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Grinnell Admission Requirements

Grinnell, Iowa

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Your chances of getting into Grinnell College

Admission Rate & Difficulty

Percent Admitted 

Admission Difficulty for Grinnell College
Measure Difficulty
Admission Standards Elite 
Applicant Competition Very High 

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at Grinnell is 10.5%.  Its admission rate is the lowest in Iowa and the 30th lowest the nation.

Admission Selectivity

How hard is it to get into Grinnell and can you get accepted?

Grinnell is a very highly competitive school to get into. You have a low chance of acceptance even if you meet the admission criteria. It's important that you meet their GPA and SAT/ACT requirements to get through the first round of consideration. Last year, only 1,108 out of the 10,513 who applied were admitted.

The school has exceptionally high admission requirements for SAT and ACT scores, generally admitting students who score in the top 6 percent (SAT 1370/1530 ACT 30/34). Grinnell College typically accepts and attracts "A-" average high school students with an average GPA around 3.89. Most incoming freshmen graduate in the top ten percent of their high school class or better. 43% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school.

Can you get into Grinnell?

11% are accepted, can you get in? Use the admission calculator to see if you have the grades and test scores needed to get in. See your admission chances based on your extracurriculars, intended major, background, and more.

Admission Requirements in Brief

To have the best chance of getting into to Grinnell College you should:

  • Have a high school GPA of 3.89 or better
  • Earn A- grades in high school
  • Score 1450 on the SAT
  • Score 32 on the ACT
  • Graduate in the top 10% of your high school class
  • Submit letters of recommendation from your teachers

Grinnell GPA

GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA 


Typical High School Grades 


What GPA do you need to get into Grinnell College?

GPA Requirements

The GPA requirements for getting into Grinnell are to have around a 3.89 high school GPA. You are required to have exceptionally good grades and you should be graduating near the top of your class.

Meeting these GPA requirements alone is not enough for you to gain admission as Grinnell is a very selective school.

Average GPA

The average unweighted GPA at Grinnell is 3.89 on the 4.0 scale. To achieve the average GPA for admission, you need to earn A- letter grades and regularly score around 90-92 percent on tests and assignments in high school.  The school ranks #1 in Iowa for highest average GPA.

See additional colleges accepting applicants in the 3.9 GPA range.

*This school has not published high school GPA data for its incoming freshman class. In these cases, CollegeSimply uses an algorithm to predict GPA based on this school's test scores and a large sample of college GPA data. 3.89 is a prediction of the school's average incoming freshman GPA.

Calculate My Chances 

Grinnell SAT Scores

Testing Requirements

You are required to submit admission test scores with your application. Grinnell College is not a test optional school. Note: Please consult the school directly to confirm the most up to date testing requirements.

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range 


Applicants Submitting SAT 

SAT Scores for Grinnell College
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 670
Math 25th Percentile 700
Composite 25th Percentile 1370
SAT Scores for Grinnell College
SAT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 750
Math 75th Percentile 780
Composite 75th Percentile 1530
Average SAT Score 1450

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for you to be admitted to Grinnell College?

Average Score & Range

The average SAT score at Grinnell is 1450 out of 1600 and the range for the middle 50% of accepted students is 1370-1530. Students who get into Grinnell College score in the top 6 percent of all SAT test takers..  Grinnell ranks #1 in the state of Iowa and #45 in the nation for highest average SAT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

You should target scoring 1450 or above to be most competitive with other applicants. Grinnell regularly admits students with SAT scores down to 1370 on a 1600 scale. However, three quarter of admitted students score higher. If you score below a 1370, admission should be considered a reach. Some students may be accepted with minimum SAT's as low as 1290, but scores this low are outside the normal range. 29 percent of applicants submit SAT scores to the school.

View other colleges which accept students in the 1450 SAT score range.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

The table below outlines your predicted admission chances based on SAT score alone. If you are an average applicant with a score of 1450, you have around a 11% chance of being admitted. A 1530 places you well ahead of most other applicants and gives you about a 19% chance of getting in.

