Grinnell College Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?


I absolutely love this place. Classes are small and often discussion-based, so you get to develop pretty close relationships with professors. This can be annoying when you're tempted to skip your morning class, but you know the professor will email you to ask where you were...but it's also very helpful when you're trying to find a prof to do summer research with, or write a recommendation letter, or just ask about some difficult concepts outside of class. Some pros: small classes, friendly, intelligent classmates and professors, interesting and rigorous academics, huge endowment (you can get funding for everything from clubs and events to stipends on unpaid internships, and the financial aid and scholarships are FANTASTIC). Some cons: small student body (you will know nearly everyone in your year by the time you're a senior), small town (there's movies, bowling, some restaurants--and that's just about it. I'm from Phoenix and I like Grinnell's town just fine, but some people from big cities get bored.)


Grinnell is an amazing place. Not all students fit in here, though: as a Christian I often feel like I should be ashamed of my religion. If you aren't very liberal and non-religious, it will be harder for you to make friends, but not impossible. I love the size of my school, about 1600, but for some it may be painfully small. You will start recognizing a lot of people within a few months. The school is very committed to learning for learning's sake, which means that we don't have course requirements. There are, however, division requirements: all students must take 3 courses each of social studies, sciences, and humanities. It's not difficult to fill those requirements, though, and it's just meant to give all students the broadest education possible. Overall, I really do think Grinnell is a great school, and there are very few complaints against it from any of the students.


Best thing is the academic environment. Everyone likes academics and its a big part. Something I and most intellectual people like. However, the process of being a student at the college is terrible for reasons I will outline.


Grinnell is a great place to be if you're the kind of person who enjoys bucking the mainstream; maybe you're really smart but you don't like the pretense of the Ivies, or you want a place where you can show up to class barefoot wearing pajamas and not have anyone bat an eye. Grinnellians take pride in shocking outsiders with their quirkiness, and the faculty and administration really work hard to facilitate an environment where a student can be him- or herself.


Grinnell is a place where students can really take the initiative to participate in larger global issues and do undergrad research. The administration what I dislike the most. Students here feel a bit of a disconnect between the goals of the admin and the goals of the student body. I think it's just right for me. Some say it's too small, but I disagree. People either have never heard of the place or say "oooh, Grinnell! That's a very well respected school where all the students are really smart" or something to that extent.


Grinnell is a small school in a small town. you have to really charge yourself though to interact and understand the community of the town. Grinnell College is not made by the town it is in, but I think interactions with the town is key to surviving. All the events on campus including sports games, theatre performances, and gallery showings are free to the campus and community, therefore it is easy to get swallowed by activities on campus. I think it is very important to also interact and venture into the local community's parks, coffee shop, and restaurants. It makes a big difference when you can remember Grinnell is bigger than the campus and McNally's (where you buy your groceries). It's even nice to be surprised when Hyvee gives you a 5% discount on food for being a College student.


The best thing about Grinnell is that the school takes what other schools offer, and multiplies it or gives it a special twist that makes it more exciting. Even though the school is small, I meet new people all the time. It’s definitely hard going to a school with little name recognition in the populous (I find graduate schools and top businesses have actually heard of Grinnell) but the name recognition is something I give up because this experience is really for me, for no one but me, and I know how great it is here, so that’s what counts. Grinnell is also known for its “self-governance” policies, nicknamed “self-gov” which basically insinuates that because students are adults, they should act responsibly and kindly toward others. If you see someone struggling, help them, because next time they will help you. It really works to build campus community. People say that the school is getting stricter, which is causing controversy, but it still remains incredibly lenient, especially compared to other institutions. Grinnellians have a lot of school pride, but it does not manifest itself in homecoming parades or school rallies, it’s more a love for each other and a voracious appetite for learning.


Grinnell is a relatively small school. Ok, maybe no relatively about it. In my first year, I felt like I knew most everyone. Familiar faces become very familiar. But I like it that way. I don't have to get lost in a sea of faces or try to remember billions of names. The campus is beautiful, and impossible to get lost in once you've been there more than three days. The town is quite small, but it has a Wal-mart and small food stores, some awesome consignment shops, and pretty much everything within walking distance, which is great if you're not lucky enough to have a car or know someone with one. Decent restaurants are in Grinnell the town as well.


