Lately I’ve been reading a great deal about this Iowan school (‘Collegium Grinnellense’ in Latin – cool!) and have come to believe that it definitely deserves a shout-out here on our college admissions blog. For instance, it was exactly a week ago that I came across an article from The Hechinger Report entitled, “Grinnell Shows What It Takes For An Elite Private College To Be Socioeconomically Diverse.” This is, of course, very timely given all that’s been in the news lately about The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, the test-optional movement, and affirmative action. As Grinnell’s President said, “We don’t think students’ ability to get a first-rate college education and contribute to society should be limited by their family resources.” But how, exactly, is Grinnell tackling the goal of increasing the diversity (socioeconomic and otherwise) of students on campus?
As the article points out, with the strings on collegiate financial purses tightening across the country, Grinnell intends to buck the trend and not accept fewer students from lower-income backgrounds. Instead, the college will maintain its need-blind admissions policy for at least three more years, which translates to mean that it will not factor prospective students’ financial circumstances into admissions decisions. This will be achieved through a few different strategies, including the college’s reduction of merit aid spending, an increasing emphasis on reaching out to its alumni community with fundraising initiatives, and the admission of more international students who are able to pay the full cost of attending the college. Furthermore, Grinnell offers a fly-in program for prospective students who may otherwise not have the chance to visit the campus – click here to learn about the college’s “Diversity Preview Program.” Also of note is that the college works with a number of external organizations (e.g. QuestBridge and The Posse Foundation) to help recruit students from lower-income backgrounds who have the potential to thrive at Grinnell.
Along these lines, the College Scorecard informs us that the percent of students receiving federal need-based aid is 21%, and also lets us know that Grinnell College ranks impressively above the national average on a number of its other indicators. For instance:
Grinnell’s Percent of Students Who Return After Their First Year is 93% –> The national average is 67%.
Grinnell’s Graduation Rate is 88% –> The national average is 44%.
Grinnell’s Percent of Student’s Paying Down Their Debt is 97% –> The national average is 67%.
Clearly, Collegium Grinnellense’s students receive a great deal of support at the school and, given the great importance of graduation rates in one’s considerations of where to apply, these sorts of numbers should have you perking up and saying, “Hello, it’s me.”
Some other neat things about Grinnell (beyond its very strong academics)? Here are a few examples:
- The college’s Liberal Arts in Prison Program is definitely unique!
- Burling Library is home to “officially encouraged” bathroom graffiti, jungle gyms, and amoeba tables.
- Grinnell College is aptly named, as it is located in Grinnell, Iowa – the “Jewel of the Prairie“.
- The Special Collections & Archives “offers students and scholars access to printed materials from the 15th century to the present” – The first book ever printed (the Gutenberg Bible) was only printed in 1455, so access to printed materials from the 15th century is pretty, well, wow!
- Social justice innovation is high on the school’s list of priorities. Click here to learn about the Grinnell Prize!
- There are more than 500 free events open to students on campus each year – click here to learn more about student life.
- Grinnell’s Service Learning and Civic Engagement Program encourages students to volunteer and work for the betterment of society – awesome!
- Global Grinnell – it’s a thing.