A group of students sits in the grass in central campus

On-Campus Visit Opportunities

What can you do during your visit?

A visit to campus allows prospective students to experience the Grinnell community. During your visit to Grinnell, you'll have the chance to participate in many on-campus activities and learn what it means to be a Grinnellian.

Schedule Your Visit


We offer hour-long information sessions conducted by an admission counselor Monday–Friday at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m during the academic year. The information session provides an overview of Grinnell's academic programs, career development services, internship and research opportunities, admission requirements, and need- and merit-based financial aid opportunities. The information session is followed by an hour-long campus tour, which illuminates Grinnell's individuality through exploration of the academic buildings, residence halls, athletic facilities, social venues, and dining hall.

Interviews are conducted by trained seniors at the College or by admission officers. Interviews are a two-way street: we get to learn more about you and you get to learn more about us in a one-on-one setting. Please note that interviews are completely optional and not required for admission, but they are included as part of our evaluation of your application.

We find that interviews are most productive when students are within a year of applying. As such, the earliest prospective first-year students are permitted to interview is during the spring of their junior year. The earliest prospective transfer students are permitted to interview is during their second-to-last college term. If it is too early for you to interview, we still urge you to visit for an information session and campus tour.

If you are visiting during the academic year, enjoy a complimentary meal for you and your guests in our Marketplace Dining Hall! Be sure to pick up your meal tickets at the reception desk in the Office of Admission before proceeding to the dining hall. Meals may be enjoyed on your own, or if you are visiting on a weekday we can arrange for a current student to join you for lunch at 11:30 a.m. Please note that meals in the Marketplace are only available during the academic year; during the summer months, meals are offered only on Mondays and Fridays, and will take place in Burling Library.

Prospective students are invited to sit in on faculty-approved courses during their visit to campus. Upon checking in at the Admission & Student Financial Services building, students will be able to choose classes from a roster. Please note that class visits usually last 50 minutes, and are only available during the academic year when class is in session, excluding the mid-semester and final exam weeks.

The best way to know if Grinnell College is the right place for you is by spending a night on campus. Seniors in high school are welcome to stay overnight with a current student, who will host you in one of our residence halls during the academic year. All overnight requests must be made 10 days in advance of your visit to ensure we can find you a host. Prospective students are limited to staying one night (Sunday through Thursday) and may do so either the night before their visit or the night of their visit, depending on availability. Transportation to and from the airport is available to students who have scheduled a visit and overnight stay through the Office of Admission, and who are traveling alone. Overnights are only available during the academic year — check our calendar to view availability.

Grinnell College is dedicated to assisting families in managing the cost of a Grinnell education, and we assert our commitment to admitted students by meeting 100% of demonstrated need. Every family is unique, and we carefully review each financial aid application we receive. If you are a high school senior and your family has specific questions about financial aid at Grinnell College, we welcome you to meet with the Office of Financial Aid during your visit to campus. Financial Aid appointments are not required, and do not have to include the student.

The Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS) works to empower students and alumni to live, learn, and work with meaning and purpose. A CLS staff member will present about the variety of programs offered through their office, and answer your questions about what students can do to take advantage of all the opportunities and experiences at Grinnell that will help them determine their path through life. This session is open to parents and/or students and will last 30 minutes, and takes place only on Mondays and Fridays.

Are you interested in playing music in college? At Grinnell, all music department offerings (including free weekly lessons!) are available to all students, regardless of major. And our music department offers 13 faculty-led ensembles covering a wide variety of musical styles from around the world! During your visit to campus, you are more than welcome to shadow a few minutes or the entirety of a music rehearsal with the Grinnell Jazz Ensemble, Grinnell Singers, or the Grinnell Symphony Orchestra. 

Interested in the theatre arts? Come and see Grinnell theatre and dance in person! We invite you to observe a rehearsal of one of our main-stage Fall semester shows at Grinnell: Seamus Heaney's Burial at Thebes; or Dance Ensemble's Lilith. If you are interested in acting, dancing, choreographing, directing, writing, set design, light, sound, costume construction, or stage management while you are in college, this is an opportunity you don't want to miss! Theatre rehearsals begin at 7 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts in Roberts Theatre; dance rehearsals are from 4:30–6:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday in the Bucksbaum Dance Studio.

Want to meet a faculty member, athletic coach, music director, or someone else on campus? Let us know and we’ll do our best to arrange it. If the person you’d like to meet with is unavailable, we will at least make sure that you’re able to connect with them via email. Check out our academic programs, as well as the faculty in each department. Faculty appointments are not available during the summer, or during mid-semester and final exam weeks, breaks and holidays, or weekends.

We highly recommend that all prospective students and their families attend an information session (1 hour) followed by a campus tour (1 hour). If you are unable to attend both the information session and campus tour, please contact the Office of Admission at admission@grinnell.edu or 641-269-3600. Please register for your visit at least 48 hours in advance of your desired visit date.

Visit activities are limited by your class year and by Grinnell College's examination periods, breaks, and holidays. Our interactive registration shows you your options, and the Academic Break Calendar provides a list of dates during which visit activities may be limited.

Accessibility Accommodations

If you or someone in your party has a disability, please mention your needs when you register.

Tips for Your Trip

We’re thrilled that you’re planning a visit to our campus and our town! We hope that the time you spend at Grinnell gives you a sense of what you might contribute to – and how you might be transformed by – our prairie community.

We know that often the best part of a visit is the unexpected. Maybe it will be the student who helps you find your way to class, the professor who takes a few more minutes to chat with you, or the classroom experience that blows your mind. But we also know that having all of the information you need for a fun, productive visit to Grinnell can make a world of difference.

First, get yourself familiar with all of your visit options, listed above. Then begin your trip planning with maps, directions, and airport information.

We can also help you find dining and hotel options.

We hope you will be able to visit us on campus soon, and we look forward to meeting you when you do!

Grinnell College welcomes individuals with disabilities and strives to provide the fullest access possible during the visit process. If any member of your party requires an accommodation as the result of a disability, you must request accommodations at least two weeks in advance of your scheduled visit to ensure that the fullest range of accommodation options are available. It may not be possible to meet all requested accommodations when accommodations are requested fewer than two weeks in advance.

We use cookies to enable essential services and functionality on our site, enhance your user experience, provide a better service through personalized content, collect data on how visitors interact with our site, and enable advertising services.

To accept the use of cookies and continue on to the site, click "I Agree." For more information about our use of cookies and to opt-out of cookies at any time, please refer to our website Privacy Policy.