The biggest problem that I have with Grinnell is the location; being in the middle of Iowa isn't the ideal location for most people but Grinnell is expanding and the school provides opportunities to go to Des Moines and Iowa City for free every weekend. Also, most people not from the Midwest haven't heard of Grinnell because it is so small, but graduate schools and employers all seem to know about Grinnell. I've heard that Law Schools really like Grinnell students because Grinnell students know how to have class discussions and write better then even students who attended "more prestigious" schools.


One of the greatest Grinnell experiences ever was the impromptu dance party outside of my dorm. One spring Friday night, a few weeks before the end of semester, Honor G decided to play a concert on the roof of the south campus loggia. The loggias are roofed (and in the case of south campus, enclosed) walkways that connect the dorms. The roofs are accessed by climbing out of second story windows and have been popular party spots for years. Honor G is a student formed band that dabbles mainly in rap/electronic. Due to inclement weather, the concert was held inside the loggia with amps and speakers hanging from the windows of the first floor lounge of my dorm. Grinnell's progressive drug and alcohol policies allowed us to bring our refreshments of choice to the concert as well. The stage was set and Grinnell was ready. Quite a crowd had gathered by about nine-thirty and it only continued to grow bigger. The occaisional cigarette was lit and several groups weaved through the crowd attempting to pass, only to fail and join the mass of people in the loggia. Eventually bodies started spilling outside though the doors and windows, and of course, it was still raining. In order to make the best of bad weather, we clambered atop the picnic tables and began dancing. By "we" I mean about twenty people. Even the most shy removed their shirts and joined the wet and wild insanity. What could be better than a wild dance party fueled by dance techno punctuated by live performances? Mud wrestling. I'm not sure how it started, but two people threw down and got dirty. After they finished, another pair kept the action alive. After a bit, turns were ignored. Bodies and mud mixed together while bystanders continued to dance in the falling rain. At this point, the majority of concert-goers had had a decently mud splattered, whether by choice or not. Someone had the bright idea to use my dorm's showers for a quick rinse. Not until the party wound down and the crowd dispersed did we truly see the disaster at hand. Every imaginable surface of my dorm was brown. Walls, floors, stairwells, bathrooms, and showers all wore their mud like a badge of honor, as if they themselves had been outside. Our dorm picnic happened the next day. A nice 11:30 o'clock wake-up call followed by grilled burgers and hotdogs (there are several grills outside the dorms) helped everyone recover their senses and memories of the night before. As a dorm community, we decided to collectively participate in the cleaning process, and even roped in a few people from neighboring dorms who had attended. It was as if Barney had appeared to a bunch of hung-over dance-crazed four year olds and had begun singing clean up, everybody, everywhere. Working together, we had the work done within two hours. An old saying at many colleges that truly applies to Grinnell goes: We work hard, We party hard. I love Grinnell.


The campus community is small, compared to other campuses, but I find the size perfect. The college and community get along really well. Along with the smallish size of the college-- you get to know your professors pretty well, which is awesome! Its nice being able to e-mail your professor at 2 in the morning and get a response within 10 min! One of the best things about Grinnell is the community. Everyone on campus is friendly! I was shocked when I arrived as a freshman by how nice people were and as a result I was never homesick the first year. Another awesome thing about Grinnell is have no required classes!! This allows students to take courses in lots of different areas.


It is a small school, located in the middle of Iowa. This may sound like an immediate turn-off, but this characteristic gives the college benefits. The community feeling is very strong. There is very little competition between students, rather, students feel the need to challenge themselves. Everyone is an individual here, everyone respects that about others. We are all interested in learning but also in having fun. The school offers lots of outlets for the students, all of the events are free. The big endowment gives us great facilities and good music. Students learn to make their own fun. We are all very creative. Grinnellians care about social problems and about impacting the world. The winters are terrible, but we get through it, we're stronger for that reason.


