Your College Visit Guide

Visiting a college campus is one of the most important and helpful things a student can do in their process to select the college that is the best fit. Here are a few tips and tricks to consider to make sure you will get the most out of your visit to campus at the University of Iowa and ways to make it memorable.

  • Before you visit:
    • Reflect on what are the most important factors a school needs to have for you to attend.
    • Prepare a list of questions.
    • Research Iowa City and see if there are other things you would like to do outside of your scheduled visit.
    • Begin to think about what you might like to study in college. What is your major? At Iowa we offer over 200 areas of study, you can learn more here.
  • On your visit:
    • Make the most of your campus tour! Be sure to ask your tour guides about their student experience, see how they are involved on campus, ask for advice about what they wish they had known before coming to college, etc.
    • Get all of your questions answered! Make sure you come prepared with some questions about your college “deal-breakers”- what do you want to make sure the University of Iowa offers to ensure you the best possible college experience. Talk to your tour guides, speak with Admissions staff, ask questions during the presentation! Remember, this campus visit is about you- the people who you come in contact with during your visit are there to help you determine if Iowa is the right fit for you, so if there is something you are dying to know more about, don’t be afraid to speak up!

While on campus, I would encourage you to also check out our eclectic Downtown Iowa City with over 70+ restaurants and unique boutiques to shop, conveniently located directly across the street from the Pentacrest. Begin to explore the city you might call home for the next four years! There are multiple coffee shops that students make their own over their time at Iowa and are popular study spots! Be sure to check out Java House on Washington Street for a taste of local flavor and a glimpse of what could be a part of your future study routine.

If you are looking for unique ways to supplement your campus visit and would like more ways to learn about student life and what it is like to live in Iowa City, here are some tips:

Visiting a college campus is an exciting time, so don’t forget to have fun and take lots of pictures. I recommend also taking a minute or two after your visit to write down how the campus made you feel. This will help when you are comparing colleges after you have gone on several college visits.

If you have questions regarding your campus visit, or would like to schedule one, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Admissions at 319-335-1566.

Erin Monroe

Erin Monroe
Admission Counselor
The University of Iowa
Office of Admissions

How to Get the Most Out of Your College Experience

how-toThe University of Iowa is a welcoming and inspiring place where you can focus on your studies and engage in a multitude of opportunities beyond the classroom. As a May 2015 graduate from the University of Iowa, I valued my time in the classroom, but I also learned that it is important to take time to involve yourself in the Iowa City community. Here are some tips and tricks!

  • Join Student Organizations!
    • I cannot stress the importance of getting involved. There are over 500 different student organizations at the University of Iowa, and this number continues to grow. In addition to the opportunities already available, students have the ability to create their own student organizations. To see student organizations that you can join as a member of the Hawkeye family, visit Future Hawkeyes will have opportunities to learn more about individual student organizations at their summer orientation program, the student organization fair at On Iowa!, by informational emails sent to their University of Iowa email address, and throughout the semester by word of mouth.
  • Give Back!
    • Not only can students get involved in student organizations, but many of these organizations allow Hawkeyes to volunteer within the Iowa City community. There are additional opportunities to discover community service by attending Volunteer Fairs hosted on campus. To see how you can volunteer at the University of Iowa, check out the following resources:
    • Become a Researcher!
      • At the University of Iowa, 27% of undergraduate students participate in research. The University of Iowa is a Tier 1 research institution, meaning that all professors at Iowa, in all departments, are conducting research and developing new discoveries in their respective fields. Because all professors are engaging in research, students can speak with their individual professors to see how they can get involved in research. Discover more about research at Iowa here:
    • Gain experience for your Résumé!
      • All of the activities listed above can be used to enhance your college résumé, but be sure to also check out the resources made available by the Pomerantz Career Center. The Pomerantz Career Center hosts opportunities for résumé workshops and mock interviews, and Career Advisors will assist you in writing a cover letter. Most importantly, they provide resources that help students find jobs. The Pomerantz Career Center hosts career fairs that hundreds of employers from across the nation attend with the intention of hiring our Hawkeyes! This is a great opportunity for students who are looking for jobs while they are current students at Iowa, for future internship experiences, and full-time employment. Students can look for jobs on campus, within the community, and across the nation by using, a resource managed by our career center. To learn more, visit the Pomerantz Career Center’s website at:

You may be thinking that college graduation is far away, but your time at Iowa will fly by, so be sure expand your horizons, try new things, and develop your passions!

