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Grinnell College Reviews

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  • 07/04/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    12 out of 12 people found this review useful. 1 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    outdoorsy types; those that like quiet places, great academics, and athletic opportunities; those who love seasons!

    Tips for prospective students

    I suggest you visit the campus before your final decision--you will either love or hate the weather and atmosphere of the school itself.

    Bang for the buck

    i received a large sum of money from grants from the school alone; they are very generous with their financial aid.

    Am enjoying being here

    I definitely met a diverse group of people i now call friends. These were the people that helped me through my first year at Grinnell; though the academics were rigorous, it was the immense amount of support that Grinnell faculty and staff offered that make me confident that I can push my self to achieve what I want. I love a challenge and am happy to start my second year.

    Am learning a lot

    Though the courses cover a large amount of material in what seems to be a short time span, the professors are happy to help outside of class.

  • 12/31/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    9 out of 10 people found this review useful. 2 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Grinnellians are hardworking, dedicated, and balanced students. Grinnellians must be hardworking to complete and understand their subjects of study. Grinnellians must be dedicated to their work by going to their professors or peers for help if and when they need it. However, Grinnellians must also be balanced: they must know how to have a successful academic and social life. Grinnell College aims to build strong leaders: the qualities aforementioned are key to building such leadership. If you are looking for a strong education and are willing to push yourself for it, while building close, lasting friendships, Grinnell College is the college for you.

    Tips for prospective students

    I would highly recommend prospective students to visit Grinnell before deciding to enroll. Though I fell in love with Grinnell during a college fair, I visited the college three times - twice before applying and once after being accepted. The visit that solidified my decision was when I spent the weekend with a student. This visit helped me to experience the Grinnell life and I knew that I would be a good fit for it. However, Grinnell is not for all people: some people may not be comfortable with the small size of the college, for example. So I recommend researching the college as much as possible before enrolling: visit the college, talk with current or former students or professors, and schedule an admission interview.

    Bang for the buck

    The thing that worried me and my family about Grinnell was how to finance it. However, I knew that, even though other schools gave me more money, Grinnell was the school for me because it had the most to offer me. Grinnell College is a school that truly cares about the student: this is especially shown from the core concept of academic freedom, in which the only required class is a writing tutorial for the first semester (and then the required classes to fulfill your major). The academics at Grinnell are simply phenomenal. Academics aside, the social life at Grinnell is better than expected. Myself included, most think that there is nothing to do in the small town of Grinnell. However, this is not true. The campus brings bands, comedians, art shows, movies, and much more to the campus, giving its students the same opportunities others at larger schools would have. All in all, Grinnell College definitely has bang for its buck.

    Am enjoying being here

    I really am enjoying my time at Grinnell. In the first semester of my first year, I took on 18 credits and 10.5 hours a week of campus employment. Though it is a lot of work, I have gained a great sense of self-fulfillment. Grinnell pushes you into seeing what you are capable of. For that I am really thankful. The professors, staff, and students at Grinnell are friendly and helpful, creating a small, tight-knit community. The social life is also very enjoyable, for reasons I’ll talk about below.

    Am learning a lot

    I feel like I have learned a lot at Grinnell College in my first year. The workload here is rigorous and the classes cover a large amount of material in a short amount of time. However, the professors are more than happy to make sure you understand the material in or outside of class. The professors, 95%+ of them having earned their PhD, are very passionate about their fields and this shows in their teaching. There are also many tutors and mentors who are willing to aid in your comprehension. Both the professors and fellow students cater to a great learning environment.

  • 06/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 3 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The town is small, quaint, and protected by a solid police department that is very cooperative with the college.

    Greek Life

    There is no Greek Life!

    Clubs and Activities

    As aforementioned, activities on campus such as intramural sports, are very accommodating and versatile. Grinnell College offers everything from socially conscious clubs like the Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell, an organization in which students raise money for microloans to different causes, to FreeSound, an organization that provides student musicians with free access to instruments and recording equipment.

    Great for these types of students

    Grinnell College is great for any student who wants to receive an exceptional education, pursue/ get more involved in issues concerning social justice, and meet different people.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The themed Harris Parties are a huge part of campus culture and really help to bring different groups together. Because the college itself is so liberal, students tend to be very free-spirited and opinionated, having no problem going against the norm (cross-dressing, for example) or supporting causes that are otherwise controversial.