I chose Grinnell, not for its high academic rigor, but rather for its opportunities over the summers and post-graduation. I love that Grinnell is so interested in taking care of their students and student life outside of the "campus". Usually, when I tell people I go to Grinnell, they either react with confusion ("oh, you go to Cornell?") or they seem impressed, and comment "that's a really good school". Best thing is, it is important to the students that Grinnell IS a good school, but we would rather not be "name brand". We are more interested in subtle quality, not high-brow reputations.


The school is on the small side, but this allows more attention to be paid to each individual student. The large endowment is one of the best things about Grinnell because it enables the school to fund all sorts of events, groups, clubs etc. and improve the average Grinnell student's standards of living and happiness. The town of Grinnell is nothing special- incredibly small. However, the campus offers so much that I rarely leave it. The school is not as well known as I would hope. However, those who are familiar with good colleges in general know the name Grinnell. My favorite part about Grinnell is the student body. Never have I met so many enthralling, multi-talented, ambitious people in one place.


For me, Grinnell is the perfect size, though some think it's too small. We have school pride, but not in traditional formats. Sporting events aren't a major part of student life, and we don't really have a homecoming, but we find ways to express our love of Grinnell. I think the best part of Grinnell is its community -- professors, students, alums, and staff combine to make a truly unique, wonderful, close, and welcoming social environment both on and off campus. Students complain about the administration's lack of organization and the near-constant construction.


A lot of people don't know about Grinnell. I think its a good school, but a lot of people who don't know it assume its a community college.


Grinnell is small, but that doesn't limit it. Whenever people hear I go to Grinnell, they either haven't heard of it (the "small" part), or they say "that's a great school!" with real enthusiasm. And you'll meet Grinnell students or alums everywhere; everyone goes on to do so many wonderful things afterwards that you never now where you'll run into one--but you can be assured they'll be happy to meet you! The town itself has a cute downtown and some good restaurants, but the main center of activity is the campus, where there is ALWAYS something going on; Grinnell has very strong theatre and music departments who give frequent performances, an overload of student groups, big parties several times a semester and smaller ones every weekend, and a few times each year, a really big group will come to campus to perform--Spoon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo are recent guests. And whatever goes on is always free to students! Now if that's not an amazing chance I don't know what is; the only question is which activity you'll go to, not if there's anything good happening at all. The administration is overall willing to work with students; each semester there is a period of student initiatives, most of which will be acted on by the Student Government, which is quite active and works directly with the administration. The latter seems mostly concerned with building projects right now, which has given the campus a new science building and a student center most recently, wherein, despite typical student gripes, the food is mostly quite good--custom-order stir-fry, anyone? The sports teams don't tend to draw too much attention, but I hear we aren't too terrible; Grinnellians just express their school pride in different areas. Finally, I would like to draw attention to the beautiful campus--we have huge, amazing trees, and when everything's in bloom... makes you almost forget the Iowa winter! But really, it is the nicest college campus I've come across personally.


Grinnell is all I thought it would be and more. My favorite part about Grinnell is the community. Everyone is truly there for each other, and the administration works diligently alongside the students to create an environment which promotes connections between students, faculty, staff, and the surronding community. I love the size of Grinnell. It's big enough to provide a big pool of opportunities, potential friendships, and activities, while at the same time being small enough to promote close professor-student relationships. When I tell people I attend Grinnell, I get one of two reactions: either "Wow! That's a really good, impressive school!" or "Grinnell? Where's that?" So people who have heard of it know that Grinnell is a highly-regarded institution, but because it's in the middle of Iowa, lots of people don't know about it. I spend most of my time on campus in the student center or the library. The town of Grinnell is a wonderful community. Although it doesn't revolve around the college, community members are definitely there for the college students, and the downtown has a lot of fun things to do on weekends. Grinnell's administration works diligently to treat its students like the adults that we are, and for that I couldn't be more grateful. Grinnell's unique system of self-governance means that administrators don't discipline students but instead trust them to be responsible for their own actions. For this reason, there is a lot less tension between administrators and students than there is at other colleges. School pride runs high at Grinnell, but not in the typical/sterotypical way. We love our athletics, but they don't define our school pride. Instead, our pride is more about being a part of a unique intellectual community that's dedicated to social change. Grinnellians are quick to unite around common causes, and once you're a Grinnellian, you'll always be a part of our close-knit community. Many Grinnellians talk about moving to a big city like Chicago or New York years after graduation, and the first thing they do is look up Grinnellians becuase no matter what year you graduated, there's a special, indescrible link between all Grinnell alums--and we're always there for eachother.