If you would like more information, do not hesitate to contact the Office of Admissions at 319-335-1566 to ask your specific questions! Go Hawks!

Erin Monroe

Erin Monroe
Admission Counselor
The University of Iowa
Office of Admissions

Six Steps to Becoming a Hawkeye

  1. The Application Process
    • Fill out an application before March 1st. It’s all online and self-reporting so I promise it won’t take you very long.6-steps-to-becoming-a-hawkeye
    • Pay the $40 application fee and hit submit
    • Have your ACT or SAT scores sent to us (Institutional codes are 1356 for the ACT and 6681 for the SAT)
  2. Take a look at our merit-based scholarships!
    • Here is a full list of incoming first-year scholarships through the Office of Admissions
    • But some departments also offer first-year scholarships so look through the Iowa Scholarship Portal once you’ve been admitted.
    • Look at outside scholarships! Who doesn’t love free money?!
  3. Seriously considering Iowa? Fill out the housing application
    • If you want to be given top priority in your housing preferences don’t wait to fill it out!
    • Application opens beginning of November
    • Pick your top Living Learning Communities and pay your housing application fee
  4. Financial Aid
    • Interested in potentially more free money? It doesn’t hurt to fill out the FAFSA, that’s free, and apply for more aid.
    • Watch our financial aid webinar that’s being hosted on November 2nd by signing up on tv.
  5. Spring rolls around and you’re still not sure that Iowa is for you… come to one of our Admitted Student Visit Days!
    • Sign up through our Admission Visitors Center for either a visit day or individual visit to campus by calling 319-335-1566 or emailing
  6. Become a first year student, make a bunch of new friends, and go change the world!

Falling for Fall

The fall has come and the students are back. Iowa City and campus are buzzing with a new found energy and I love it! Festivals, changing leaves, and of course football traditions are my favorite things about this time of year. One of my greatest regrets when I was a first-year student in college was not exploring the community soon enough. There’s a lot going on, and I was so distracted with everything that was happening on campus!

So, here are my top five recommendations for students new to Iowa City:

  1. The Englert Theater downtown is always bringing in different shows –comedians, musicians and even magicians! They even give out student rate tickets.katie-langenfeld-2
  2. Get outside! Fall is such a beautiful time of year and there are so many places to enjoy it. Head to
    Lake McBride and check out a canoe with a friend, pack a picnic and walk to City Park, or rent a
    bike and hit the trails.
  3. Head to the Pedestrian Mall downtown and pop into all of the local shops and book stores – there are so many great choices even if you’re not looking to buy anything. Some places offer discounts to current students.
  4. Through the end of October, Iowa City hosts a local Farmers Market every Wednesday and Saturday. There’s great food and many times live music to enjoy.
  5. Check out the incredible Hancher lineup! Whether you’re into theatre, music, or dance, the new performance building has something for you. Students get discounts on tickets for some events, too!13556955_1154539151270331_1504827250_n
  6. Find the perfect pumpkin spice latte at one of Iowa City’s cozy coffee shops. High Ground Cafe, and Prairie Lights Bookstore and Cafe are some of my favorites!

So, grab a friend, floor mate or someone you just met and get to know the community together!

Summer in Iowa City

I love Iowa City. I still remember the feeling I had during my campus visit when I walked through the Pedestrian Mall for the first time. I was home.

As beautiful and magical of a place as this is during the school year, there is something even more special about Iowa City in the summertime. As a UI student, I spent three summers in Iowa City – taking classes, working on campus, and participating in internships. When I wasn’t studying or working, I was able to enjoy all of the amazing things the area has to offer a Hawkeye explorer like myself.

