Grinnell College Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?


Yeah, pretty much. Except I tend to think of diversity as kind of being a burning in the melting pot scenario. Conservative minorities have a pretty tough time with the social scene (or those who aren't over the top liberal). The unsocially awkward don't interact well with the others. Football players ironically are considered a pariah social group. Though it's diverse, people are mostly friends within their cultural and ideological assosiates.


Almost. The leftist voices generally yell the loudest and can push more moderate thinkers underground, but you'll find all sorts of people including evangelical Christians, Republicans, fashionistas, jocks and students who can't seem to functional without a beer in their hand.


Student Briel talks about the stereotypical Grinnell student, the lack of cliques on campus, and what trait any incoming student should have.


to some extent. Yeah, there is a culture of lack of sleep is cool, everyone here is definitely at least to some extent a high achiever or they wouldn't be here, some are more socially and environmentally active than others, they are awkward people, they are stressed out more than a "normal" school. They're not necessarily affluent, but many are. Some flaunt it, others not so much. There is a higher rate of depression here but that can be attributed to a lot of factors.


Some of the Grinnell stereotypes are correct, but this is not generally true across the board. Grinnell is an open and safe community that harbors individuals from all races, creeds and backgrounds. One goal of Grinnell College is to bring together individuals of such different backgrounds. This allows the students to learn from each other on a personal level, and not just an academic level.


All students at Grinnell are hard-working, have a lot of interests, and are passionate, but the stereotype that we’re all weed-smoking hippies is untrue. People here rarely fall into one stereotype. Even if someone looks like a “jock” and plays varsity football, you’ll often see him also playing Axis and Allies (a WWII strategy game) with Dagohir people (medieval, sword foam fighting group on campus… AKA nerdy) or as a jazz pianist at the beatnik underground café. A girl who seems preppy actually has a nerdy side, a love for Manga (Japanese anime) or knitting. In all my experience, as soon as I think I’ve figured someone out, they completely surprise me.


As crazy as these sound, all these stereotypes are completely true. So if you are really into religion or dressing nicely most of the time, you find find much support on this campus where people turn up to lunch in pajamas (and towels yes!) and are mostly agnostic or atheistic


Grinnell blasts the stereotype "nerd" out of the water. Most people at Grinnell are nerds, but in very different ways. There are DAG nerds, Star Wars nerds, Shakespeare nerds, Latin nerds, music nerds, etc. and combinations of all of the above. Grinnellians are smart, but normally not shy. We are hardworking, but we can party hard too. Grinnellians are also passionate about most everything; that includes academics as well as fun, and just about everything else you can think of. We are a quirky, outside-the-box bunch that are generally friendly, smart, and different.


The stereotypes are not entirely true. Grinnell students are kind of nerdy in that most really like to learn, and most Grinnell students are liberal. Some are more "hippie" and "nerdy" then others; but most Grinnell students are not the classic stereotype of the hippie who never bathes and wears tie-dye and the science book nerd. And while there are a lot of people who drink and there are drugs on campus, there are still a lot of people who don't do either of those things. The amount of drugs and drinking at Grinnell isn't different then any other college, it just seems like there's more because everyone is so open about it.


This is what I've seen with my own eyes, so I hope they're accurate.




The North and South dichotomy is exaggerated. The stereotype claiming that Grinnellians are nerds is based on the fact that we are all really intelligent and concerned with applicable knowledge, learning and change.


The majority of Grinnellians do, in fact, shower. I suppose we get the stereotype because we still accept the students who do not. Grinnellians are extremely friendly, and constantly looking for interesting conversations. We are pretty liberal-minded, but not entirely - Republicans exist there too.


I guess I really can't speak for everyone, but all the people I've met are extremely nice.


Many people are from the Midwest and can be slightly pretentious in regards to the school. Yet, most students are very down-to-earth, intellectual, and very interesting (in a good way). There are many people who are very eco-conscious, but I would not refer to the student body as being Hippies. There is more diversity than I originally expected, but still predominately white. Many Grinnell students clearly spent most of their time with their nose in their books in high school, as some can be very socially awkward.


No. Perhaps I'm biased, but I'd say the women are as attractive as any other group of college women in the country, but perhaps we wear less makeup/spend less time on our appearance. While most Grinnellians are liberal, there are definitely Republicans on campus, and the liberals aren't all the same degree of liberal. We also have many international students whose political views don't fit neatly into American conceptions of liberal and conservative.