Grinnell College admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
1530 and Above Good >19%
1450 to 1530 Avg + 11%-19%
1370 to 1450 Avg - 6%-11%
1290 to 1370 Reach 3%-6%
Less than 1290 Low <3%
Calculate My Chances 

Grinnell ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range 


Applicants Submitting ACT 

ACT Scores for Grinnell College
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 30
Math 25th Percentile 27
Composite 25th Percentile 30
ACT Scores for Grinnell College
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 35
Math 75th Percentile 33
Composite 75th Percentile 34
Average ACT Score 32

ACT Scores needed to get accepted

What are the ACT requirements for students to get into Grinnell?

Score Range

The average ACT score for admitted students to Grinnell is 32, while the middle 50% of students (25th to 75th percentile) score between a 30 and 34.  The school ranks #1 in Iowa and #55 in the U.S. for highest average ACT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

For the best chance of admission, you should have an ACT of 32. This will place you in solid competition against other applicants. At a minimum, you should aim for a 30 and score in the score in the top 7 percent nationally. The lowest ACT score likely to be admitted is a 28.

33 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to Grinnell College.

Find other colleges with similar ACT score requirements

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

Here are your predicted chances of getting into Grinnell for different ACT score ranges. A typical applicant with a 32 score has around 11% chance of getting in. Your odds increase to about 19% with a 34 ACT score.

Grinnell College admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
34 and Above Good >19%
32 to 34 Avg + 11%-19%
30 to 32 Avg - 6%-11%
28 to 30 Reach 3%-6%
Less than 28 Low <3%
Calculate My Chances 

High School Class Rank

71% of Grinnell College freshman are in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class. For your application to be competitive, you need to graduate at the top of your class.

High School Class Rank for admitted Grinnell College students
High School Class Rank Freshmen Within Range
Top 10% of class 71%
Top 25% of class 90%
Top 50% of class 99%
Data Source, Peterson's Data


Admission Statistics

Admission and enrollment rates by gender are detailed the the table below.

Grinnell College admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 5,556 4,957 10,513
Accepted 644 464 1,108
Acceptance Rate 12% 9% 11%
Enrolled 259 212 471
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 40% 46% 43%
Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Fall 2024 Application Deadline

Applications Due

Jan 15, 2024

Days left to Apply


Applicants have 110 days left until the Fall 2024 term applications are due on Jan 15, 2024.

Application Fee

The cost for prospective students to apply to Grinnell College is $0. The school is free to apply to.

Application Requirements

What are the requirements for admission to Grinnell College and what student information is used for admission decisions?

Grinnell College Application Requirements
Test Scores Required
High School GPA Recommended
High School Class Rank Recommended
Completion of College Preparatory Program Recommended
Recommendations Required
Demonstration of Competencies Neither required nor recommended

Credits Accepted

High School Credits Accepted at Grinnell College
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit No
Credit for Life Experiences No

Admission Requirements Summary

Because Grinnell is very highly competitive, you have a low likelihood of acceptance. It is important that you earn at least a 3.89 GPA to have a good shot at getting in. Additionally, you need to score a 1450 on the SAT and optimally 1530 to place yourself in a strong position. For ACT scores, you need a 32 to have a competitive chance of getting in.

Other Colleges to Apply To 

Students applying to Grinnell College often consider these colleges

Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=153384 IPEDS survey data for Grinnell College.


Does Grinnell College prefer SAT or ACT?

29% of students submit their SAT scores to Grinnell. 33% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

What is my chance of getting into Grinnell College?

11% of those who apply are granted admission to Grinnell. Admission competition is very high and the college has elite admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.

What SAT score is required for Grinnell College?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1370 and 1530. The average SAT score is 1450. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

What ACT score is required for Grinnell College?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 30 and 34. The average ACT score is 32. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.