First-Year Applicants

A way of seeing and being you’ll find only at Grinnell College.

Choosing where to further your education is a big decision. But look closer: There’s something here at Grinnell, something you won’t find anywhere else. A place that embraces you for who you are, and inspires you to think deeply in every way. It’s full of individuals with sharp minds and open hearts. A community thriving on diverse perspectives and intellectual trailblazing. A community of Grinnellians.

Students paying attention to an unseen speaker


Let’s get the process started.

If you’re considering Grinnell, start by requesting information. This will give you access to additional information about application timelines, scholarships, and the college search process. If Grinnell is at the top of your list, consider applying Early Decision.  


The Common App.

You’ll need to fill out the Common Application, and there’s no separate application fee. You’ll submit either your SAT or ACT score as well. We’d love to meet you, so we recommend (but don’t require) an interview. It’s not only a great opportunity for us to get to know you better, but also a chance for you to get to know what makes us Grinnell.  

Once we receive your application, we will send you a user name and instructions on how to check your application status.

Student and adult talking and working together at a white board
Two students with laptops talking in the Spencer Grill, as seen from above through flags


Admission to Grinnell is highly selective.

Although no single factor guarantees admission, it helps to have had a challenging, balanced high school curriculum. Our recommended secondary school program is:

  • 4 years of English

  • 4 years of mathematics (at least through pre-calculus)

  • 3 years of social studies

  • 3 years of lab science

  • 3 years of a foreign language

Let's make sure you're covered.

Applying to college is exciting, but it can also feel overwhelming. We're here to make sure you have everything you need to apply. Check out some more of our resources available to you. 



Applying to Grinnell? Here’s what you need to know and what we need from you.

Application Requirements 



If Grinnell is at the top of your college list, consider applying Early Decision. Many Grinnellians do.

Early Decision Applicants



We'd love to know about everything that makes you you.

Submitting Recommendations and Portfolios



We partner with a national nonprofit organization that connects high-achieving, underserved high school students with educational opportunity at some of the best colleges in the country (including Grinnell).


Grinnell College student shows grade-schoolers plants in group outdoors

Related Links

Continue to explore more of the Grinnell experience.

Meet the Staff


As an admission team, we’re here to help with the application process and answer any questions you may have.  

Affording Grinnell


There are several resources, both from Grinnell and outside sources, to help you finance your education. 

Life at Grinnell


Grinnell, Iowa: An unexpected setting for bringing the world together.