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Grinnell College appears in these rankings:

Top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges with the Best Return on Investment

30 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the Midwest

Grinnell College was founded in 1846 as Iowa College by 11 Congregationalist ministers who graduated from Andover Theological Seminary. After its first 25 years, the college was renamed to honor Josiah Bushnell Grinnell, an abolitionist fighting to end slavery. Grinnell soon became the epicenter for the Social Gospel reform movement. Affiliated with the United Church of Christ, Grinnell College is a premier private, non-profit liberal arts institution known for rigorous academics. Each year, Grinnell educates around 1,700 students with an open curriculum dedicated to social responsibility. The college is nestled on a 120-acre rural campus in Grinnell at the midway point between Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

According to the U.S. News, Grinnell is the 19th best national liberal arts college, seventh top value school, and sixth most innovative college. Forbes ranked Grinnell College as America's 111th best value with the 86th most grateful grads and an "A" financial grade. The Princeton Review honored Grinnell 15th for "Most Accessible Professors" and 17th for "Students Study the Most." Grinnell College placed eighth nationally for graduates who eventually earn PhD degrees. The New York Times lauded Grinnell for being one of the 20 best alternatives to Ivy League institutions. Washington Monthly magazine also distinguished Grinnell College as the country's 15th best liberal arts college for civic engagement.

Grinnell College Accreditation Details

Last reaffirmed in 2009, Grinnell College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA). This regional accrediting body is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to provide 10-year reviews. Grinnell has created a Steering Committee to lead the self-study and accreditation process. The college is also licensed by the Iowa Coordinating Council for Post High School Education (ICCPHSE).

Grinnell College Application Requirements

Getting into Grinnell College isn't easy with the highly selective acceptance rate of 28 percent. First-year applicants must have earned a standard diploma from a licensed high school or homeschooling program. Taking a balanced secondary curriculum with four years of English, four years of math through pre-calculus, three years of history, three years of science, and three years of foreign language is required. Credit is offered for scoring at least 3 on challenging AP exams. Over 90 percent of freshmen rank in the top 25 percent of their class. On average, admitted students have a 3.94 GPA, 1375 SAT score, and 30 ACT score.

Applicants with 12 or more credits earned at a regionally accredited college or university after high school graduation can apply for transfer. Incoming transfers should hold no more than 65 credits from their previous school. Being in good standing with a collegiate GPA of 3.0 or higher is encouraged to compete. Grinnell has an automatic transfer agreement for students earning associate degrees at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). International students must have completed at least two semesters at non-U.S. institutions. Foreign transfers must be studying at F-1 or J-1 student visa and score at least 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL exam.

Before the Early Decision deadline on November 15th and Regular Decision deadline on January 15th, students can apply to Grinnell College by sending:

• The Common Application form with essay
• Original high school or college transcripts
• Two teacher evaluation forms
• One guidance counselor recommendation
• Proof of English language proficiency
• List of extra-curricular activities
• Art or music portfolio (if applicable)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Regardless of Iowa residency, full-time students at Grinnell College are charged $48,322 for tuition per academic year. Part-time learners and students taking over 18 credits will pay $1,510 per credit. Mandatory fees total $436 extra each year. On-campus housing is estimated to cost $5,658 annually. Standard meal plans cost $6,322 per year. Students should budget $900 for textbooks, $1,100 for personal supplies, and $700 for travel expenses. Health insurance, unless waived, comes at a premium of $1,411. Annual cost of attendance at Grinnell is $60,738. The total expense for four-year bachelor's degrees is approximately $242,952.

The NCES reports that 88 percent of full-time undergraduates at Grinnell share over $58 million in financial assistance yearly. Perhaps that's why the college ranks #1 for economic diversity in America. Many awards are offered, including the National Merit Scholarship, President's Scholarship, Dean's Scholarship, and Dollars for Scholars Program. Low-income students could qualify for the Federal Pell Grant or FSEOG Grant. In-state residents should apply for the Iowa Tuition Grant, Kibbie Grant, or Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Grant. There's also the need-based Grinnell Grant. Federal Work-Study (FWS) is awarded for at least $7.75 per hour of campus employment. The Yellow Ribbon program awards benefits to veterans, spouses, and military children. Students can also borrow Stafford, Perkins, and PLUS loans.

Degrees Available at Grinnell College

Named one of the "30 Hidden Ivies," Grinnell College challenges students to grow with an individually-advised curriculum and 27 specialized majors. There are also 12 concentrations in areas like Latin American Studies, Neuroscience, Policy Studies, and Statistics. All students must complete the First-Year Tutorial. Academics transcend the classroom with service learning, research, and the Grinnell-in-London program. Nearly 40 percent of students complete a Mentored Advanced Project (MAP). The low student-faculty ratio of 9:1 allows for an average class size of 17. Two example programs are the:

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Noted as Grinnell's most popular major, the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology trains students to investigate the scientific principles of behavior and apply them to ease human suffering. The 32-credit major will include courses on research methods, human development, behavior analysis, abnormal psychology, cognition, personality, motivation, and behavioral neuroscience. Students benefit from hands-on experience in the Psychology Student Experiential Learning Lab (PSELL) and Preschool Laboratory. Senior B.A. students can also present their MAP research at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting.

Bachelor of Arts in German

Despite being lesser-known, the Bachelor of Arts in German program at Grinnell College gives students the ability to study Europe's most widely-spoken first language. Within the 32-credit major, students can follow the German Literature and Culture Track or German Studies Track. Coursework will cover everything from German-speaking intellectuals like Marx to scientists like Kepler. Students can hone their conversional skills at the weekly German Table and reside within the German House. B.A. students will study abroad in Berlin, Freiburg, Munich, or Vienna.

Other unique degrees at Grinnell College include the B.A. in Biological Chemistry, B.A. in Chinese, B.A. in Religious Studies, and B.A. in Theatre and Dance.

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