Get $150 Scholarship!


Grinnell, IowaLOCATION
Estd 1846Established Year

Grinnell College 2020-2021 Admissions: Acceptance Rate, Requirements, Deadlines, Application Process

Vaishnavi Agrawal Vaishnavi Agrawal
Study Abroad Expert

For Fall 2019 admissions at Grinnell College, the acceptance rate was 23% with 8004 applicants. Therefore, the admission process is very selective with strict eligibility criteria. Candidates are selected based on merit and extracurricular achievements. The retention rate for freshmen is 92%.

Grinnell College offers degrees in 27 major fields with 16 concentrations.

  • Student population is 1,716 (undergraduates)
  • 54% of the students are female and 17% of undergraduate students are from foreign countries.
  •  Student to faculty ratio is 9: 1 and each class has approximately 20 students.
  •  Grinnell College accepts ACT Composite scores (between 32 to 35) and SAT scores (between 760 - 800 in Maths and 650 - 720 in Evidence-based Reading, and Writings (ERW)). Essay Component (ACT and SAT) is optional. 
  • 89% of the total students receive financial aid in the form of loans, grants, scholarships and campus employment.
  • Grinnell College spends 93% in total grants and scholarships awarded to students, while the remaining 7% constitutes federal, private, and state aidsawarded to international students.
  • Admissions at Grinnell College are offered as Early Decision (I and II) and Regular Decision. 

COVID-19 Update: Grinnell College

International Applicants looking to apply for admission for Fall 2021 can submit their final high school transcripts after consultation with the Office of Admission. First-year applicants do not need to present SAT/ACT scores. The college may revise this policy for spring admission. Students can keep track of any changes through the college website.


Application PortalCommon Application
Application FeeFree
Average SAT score650-720 (SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing)
760-800 (SAT Math)
Average ACT score32-35 (ACT Composite)
32-35 (ACT English)
28-33 (ACT Math)
Intake SeasonsFall and Spring
Academic CalendarSemester -based
English Proficiency TestsTOEFL/IELTS
Financial AidScholarships and Grants, Campus Employment

Grinnell College Admissions Deadlines

Theapplication deadlines for international students are different from domestic applicants. Students are advised to apply early, preferably by mid or late December. The important dates and deadlines are tabulated below.

ApplicationDeadlineDecision ReleaseReapplying Dates
Early Decision INov. 15Mid-Dec.Mid-Jan.
Early Decision IIJan. 1Late-Jan.Mid-Feb.
Regular DecisionNov. 15Late-MarchMay 1

Grinnell College International Student Admissions

International Applicants need to consider the following when applying for admissions at Grinnell College.

The “super score” set by Grinnell College is done by taking the highest subscores earned by the applicant in each official score report sent to the College in the likelihood of creating a higher ACT composite score/combines SAT Evidence-based reading and writing (ERW) and Math score than one appearing on an official score report.

Application Portal: Common Application; Preliminary Application/Questbridge Application

Application Fee: Not charged

Admission Requirements

  • Teacher Recommendation Forms (Preferred): 2 Teacher evaluations required
  • Recommendation Form (Preferred): from the Secondary/High School Counselor
  • Secondary School Report
  • Original stamped, signed or sealed official copy of Secondary/High School transcript
  • Standardized Testing:
  • Essay Component for both, ACT and SAT is optional.
  • SAT/ACT official score report directly sent from the College Board (SAT code 6252, ACT code 1318)
  • SAT/ACT verified test scores appearing on Applicant’s official high school transcript
  • An email with a verified SAT/ACT score report be sent from High School Counselor
  • Guidance Counselors/Registrars can send the Applicant’s official test scores and or transcripts by:
    • Fax: 641-269-4800
    • Attaching to email:
    • Mailing to the Office of Admission –

Grinnell College, 1227 Park Street, Grinnell, IA 50112, USA

  • Official TOEFL/IELTS score to demonstrate English proficiency. (Mid 50% range of these scores is given below)
  • Appropriate Financial forms

Note: Preliminary Application is the optional part of the application process, for applying as a First-Year for Fall 2021. The office will keep the Applicant apprised of the timelines, college search process, and scholarships

English Language Proficiency

The scores for English Language Proficiency Tests for admitted International Students for August 2019 is presented in the form of a table.