Downtown IC resized

From May to August, the communities surrounding the university are bursting with energy and activity. Iowa City in the summer is home to numerous festivals, weekly concerts, farmer’s markets, outdoor dining, and much, much more. Follow the Iowa River to find some tremendous hiking, biking, camping, swimming, and beaches in the area. There is always something unique and fun to check out.

You can enjoy 4th of July fireworks over the Old Capital during JazzFest, go for a stroll down the Iowa River Corridor Trail, check out an outdoor movie on the Pentacrest, hang out with friends at the City Park pool, or relax away your day on a kayak at Lake Macbride.

Lake Macbride

Now more than ever, it is great to be a UI student over the summer in Iowa City. Take advantage of the Summer Hawk Tuition Grant to save thousands on your college education and stay on track to graduate in four years or less. Or stick around to enhance your skills through an internship or summer job. No matter what you do, you won’t regret the opportunity to get involved in the community and spend more time at Iowa.

It’s more than summer love. It’s Iowa City.

Check out photos of some of our favorite summertime activities in Iowa City on our Storify. Then start to imagine spending your summer at Iowa!

Honors Program

The University of Iowa has a wonderful Honors Program and we’re here to tell you all about why you’d want to join. Program acceptance comes with benefits, challenges, and opportunities. It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it!

So, why is our Honors Program a great option for high-ability students? The short answer:

  • The program provides both structure and flexibility in academics.
  • We are a research 1 institution, which means students can pursue research in any field.
  • We’re a large school that provides scope for all sorts of interests, so you can make friends in areas ranging from arts to clubs and sports.
  • Students are encouraged to develop the skills they will need to pursue their passions both during their time here and after graduation.
  • Attend honors seminars and classes and receive specialized support from Honors Program staff.
  • Make friends with common interests – intellectual pursuits and fun alike.

We mentioned that there are opportunities that come with going through the Honors Program. Here are just a handful of examples of what we mean!

  • For our health sciences students: volunteering, job shadowing, or doing research with faculty members in our hospitals and clinics.
  • The Center for Computer-Aided Design has undergraduates from disciplines like engineering, human physiology, and computer sciences involved in cutting-edge research alongside grad students and faculty.
  • Business students can hone their skills in the Hawkinson Institute of Business Finance, the Vaughan Institute of Risk Management & Insurance, and the Iowa Electronic Markets.
  • Students in the arts and humanities benefit from Iowa City being the cultural capitol of the state – we’re the only UNESCO City of Literature in North America and the home to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, plus we have a thriving arts campus with 3 new high-quality arts and music buildings opening in 2016!

Now that we’ve piqued your interest here’s how you can join Iowa’s Honors Program:

  • Earn a 3.8 cumulative GPA in high school (weighted is acceptable)
  • Receive a minimum of a 30 ACT (1330 SAT – no super-scoring!)

Fall just short of those requirements? You can apply through the Selective Admission process. No application necessary for students who meet Honors Program admission standards.

If you’re still not sold, don’t hesitate to contact the Office of Admissions or the Honors Program directly to ask your specific questions!

Laura Goddardgoddard
Senior Admissions Counselor
The University of Iowa
Office of Admissions

Orientation Preparation: What You Need to Know

Hi, future Hawkeyes! We are just a few months away from the start of the 2016-2017 school year, which means it’s time for you to take your first steps into student life at the University of Iowa with Orientation. Orientation is two days of participating in activities, gaining information, and ultimately registering for classes! As a student, I would like to share my 7 tips for making the most out of your Orientation experience:

  1. Come prepared.

No one wants to come to Orientation unprepared. Here are a few things to check off your to-do list before Orientation:

  • Upload your Iowa One Card photo on MyUI so you’re able to easily pick up your student ID at Orientation.
  • Don’t forget to complete Part 1 of Success at Iowa on ICON.
  • Take any necessary Placement Tests to keep your academic advisers happy.
  1. Bring your parents with you.