I like the size of the college, but sometimes I feel stuck in such a small town. Coming from DC I am use to being able to do alot more. I think it is a good experience, but I would not want to live there forever. haha.


The best thing about grinnell is that you have only one required class for all four years of college. It is called the Freshman Tutorial where you and other freshman basically are introduced to the kind of teaching that you will experience in the future as well as learning simple things such as, how to write different types of papers, give in-class presentations, and other general things like that. While this tutorial seems boring and generic it is enhanced by the fact that each fall several different topics are offered for the tutorial, giving the freshman the ability to choose what topic interests them the most. After you complete the freshman tutorial you are never required to take any one course (except of course the classes required to complete a major). So if you hate english or math you are completely able to avoid them your entire time at Grinnell. Another awesome thing about Grinnell is its study abroad programs. It has two really cool programs that it runs itself, Grinnell-in-London and Grinnell-in-Washington D.C.. In addition to those grinnell is in cooperation with tons of other study abroad programs that lets students travel all over the world and study or do research in any area that the student wants. Grinnell is also the perfect size. There are 1200 or so students so it is big enough to meet a wide variety of people but also small enough that you can get to know a large variety of people from all over the country and world. Grinnell students are generally not from Iowa, so it is really cool to be able to meet people from Chicago, LA, New York and all kinds of other parts of the U.S. The city is a small, quaint, college town but it is not oriented around the college. It is truly rural Iowa but still has plenty to offer.


Grinnell is a challenging school that, in many ways, let's you prioritize your education and what is important to you. It gives you a lot of freedom and responsibility, and expects you behave maturely and thoughtfully. This sounds serious, but these expectations are accompanied by a caring, supportive, funky, and relaxed environment.


What really sets Grinnell apart to me is the sense of community. The first thing that comes to mind is the professors, and their relationship to students. All my profs and me are on first name basis, and they are great mentor and friends. I have friends here who are so close to their professors, they would even count the profs as their family. The college being so small also have impact on student-student social dynamic. You will end up knowing half the people here, and it is great that you will see friendly faces everywhere. However, you also can never avoid your ex. The town is also great--people are very friendly, and it's very safe. A bit on the boring side some time, but normally not too bad.


Grinnell is a fabulously small, close-knit community where it seems like everyone knows everyone else's business, sort of like the small town of Grinnell. At times it seems too small, but it is really nice (for me at least) to be able to walk across campus at any time of day and see people I know. When I tell people I go to Grinnell, the first reaction is usually "Oh, Cornell? That's a great school..." "No, GRIN-NELL, in Iowa." If they've heard of it, they usually comment on how good a school it is. If they haven't heard of it, which is usually the case, they sometimes lose interest very quickly. But I figure if they haven't heard of it, it's their loss since the school is really phenomenal. I spend a great deal of my time on campus in the Grille (or somewhere in the Science Building), studying or reading or hanging out with friends while studying. There are plenty of different places to hang out though, each with it's own pre-established mood. The town of Grinnell is small (around 9,000) but there is a nice assortment of restaurants (from the typical chains to The Depot, The Phoenix, etc.) and homey little shops. There are also plenty of opportunities to go to "the city" -- Des Moines or Iowa City. I think that there is a great amount of school pride. Grinnellians (as we call ourselves) are truly one of a kind and I think that just by attending school there, we have one major thing in common. I know of many people (myself included) who were really unsure as to whether or not Grinnell was the right place after the first semester or year of school. But then I spent a few weeks in the summer doing research with a prof (yes, as a FIRST year I did research!) and I fell in love with the town during the summer. It truly is small town Iowa, farmers and families and friends, big concerts in the park, everyone knows everyone. My second year, I really began to love the school and now I absolutely cannot think of myself in any other college.


I like the size of the school. The school isn't very interested in sports.


