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Colleges / Grinnell College

Grinnell College

Grinnell, IA 4-Year Private
Acceptance Rate11%
Acceptance Rate11%

Grinnell College Admissions

If you want to apply to Grinnell College, the deadline for Fall 2023 admissions is January 15 and there is no application fee, which means it is free to apply.

Students who apply to Grinnell College for the fall semester should anticipate a decision by March 31.

Grinnell College Admissions Stats at a Glance

Here is an overiew of some of Grinnell College's admissions stats.

Grinnell College 2022 Admissions Statistics
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 71%
Mean SAT Score 1450
Admissions Test Policy Not optional and are considered
Applicants Who Submit SATs 29%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 33%
Waitlist Yes

Grinnell College Application Deadlines

These are the application deadlines for Grinnell College.

Application Type Offered Application Deadline Notification Deadline
Early Decision I Yes November 15 December 31
Early Decision II Yes January 1 January 31
Early Action No –– ––
Regular Decision Yes January 1 March 31

Applying Early to Grinnell College?

Grinnell College offers early decision but not early action. Early decision is binding, meaning you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing.

🗓️ Early Decision I applications are due by November 15 EDI applicants should receive a decision by December 31.

🗓️ Early Decision II applications are due January 1. ED II Applicants will recieve their decision before January 31.

The early decision acceptance rate at Grinnell College is 58%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 11%. Last year, Grinnell College admitted 288 of the 499 students who applied early decision.

Some students apply early to help their chances of being offering admission. When you apply early, your application is considered before all the regular decision applicants apply. Applying early may increase your chance of admission, since it shows your interest in a school.

➡️ Find a list of some top colleges that accept significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

More on Grinnell College Admissions

How To Get Into Grinnell College

It is very difficult to get into Grinnell College. Grinnell College evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny or waitlist.

In 2021, Grinnell College accepted 11% of students, around 1,108 from the 10,513 applicants.

Schools that are very difficult to get into, like Grinnell College, accept fewer than 60% of all applicants. At least 50% of all admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1230 on the SAT and over 26 on the ACT.

Transferring to Grinnell College

It is very difficult to be admitted as a transfer student.

For Students Waitlisted to Grinnell College

In 2022, Grinnell College waitlisted 2,759 students and 1,286 accepted a place on the waitlist. Of those, 28 eventually received an admissions offer.

What Does Grinnell College Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when deciding who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college has a different way of determining which factors are they consider most important in the admissions process. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and choose schools that put the most emphasis on the areas where you stand out.

Admissions Factors at Grinnell College

What does Grinnell College consider during the admissions process? Take a look at the list below to see which factors are most important during the admissions process.

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Very Important
Class Rank Very Important
Recommendation(s) Very Important
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
Extracurricular Activities Important
Application Essay Important
Talent/Ability Important
Standardized Test Scores Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Character/Personal Qualities Considered
Geographical Residence Considered
Work Experience Considered
Level of Applicant's Interest Considered
First Generation Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
State Residency Considered
Volunteer Work Considered

Make sure to check with Grinnell College for more information on admission factors.

Grinnell College 2022-2023 Application Requirements

To apply to Grinnell College, all applicants must submit the following items. Check in with Grinnell College's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Letter(s) of Recommendation 3
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Transcript of High School Record

GPA and Testing

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Grinnell College?

Grinnell College has not provided an information about GPAs of accepted students. Any questions regarding applicant expectations should be addressed directly with the school.

Out of all students that were admitted, 31% submitted a class rank. At Grinnell College 71% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 90% were in the top 25% and 99% were in the top 50%.

GPAs of Admitted Students

At Grinnell College, student GPAs fall in the following ranges.

GPA Percent of Students
4.0 GPA ––
3.75 and 3.99 ––
3.50 and 3.74 ––
3.25 and 3.49 ––
3.00 and 3.24 ––
2.50 and 2.9 ––
2.00 and 2.49 ––

This chart depicts the percentage of all enrolled, degree-seeking, first-time, first year (freshmen) students who had high school grade point average within the given ranges.

Note: Some schools choose not release this information. If you have any questions regarding missing numbers, be sure to reach out to Grinnell College directly.

About GPAs

Your high school grade point average (GPA) is a number that highlights your high school academic performance. A weighted GPA or an unweighted GPA are the two possible GPA scores considered by colleges.

An unweighted GPA is an average of your scores from each class on a four-point scale. Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0. A weighted GPA considers your average grade and the difficulty of your classes. A weighted GPA boosts your average by adding extra points for honors or Advanced Placement courses.

Standardized Test Scores

Grinnell College considers ACT or SAT scores as part of the admissions process.

Grinnell College does not have a test optional admissions policy. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2022, 29% of Grinnell College's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 33% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What is a Good SAT Score for Grinnell College?

To be competitive with other Grinnell College applicants, you should strive to score between 1390 and 1510 (or higher!) on the SAT. At Grinnell College 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1510 and 25% of scored lower than 1390, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.The mean composite SAT score for a Grinnell College student is 1450.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Grinnell College students scored 780 or higher and 75% of students scored 670 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Grinnell College students scored 750 or higher, and 75% scored a 670 or higher.

What is a Good ACT Score for Grinnell College?

To be most competitive at Grinnell College, you should strive to earn between 30 and 34 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 34 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Grinnell College's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 34, and three out of four students scored lower than 34 on the ACT.

A 30 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Grinnell College students. Only one out of every four students scored below 30.

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

More Information on Transferring to Grinnell College

For transfer students, it is very difficult to get admitted to Grinnell College.

For transfer students wishing to start in the fall, the deadline to apply is March 1. Applicants should hear back by May 31.

Transfer students can enroll in Grinnell College during the following terms:

• Fall Term

• Spring Term

Grinnell College Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Grinnell College?

✅ Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to Grinnell College.

Does Grinnell College accept transfer credits?

✅ Grinnell College accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Does Grinnell College accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

✅ Grinnell College accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits and Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to Grinnell College?

✅ Grinnell College is not test optional. You must submit test scores as part of the application.

What is Grinnell College's acceptance rate?

✅ Grinnell College has an acceptance rate of 11%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at Grinnell College?

✅ Grinnell College's early decision acceptance rate was 58% in 2021.

Want To Learn More About Grinnell College?

Choose one of the options below to find out more about about Grinnell College:


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

Visit the College Confidential forums to join the conversation about Grinnell College

Explore other colleges in Iowa or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Grinnell College Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty

Very Selective


How hard is it to get into Grinnell College? Grinnell College is a very selective institution. The Grinnell College acceptance rate is 11%. This means that the institution accepts 10 out of every 100 applicants.


Grinnell College Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 15

Transfer Applications are Due

Mar 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Grinnell College is Jan 15.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Grinnell College is Mar 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Grinnell College SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1390 - 1510


Math SAT Range

700 - 780


Reading SAT Range

670 - 750

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1510 and Above


1390 to 1510


1390 and Less


SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for Grinnell College students is 1450. Applicants with SAT scores of 1510 and above have a good chance of being admitted to Grinnell College, while applicants with SAT scores between 1390 to 1510 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 1390 have a low chance of being offered a spot at Grinnell College.

Grinnell College GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)

Not available

Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases © 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting

Small Town

Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 15
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