Frequently Asked Questions

On Iowa! is a required immersion experience for all new first-year students. On Iowa! will provide a comprehensive introduction to University life, including the skills necessary to be a successful University of Iowa student within and beyond the classroom. During On Iowa!, you will build connections with new and current students, learn about University history and traditions, and become familiar with the expectations of The IOWA Challenge. You’ll learn about what to expect academically, the differences between high school and college, and how to be successful at Iowa. Setting goals, staying safe and healthy, and getting engaged on campus will also be emphasized.

On Iowa! for students enrolling for Fall Semester 2013 will be Aug. 21-25. Classes begin August 26. First-year students living the residence halls will move in on Wednesday or Thursday, Aug. 21 or 22.  There will be many activities offered on those days, so no matter when you get to campus, there will be lots to do!

Yes. All incoming first-year students are required to attend On Iowa! The program is an introduction to the resources and skills you’ll need for a successful college experience within and beyond the classroom.

On Iowa! is required. If you have a conflict that may prevent you from attending any of the components of On Iowa!, we may grant exemptions upon request. Exemptions might include, but are not limited to, medical need, dependent child care, severe illness, unexpected family emergencies, or active military duty. We will begin accepting requests for exemptions on June 8. Exemption requests are due by August 16. Contact Kate Sojka at 319-335-1733 to learn more.

During Orientation students meet with an academic advisor, register for first semester classes, and get introduced to campus resources. On Iowa! focuses on getting to know and becoming a part of the campus community. It also introduces important academic success skills, teaches Iowa traditions, and connects students with opportunities to get involved on campus. Both programs are mandatory for all incoming first-year students.

First things first: Get settled into your residence hall room or apartment. Then, walk, drive, or ride the Cambus to the Iowa Memorial Union. There, you’ll find On Iowa! staff ready to help you with check-in, answer any questions, and hand off a bag of program materials and freebies.

Class of 2017: Wednesday, August 21 (10 a.m.- 5p.m.) or Thursday, August 22 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)  Location:  Second Floor Ballroom, IMU

Transfer Students: Thursday, August 22 (2-6 p.m.) in the Lucas Dodge Room, IMU or Friday, August 23 (10 a.m.-Noon) in the Second Floor Ballroom

Student check-in is required. All students must check in for On Iowa! prior to the first meeting on Friday, August 23.

Your acceptance fee covers the cost of attending On Iowa!, including two special meals (Friday dinner, , Sunday dinner), optional activities, and late-night entertainment.

On Iowa! is required for all first-year students, including those living off campus. Parking permits for commuter students will be available at check-in. Take a look at the off-campus parking page for additional information.


  • Walking: You will be walking a lot during the program (see Disability & Mobility Accommodations if you need assistance). Be sure to wear appropriate footwear.
  • Cambus: The University’s free bus service will be operating on its regular service schedule beginning August 17. There will be special shuttles provided to certain events. Take a look at the On Iowa Transportation page  for more information.
  • Driving: If you live off campus and are driving to campus, you can park free in designated lots during On Iowa!. Students living off campus (not in the residence halls) will have free parking in the Hawkeye Commuter Lot or Hancher Parking Lot while they attend On Iowa! activities. More information can be found on the Off Campus Parking page.

We want to be sure that you’re able to participate fully in On Iowa! If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Katie Radtke  at 319-335-1479 or by August 16.

Yourself and a great attitude. At On Iowa! check-in you’ll get a swag bag with freebies and your On Iowa! handbook. You should plan on bringing your student ID, On Iowa! bag and handbook with you to all On Iowa! events.

If you are living off campus, or you don’t have a University meal plan, your meals will be provided during the official On Iowa! program (which includes dinner on Friday; and dinner on Sunday). You may also choose to eat in the Market Places for a nominal fee:  Breakfast ($7); Lunch ($10); and Dinner ($10).

Parents are welcome to help their students check in. We’ll have a family area, where staff can answer questions and parents can chat with other UI moms and dads. After that, it’s time to say good-bye. Parents, you can leave campus knowing that the residence hall and On Iowa! staff are working hard to support your sons and daughters as they make the transition to college life.

On Iowa! is for all new students. Some events are designed for first-year students who've never attended a college before, but others are open to—or created especially for—transfer students. See the On Iowa! schedule for additional information.