Offices & Services of Special Interest to Parents

Student Affairs

The Division of Student Affairs advances the College mission and strategic plan by intentionally fostering and proactively promoting student learning and development within our residential liberal arts college community, where self-governance and personal responsibility are hallmarks. We achieve our mission by embracing our core values.

Academic Advising

Academic Advising provides individual instruction and coaching on academic skills including time management, organization and planning, and learning strategies. The staff also compliment the work of faculty advisers in academic planning, when asked, by holding discussions with students about choosing a major, determining academic plans or credits to graduation, and interpreting academic policies.

Accessibility and Disability Resources

Grinnell is committed to making reasonable accommodations for students with diagnosed or identified disabilities. These accommodations may include reasonable modifications to the academic, residential, or dining environments at Grinnell College. The Disability Resource Office coordinates this process, and students in need of accommodations should contact this office.


The Office of Admission is generally the initial point of contact for future Grinnell College students.

Athletics and Recreation

The Grinnell College Physical Education Department is responsible for five primary areas in addition to offering academic courses — intercollegiate athletics, wellness, recreation, competitive club sports, and intramurals. It schedules all varsity athletic events, supervises the usage of the Bear Recreation and Athletic Center, maintains the outdoor athletic facilities, and supports wellness, recreation, competitive club sports, and intramural programming. Family members visiting current students are welcome to use the athletic facilities by procuring a guest pass from the Athletics Office.


Students may cash checks at the Office of Student Accounts for up to $100 or the Pioneer Bookshop for up to $20 during regular office hours. There is an ATM located in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center. Grinnell has seven banking institutions if your student wishes to open an account in Grinnell:

  • Great Western Bank, 641-236-7544
  • Lincoln Savings Bank, 641-236-3121
  • Grinnell State Bank, 641-236-3174
  • First State Bank, 641-236-7700
  • Wells Fargo Bank, 641-236-7575
  • Community 1st Credit Union, 641-236-7267
  • GreenState Credit Union, 641-236-8822

Care Packages for Students

Development and Alumni Relations, in partnership with the Student Alumni Council, offers care packages twice annually. Letters are sent out in the fall and in the spring to all domestic families regarding the content and cost of these packages. Care packages assembled by the Student Alumni Council feature a variety of food and health products along with a specialty item selected each semester. Past specialty items include Grinnell umbrellas, flashlights, beach towels, and travel mugs. There are also several businesses in Grinnell which will make and deliver gifts to students:

  • Grin City Bakery will bake and deliver goodies for Grinnell College students. To place an order, call 641-236-4746. You can also find them online Grin City Bakery.
  • Bates Flowers by Design, 813 4th Avenue, will deliver to the campus and specializes in fresh cut flower bundles, vased fresh floral arrangements, green and blooming plants, plant pottery, balloons and balloon bouquet, gourmet chocolates and treats, gift and decora items. To order, visit their website 24/7 or call 641-236-7554 or 641-236-3197 during business hours.
  • Vonda’s Flowers & Gifts specializes in beautiful fresh flowers, plants, gift and goodie baskets, balloon bouquets, silk arrangements, gifts, and jewelry. They are located close to the college and deliver on campus. Call them at 641-236-004.

Center for Careers, Life, and Service

The Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS) exists to empower students and alumni to live, learn, and work with meaning and purpose. To that end, CLS advisers collaborate with alumni, faculty, and employers, and other external constituents to mentor and support — holistically and intentionally — all Grinnell students (from their first year through their senior year) and recent alumni. Your student will always have an assigned adviser in the CLS (unless they opt not to). This individual will be a key member of your student’s network at Grinnell and will help your student make the most of the vast programming and resources available in the CLS.

Clothing and Supplies

Students attending Grinnell College often bring a range of supplies with them, but you should also know that many school supplies can be purchased in Grinnell. Especially since many airlines have increased their checked bagged fees, it may be more affordable to make new purchases once you arrive in Grinnell. To learn about what businesses are located in Grinnell, visit the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce. If you are wondering where you can purchase a specific item, contact the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce (641-236-6555). Their staff will connect you to a business that can assist you. Through the Chamber, you may also purchase “Grinnell Bucks” to make local shopping easier. Like gift certificates, Grinnell Bucks are accepted at most local grocery stores, retailers, restaurants, etc. and they help support Grinnell’s small-town economy. For more information and to purchase Grinnell Bucks, please email the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce.