TOEFL - Mid-50% range104-111
SAT I (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW)) - Mid-50% range650-720
SAT I (Math) - Mid-50% range760-800
ACT - Mid-50% range32-35
IELTS (preferred)6.5

How to fund your education at Grinnell

International students can apply for financial aid to meet theexpenses of studying in the U.S. The following table mentions the deadlines to apply for financial aids.

Early Decision INov. 15
Early Decision IIJan. 1
Regular DecisionNov. 15

Also, applicants have to consider the following guidelines:

  • Need-Based Aid: Applicants need to indicate if they do not need financial assistance.
  • The applicant needs to upload a completed Certification of Finances form to the application portal along with an attachment of the Bank Statement, showing funds covering thecost of attendance for first-year, in case the concerned bank official does not sign the Certificate of Finance.
  • Financial Aid for International Students will not be considered after admittance.
  • Applicants seeking financial aid must complete the process, accurately and thoroughly by completing the CCS Profile(fee waivers not provided by Grinnell)
  • If the applicant is unable to complete the CCS profile, the International Student Financial Aid Application (ISFAA) must be filled and uploaded to the Grinnell Application Portal (created upon submission of the Common Application).
  • Email the Office of Financial Aid for assistance or call them at 641-269-3250

Visa Process

International students require anF-1 visa for studying in the US. The application fee for an F-1 visa is USD 160.

Application Requirements:

  • DS-160 Form (Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application)
  • Valid passport:for travel to the US with a validity date at least six months beyond the intended period of stay in the country
  • Photograph: (2x2 inches/51x51 mm), taken within the last six months
  • Visa issuance reciprocity fee (subject to the applicant’s nationality) 
  • Approved I-20 form from applicant’s U.S. school/program
  • An interview appointment letter confirming your appointment booking.
  • Supporting documents for the information provided to the consular officer.

For further information regarding information, applicants can refer to the US Visa application website.

Admitted International Students

Grinnell College encourages International Students to get in touch with the Office of International Student Affairs which is a part of the International Student Organization (ISO) to facilitate a quality educational experience. Admitted students will be notified via email about receiving financial aid/notification of eligibility for scholarships.

Grinnell College Undergraduate Admission

Admission is selective into Grinnell College, and it is recommended to applying candidates to ensure that their program for secondary school is equivalent to:

  1. English: 4 Years
  2. Mathematics (at least through pre-calculus): 4 Years
  3. Social Studies: 3 Years
  4. Lab Science: 3 Years
  5. Foreign Language: 3 Years

Grinnell College selects an applicant after considering secondary school grades, test scores, and recommendations, extracurricular activities, and leadership skills.

Admission Requirements

  • Common Application - Username and further instructions will be delivered to the applicant upon the College receiving the application.
  • SAT/ACT scores
  • The preferred SAT score is in the range of 650-720 in SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 760-800 in SAT Math
  • The preferred ACT score is in the range of 32 - 35 in ACT composite
  • Teacher Evaluations
  • High School transcripts
  • Interview (not mandatory)


Ques. Are A-level exams required, despite having taken O-levels?

Ans. Yes. For admission at Grinnell College, A-levels are required. Candidates who are A-level are to produce Advanced Subsidiary or equivalent results, and A-level predictions which are indicated in the Secondary School Report/Letter of Recommendation by the Headmaster or Counselor. This is applicable to all international students with similar education paths. Example: India (ISSCE followed by the ISSE or ICSE followed by the ISC).

Ques. Is it compulsory to submit all application documents at the same time? 

Ans. No. Documents can be submitted as and when available. However, each of the documents must contain the applicant’s full name and DoB for assigning them correctly to their application file.

Ques. When is the notification of admission or financial aid is given and how?

Ans. The decision made on Applicant’s admission and financial aid is showcased on their Grinnell Application Portal aka the applicant status page. Regular Decision Applicants get notified no later than April 1 and admitted students will receive their letters for admission and or financial aid (if applied) via FedEx. As for the waitlist and students denied admission, they will get their decision letters via application portal only, and not get letters via postal mail.

Get free counselling

Follow & Share this college to get information about admission

Iowa State University Ames, Iowa
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa
Mount Mercy University Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Coe College Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Saint Ambrose University Davenport, Iowa