students at medallion ceremony

Diverse Perspectives

Grinnell is one community made of many, and inclusion is at the heart of who we strive to be.

No matter where you’re from or what your background, this intentionally diverse, close-knit community fosters friendships that will expand your horizons and create lifelong connections to Grinnellians around the globe.

Grinnell’s diverse and inclusive community isn’t just a warm and welcoming place to spend four years — it’s also an essential part of your education here. That’s because we all benefit when we seek to understand different viewpoints, helping you build cultural awareness that will enable you to thrive in any setting, anywhere in the world.

  • Students at a picnic.

    Finding Your Place

    Our Community

    Grinnell College is committed to creating a safe, inclusive environment for all students on campus. As a college that is racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse, we strive to ensure that all students on campus are welcome, accepted, and respected.

    We're an eclectic bunch:

    • 26% of our student body self-identifies as domestic students of color
    • 20% are international students representing more than 80 citizenships
    • 15% are first-generation students 

    Grinnellians also represent a wide range of faith traditions, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. We are committed to providing all students of diverse backgrounds with spaces, support, and accessible resources.

  • Students in Herrick Chapel

    Here for you

    On-Campus Resources

    Faculty, staff and students throughout the campus are invested in inclusive teaching and universal design. These are many of the offices and spaces we have that are dedicated to supporting diverse identities:

  • Students dancing during Diwali.

    Join the Club

    Student Organizations

    Student organizations are highly valued at Grinnell — and all students are encouraged to find opportunities to lead and engage. Many organizations focus on identity and culture, which is a great way to build community and expand awareness. All of these organizations are open to everyone, and you don’t need to be a member of an organization to participate in most of its events, from movie nights to dance performances to dinners. These events are fun, they’re eye-opening, and they just might change your view of the world — because they show us not only how we differ, but also all that we have in common.

  • A large group of students in matching T-shirts

    A Step Ahead

    The Right Start

    It’s important for everyone to get the right start. All new Grinnellians participate in New Student Orientation. In addition, there are several pre-orientation programs at Grinnell that are designed for first-year students from historically marginalized identities and backgrounds (including but not limited to students of color, first-generation college students, students with disabilities, and LGBTQIA+ students), international students, and students interested in majoring in the sciences who come from groups typically underrepresented in science and math fields.

  • international students parade

    For Prospective Students

    Fostering Diversity

    Grinnell is invested in finding new Grinnellians from across the country and around the world. Our admission staff travel and network with intention, inside the U.S. and internationally. Through our partnership with QuestBridge, Grinnell is able to welcome a cohort of high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds into our incoming first-year classes. Through the Virtual Grinnell Diversity Preview Program (GDPP), Grinnell offers an online program in the fall for high school seniors from diverse backgrounds — including students who are first-generation, low-income, domestic students of color, LGBTQ+ identifying, and/or who have learning differences — to get to know the College, the resources we offer, and to hear from currently enrolled students from diverse backgrounds. In the spring Grinnell offers fly-in opportunities for select admitted students to attend an admitted student day.

  • A student works with circuitry in a Grinnell Science Project lab


    Diversity in the Sciences

    For students from underrepresented backgrounds who are specifically interested in majoring in the sciences, Grinnell offers a nationally-recognized pre-orientation program called Grinnell Science Project (GSP). Those students invited to attend the program have an opportunity to come to campus early, take sample classes, conduct trial research experiments, get to know faculty members who teach introductory math and science courses, and connect with academic support professionals on campus.

Grinnellian Voices

Lana Katai

Solving for Fit

What does “fit” even mean, and how are you supposed to go about finding it?

Jennifer Brooks ’15 sits on a blue gymnastics mat, facing a Mac on a table about 4 inches off the floor.

Thinking Differently About Disability and Diversity

“Grinnell really embraced me and figured out what I needed to thrive in this environment,” says the sociology grad from Atlanta.

students walk into Herrick Chapel

A Diversity of Divinities

“Grinnell is a welcoming and comfortable place for students who are practicing or exploring religions and other spiritual interests," says the Rev. Deanna Shorb, chaplain, dean of religious life, and founder/director of the Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice (CRSSJ).

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