Grinnell College Top Questions

Describe the students at Grinnell College.


The student body is very diverse, with about 14{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} being international students. Students come from all 50 states and many countries (not sure the exact number). We have been named the #1 Hipster school in America, and for good reason. There are plenty of hipsters here and that's the predominant fashion trend. Economically, there is a wide spectrum. Grinnell gives great financial aid so even very poor students can come here. I'd say most students are politically aware and a slightly smaller portion are politically active. Almost all are liberal. I'd say the overarching character trait in students here is free-thinking.


I work with a few people incredibly motivated to go particular places, a lot of people working hard, and a few who could care less. The majority is certainly pulling their weight and then some, working part-time and keeping a full load of classes, and most participate in extracurriculars. People make close friends and follow each other in classes because it's such a small campus, but there's hardly any exclusion. There's a large population of international students in particular, most of which you can't tell are international because everyone is different (ethnically and otherwise) already.


Grinnellians are smart, driven, quirky geeks with strong opinions on social justice and equality.


I'm pretty dissatisfied. People bond via liberal ideology, drinking, and drugs. IF your gay, transexual, a minority, a sociology major, or political....your cool. If you do not at least openly express those ideals....your gonna have to figure something else out. Making friends will be hard. People are on the whole pretty weird and hard to connect with (I'm from New York). Very immature.


The administration has placed a premium on maximizing racial, ethnic and geographic diversity on campus which is quite a feat for a school in rural Iowa. Students generally mix well among one another, with genuine friendships crossing many traditional boundaries though the biggest division you'd probably find is between the more "artsy" students and "classic Midwestern stock." From personal experience, I can say that being gay on campus (or "queer" being the ubiquitous term) can be challenging if you're not part of the far-left, norm-pushing crowd. Off campus the politics are generally what you'd expect to find in a small town and it can be hard to find a comfortable niche.


friendly , interesting,socially concerned


all kinds, in terms of race, nationality, political background, cultural background, with a definite emphasis on more liberal ideas, who like to play hard, and work hard, with two groups dominant: the nerds and the crazies.


Grinnell is populated mainly by socially aware, overachieving hipsters whose goals are more of the world-saving variety than the job-getting one; you do occasionally encounter a conservative, but these are mostly former liberals who enjoy being the devil's advocate.


A bunch of people who might not have fit in while in high school--the weird kids--who are really unique and enjoyable to be around and make everyone feel welcome.


Seven Grinnell students talk about whether they have ever considered transfering from Grinnell.