Development and Alumni Relations

Jaci Thiede, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
Tina Popson, Associate Director of Parents and Families Program
Old Glove Factory
641-269-1846 or 866-850-1846

Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) exists to bind meaningful and lifelong relationships that transform lives through a Grinnell education. DAR advances the mission and values of Grinnell College by providing alumni and donor-centric engagement opportunities for the greater Grinnell College community. Ranging from numerous social and volunteer activities — that occur across the globe and on campus — to philanthropic support, the College views its alumni, parents, and friends as a vital resource for current students.

The Development and Alumni Relations office includes the following:

  • Alumni Relations is characterized by a broad base of alumni participation and support, by the high quality of its programs and services, by the professionalism of its alumni staff, and by its strategic integration with the development and communications functions of the College to create a dynamic advancement program and a vibrant alumni community which works to promote the welfare of Grinnell College and its students.
  • Development maximizes philanthropic investments through a donor-centric approach that connects generosity to the institutional priorities of students, faculty, programs, and facilities.
  • Parents and Families Leadership Council for Grinnell College engages with families of our students to cultivate support for the College and our commitment to providing a meaningful, individualized education in a diverse and socially aware community. Members participate in targeted development and outreach activities to raise awareness of and secure resources for the philanthropic priorities of Grinnell College.

All Grinnell College students are impacted by the generosity of alumni, friends, and the community. Nearly 90% receive some form of financial aid, and many students enjoy access to programs that are enhanced by donors and volunteer engagement.

Dining Services

The College’s state-of-the-art dining facility, located in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, features an “all-you-care-to-eat” marketplace. Open seven days a week, the Marketplace serves students on meal plans, faculty, staff, alumni, and special guests. Also located in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, The Spencer Grill is a popular and convenient gathering place for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus. The menu features fresh ground coffees and coffee drinks, individual pizzas, panini sandwiches, and fresh baked goods from our own on-campus bakery.


If you are experiencing a family emergency and are unable to reach your student via their cell phone, email address, or other modes of communication, Student Affairs staff members are willing to help locate a student to deliver emergency messages. Once classes begin, a Residence Life Coordinator (RLC) and a Student Affairs Dean are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to student emergencies of all varieties. To request the assistance of the RLC and/or a Student Affairs Dean on call, please contact the Office of Campus Safety at 641-269-4600.


Many students work on campus during the academic year. In order to receive payment for their work, the Payroll Office must first have several documents completed and on file for the student. All students must provide proof of identity and eligibility to work in the United States when completing these forms. A list of acceptable documents is available on the Student Employment GrinnellShare site. A link to the GrinnellShare site is available on your New Student Checklist. The employment forms may be completed in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on Friday during New Student Orientation, or with the Office of Student Accounts during normal business hours. The forms need to be completed before a student is allowed to begin working. For more information, contact the Student Employment Office at 641-269-4652.

Facilities Management

Facilities Management maintains the physical buildings and grounds of the campus. The custodial staff works out of this office, as do the skilled trades and groundskeepers. Repairs in the residence halls are handled through work orders filled out by the appropriate Residence Life Coordinator (RLC).

Financial Aid

The resources your family may need to learn about and apply for financial aid, including student and parent loans, are available through the Office of Financial Aid. Our financial aid counselors are here to answer questions and take the mystery out of the financial aid process. Call us at 641-269-3250 or email the Office of Financial Aid.

Health Insurance

Students are required to carry health insurance while attending Grinnell and will be automatically enrolled in and charged for the Student Health Insurance offered through the College, which is widely accepted by local providers in Grinnell and the local hospital. Some students elect to remain on their family policy and use the College Student Health Insurance as supplemental insurance. Students who elect to waive out of the College Student Health Insurance and remain exclusively on a family policy are strongly encouraged to verify that their policy will cover providers and hospital care in Grinnell. In addition, every student must provide insurance information to SHACS; you will also be required to submit a front and back copy of the card.


Grinnell College Libraries are the gateway to a rich world of texts, data, images, and sound that are the foundation of inquiry-based liberal education. Burling Library is open more than 100 hours each week with extended hours later in the semester.

Mail Services (Post Office)

Crady Mail Services is located on the 1st floor of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center. Each student is assigned a mailbox before arriving at Grinnell College. A four-digit mailbox number and combination code will be distributed to first-year/transfer students during the summer prior to the start of the academic year. The mailbox number will remain the same from year to year. 

Mail should be addressed to:

Student Name
Box  ####
Grinnell College                
1115 8th Ave.
Grinnell, Iowa 50112-1670

This full address is also required for shipping packages by United Parcel Service or USPS Express. These carriers will not deliver to P.O. Boxes.   

