Applying for Need-Based Aid - U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

2018-2019 Academic Year

Attention: the steps below are required to apply for Grinnell College funded financial aid. If you wish to apply only for federally funded financial aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-study, and the Federal Direct Student Loan, you only need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You may find these Tips on Applying for Financial Aid useful.

Admission Round

Early Decision I

Early Decision II

Regular Decision

2018 Fall Transfer


November 15

January 1

January 15

April 1


By the appropriate deadline listed above, complete the following steps to apply for need-based aid:

Step 1

Common Application


Indicate your intent to apply for need-based financial aid.

Step 2

2018-19 CSS Profile


Beginning October 1, 2017, you and your parents (step-parent, if applicable) complete the CSS Profile online to apply for institutional grants.  Grinnell College’s code is 6252. A fee is associated with filing of the CSS Profile, however, it is automatically waived for many low-income students.

Step 2a

2018-19 CSS Profile for your Noncustodial parent's household, if applicable

  • If your biological/adoptive parents are not married (or are separated) and are living in separate households, your noncustodial parent must create a personal College Board account to log in and complete a separate CSS Profile online.  If your noncustodial parent is remarried, your step-parent's information should be included.
  • To maintain confidentiality, you and your custodial parent should not share your College Board account password with your noncustodial parent. 
  • If you have no contact with your noncustodial parent, you may complete a request to waive this requirement
Step 3 IDOC Submission of Parents' 2016 federal tax return (signed) and W-2 forms
  Upon completion of the CSS Profile, you will be directed to use the College Board IDOC service to submit a signed copy of your custodial parents' 2016 federal tax return, including schedules and W-2 forms, online to IDOC, the College Board's secure financial document submission portal. Instructions will be provided on the College Board website immediately after you submit the CSS Profile. Grinnell requires all students who wish to be considered for institutional grants to provide parent tax returns for verification of Profile data. 

Step 4

Federal Student Aid ID

  Create FSA IDs for you and at least one (custodial) parent. These separate usernames and passwords will be used to complete and sign the FAFSA.

Step 5

2018-19 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  Beginning October 1, 2017, complete the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for all federal and state financial aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant, Direct Stafford Loans, and Iowa Tuition Grant. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (if eligible) to transfer 2016 tax return data to the FAFSA. Do not make changes to the transferred data. Grinnell’s school code is 001868.

What’s next?

Admitted students who have met their application round deadline will receive a notice of financial aid eligibility with the admission decision.