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Comparing Grinnell College vs Washington University in St. Louis

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Portrait of smiling asian male student sitting at desk in classroom at university,

Comparing Grinnell College vs Washington University in St. Louis

Choosing the right college can be a daunting task, especially when you’re considering two excellent institutions like Grinnell College and Washington University in St. Louis. While both schools have their unique strengths, it’s essential to compare them based on crucial factors like location, academic programs, faculty resources, student life, job placement opportunities, campus inclusivity, alumni networks, and sustainability efforts. This article will look into the details and see how Grinnell College vs Washington University in St. Louis measure up to each other.

Introduction: Brief Overview of Grinnell vs Washington University in St. Louis

Grinnell College, situated in Grinnell, Iowa, is a private liberal arts college founded in 1846. With an enrollment of just over 1,600 students, Grinnell College offers undergraduate degrees in over 40 majors and grants bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degrees. In contrast, Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) is a private research university that was founded in 1853 and is located in St. Louis, Missouri. It has an undergraduate student body of around 7,500 and more than 90 undergraduate programs that include both bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees.

Group of asian student talking in a library.

Despite their differences in size and academic focus, both Grinnell College and Washington University in St. Louis share a commitment to providing their students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in their chosen fields.

Grinnell College emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity, while WUSTL places a strong emphasis on research and innovation. Both institutions also offer a wide range of extracurricular activities and opportunities for students to engage with their communities and make a positive impact on the world around them.

Location and Campus Setting

One of the major differences between Grinnell College and Washington University in St. Louis is their location and campus setting. Grinnell College is situated in a small town in the middle of Iowa, while WUSTL is located in a major city. The campus setting and environment play a significant role in the overall college experience, and both institutions offer unique benefits and challenges to their students.

Grinnell College’s small-town setting offers a close-knit community and a campus that is easily accessible by foot or bicycle. It’s the perfect environment for students who prefer a relaxed and quiet setting. In contrast, WUSTL’s campus is situated in the bustling city of St. Louis, which offers various cultural and entertainment options for students. The campus is known for its lush green spaces and well-manicured lawns, which provide a perfect balance for city living.

Another aspect of Grinnell College’s location is its proximity to natural areas and outdoor recreation opportunities. The town is surrounded by prairies, forests, and lakes, providing students with easy access to hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. Additionally, the college has its own 365-acre biological field station, which serves as a research and educational facility for students and faculty.

Admission Requirements and Acceptance Rates between Grinnell vs Washington University in St. Louis

Both Grinnell College and Washington University in St. Louis are highly selective institutions, and the admission process is challenging. Grinnell College has an acceptance rate of around 28%, while WUSTL’s acceptance rate hovers around 14%. However, both institutions take a holistic approach to admissions. They consider factors like academic achievement, extracurricular activities, leadership skills, essays, and letters of recommendation when making decisions.

Grinnell College has a test-optional policy, which means that students may choose not to submit SAT or ACT scores. Meanwhile, WUSTL requires SAT or ACT scores, and they also consider SAT Subject Test scores, AP exam scores, and IB exam scores. Both institutions are committed to diversity and inclusivity, and they actively recruit students from underrepresented backgrounds.

It is worth noting that both Grinnell College and WUSTL have rigorous academic programs that challenge students to think critically and creatively. Grinnell College has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, and students are encouraged to explore a wide range of subjects. WUSTL, on the other hand, has a reputation for excellence in STEM fields, and the university has invested heavily in research and innovation.

Both institutions also offer a variety of resources and support services to help students succeed. Grinnell College has a robust advising program, and students have access to academic coaches, peer tutors, and writing consultants. WUSTL has a comprehensive career center, which provides students with career counseling, job search assistance, and networking opportunities.

Academic Programs and Curriculum Offerings

Grinnell College and Washington University in St. Louis offer diverse academic programs and have a rigorous curriculum. Grinnell College has over 40 majors, including interdisciplinary programs like Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies and Technology Studies. The college has a flexible curriculum that encourages students to explore various fields of study and specialize in areas that interest them.

View of students talking in a table.

WUSTL offers more than 90 undergraduate programs and is known for its strong STEM programs. The university also has an excellent business school, the Olin Business School, which is highly ranked nationally. Students can choose from various majors, including arts and sciences, business, engineering, and law.

In addition to the diverse academic programs, both Grinnell College and WUSTL offer various opportunities for students to engage in research and experiential learning. Grinnell College has a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work with faculty members on research projects in various fields. WUSTL also offers research opportunities through its many research centers and institutes, including the McDonnell International Scholars Academy, which provides funding for international research projects.

Furthermore, both institutions have a strong commitment to community engagement and social justice. Grinnell College has a Center for Careers, Life, and Service, which connects students with service opportunities in the local community and beyond. WUSTL has a Social Justice Center, which provides resources and support for students interested in social justice issues and activism.

Faculty Quality and Student-to-Teacher Ratio between Grinnell vs Washington University in St. Louis

Both institutions boast of having highly qualified and experienced faculty members who are committed to providing students with a quality education. Grinnell College has a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1, which means that students get individualized attention and guidance from their professors. The college has a tenure-track system that ensures that faculty members are committed to research and teaching excellence.

