offset the cost of their housing.


Students residing in the Grinnell College residence halls during the summer will be required to have a meal plan. The meal plan will include 15 meals per week.

Summer Term Billing Schedule

  • May 15 — Summer tuition, room & board billed for students (online only)
  • June 1 — Balance due for summer term(s)

Additional Information and FAQs

Summer Term Information Sheet and FAQ

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