The best thing about Grinnell is the amount of resources. If you ever need help with anything there is always someone to go to whether it be math, science, reading, writing, or family problems. If I could change one thing about Grinnell, it would be the housing. You are not allowed to live off campus until your Jr. year and even then you are required to get permission. Also, the meal plans are expensive and even though I could never eat as many meals as I have to pay for, I still have to pay for them. I would say the size of the school is just about right. The campus is large so it feels like a bigger college but the classes are still small so the professors know who you are. Usually when I tell people I go to Grinnell, they have not heard of it and think I am talking about Cornell, but once they look Grinnell up they realize that it is a good school and are very impressed. When I am on campus I spend most of my time in dorm rooms with my friends. There are plenty of other places to hang out though like the Grille, alcoves in the JRC, and other random places available. Grinnell's upper level administration is great though some of the middle ranked admins are full of themselves. Overall the admistration does their best to listen to and cater to the student body. Recently on campus, we had a series of hate crimes and, while they were committed by only one or two students, they affected the whole campus. The admistration did a great job of respinding to these incidents, responding to the students, and keeping us informed on the invesigation. I will never forget the rallies we held in support of those targeted by the hate crimes. There is not necessarily a lot of school pride in sports but definitely school pride in each and every student and supporting every student in everything they do. The only major problem with Grinnell is its distance from the bigger cities. We are abou 50 min away from Des Moines and Iowa City. With Gas and Tuition prices, it sucks.


Grinnell is a small school, only about 1,500 students at any one time (though 30% of the junior class is studying abroad any one semester - compare that to the 1% national average.) Grinnell's size is what makes it a really wonderful school. Students at Grinnell interact and operate under a policy of self governance. Simplified, this means that students resolve student issues, we communicate with each other and to facilitate this, the college has instituted both a number of safe-guards and non-mandatory reporters. Self governance allows the student body to interact without looking over their shoulders. There is a lot of responsibility that rests with the students in order to make sure self-governance functions. Students look out for one another and take care of each other.


The best thing here at Grinnell is the community. We're small enough that we're really close knit as a campus, but big enough so that you don't know everyone. As for the town, well, the downtown is very small, but cute, and we do have a WalMart for any random shopping. If you really feel the need for a big city, Iowa City and Des Moines are only an hour or so away. When I tell people that I go to Grinnell, I usually get one of two responses. Either they mistake the name for Cornell, or they rave on and on about how fabulous it is. While the first response is irritating, the second is dead-on. Grinnell is fabulous.


self governence. we do what we want. whenever we want. whereever we want.


Size: depending on how outgoing you are, you can know a big percentage of the student body. That can be good, in that you'll always see a friendly face at whatever meal or event you want to go to. It can also be bad, because it's hard to be anonymous. But overall it can be fun, because the school is full of characters. For example, everyone will know who you're talking about if you say "Bun Girl" or "Shoeless Hugh," and they might even know them personally. Campus: it is small enough that you can walk from one end to the other in less than ten minutes (though in the coldest of the cold days that seems like a long way). They've done a lot of construction recently so there are lots of nice new buildings and a gym. The science library is especially snazzy and the dining hall is curvy and colorful. There are lots of interesting places to study, whether you like quiet or noisy social, big or small, internet access or no distractions. The three main sections of dorms each have a different feel to them (North is more Ivy League, East is newer and sort of impersonal, and South is more hippie-ish). There are several cool places for campus events like concerts and speeches and the like. I think most people spend almost all their time on-campus, town is pretty boring. Grinnellians take a lot of pride in being Grinnellians. I'm not sure what it is exactly. I guess being surrounded by smart, quirky people, somewhat isolated from the rest of the world, makes us think "hmm... there must be something special about people who choose to go here." I probably shouldn't speak for others, but that is sort of the sense I get. Besides, inside jokes are fun, and Grinnell has a LOT of them.


It's not Cornell.


I love Grinnell! It is such a strange phenomenon. Everyone here is really talented. Everyone here is smart, and it is so different from my high school... the student population is so diverse considering that we're in the middle of Iowa. Something I will never forget is when I came to Grinnell for the first time, and I saw a student riding a campus bike to class without shoes, and dreadlocks down to his butt... I was hooked! Not everyone is that extreme, but the opportunity to be extreme is there... and acceptance is everywhere!