Sometimes your family can be just as curious as you are. Bring your family to Orientation to participate in the Family and Guest Program. During this program, your family will receive important information about being a Hawkeye student, and will have a chance to ask any questions they may have.

  1. Get to know your new classmates and Hawkeye Guide.

Orientation is an awesome opportunity to meet your new classmates and connect with current Hawkeyes. To make the most of your experience, I encourage you to be open to meeting new people and taking a step outside of your comfort zone. Also, get to know your Hawkeye Guide during your program. Hawkeye Guides know what it is like to be a student on campus and are more than happy to share their experiences and knowledge with you. Plus, your Hawkeye Guide will be a familiar face on campus in August. Smile and wave if you see your guide after Orientation. They will love it, I promise!

  1. Explore Campus if you have a chance.

If you have free time during your two days, walk around and explore the campus and Iowa City. Across the street from our campus, you will find the downtown area filled with a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and much more. Our city is beautiful and we love it!

  1. Share your experience.

Want to show your friends and family how much fun you’re having on campus? Social media is the perfect place to do this. Use the hashtag #UIOrientation on your posts. If you have the best social media post in your program, you will receive a gift card to the Iowa Hawk Shop from Orientation Services. Get ready to post!

  1. Ask questions.

Transitioning to college can come with a lot of uncertainty and questions. Orientation is a great place to have some of these questions answered before classes begin.

  1. Have fun!

Orientation is designed to be helpful and informative, but also really fun. Take advantage of the opportunities you’ll have in Orientation to enjoy yourself and be silly. Start your University of Iowa experience off on a positive note!

Being able to call yourself a Hawkeye is awesome, and I hope Orientation will get you excited to be on campus in the fall!

Paige Compton26468683812_dffccf15e4_z
Social Media Coordinator, Orientation Services
The University of Iowa
Office of Admissions



It Was Just Like Yesterday

So, it seems like just yesterday my wife and I had two little girls; making sure we were doing all the right things to help them succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Now, with one a junior in college and the other finishing her senior year of high school, I look back and wonder where the time flew!

Although I’ve worked in college admissions for more than twenty-five years (which by the way, freaked my daughters out when they were looking at colleges), it still came down to some basic factors for them to find the “right fit” – and the “right feel.”

Here’s what I learned being the parent in the college search process –

  • Start talking about college early. Late in middle school seemed about the right time for our family. Make sure your student is on the path to take all the college-required courses…and more to help provide a well-rounded academic and extra-curricular experience.
  • Stop by a few campuses of different types and sizes during family trips before planning the official campus tour circuit.
  • Encourage your student to keep track of their activities, honors and awards during high school; create an activities and awards resume. This will help later when applying for admissions and scholarships; even for internships during college.
  • Help your student think about their interests, what careers might line-up with those interests, and what majors would be most helpful to land a job in those fields or to get into an appropriate graduate school program. There are many online career and college interest tools. A good one to consider is Big Future on The College Board’s website – or ACT Profile at
  • When it’s time to visit college campuses with your student during junior year of high school (or sooner), keep track of important details and impressions of each visit. We found creating an Excel spreadsheet kept things organized, including: dates and details for our visits; deadlines for application, housing, scholarships and financial aid; major(s); costs of attendance; scholarships and other financial assistance offered along with actual out-of-pocket costs per year; etc. All of this information became invaluable in April of the senior year in high school when a final decision of where to attend needed to be made.

One great way to check out college campuses early, is to encourage your student to attend a summer youth program. The University of Iowa has many opportunities for all ages; learn more at Many other resources to help you and your student in the college search process are located on our website at

So, start early, be encouraging, get organized, and let the search for that “right fit” begin!