If you are shipping student belongings to the College before classes begin, please limit each box to 50 pounds. Storage at Crady Mail Services is limited at the beginning of the academic semester, so please do not send belongings more than one week before the student’s arrival. Most packages do not fit inside mailboxes. An email will be sent to the student’s Grinnell email address to notify them that a package is waiting and the student may visit the Mail Services window during business hours to claim their items.  

Crady Mail Services strongly discourages sending perishables (i.e., food) to students by any carrier (UPS, U.S. Postal Service, Fed Ex, etc.) The College is not responsible for perishable items that arrive in the mailroom. If it is absolutely necessary to mail a perishable item, please notify the student beforehand. Crady Mail Services will not be responsible for any cash being sent through the mail.  

Packages arriving on a Friday may not be accessible until business hours the following Monday, or later if a national holiday falls on that day or during that period. Students are responsible for picking up their own personal mail and parcels. In the event that a student will be out of town or unavailable to pick up mail or packages for an extended time (academic break, multiple-day athletic event, etc.) they may discuss options with the Mail Services Manager at ext. 3421. Students are not allowed to pick up mail addressed to other students. Crady Mail Services will forward all first class USPS mail and UPS parcels to the permanent address unless otherwise specified over winter and summer academic break.  

Students, with the assistance of mailroom staff, may FAX documents from the mailroom. Family members who wish to FAX documents to a student should include the recipient’s name and total number of pages prominently on the first page. The mailroom fax number is 641-269-3406.

Off-Campus Study

Alicia Stanley, Director of Off-Campus Study
Macy House, Room 108, 205 Park Street

Grinnell features a wide and flexible array of semester- and year-long off-campus programs that complement and extend the College’s liberal arts education into other global contexts and are an integral part of many students’ programs of study. Close advising by faculty and advisers in the Office of Off-Campus Study helps students identify a program that best meets their academic, pre-professional, and personal goals, and provides support before, during, and after the experience. Information regarding these programs is available from the College website or in brochures found in the Office of Off-Campus Study. You may also email off-campus study.

Ombuds Office

The Ombuds Office is open to all members of the Grinnell College Community — students, parents, guardians, faculty, and staff. The Ombuds Office was created to provide an informal and confidential resource for members of the college community to safely discuss concerns or complaints regarding any aspect of their lives or work at Grinnell College. The ombuds provides informal conflict resolution, conflict coaching, facilitation and mediation services, and advocacy for fair treatment and process.

Pioneer One-Card or P-Card (Campus ID)

Grinnell College uses a combined photo ID and proximity card system called the Pioneer One-Card or P-Card. This card is used as a proximity access card when gaining entrance to the residence halls/houses, and academic buildings; for borrowing privileges in Burling Library; use of the Bear Recreation and Athletic Center; and for redeeming meal plan meals and services. Deposits may also be made to the Campus Cash declining balance account. Funds from this account can be used at the bookstore, Spencer Grill, Global Café, campus mailroom, campus copiers, and Marketplace Dining. Students and parents may use a credit card to add money to a student’s campus cash account.


During the academic year, storage is available in most residence halls for empty luggage and totes. Students must contact their community advisor (CA) to access this free service during the semester. At the end of the academic year, all items must be removed from the trunk rooms by the date posted in order to transition them for summer use. Please note: Items left in trunk rooms after the deadlines are considered abandoned and will be discarded. Residence Life is not responsible for items that have been left and discarded. Over the summer, or while studying away from campus, storage is handled by a local company that charges a nominal fee for each item stored, based upon a sliding scale for the amount of insurance coverage selected. More detailed information about the summer storage program will be provided during the academic year.

Office of Student Accounts

The Office of Student Accounts oversees financial transactions between the student and the college. Services provided to students include billing and collection of all fees and deposits, health insurance waivers, institutional loan maintenance, and other cashier-related functions.


Grinnell College Pioneer Bookshop
Cassie Wherry, Manager
933 Main Street in Downtown Grinnell
Bookstore email
Bookstore on Facebook
Hours: Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Operated by Grinnell College, the Pioneer Bookshop is the official bookstore for the textbooks required for classes.


Shuttle Service

Facilities Management provides shuttle service from the Des Moines Airport to the College in August. Information regarding this service is mailed to new students in June. If you have questions about your reservation, please call Facilities Management at 641-269-3300.

We use cookies to enable essential services and functionality on our site, enhance your user experience, provide 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 how to opt out, please refer to our website privacy policy.