Campus Spotlight: Grinnell College

Grinnell College may just be the best school you've never heard of. Located in rural Iowa, the college has an impressive reputation among national higher ed analysts for its rigorous academics and high quality of campus life. Learn more about why students love Grinnell.

Grinnell College school campus university

A Small But Mighty School

Grinnell College may be unknown to many among the general public, but that doesn't prevent it from being recognized as an academic powerhouse by those who are in the know when it comes to higher ed. The school perennially ranks highly in national college rankings, despite its relatively small student population of 1,600.

U.S. News and World Report considers Grinnell to be among the top-20 liberal arts colleges in the country. The school has been called one of the 30 'Hidden Ivies' - a designation used to identify smaller schools offering a world-class education in the liberal arts tradition. And The Princeton Review suggests that Grinnell is a 'Best Value Private College.'

These and other accolades are the result of dynamic academic programs that put Grinnell students in control. A required First-Year Tutorial emphasizes writing, oral discussion skills, information literacy and critical thinking. Beyond this class, however, students are free to take whatever courses they like toward one of 26 major programs.

Grinnell College school university

Uniquely Engaging - Ultimately Accepting

Student choice in courses is not the only aspect of academic life that separates Grinnell from many other schools. Classes at the college feature 20 students or fewer, a far cry from the giant lectures found on most campuses. And faculty members teach all courses at the school, the intention being to provide an atmosphere where professors serve as mentors working one-on-one with students.

Active learning is another important aspect of the curriculum at Grinnell College. Academic programs offer many different discovery-based learning opportunities off campus, including internships and study abroad options. Civic service is also a part of the Grinnell ethic, with many students working on projects designed to support the community.

A small student population and a collective sense of social responsibility make for a tight-knit campus. Grinnell features no fraternities, sororities or other exclusive groups; rather, all social and cultural activities sponsored by the school are open to any member of the student population. This sense of community has helped the school garner acclaim for providing an atmosphere where all can be open about and accepted for who they are.

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