    Bang for the buck

    Although the advertised cost of attendance is quite high, Grinnell is extremely generous when it comes to financial aid.

    What to do for fun

    1) There is a themed all-campus Harris party in the Harris Center every other weekend or so. Popular parties include Disco, Lady Gaga, and Mary B. James, a cross-dressing party. 2) Grinnell provides occasional trips to Des Moines or Iowa City for mall shopping. 3) You can watch a movie in the town's small (but very cheap theater) and enjoy other charming quirks that the tiny town (of only 10,000) has to offer. 3) You can also enjoy the perks of a new, state-of-the-art gym, as well as a decently sized game room with games like air hockey and pool.

    Food and Dining

    Grinnell serves very, very high quality food compared to other college dining halls. However, it can get very repetitive at times.

    Dorm Life

    The bathrooms may get a little dirty on the weekends, but there is a good policy of self-governance that keeps everyone responsible for themselves.

    Academic Rigor

    Grinnell will gift you with many a late night, but the interesting courses and excellent professors are worth the work .

    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of as many opportunities that the college offers you as possible, because the number of resources offered at Grinnell is unprecedented. This includes, but is not limited to, trying a sport (there are non-competitive intramural teams), starting a student organization centered on something you really love, like coloring (Grinnell has the funds to support you), and looking into resources like the Career Development Office, which offers annual grants for summer internships and social justice projects. But, most of all, regularly take the time to appreciate your surroundings--listen to your peers, enjoy the random forts that students build around campus, and get to know your faculty and staff. Grinnell is a community of people who want to help you succeed.

    In three sentences

    At Grinnell College, you learn how to think for the very first time in your life. At Grinnell College, you meet people who are amazing, strange, amazingly strange, and strangely amazing--many of whom you will never want to live without. At Grinnell College, you are challenged, discomfited, and completely thrown for a loop, only to find that, four years down the line, you've become the best, most comfortable version of you to date.

  • 10/25/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 4 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Grinnell is a very safe campus in a very safe small town. Just don't run in front of the train...

    Greek Life

    None! We instead have project houses, which allow students with a common interest to apply to share a living space. This year, we have EcoHouse, Food House, and Tennis House. We also have language houses available.

    Clubs and Activities

    Something for everyone! Students are in an average of 3 organizations. I personally am involved in Grinnell Theater and the student-run productions are excellent! Dynamic, and fun to be a part of.

    Great for these types of students

    -Socially committed -Intellectual -Diverse range of interests -Community-oriented -Alternative -Diverse

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Campus-wide parties are typical of Grinnell. 10/10 and Alice are the two major events. An unusual location on campus is the south campus loggia (basically the roof), where students often hang out when there is good weather. Sometimes we even have concerts up there.

    Bang for the buck

    Grinnell's financial aid is some of the best in the USA! I know a handful of students who decided to attend solely on their package.

    What to do for fun

    You'd think Iowa would be boring... WRONG! I did too, but there's just so much to do at Grinnell! -Hang with your diverse peers! -Concerts -Guest speakers / performers -Harris Parties -Movies on campus -Student-run Org Events -Join a student-run organization! -Iowa City Trips -Grinnell Outdoor Recreation Program -D3 Sports I'm sure I'm missing some stuff...

    Food and Dining

    I'm harsh on the food because I'm from the West Coast. People from the Midwest tend to love Grinnell Dining. There are some quality options, but I find it to be just OK for the most part. Definitely not crappy though!

    Dorm Life

    The three campuses bring an interesting dynamic to Grinnell. There is something for everyone. The college really does their best to ensure you are placed in the dorm where you belong, and it shows. The dorm communities are very strong! South Campus: Oldest facilities. Very strong sense of community. The majority of concerts and events take place on South. Hipster stereotype. East Campus: Brand new facilities. Tends to be much quieter / relaxed. Many of the strongly academic students like to live here. North Campus: The rowdy section of campus. All the athletes tend to live here. Facilities were built in the 60's/70's. Many first years are placed in north campus dorms. Also, we are a self-governed community, which facilitates the development of the individual, but, in turn, allows for a lot of extracurricular fun. SELF-GOV IS LOVE!

