Grinnell, IA
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Reviews 446 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: School is not very strict--self gov.

1 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Alcohol is a huge problem here. There are hospitalizations every year. I believe it is a result of the stressful workload and lack of healthy social events. People work really hard during the week and only get Saturday night off so people let loose.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: It's a liberal arts college so all the majors are pretty broad. You can create your own major if you're unsatisfied but it's fairly uncommon.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: BioChem is a lot of work but Grinnell provides ample support so that anyone can succeed if they apply themselves.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Diversity is pretty good for a school in the middle of Iowa.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: You can walk to everywhere in Grinnell.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: If you want clean and quiet but no floor community live on east. If you want old and dirty with a floor community live in north or south.

1 College Sophomore

Weather: It's cold from October/November to late April. Winter is cold and dark :(

2 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: It's a quiet town but you won't notice that because you'll be so busy working you'll have no time to adventure out.(depends on major)

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: The only well supported sport is basketball. The facilities are amazing but school spirit isn't that big.

5 College Sophomore

Scholarships: One of the best schools in the country for providing necessary financial aid.

1 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Off Campus dining is good if you're from small town Iowa and have no other options but if you're from anywhere else (any real college campus) you would expect some more diversity. All ethnic foods here are awful.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: I think Grinnell has a lot of charm. It's a great little town with a lot of fun businesses and restaurants. The college also offers a plethora of activities and things to do.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Everyone is very original and free here. We all march to the beat of our own drum. No one judges anyone else for being individual.

5 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Everything about our campus life and school policy revolves around Self-Governance. It is the first thing we learn at orientation, and it is truly part of everyday life on campus. If you are acting with respect for yourself and others, you won't encounter problems.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are several fast-food chains in town such as McDonalds, Taco Johns, and Hardees. However, the town also has a wide variety of family-owned businesses with many options.

5 College Freshman

Academics: We have very strong academics. Every freshman is paired with their Tutorial professor as an academic adviser, which creates a really strong relationship. There are tons of resources on campus for improving academic achievement, such as the Writing Lab, the Math Lab, the Spanish Lab, Student Tutors, Writing Mentors, and others.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I've never lived in off-campus housing, but I know many students who do. The school is very helpful in finding students a place to live. But living on campus all 4 years is not uncommon.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: Grinnell is extremely accepting of people from all walks of life. We have tons of programs and groups on campus to accomodate all students, such as Concerned Black Students, Cultural Diversity Panel, Spectrum, and Queer Students of Color.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: We have a really wonderful dining hall on campus. There are plenty of options for any kind of diet (vegetarian, vegan, Halal, Kosher, gluten-free, etc). We only have one dining hall, but it has many options. Students are also able to get "Outtakes" at the grille in place of a meal in the Dining Hall.

3 College Freshman

Weather: It's no secret that we are in the middle of the Great Plains of the Midwest. We get a typical Midwest winter, lots of snow and wind, affectionately called Iowind. Facilities Management is really good about making all areas of Campus accessible even during the worst of winter. It can be tough, but we get all four seasons in Grinnell, which is really nice.

5 College Freshman

Drug Safety: The Drug and Alcohol policy at the College is extremely comprehensive. Like most colleges, drugs and alcohol are present on campus. However, it is something completely up to each individual if they want to take part in them. Most policies on campus can be boiled down to our philosophy of Self-Governance. Basically, if you're not hurting anyone else, you can live your life however you wish. If a student needs medical assistance from drugs or alcohol, neither that student nor any of their peers will get punished. This makes it so that students never hesitate to get the help their friends need.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: There are a lot of different options for nightlife in Grinnell. No matter what you're interested in, there is something for you to do. Every two weeks or so, there is an All-Campus party at the Harris Convention Center. They always have fun themes, and people get really into them. Weekend is our sub-free program on campus. Every weekend, they offer substance-free events like bingo, free movies, or cookie-decorating. It's always a good time.

College Freshman

Majors: I haven't had an internship yet, though I do plan on getting one. I think they are an invaluable way to get hands-on experience and networking in a field that interests you.

5 College Freshman

Majors: I'm currently in the Education program with a Major in English. I love both programs. Something unique about studying Education in Iowa is that the Iowa licensure is one of the most prestigious in the country. Therefore, Education students begin with rigorous and engaging coursework from the beginning.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Akshay Bajaj
Mumbai, India
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A vast majority of students loves Grinnell. They love the challenge they get from their academics and their peers, and they love the amount of freedom that the administration gives them (mostly through self-governance). Some students would say that they learn more from discussions amongst peers than classes. Grinnell students are free to learn and grow into responsible, conscientious adults, and the students are thankful that the school they’ve chosen gives them the opportunity to thrive. Some students can’t even imagine what it would be like if they’d ended up somewhere else.

Yeah, Grinnell students complain sometimes about the things that aren’t available to them that would be at their disposal at a larger, city school. They gripe about excess construction, bogus administration policies, and the things that fellow Grinnellians do that just plain bug everyone. Overall, though, most of the students are happy with the decisions they’ve made and the direction they’re going in their lives. A lot of students have the Grinnell faculty, students, and townspeople to thank for that. Although living in rural Iowa does take some getting used to (especially if you’re from out of state), most students don’t mind making Grinnell their home for four years. Despite the schizophrenic weather, lackluster athletic program, and the immature townies, many students have taken comfort in the fact that it’s “just us” amongst the cornstalks. When a Grinnell graduate thinks back upon his or her Grinnell experience and all the fond memories that come along with it, everything else seems like small potatoes.

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