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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 mid-May.
  • 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.

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