    Academic Rigor

    Courses at Grinnell are very challenging, but the professors are extremely supportive and resources to help you out abound.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get in touch with admissions and make your name known! Come visit and see this amazing little school on the prairie for yourself.

    In three sentences

    Grinnell is a world class small liberal arts college; a hidden gem. Here at Grinnell, we value our fellow student, and seek to gain the knowledge to make a change for the better in the world. The professors and resources we have access to make this development into entrepreneurs of social change possible.

  • 07/18/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 5 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    very safe town and campus

    Greek Life

    none

    Great for these types of students

    People who are very serious about their education and also those wanting to study abroad.

    Food and Dining

    Looks good! lots of options!

    Dorm Life

    the longer you are at Grinnell, the more choice you get in where you live

    Academic Rigor

    They like to challenge their students here!

    In three sentences

    A beautiful campus! The people are very welcoming and willing to help! Also have an awesome sports facility.

  • 01/04/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    6 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Free thinkers.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit!

    Bang for the buck

    Luckily I came out without a huge debt load.

    Did enjoy being here

    Absolutely. The people are wonderful!

    Did learn a lot

    I doubt I will ever have a more dynamic and varied educational experience

  • 03/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    7 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    It's rural Iowa.

    Greek Life

    Non-existent, but most sport teams have houses and they kind of act as our form of Greek Life.

    Clubs and Activities

    SO many clubs; it's actually overwhelming.

    Great for these types of students

    Anyone. But seriously.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Mary B. James - the annual cross-dressing party. It's hilarious to see muscular guys squeezing into tight dresses and girls with mascara mustaches.

    Bang for the buck

    Grinnell offers a ridiculous amount of financial aid and it's a ridiculously good school, so it's worth the investment.

    What to do for fun

    Hang out on Mac Field, party, spend time with great friends. Drinking is definitely prevalent on campus, but it's no big deal if you don't drink.

    Food and Dining

    4 week cycle, but definitely better than other colleges. No outside food vendors on campus, but take a 5 minute walk into town and you have 12-15 more options.

    Dorm Life

    Some of the dorms are old, some are new, but the community established within the dorms is just fabulous. The friends you make on your floor can make up for being placed in the worst dorm on campus.

    Academic Rigor

    You'll be challenged in class and pushed to become a better writer, but the classes (hopefully) won't make you want to give up on life or anything drastic.

    Tips for prospective students

    Definitely visit the campus before you commit. Rural Iowa isn't for everyone and Grinnell is a small town, but it just might surprise you.

    In three sentences

    Grinnell College is a place that will challenge everything you think, especially in a social and political respect. It definitely has a very strong liberal attitude, but in any case, listening to people who may not have the same views as you shapes you as a person in a way that leaves an impact. Grinnell College: No Limits.

  • 04/02/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    8 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Assuming one isn't too trusting, locks their door, and chains their bike, they'll likely never get stolen from. In the case that they do, Campus Security (and sometimes even the Grinnell police) help out. They have a fairly good track record for relocating stolen items.

    Clubs and Activities

    Grinnell doesn't offer DI athletics (they're DIII), but nevertheless, if you're good at a sport in high school, you'll likely carry over as a star on the team in college. There's a great number of clubs to choose from as well; you're sure to find at LEAST one you enjoy.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Grinnell has an annual drag show, which is always a colorful event. Parties take place on a bi-weekly basis at the Harris Center. And, perhaps best of all, the Spencer Grill is a delicious and relaxing place to chill out with friends (or even study).

    Bang for the buck

    Educationally, it doesn't get much better than Grinnell. It will prepare you for anything.

    What to do for fun

    Try out the local Dairy Barn, or even its franchise-y counterpart Dairy Queen, to cool off on hot days. Take walks, go out to eat downtown, or watch movies in any one of the many lounges across campus.

    Food and Dining

    Meh. Some people like it, others don't. Just depends on how picky you are.

    Dorm Life

    Many of the dorms are smaller, but this allows for more tight-knit floor communities. The rooms are also smaller but singles, doubles, triples, and even apartment-like accomodations allow room for different living arrangement preferences.

    Academic Rigor

    Grinnell is oft considered the Harvard of the Midwest, and indeed, it is. One will undoubtedly get their money's worth for the education they receive.

