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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

[2020] soars in diversity, academics


Eva Lilienfeld, Editor-in-Chief

Grinnell College Class of 2020 InfographicAlthough the class of 2020 is still subject to change, the Department of Admissions believes it has welcomed the, arguably, greatest class yet.

“Every year we have a goal of enrolling a diverse group of students,” said Joe Bagnoli, Vice President for Enrollment. “At the moment, we will have a robust entering class of domestic students of color and … an increase in the percentage of students who enter who are from other countries.”

Of the 7,368 students who applied, approximately 20 percent — the lowest percentage in history — received good news from Grinnell on acceptance day. Roughly 60 percent of accepted students come from outside the Midwest and half of domestic applicants were students of color.

“In years past, we seemed to have enrolled a higher share of low-income students … We provide full financial aid to meet their demonstrated financial need,” Bagnoli said.

Beyond the diversity of the pool of admitted students, the class of 2020 also boasts academic prowess. Bagnoli estimates that the average SAT will exceed 1400 for the first time in Grinnell’s history.

“There weren’t just more [applicants], but there were many more of them who were strongly qualified according to all the tradition measures,” Bagnoli said.

Bagnoli believes that recently implemented programs helped improve this year’s applicant pool. Unlike in previous years, Grinnell College admissions officers contacted individual applicants for interviews rather than simply advertising their visits with high schools. Moreover, with the help of an outside company, Admissions developed new marketing materials for high school juniors two years ago.

“More and more people are talking about Grinnell,” Bagnoli said. “We’ve seen a tremendous growth in our applicant pool over the last four years.”

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