John Laverty
Senior Associate Director:
Search & Prospect Development
The University of Iowa
Office of Admissions

An amazing opportunity for Iowa’s current students

The Pomerantz Career Center is a wonderful resource for current students who are looking for some guidance on how to prepare for their future careers. The Career Center provides a range of services including assistance with cover letter and resume writing and helps connect employers to students seeking a job or internship.Mark - professional

Participating in an internship is a great opportunity to ‘test drive’ a career to see if it’s a good fit; it will help you network with individuals in that field, you could earn possible college credit and develop new skills in the ‘real world’. The Career Center has over 1,000 internships listed on their website alone not to mention the internships that you can go out and search!

Mark - IowaI had the pleasure to speak with recent alumnus, Mark Summerside ’15, who is currently employed by The Washington Center, a program and internship opportunity that has been working with the University of Iowa for years. The Washington Center offers semester and summer-long internships to students from around the nation and world to gain experience in our nation’s capital.

The Washington Center interns are placed in internships based on their career goals and interests. When Mark was a student here at Iowa he participated in the Political Media internship.

Mark in DC“This is not a cliché internship,” says Mark. “Students are given tasks that current employees would complete.”
Students also have the opportunity to attend all Washington Forum seminars and events. Participating in this semester long internship does not push back your graduation time line as you receive college credit!

Learn about other internships offered to University of Iowa students on the Career Center website. And don’t hesitate to contact Mark at or to learn more about the wonderful opportunities that The Washington Center can offer you!




Kelsey Anderson
Assistant Director for Prospect Development
The University of Iowa
Office of Admissions


So You Want to Study Abroad…

In today’s blog, I’ll be talking with Aubree Compton, an Advisor & Program Coordinator from the University of Iowa’s Study Abroad office who will be giving us the “inside scoop” on the benefits of going abroad, places you can study, and how to make it affordable!

Madison Voss Quote
Madison studied abroad on the IA Regents Exchange program in Newcastle, Australia

Most first-year students show up to campus bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, eager to tackle a new adventure with all the new-found freedom that college offers.

From the moment you step on campus, you’ll realize there are SO many opportunities available to students looking to try something new.

However, some opportunities require more planning and thought than others. It doesn’t take too much effort to sit in on a student organization meeting or check out an event that’s within walking distance of your dorm, but what about studying abroad?

Studying abroad is a big commitment, but with the proper guidance and planning, you can make your study abroad dreams a reality.

Why should I study abroad?

There are many reasons why you should look into this once in a lifetime opportunity, according to Aubree.

“Aside from an amazing educational opportunity, students develop skills which are attractive to employers – such as working with people from diverse backgrounds, handling ambiguous situations, and gaining self-confidence as well as interpersonal skills,” she says.

Where can I go?

There are quite a few options on where to go, what to study, how long and when to go. Aubrey tells us that the most popular programs include Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and India. Students can study over their winter break, an entire academic year, over the summer, or either semesters.

The UI is home to the #1 study abroad program in India
The UI has the #1 study abroad program in India

Iowa offers 168 sponsored programs around the world for students to study. Check out the Study Abroad Office’s interactive database to explore programs based on location and major interest.

If there’s a specific university where you’d like to study and Iowa doesn’t currently offer a program there, the UI Study Abroad Office will work with you to make sure your classes transfer appropriately.

This is partially why students should meet with someone like Aubree in advance to talk about options and necessary steps.

What about scholarships?

If a student studies abroad through an Iowa-sponsored program, any merit-based scholarships will still be applied and deducted from their University Bill which helps studying abroad more affordable. There are also a number of specific study abroad scholarships for which students can apply! Studying abroad has become more and more popular not only at the University of Iowa, but across the country for students.

SO, long story short: no matter which school you end up attending it’s always a good idea to look into the opportunities that you have as a student. Learn about Iowa’s study abroad programs on their website before becoming a student! And although I’d love to study abroad now, I doubt my boss will let me take three months off from work to vacation overseas!

Where can I find more information?

International Programs

Student Blogs

Contact someone directly in the Study Abroad Office

Kelsey Anderson
Assistant Director for Prospect Development
The University of Iowa
Office of Admissions