Grinnell students do study more than students at nearly every other college because the coursework is exceptionally challenging and demanding. But, Grinnell students also know how to have a good time. Parties are frequent, and the students really make an effort to de-stress every weekend. Many Grinnell students are extremely liberal, and conservative students make up a small but vocal minority. The great thing about Grinnell is that it allows everyone to find their voice, and even if your voice doesn't sound like everyone else's, you will still be listened to. I wouldn't call the majority of Grinnell students "hippies." The liberal nature of the college creates a very welcoming atmosphere for lots of times of people. Everyone has their own style and way of life, and many of these different styles are represented/accepted at Grinnell.


no there are plenty of cute girls, classes aren't really that difficult, there are plenty of fun things to do in Grinnell in town and on campus, and there is such a wide variety among the students that you can definitely meet brainiacs as well as normal, average people who like to have fun and do things like students at any other college


Most Grinnell students are really nice, almost all, actually. They are also for the most part considerate too. Some Grinnell students are awkward, but most aren't.


Not quite. The hippies are gone. We don't have many activist. And although most people are very vocal in praising Democrats and you're given a weird look for being Republican, there really are quite a lot of Republicans here--they're just not nearly as vocal as their counterpart.


I would say that Grinnell is a very liberal campus and the students are indeed very open-minded. It is refreshing to know that no ideas will be overlooked or judged; and everyone is accepted as an individual instead of whether or not or how well they conform.




Truly, there are a lot of nerds here but there are many more fun people that don't play dungeons and dragons than those that do. It is a tough school so there is a lot of studying but we party just as hard as we study (if not harder sometimes). There is a large gay population; however, it is not overwhelming or weird in any way. All opinions are accepted as long as they are not hate-filled. There are a ton of liberal people here but, again, all opinions are welcomed.


Yes, though admittedly it's when you put the two together that they become a self sustaining problem...


While the academic side of Grinnell is impressive, people come here for more than that. The community here is wonderful; there is always something fun to do. And besides, we party just as much as we study.




The student body is too diverse for them to be completely true, but there are definitely a lot of people who satisfy them.


absolutely, especially about iowa being beautiful


Most of them... for most people.


To an extent, there are certainly socially conscious and awkward nerds hooking up at Harris wearing cosumes with no shoes on... but for the most part I like to think of Grinnell and the students as laid back and accepting of pretty much whatever there is to accept




Well not everyone is gay nor does everyone have alot of money but we are very smart, thats why were here!


The first stereotype is inaccurate. We are pretty liberal, but overall the student body is pretty normal. The second is accurate, most of the students are extremely intelligent and Grinnell College does require you to work very hard.


Students are pretty laid back, but are very socially awkward


In some cases yes. But in reality, Grinnell students come in all shapes and sizes. That is the great thing about Grinnell- everyone is so different but at the same time, very open to everyone else's differences.


For the most part you can find all of them someplace on campus, but as a whole I don't think that everyone is this way.


Like any stereotype, these are only partially accurate. Yes, Grinnell is a politically-involved and socially conscious institution, but this is mostly because the students are genuinely concerned with issues like environmental protection and the war on terror. As for the students, there is a very high level of diversity, but there are a lot of people who fit the stereotypes.




Sometimes. Usually pretty smart and environmentally conscious.


To a large extent


Of course they are entirely accurate.


Absolutely not! While there are some students who are smart, rich, liberal and smoke pot, the majority of the students are not. The campus does seem like it's in the middle of nowhere, but there are great cities (Iowa City to the east and Des Moines to the west) that are only an hour away. Also, being in a small town gives students everyday opportunities to interact with the community.


Eh, sometimes. Depends who you are around. There is more of a variety than that though.


about 60% of the time.


Grinnell is very academic and over-all liberal. I find that there are differences between the students, but they are no where near as distinct or easy to categorize in such terms as "athletes and hippies." Grinnell is full of well-rounded students who balance academics and socializing well. I would agree with the "work hard, party hard," though I think students here are pretty responsible in terms of partying.




All types live on all parts of campus, and even as a "jock," I've got lots of friends who don't play sports. Connections are made through mutual interests like potential majors or student organizations or campus jobs or completely drunkenly, accidentally, or randomly. There is a lot of partying here, sober and not so sober, and for some people the drinking doesn't ever stop. However, there are actually a number of students on campus who are sub-free, even outside the sub-free dorms. Basically, alcohol is available if you want it, but it will never be forced on you.


Sure I agree with that, hell I say "I play football" and not I'm a football player. However, keep in mind that at Grinnell their are no athletic scholarships, so every varsity athlete here was admitted exactly the same way as every other student. We are all placed on the same scale and weighed the same. Most if not all the football players took AP courses in high school, and get this, passed the exams too. So please, while I'm sure you will encounter a handful of douchebags, not everyone on the football team is a jerk. With the exception of maybe five guys, everyone else is cool to hang out with; I just ask that you don't shy away from meeting athletes because of that one asshole you met that not even the football team likes.