Northwestern vs. Grinnell


Should I go to Northwestern University or Grinnell College? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Northwestern or Grinnell is the better college for you.

Northwestern Comparison

Northwestern University vs. Grinnell College comparison
Northwestern Grinnell
Remove Remove
Location Evanston, IL Grinnell, IA
Setting Small City Remote Town
Students 22,127 1,716
Type Private 4 Year Private 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $54,120 $51,924
Tuition (Out of State) $54,120 $51,924
Room & Board $16,626 $12,810
Avg Net Price $26,099 $29,492
Avg Grant Aid $44,247 $33,946
% Receiving Grant Aid 54% 86%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 8.5% 24.4%
Avg High School GPA 3.92 3.89
Admissions Standards Elite Elite
Applicant Competition Extreme Very High
ACT Range 33/35 30/34
SAT Range 1430/1550 1370/1530
Application Deadline Jan 1, 2020 Jan 15, 2020


Graduation Rate 94% 88%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $89,800 $59,500
Making Student Loan Payments 87% 87%
Median Student Loan Debt $19,378 $13,170
Median Loan Payment $200 $136
Learn More Details Details

Comparable Facts

  • Northwestern University is larger than than Grinnell based on total student enrollment (22,127 students vs. 1,716 students)

Northwestern vs. Grinnell Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Northwestern or Grinnell?

  • Northwestern University is 4.2% more expensive to attend than Grinnell for in-state tuition ($54,120.00 vs. $51,924.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 4.2% higher at Northwestern than Grinnell College ($54,120.00 vs. $51,924.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Northwestern University than Grinnell ($26,099 vs. $29,492)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Grinnell College are 29.8% lower than costs at Northwestern University ($12,810 vs. $16,626)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Grinnell College than Northwestern University (86% vs. 54%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Northwestern University students is 30.3% larger than aid received Grinnell College ($44,247 vs. $33,946)

Northwestern vs. Grinnell Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, Northwestern or Grinnell? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between Grinnell or Northwestern .

  • The average SAT score at Northwestern University (1460) is 58 points higher than at Grinnell (1402)
  • Incoming Northwestern students have a 1 point higher average ACT score (33) than students at Grinnell (32)
  • Grinnell has a higher acceptance rate (24.4%) than Northwestern (8.5%)

Northwestern vs. Grinnell Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Northwestern or Grinnell? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between Grinnell and Northwestern.

  • The graduation rate at Northwestern is higher that Grinnell College (94% vs. 88%)
  • Graduates from Northwestern University earn on average $30,300 more per year than Grinnell graduates after ten years. ($89,800 vs. $59,500)
  • Grinnell College students graduate with a $6,208 lower median federal student loan debt than Northwestern graduates. ($13,170 vs. $19,378)
  • Grinnell graduates are paying $64 less per month on federal student loans than Northwestern graduates. ($136 vs. $200)
  • More Northwestern graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former Grinnell students, three years after graduation. (87% vs. 87%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education IPEDS and College Scorecard