WUSTL has a slightly higher student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1, but the university’s faculty members are equally dedicated to their students’ success. The university has an endowed professorship program that supports faculty research and attracts top scholars to the university. Both institutions have strong faculty research programs, and undergraduate students are often involved in these research projects.

In addition to their commitment to teaching and research, both Grinnell College and WUSTL prioritize diversity and inclusion among their faculty members. Grinnell College has a faculty diversity fellowship program that supports the recruitment and retention of underrepresented faculty members. WUSTL has a similar program called the Faculty Diversity Initiative, which aims to increase the diversity of the university’s faculty through targeted recruitment efforts and professional development opportunities.

Campus Facilities and Resources Available to Students

Grinnell College and WUSTL have excellent campus facilities that cater to students’ needs and promote their academic and personal growth. Grinnell College has a state-of-the-art science center, a fine arts center, a library, and a student center that houses various student activities and organizations. The college also has a wellness center that provides medical services, counseling, and health education programs.

WUSTL has an extensive network of libraries, research centers, and laboratories that provide students with access to cutting-edge technology and research facilities. The university has athletic facilities that include gyms, a swimming pool, and outdoor spaces for sports and recreation. The campus also has various student centers and clubs that cater to students’ interests and hobbies.

View of a students writing in the board.

In addition to the facilities mentioned above, Grinnell College also has a career center that provides students with career counseling, job search assistance, and internship opportunities. The center also hosts career fairs and networking events to connect students with potential employers.

Similarly, WUSTL has a dedicated office for international students that provides support and resources to help them adjust to life in the United States. The office offers cultural events, language classes, and immigration advising to ensure that international students have a smooth transition to the university and the country.

Student Life and Extracurricular Activities between Grinnell vs Washington University in St. Louis

Grinnell College and WUSTL have vibrant student communities that offer various extracurricular activities and social events. Grinnell College has over 140 student organizations that cover a wide range of interests, including activism, sustainability, and arts and culture. The college also hosts a range of cultural events, including concerts, plays, and dance performances.

WUSTL has a diverse student body, and the campus hosts various cultural and social events that promote inclusivity and intercultural exchange. The university has over 300 student organizations that cater to students’ diverse interests, including athletics, service, and arts and culture. The university also hosts a range of athletic events, including varsity sports and club sports.

Additionally, both Grinnell College and WUSTL offer opportunities for students to engage in research and academic pursuits outside of the classroom. Grinnell College has a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work with faculty on research projects in various fields. WUSTL also offers research opportunities for students, with access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources.

Furthermore, both institutions have active volunteer and service programs that allow students to give back to their communities. Grinnell College has a community service office that connects students with local organizations and projects, while WUSTL has a dedicated center for community engagement that offers a range of service opportunities both locally and globally.

Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid Options

The cost of attendance is an important consideration when choosing a college, and both Grinnell College and WUSTL are quite expensive. Grinnell College’s annual tuition and fees for the academic year 2021-2022 are $58,886, while WUSTL’s annual tuition and fees for the same period are $59,950. However, both institutions are committed to making education affordable for all students and offer various financial aid options based on need and merit.

Grinnell College’s financial aid offerings include need-based aid, merit scholarships, and work-study programs. The college meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students. WUSTL offers need-based aid, merit scholarships, and other financial aid options like loan programs and payment plans. The university meets 60% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance at both Grinnell College and WUSTL includes not only tuition and fees, but also room and board, textbooks, and other expenses. Students should carefully consider all of these costs when making their college decision and factor in the financial aid options available to them.

Additionally, both institutions offer resources and support for students to manage their finances while in college. Grinnell College has a financial literacy program that provides workshops and one-on-one counseling to help students develop budgeting and money management skills. WUSTL has a financial wellness center that offers similar resources and also provides assistance with financial aid applications and student loan repayment.

Career Services and Job Placement Opportunities between Grinnell vs Washington University in St. Louis

Happy young people doing group study in library.

Grinnell College and WUSTL have excellent career services that help students navigate the job market and build successful careers after graduation. Grinnell College has a Center for Careers, Life, and Service that offers various career-related services, including resume and cover letter reviews, mock interviews, and career counseling. The college also has a robust internship program that gives students real-world experience in their chosen fields.

WUSTL’s Career Center provides students with various job search resources, including career counseling, networking events, and job fairs. The university has partnerships with various industry leaders and provides students with access to internships, fellowships, and job opportunities. WUSTL graduates have a high job placement rate and are well-prepared for their chosen careers.

In addition to the career services offered by Grinnell College and WUSTL, both institutions also provide students with opportunities to explore different career paths and gain valuable skills through workshops, seminars, and other events. These events are often led by industry professionals and alumni, providing students with valuable insights into the job market and the skills needed to succeed in their chosen fields.

Furthermore, both Grinnell College and WUSTL have strong alumni networks that can be a valuable resource for students seeking career advice and job opportunities. Alumni often return to campus to speak with students, offer mentorship, and provide networking opportunities. These connections can be instrumental in helping students secure internships and jobs after graduation.

