Financial aid: Walking the talk, every day

Since our founding by abolitionist ministers in the nineteenth century, Grinnellians have worked for social and economic justice all over the world. But we also determinedly live out our principles here at home, in the day-to-day interactions, practices, and policies of our college. And there’s no better example of our commitment than the way we approach financial aid.

Leading the way as a need-blind institution

As tuition costs and student debt rise across the nation, Grinnell steadfastly remains one of just a few U. S. colleges and universities — approximately 45 out of over 4,000 — that practices need-blind admissions and meets 100 percent of demonstrated need. Over many years, these two crucially intertwined policies have helped shape a vividly diverse, intensively intellectual, vibrantly international community that that invigorates every Grinnell student — past, present, and future. Simply put, our financial aid programs are essential to ensuring that Grinnell stays Grinnell.

And that requires considerable investment.

By supporting financial aid, you affirm Grinnell’s foundational principles and ensure a premier college education for every qualified student, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. You further the life-changing, one-of-a-kind discourse that happens here every day, in and out of the classroom. And you allow students from all walks of life to embark upon an unforgettable Grinnell journey, paving the way for new generations of intellectual seekers and proactive citizens like you.

Grinnell College was Alexandra Odom '16's first choice. The fact that the College also gave her the best aid package cemented the deal. “I think the fact that Grinnell admits students on a need-blind basis is extremely beneficial for students like me, because I wouldn’t be here without it.”

Alexandra Odom '16
Major: history
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

Grinnell offers extensive opportunities to support both need-based and merit scholarships. You can establish a named scholarship to honor a family member or legacy, role model, faculty or staff member, fellow student, colleague, or peer. You can support a wide range of existing programs. You can also contribute to or establish funds specifically for international students.

Pie chart - 87% of students receive financial aid2015-16 Statistics


  • Total financial aid awarded: $58.7 million
  • Average financial aid package to students demonstrating need: $45,009
  • Average indebtedness of borrowers in the graduating class of 2015: $15,982
  • Percent of students receiving aid: 87%


Please use our online gift tool would like to make an online gift to support Financial Aid. To contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations if you have questions or would like to establish a scholarship, please call 866-850-1846 or email