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3 College Sophomore

Parking: There are not a large number of spots located near certain dorms making the walk to a dorm after parking farther. However, the campus is not large so it is not much of a problem.

4 College Freshman

Parking: You don't have to walk very far. Parking fee is cheap. They are building new parking lot also.

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 Senior

Parking: Not Necessary! You don't need a car on campus!!!! There are plenty of people with cars that you can borrow from,
and campus security will drop you off and pick you off wherever you need to go if transportation is an absolute problem. There are a plethora of student parking that cost a low (<100/semester) rate !

1 College Freshman

Parking: Not Much – There is very little parking at Grinnell because most students live on campus. Parking permits are ridiculously expensive. There is usually visitors parking by the athletic building and library. Other wise there are no good parking places. If you are really lucky you can get a streetside spot.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Few students on campus actually own cars. Except for traveling between cities, there’s really no need for them. Even if you’re going downtown when it’s below zero degrees outside, in the time it takes you to walk to your car, get it started, navigate the icy roads around town, and find a parking space, you could already be warm and browsing through the menu inside Pagliai’s. Even for those long road trips to Chicago, you can usually finagle some vehicle-owning sucker into going with you. This ultimately translates into limited demand for parking on campus. The parking lots near the dorms tend to be small, but instead of stretching a block away from your warm and cozy home, they’re all right across the street.

However, there are some confusing parking regulations. Some of the parking lots, like the ones in front of the Admissions building, are only for faculty and visitors. There are also many 24-hour-only parking spots located sporadically around campus, and students are frequently fined for leaving their cars there too long. Aside from these minor inconveniences, however, students have little to no trouble at all finding a place to park on campus.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
$70 per year
Common Parking Tickets
  • Failure to display a permit: $10
  • Parking at a yellow curb: $10
  • Parking in a visitors' space: $20
  • Parking on the grass: $20
  • Falsifying a parking permit: $100
  • Handicapped zone: $100
Best Places to Find a Spot
Pretty much anywhere; parking rarely fills up.
Getting a Parking Permit
Students can go to the Campus Safety & Security Office to get a permit. Permits are billed to the students' accounts.
Parking Services
Campus Safety & Security Office
1432 East St.
(641) 269-4600

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 25 responses

  • 20% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 36% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 24% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 20% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 0% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 0% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 25 responses

Very poor
  • Distance from class
  • Distance from dorms
  • Ease of finding a spot
  • Parking enforcement
  • Permit cost
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