    Tips for prospective students

    1.) Don't attempt to cross the train tracks, even if it'll make you late to class. 2.) Be prepared to buckle down and study hard. 3.) Keep an open open mind, always.

    In three sentences

    Grinnell is a great college, renound for its academics and diversity. While small, there are many opportunities to get involved both on- and off-campus. It's such a charming place. And while it may not be perfect, the Grinnell College experience is unparalleled in quality and diversity.

  • 05/28/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    9 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Felt pretty safe. Even when people are intoxicated the people are nice.

    Clubs and Activities

    Almost gone in terms of non-alcoholic activities.

    Great for these types of students

    Ones who care about volunteering, community, a liberal arts education while having some fun on the side.

    Bang for the buck

    Great Financial Aid. They even give merit aid to internationals.

    What to do for fun

    The town offers little to do for fun. If you're not a fan of getting shit-faced, there's not much to do.

    Food and Dining

    Excellent, just excellent.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life seemed awesome in the East Campus. You can always walk a little bit to go to another dorm for the parties anyway.

    Academic Rigor

    I've only saw three classes at Grinnell College : CS, Physics, and Calc. The Physics test itself was pretty easy along with the Computer Science quiz. Calculus lecture was pretty easy to follow along too (I'm told Grinnell Math Professors are excellent across the board)

    Tips for prospective students

    Do well on your SATs(Writing doesn't matter) Have meaningful volunteer activities on your application and make your essay pretty reflective. A nice GPA doesn't hurt either.

    In three sentences

    Grinnell is isolated from the community. It makes for conducive conditions to not only study but also get to know your classmates, perhaps a little too well. The average Grinnell student will also be very friendly and inviting

  • 06/20/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    10 of 13

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are always events on campus from parties to T-shirt making, from bowling trips to ice cream study breaks. There is something for everyone. So if you're not a party person you will never feel like that is the only thing to do to have fun.

    Food and Dining

    The food is really good!

    Dorm Life

    The dorms here really feel like little communities and there is a community for everyone.

    Academic Rigor

    It is very rigorous here, but at the same time you learn so much and you are challenged.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come in with an open mind and be ready to be challenged in various areas.

    In three sentences

    Grinnell is a tight knit community. There is never a dull moment here, so be prepared see and try new things. There is not a better place to learn the most you can, but also have fun.

  • 03/08/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    11 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    safe!

    Greek Life

    none

    Clubs and Activities

    Tennis is wonderful

    Great for these types of students

    quirky, nerdy, intelligent, weird, fun loving, kind, social

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Harris dance parties, 2am finals pancakes (hell week)

    What to do for fun

    Harris dance parties, movie nights, shenanigans

    Food and Dining

    Could be a whole lot better.

    Dorm Life

    Depends on which dorm you are living in and what you look for in a living space.

    Academic Rigor

    the workload is intense!!!! but classes are amazing and super fun.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit first to see how you like the feel of the campus!

    In three sentences

    Grinnell is a small town college located in Grinnell, Iowa. The students here are all extremely quirky and weird, but wonderfully kind and intelligent. It is easy to make friends here.

  • 04/09/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    12 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is safe.

    Greek Life

    No greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are plenty of things to do.

    Great for these types of students

    Great for the student that enjoys a challenge.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    No unusual traditions.

    Bang for the buck

    It is very expensive. They do offer alternatives for borrowing.

    What to do for fun

    There are campus parties at the Harris Center. There are sporting events. There is more than one theatre on campus.

    Food and Dining

    Food is good.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms are nice.

    Academic Rigor

    It is very difficult.

    Tips for prospective students

    Try to make a point to get home for the weekend once in a while. It can be a little small.

    In three sentences

    Grinnell College is very rigorous. It is very liberal. It is a beautiful campus.

  • 03/01/2014

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    13 of 13

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are a lot of parties. The campus does a nice job with a variety of activities though.

    Food and Dining

    The food is alright. Not the best I've ever had, but much better than a lot of places.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms aren't anything special. They are bigger than most places depending on where you live.

    Academic Rigor

    It's not an easy college by any means. I took classes at it while in high school. Although not the most difficult, work is required.

    In three sentences

    A very progressive college. Open and accepting to various types of people. A vibrant college when it comes to eccentricity.