Grinnell, IA
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4 College Sophomore

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

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.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Diversity: The diversity here is amazing. I am good friends with a lot of people from around the world and from my city. It is really nice to get to know everyone here because I can learn so much about their backgrounds and get a first-rate experience of what their cultures/lives are like.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: Diversity is something that Grinnell prides its self on.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: With so many different ethnicity on campus, nobody feel like an outcast. Different point of views based on political beliefs, religion, and sexual orientation are strongly encouraged.

3 people found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 26th
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 142nd
    Most Open-Minded Schools
  • 1369th
    Most Conservative Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Akshay Bajaj
Mumbai, India
View all previous student authors

According to the faculty, the percentage of minority students who go to Grinnell is comparable to other liberal arts institutions across the country. Still, there is only a small number of ethnic minorities on campus. This may be due to socioeconomic reasons—Grinnell is expensive. Unfortunately, there have been reported incidents of racism in town, and while this doesn’t represent the attitude (or intelligence) of all the townies, as a rule, they tend to be more closed-minded than college students and faculty.

Ideologically, it’s not surprising that Grinnell is an overwhelmingly liberal institution, and around campus it is more acceptable to be in a left-leaning state of mind. There are a few conservative students who love Grinnell as much as any liberal, but it’s likely that most right-wingers don’t even consider Grinnell. The College Republicans have about six members, but they bring in controversial speakers. Occasionally, someone brings up the complaint that the gay, bisexual, and lesbian community doesn’t stick together, but the counter-argument is that there’s no need for them to stick together because everyone is fully accepting. Gay and straight people take advantage of the Stonewall Resource Center, a facility that houses a sizable library on topics relevant to the gay, bisexual, and lesbian community. Students are also accepting of sexual experimentation, which also eases the impact of coming out of the closet.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Foreign countries
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • New York
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 3%
18-19: 48%
20-21: 43%
22-24: 6%
25+: 0%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 6%
Asian American: 7%
Hispanic: 7%
International: 2%
Native American: 0%
White: 77%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
Grinnell is amazing when it comes to gay tolerance and is one of the most open colleges in the country. Many gay, lesbian, and bisexual students at Grinnell come out of the closet to their peers before they come out to their parents. Organizations like Stonewall Coalition serve as hubs for the homosexual community, and students harassing others on the basis of their sexual preference is unheard of and would not be tolerated. However, there have been frequent complaints about people who live in town, particularly high school students, harassing random Grinnell students in passing with derogatory references to homosexuality.
Political Activity
Many students believe that there is too little political diversity on campus. Most students are moderate to radical left wing, and Republicans and right wingers often feel that their views are cast aside too swiftly by their peers. However, when it comes to the views on the left, you will find anything from devout Democrats to outright anarchists, and every person in between.
Economic Status
While there are a good number of upper-class and upper-middle-class students at Grinnell due to the College's need-blind admissions policy, many people from underprivileged families also attend the school. The College has recently made some changes in its recruitment (though not admissions) policy to try to attract wealthier students on the grounds that it increases economic diversity (or possibly that they need more funding and would like to grant less financial aid), but this policy seems to be failing so far.
Most Common Religions
The Christian community on campus tends to be the most visible through student groups, but other religions are widely accepted. There also seems to be a sizable atheist and agnostic community, and while these groups tend not to make much noise, some religious students are occasionally scrutinized by others who have anti-religious views.
Minority Clubs on Campus
There are many different minority groups on campus, including those for Asian Americans, African Americans, and Native Americans, just to name a few.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 20 responses

  • 15% Libertarian
  • 0% Not sure
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Conservative
  • 30% Moderate
  • 20% Liberal
  • 35% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 20 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Conservative
  • 0% Moderate
  • 0% Not sure
  • 15% Liberal
  • 85% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 20 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 19 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 21 responses

  • 0% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 5% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 5% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 90% Very accepting.
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