Scholarships and Financial Aid

Supporting students of any means, by all means

Rising educational costs and mounting student debt have been much discussed topics in the press and social media. At Grinnell, we’re determined to support future Grinnellians because the world needs more of us. Our commitment means providing a highly individualized, world-class education to every admitted student, regardless of their ability to pay, plus an equal commitment to keeping debt loads low. To achieve both, our students depend on our broader Grinnell community to help.

More than $250 million in financial aid over four years

Grinnell invests more than $63 million in student scholarships annually. 93% of Grinnellians now receive financial help — with the average need-based financial aid recipient receiving $62,921, all without the use of student loans in initial aid packages. 

Grinnell’s dedication to college access is evident in our commitments, which include meeting 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted students without the use of loans. Domestic Grinnellians continue to be admitted in a need-blind environment, judging domestic students’ applications solely on their achievement and potential. Grinnell also has a strong commitment to international student financial assistance, packaging over $41 million in financial aid to international students over the last four years. 

In total, as a percentage of the operating budget, Grinnell awards more in grants to students than any national liberal arts college that is domestically need-blind and meets full need.

Removing Loans from Financial Aid

Starting in the fall of 2021, Grinnell will eliminate loans from need-based financial aid packages and replace them with scholarships to reduce student indebtedness in response to the pandemic and economic uncertainty. This step will make it possible for a student to graduate debt-free. Through careful stewardship of institutional resources and the generosity of our alumni and friends, the College intends to retain this initiative as long as possible. All students enrolled under the no-loan initiative can expect to continue under the program until they graduate.

Endowed and dedicated scholarships

In addition to need-based aid, we carefully award merit scholarships — for academic achievement, leadership, and other notable accomplishments. Merit scholarships are designed to help keep the College competitive and attract the most aspiring future difference makers who have a range of college options. To offer these institutional grants and scholarships, Grinnell relies on the endowment and gifts. In 2020/2021, alumni and friends added new endowed scholarship funds to bring our total number to 319. Many are named in honor of a family member, friend, or faculty member, and go to support a range of students and programs.

Grinnell’s commitment to this level of financial aid support for our students will remain possible for generations to come with gifts from donors.

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