Small town, not much to do outside of campus, campus is really tight, friendly with most everybody, there's always construction- without that, campus is beautiful for a week in fall and a week in spring, but for the most part the weather is crazy


Grinnell is perfect if you want to do anything other than theatre or dance (professionally).


For me the best thing about Grinnell would have to be all the accomadating factors, i.e. smaller classroom size and approachable people to help me with my studies. Because a main reason I am here is because of my studies i like to know that i can get help when having problems. The location is decent and although the winters are not that friendly, to me smaller is better as far as relations with those around you. When I talk to people about where I go to school they are a little suprised because I come from a place a bit larger and where few people would probably consider going anywhere but the community college back home. Its a big step and risk but I took it, and here I am :).


I think one phrase that accurately sums up Grinnell is "we work hard and play hard." The academics are very challenging, which forces students to study a lot during the week, but when the weekend rolls around, there are many parties and on campus activities. You will have to participate in activities and parties over the weekend. The college town is small, with not much to do, but the administration provides us with lots to do on campus. I can never find a time when I'm bored. The college also provides weekend shuttles to Des Moines and Iowa City, allowing students to enjoying a larger city for the day.


I am a football player, so naturally I would like a larger school so we could have more in attendance. As a football player, I am always looked to first if something has been broken or something wrong has been done. I would change the school's perception of a "jock." For the most part I like the self-governance, but I do not like the no tolerance of violence on this campus. It causes kids to be able to say what ever they would like publicly, humiliating who ever they choose without fear of consequence. I spend most my time on the fotball field, weight room, and in the class room.


Grinnell is incredible. My favorite aspect about Grinnell is the welcoming atmosphere. I truly believe that anyone could feel at home here because everyone is so kind and open.


Grinnell is a place of personal interaction. The small class sizes allow you to have a lot of discussion and one on one time with the students and the teachers. If you take the initiative professors will help you to do well in classes. I spend most of my time at the athletic centers since I play baseball, and they are very nice to have. I wouldn't say that there is a ton of support for the baseball team since the school is more academic oriented. To wrap it up in one phrase, "at Grinnell there is no limit".


It requires a particular type of person to have Grinnell be a "perfect fit". This person can't be looking for a large school with an active town and spend most of their time socializing and partying. They can't be bothered that almost no one has even heard of their school of choice and will nearly always ask where it is. They have to be generally accepting of people for who they are, no matter what that may be. And, very importantly, they can't be bothered by being in the tumultuous Iowan climate. Grinnell is a small school in a small town, but the adminstration and students do their best to bring the outside world to Grinnell. A large portion of campus will know who you are, so anonymity is very, very difficult to maintain. The student body is generally very accepting and friendly, but there are only about 1300 of us.


The best thing about Grinnell is self governance.


Grinnell is an incredible place to learn, grow, create strong friendships and unforgetable memories. Grinnell fosters a supportive community while at the same time retaining an appreciation for individuality.


Grinnell is very isolated from the rest of the world, this means we have very few distractions beyond academics and the social life. Our social life is very contained, almost every student is around on the weekends and so community is very strong mainly out of circumstance. You know everyone around you and you cannot separate yourself from them, if you are disrespectful to someone you have to deal with it for your entire time here, so there is a sort of institutionalized respect for other persons. So we are given a large amount of freedom through school policies but we end up with a strong sense of social commitment from an experiential perspective on responsibility.


When I told people I was going to Grinnell, the reactions were not all positive. People that were familiar with Grinnell's reputation encouraged my decision but still warned me that there was a lot of drinking and a lot of drug use. However, the people that only knew the stereotypes mentioned above were very concerned with my decision. I spend most of my time either in the dorms or in the JRC (Student Center). I love studying in the JRC, especially in the upper rooms. There is always a place for me to go when I need it. I also spend a lot of time in the Fitness Center where there is a wide variety of cardio machines and weights available to everyone, not just athletes, and everyone is encouraged to go.