Campus Diversity and Inclusivity

Diversity and inclusivity are essential factors to consider when choosing a college, and both Grinnell College and WUSTL are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive community. Grinnell College values diversity and has a range of initiatives that promote inclusivity and equity. The college has various multicultural student organizations, institutes, and academic programs that celebrate diversity and promote intercultural exchange.

WUSTL has various programs and initiatives that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, including a multicultural center, a women’s center, and LGBTQ+ resources. The university also has a strong commitment to promoting social justice and sustainability, and it hosts various events and educational programs that address important social issues.

At Grinnell College, students can participate in the Diversity and Inclusion Office‘s “Diversity Peer Educator” program, which trains students to facilitate workshops and discussions on topics related to diversity and inclusion. Additionally, the college has a “Bias Response Team” that addresses incidents of bias and discrimination on campus and provides support to affected students.

WUSTL also has a “Bias Report and Support System” that allows students to report incidents of bias and discrimination and provides resources and support to those affected. The university also offers a “Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program” for students, faculty, and staff, which provides training and education on topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Alumni Network and Reputation in the Professional World between Grinnell vs Washington University in St. Louis

Both Grinnell College and WUSTL have strong alumni networks and a reputation for producing successful graduates. Grinnell College alumni hold positions in various industries, including finance, politics, and entertainment. The college has a robust alumni network that supports current students and provides them with various career-related resources.

Portrait of young teacher helping a student during class.

WUSTL is highly regarded for its research programs and produces top graduates in STEM fields, business, law, and medicine. The university has a vast alumni network that spans various industries and provides students with various networking opportunities and career resources.

Grinnell College’s alumni network is not only strong in the United States but also globally. The college has alumni in various countries, including China, India, and Japan. The alumni network provides international students with a platform to connect with alumni in their home countries and explore career opportunities.

WUSTL’s alumni network is known for its diversity and inclusivity. The university has alumni from different backgrounds, including race, ethnicity, and gender. The alumni network provides students with mentorship opportunities and helps them navigate the professional world, regardless of their background.

Athletics Programs and Performance History

Sporting events are an integral part of the college experience, and both Grinnell College and WUSTL offer various athletic programs. Grinnell College is known for its innovative and unconventional athletic programs, including its basketball program, which emphasizes a fast-paced and fun style of play. The college also has various varsity sports teams in a range of sports, including soccer, track and field, and volleyball.

WUSTL has a robust athletics program and is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III. The university has 19 varsity sports teams, including football, soccer, and basketball. WUSTL has a strong tradition of excellence in athletics and has won over 20 NCAA national championships.

In addition to varsity sports teams, both Grinnell College and WUSTL offer a variety of intramural and club sports for students to participate in. These programs provide opportunities for students to stay active and engaged in sports, even if they are not at a varsity level. Grinnell College has a unique intramural program that allows students to create their own teams and compete against each other in a variety of sports.

WUSTL also has a strong focus on fitness and wellness, offering a variety of fitness classes and programs for students to participate in. The university has a state-of-the-art fitness center that includes a pool, weight room, and cardio equipment, as well as a variety of group fitness classes such as yoga, Pilates, and cycling.

Environmental Sustainability Efforts on Campus between Grinnell vs Washington University in St. Louis

Environmental sustainability is a crucial issue, and both Grinnell College and WUSTL have made significant efforts to promote sustainability on their campuses. Grinnell College has various sustainability initiatives, including a zero-waste program, a green office program, and a bike-sharing program. The college is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and has set a goal of being carbon neutral by 2040.

WUSTL has various sustainability initiatives, including a green action fund that supports student-led sustainability projects, a composting program, and a shuttle program that reduces carbon emissions. The university is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and has set a goal of being carbon neutral by 2025.

Additionally, both Grinnell College and WUSTL have implemented sustainable dining practices. Grinnell College sources food locally and offers vegetarian and vegan options to reduce the environmental impact of food production. WUSTL has a program called “Green Dining” that focuses on reducing waste and promoting sustainable food choices. Both institutions recognize the importance of sustainable food practices in reducing their overall carbon footprint.

Conclusion: Which College is The Better Choice?

Choosing the right college ultimately depends on your individual needs and preferences. Grinnell College and Washington University in St. Louis are both excellent institutions that offer rigorous academic programs, supportive faculty resources, and a vibrant student culture. Each institution has its unique strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to you to decide which college aligns with your goals and values.

While Grinnell College offers a small-town environment, flexible curriculum, and excellent student-to-teacher ratio, Washington University in St. Louis offers a robust research program, diverse extracurricular activities, and a more significant alumni network. Whatever your decision, both institutions provide an excellent education that is sure to prepare you for success in your future career.

It’s important to consider factors such as location, cost, and campus culture when making your decision. Grinnell College is located in a small town in Iowa, while Washington University in St. Louis is located in a bustling city in Missouri. Additionally, the cost of attendance may differ between the two institutions, and the campus culture may vary as well. It’s essential to visit each campus, talk to current students and faculty, and do your research to make an informed decision.

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