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Reviews 367 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Very Safe – There have been a few thefts and no one really locks their door unless they live on the 1st floor or in a park dorm like Younker or Loose. I feel safe walking at night and campus security can usually be seen patrolling.

4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Pretty Generous – Most students at Grinnell are awarded financial aid. Usually, when you ask a student why they ultimately chose Grinnell, they will respond that it was the best education they could get for the price.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Grinnell has a pretty small student body. Some view in a negative light, but I think it's one of the best parts of the school. It allows you to intimately get to know about 1,500 of the most interesting, intelligent, and semi-insane people you will ever meet in your life.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Self-Gov Is Love – Grinnell College adheres to a policy called "Self Governance". This basically means that the administration allows us some leeway in terms of drug and alcohol use, as long as we act responsibly and take care of each other. Most students drink, a good percentage of these same students smoke weed (very few other drugs are imbibed besides some acid on special occasions), and those who choose to abstain from it all don't get any flack for it.

4 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: Grinnell is a really great place for a specific type of student. You will spend more time on homework than students at almost any other school, but you will be surrounded by intelligent people who want to talk about what they are learning with you over lunch. You will spend a lot of time in most of your classes having discussions, not listening to lectures. And socially, Grinnell is a tight-knit community. Students recognize just about everyone they see on campus. For me, that was great, because I really felt like I belonged.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Independent Research Projects – In the summer between my junior and senior years at Grinnell, I developed and carried out an independent research project with the help of one of my professors. It was a great opportunity to get to know a professor well, and really experience what research is like. Additionally, because I completed my MAP (Mentored Advanced Project) over the summer, Grinnell provided me with a stipend that covered my living expenses, because I was too busy to have a job.

1 College Junior

Greek Life: There are no frats. Students create fun wherever they are.

4 College Junior

Diversity: The college has an international student population higher than most other colleges in its class. Though the college is still mainly white, the socioeconomic array of students truly intrigues and challenges all.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Lots of Support – Everyone is pretty open to everyone around them. There is a lot of campus community especially when biased motivated incidents occur. There are a lot of hipsters on campus and athletes, but there is also the average looking person. Dress is mostly jeans and a buttoned shirt. Social life is very accepting, there are always parties during the weekend, concerts, and great bonding activities. Relationships seem to be very serious.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Food: One of the Best – Our Dinning Hall has been recognized as one of the best campus dinning halls. They have a rotation so that every month there isn't a repetition of dinner foods and so forth. They do a great job at incorporating new foods in the menu and decorate/make new food during events such as the Chinese New Year.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Great Security on Campus – Security is around 24/7. If there is any issues we can always call campus security as well as our Residential Life Coordinators for help or questions. There is also phone booths for emergencies that students can reach at faster in case they do not have a cell phone. There are security officers roaming around school at times in case anyone needs their help. There is a security officer that everyone knows who loves to talk to everyone during dinner in the dinning hall. The only crimes on campus would be that bike were stolen but that rarely happens. Some laptops get stolen but that is something that could have been avoided if they weren't left out.

2 College Junior

Weather: The Weather at Grinnell is very unpredictable. It could snow one day and then be super warm the next with everyone wearing shorts. The wind is especially chilly.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Check Out Downtown – Downtown is mostly where all the restaurants are. There isn't much variety but we have 2 Chinese and 2 Mexican restaurants. There is also a middle-eastern restaurant,Phoenix, and it's surprising to see this diversity of restaurants in a small town. However, as a student its not always easy to afford eating out at Phoenix and other fancier restaurants that do not necessarily cater to college students.

4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Its There If You Want but Not If You Don't. There is definitely a drug culture. On South Campus it is moderately more prevalent, however each side of campus has substance free dorms, and there is not a whole lot of judging from either perspective.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Upperclassman Only – Only third and fourth years can live of campus, and even then its mostly just fourth years. But there are a few apartments and houses that people live in.

3 College Sophomore

Local Area: Small Town, Lots of Potential – Grinnell Is a small town, but the college really tries to bring in as much "culture" as it can. The guest/visiting lecturers are great, and if you have an idea of something/someone you want to hear or experience the school works with the students.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Close Town – There is a shuttle that runs to the far away stores (Iowa City and Des Moines) every week. On breaks there are shuttles that run to the airport in Des Moines. In the town most people just walk, as it is just across the street from the campus.

4 College Sophomore

Parking: Cars Aren't a Must. Parking is pretty cheap and anyone can have a car. Plus parking is right by the dorms. Though it is definitely not necessary; town is really close and if you need to go some place a little further away someone will lend you their car. You definitely don't need to be driving to class.

4 College Sophomore

Party Scene: Make It What You Want – Most nightlife takes place on campus or in houses. The best thing is that you can really make of the night what you want. The school is great about providing concerts and entertainment options. However, if you'd rather hang with some friends and maybe have a few drinks thats always an option.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Administration: Security Looks the Other Way – Security for the most part looks the other way, and when they do crack down the college's punishments are fairly lenient--favoring second chances.

4 College Junior

Campus Quality: Great for Small School – The new gym and swimming facility are state-of-the-art. The library has many nooks and crannies that are great for when you need to get away for that long paper. The campus is built for students who need space while also for students who work best with a little bustle around them.

4 College Junior

Technology: You don't need your own computer. The computer labs are always open and usually the printers have paper. There are tons of available computers in the science library, the general library, many academic buildings, and in several dorms.

3 College Junior

Athletics: Loved by Athletes, Ignored by Others – I'm not an athlete at Grinnell, but with around 40% of the student population involved in a varsity sport, many of my friends are. They seem to love the competition and staying in shape but also don't have to commit themselves too much, which would be tough to manage with Grinnell's rigorous academics anyway. The teams all have great community and seem to provide a built-in friend group for new first-years. Some teams, like football, cross-country, and swimming, are huge and almost comprise a miniature form of Greek life with their off-campus houses and weird rituals. Fan support is probably best for men's basketball, which plays a really entertaining style. Football usually isn't great but has been improving a lot lately and garnering more fan support. All conference games in major sports are broadcast on Midwest Conference TV over the web.

4 College Junior

Campus Housing: Good Options for All – A majority of freshmen will be housed in Norris, which is probably the lamest dorm on campus and is the farthest north (though distances are all relatively short on Grinnell's fairly small campus), but the old dorms of North and South Campuses all have great community and a lot of character. They aren't brand spankin' new like the sterile but comfy confines of East Campus, but there's always a lot to do with friends on your floor and the rooms are all somewhat different, so there's a lot of variety and you can create a very unique space for yourself. However, on-campus housing is pricey so most seniors choose to live off campus. Also, communal bathrooms are the norm so if you can't stand an occasionally gross bathroom, try to live in a Cowles apartment or a group draw so you can have your own.

3 College Freshman

Campus Food: It's Mediocre – the dining hall has a a good number of options, but they are exactly the same from day to day. the entree is often mediocre and overall it's not amazing. that being said, it's not awful either. the vegan and vegetarian options are fairly good and i can always find something that is at least somewhat satisfying. you can also spend money at the Grill--an on-campus eatery that you can go to in loo of the d-hall--and Bob's Cafe--a small place that you can get bagels, coffee, etc.

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Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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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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