People usually say, "Oh my goodness! You go to Cornell! What a great school!" It's pretty embarassing when I have to correct them, and then tell them it's not Cornell in New York, but Grinnell in Iowa. But hey, I don't really care, I know I'm getting a similar education. I know that anyone who has heard of Grinnell know I'm getting a good education and that's all that matters. This is a really small school, but it's nice because everyone's close. Most of my best friends are upperclassmen, there is no difference between the years. There are also no all freshmen dorms, or anything like that, everyone is friends and on the same page. Might I even say, the self-governence kicks ass. Look at Grinnell for the self-governence. It is the best thing ever, oh, that and the Grille.


The best thing about this school is its community. However, sometimes it's just too small; socially, I get stressed out way too many times. I leave campus for a day or two on the weekends, so I can get a good dose of the world outside of the Grinnellian bubble. Sometimes I wish people outside of purely academic circles have heard of this school. The one thing I don't like about this school is that people feel the need to overemphasize the "no need to conform" ideal on campus. it ends up producing a mainstream based on counter-culture, and that if you're not truly "hippie" or "nonconformist" you get looked down upon. Sometimes my friends say some of the things I do are mainstream, or conformist. It bothers me that it's a current method of self-definition; I'm perfectly content with myself being conformist or mainstream, as long as I'm happy with it. I'm not always with the mainstream, but I am also not always without it. The small size of the campus does not help with these sorts of social pressures, either.


Grinnell is a great place for people who try not to stereotype themselves because everyone enjoys being a unique individual and everyone tends to accept others. It feels like the students who end up here are the kinds of people who were well-rounded socially in high school and enjoy having many groups of friends. Tho close community that exists make students feel like a family. Students are motivated to challenge themselves academically. People like the open curriculum because it allows a student to focus on what they are most interested in, but also allows them to try new subjects here and there. Students like to get involved in lots of activities such as sports, theater, art, DAG, dancing, outdoor clubs, and many other kinds of groups. Students are actively involved in the student government and care about changing Grinnell for the better. The new buildings around campus make Grinnell look like a place to be proud of and they offer a lot resources to the students. Grinnell has a homey feel to it. Students seem comfortable and happy with their living situations, their opportunities on campus, the friends, the faculty, and the general atmosphere.


i love grinnell! the adminstration is caring and very accomidating. though a little slow to make change. i have a great job in town at a coffee-shop. the locals here are real characters...and great people.


The best thing about Grinnell is the people. Not only are they brilliant and self-motivated, they're supportive and welcoming and willing to help each other, inside and outside the classroom. The school is a great size--walking across campus, you always see people you know, but there are enough students here so that there are always new people to meet. You don't necessarily notice how small the town of Grinnell itself is, and if you've got a car or a friend with a car, Chicago, the twin cities, or even just Iowa City are close enough for a quick weekend or day trip. Grinnell's got a reputation for great academics for a reason. You WILL work hard here. It's completely manageable if you're used to AP or IB classes, but there are profs here who expect a lot, and God help you if you get two or more of them in one semester. The only thing I would change is the weather--this winter was long and atrocious, and even at the end of April it can still snow.


I love the open-curriculum and self governance. Basically Grinnell's gives you responsibility over yourself and your actions in the classroom and outside. Also, there are no RA's here or tough-ass security guards. What I'm trying to say is that no one has an eye on you simply stalking you and waiting for the minute you screw up. If you get into trouble on this campus it is because you were a dumbass and went searching for it. For example, you get in trouble for underage drinking. Yet, no one knew you were underage and consuming alcoholic beverages, instead you were being a dumbass and either drank too much and threw up everywhere, caused a scene so security came, or you got alcohol poisoning. If you notice, all of these consequences could've been avoided if you would've just had some responsibility. Hence, self-governance is badass.


I would say that Grinnell is a very unique school in that it is student-governed and also very liberal. Close-mindedness and prejudice are very uncommon on campus so it seems that when an incident occurs on campus, it seems to be a much bigger deal than it would at other places. The population of Grinnell is about 10,000 but the campus is almost like a separate town. The townspeople seem to support and appreciate the college.