Grinnell College accepts fewer than half of all applicants. Those students who do get into this top liberal arts college tend to have grades and test scores that are well above average. In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. You can see that most students who got into Grinnell had at least "A-" averages, SAT scores (CR+M+W) above 1900, and ACT composite scores above 28. A winning application, however, is about more than good grades and test scores. If you look at the red on the graph (rejected students), you'll see that several students with high grades and test scores were rejected.
Grinnell College, like all of the country's top liberal arts colleges, has holistic admissions, so successful applicants need to have strengths that go beyond empirical data. Competitive applications should have a winning essay, strong letters of recommendation, and interesting extracurricular activities. Most important of all is a challenging high school curriculum that includes AP, IB or Honors classes. True strengths in some of these areas can help make up for grades and test scores that are a little less than ideal. As the graph shows, a few students were accepted with "B" averages or ACT scores down in the 24 range.
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