Iowa State University

Ames, IA, USA

Reviews

Iowa State University

4.07 Average Rating

Student from Saint Louis,MO

accepted here and planning to attend soon
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Iowa State is probably the best decision I could have made. It's an amazing school for engineering and agriculture. As well as it's in an extremely friendly town and it has a beautiful campus. N
Tips for prospective students
Make sure you apply early! The application opens up in July,make sure you accept your offer of admission and correctly put in data directly from transcript. Also housing fills up quick if you want to live in a specific dorm submit your housing contract ASAP. Like most likely if you submit before January you should be able to live in the place you want.
Academic Rigor
I know that it's a great school academically and very rigourous as is most engineering programs. I haven't started my curriculum yet but I've chatted with teachers and students and I'm pretty sure you'll get a great education.
Dorm Life
Dorms are pretty typical. Iowa State is a large campus with lots of housing,they are building a new dorm that should be done by 2017. You can go for traditional housing or suite style, lots of variety but apply early!:)
Food and Dining
Food is great. Lots of options. :) Close to dorms
What to do for fun
Ames is a small town, so there's not a plethora of things to do, but since it's located in a small town there is plenty to do on campus. They have a bowling alley, movie theater on campus that shows movies for free and they are updated. If you like football or basketball there's always that as well. They have many opportunities for free fun at the Memorial Union so just stayed tuned!
Bang for the buck
I'm out of state and I think the tuition is pretty reasonable as an out of stater. Make sure you submit financial aid and get scholarships. Otherwise it's pretty great financial aid and plenty of scholarships to win.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
In the memorial Union there is a zodiac sign on the floor that you are supposed to avoid walking on or you may fail your next test. I haven't given it a try especially since I did not start my journey!:) They also have this thing called mass campanling during homecoming where you can become a true Iowa Stater by kissing at midnight at the Campanile.
Great for these types of students
I think it's great for almost every student. There are many of opportunities for students at this school. If you are into sports this is a great school for you. If you like agriculture and nature also a great school. If you want to be an engineer amazing school for you! All types can learn here.
Clubs and Activities
There are over 800 clubs that you can get involved in, so I'm pretty sure there's something for everyone!:)
Greek Life
I'm not interested in joining greek life this year, maybe next. But I know for girls in June you will get an invitation to attend formal recruitment the week before school starts and you move in early! Great school for greek life if you want in. There's a group for everyone!:)
Campus Safety
Extremely safe from what I've obsevered. It's also a small town nothing major happens. I met some of the officers on campus and they are nice. I'm pretty sure I'll be in good hands once I start!
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Itzel from Fresno, CA

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
So far the Professors I've had have really made sure the students understand the subjects and offer many review session apart from class if you're still lost. The campus is easy to get around and everyone is really friendly. There are a few classrooms that need renovating but either wise its a pretty good university.
Tips for prospective students
Be prepared for rain almost 100% of your time here even if it looks sunny on the moment the next could be pouring.
Academic Rigor
The classes can be challenging if you can't figure out the best method to study but the professors and peers really help out.
Dorm Life
The dorm I've been staying doesn't have AC and can get pretty humid. There always seems to be activities to do with either the hall mates or the entire dormitory. There even learning communities to help study.
Food and Dining
The foods pretty good in the dining centers and are always fresh.
What to do for fun
Some Fridays there is an even called ISU after dark with different activities and free food from like 8 to midnight.
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Jennifer from Shoreview, MN

a current student here
28 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The learning environment at Iowa State is unlike anything else, there's no doubt in my mind that it has been a challenge, but the school offers many resources for any student who is willing to seek them out. the collegiate learning experience demands a lot from it's students but at Iowa State they offer tutors, help sessions, study tips, workshops for writing, and most teachers and/or teaching assistants offer one on one help so no matter what you're having trouble with, you'll be able to find someone that can help. furthermore there is no doubt in my mind that I will walk away from Iowa State a more intelligent and competent person and I know that I will be fully equipped with whatever I may need to face the challenges of my selected field.
Am enjoying being here
The school has so many great things to offer. You may think that because your in Iowa, that automatically means there will be nothing to do. But if you get involved, whether it be in a club, an intramural, or in the Greek community you'll find that you wont have nearly enough time to do everything you want to do. The one drawback is that it's easy to lose focus. But if you keep in mind the real reason why you're there, then you'll be able to find the balance between why you're there and what you want to do for fun.
Bang for the buck
Iowa State is a really great school, but it is quite expensive for the out-of-staters. But I would suggest that you really consider you're major and also visit the campus to see if you like the feel of it. Personally I think the campus is absolutely beautiful, and not at all what I expected Iowa to look like. So I would say that if the school strongly represents your intended major and if you think the campus is as beautiful as I do, then Iowa State may just be the place for you.
Tips for prospective students
Keep an open mind. when you're meeting so many different people with so many different likes and dislikes be sure to maintain an open mind. When I first decided to come to Iowa state a friend of mine told me to consider doing formal recruitment for the Greek community. I had never really considered myself a sorority type of girl, but my friend told me that by doing formal recruitment it would be a great way to meet people. And not only did I meet some of my best friends, but I also joined a house and I couldn't be happier with my decision. So, in conclusion my tip is to not be afraid to branch out of you're comfort zone, because you're sure to meet some really great people and maybe even some lifelong friends.
Great for these types of students
Iowa State is great for anyone that's looking for an authentic college experience. Not only will you receive a rewarding education but you can also get involved with many different clubs and teams. Because Ames (town surrounding Iowa State) is such a small town, the school really has a sense of solidarity. Everyone goes to football games, everyone partakes in homecoming activities and other seasonal festivals, and everyone gets really excited about it.
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Nick from River Falls, WI

a current student here
16 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
You learn a lot in college, but at Iowa State you can learn anything you could imagine. The professors are true experts in their fields, and do an excellent job teaching. The living experience at ISU leads to a lot of great insights too, especially if you're living in Friley or Helser Halls.
Am enjoying being here
Ames, IA has one of the lowest crime rates in the U.S., and is generally relaxed. Football and basketball games are an absolute blast, and the town does get a little crazy. The school has a very friendly atmosphere, and it's easy to meet new people. There are all kinds of big events that happen, like E-Week or VEISHEA (if you don't know about VEISHEA yet, Google it), but there are also plenty of small ones. Whether you collect famous toothbrushes or like smashing computers to bits, you can find a student organization to share your passion with others. In short, it's hard not to enjoy Iowa State.
Bang for the buck
Tuition is a hefty load on out-of-staters, and if you're an engineering major, your tuition goes up after two years. There are scholarships available, along with $5600 and $7000 packages for those not from Iowa (very easy criteria apply). Overall, the facilities are nice. Engineers and design majors get to enjoy brand new additions and buildings, and there's also a new chemistry building going up. To paraphrase, the equipment, opportunities, and experience offered by Iowa State make it great for the price.
Tips for prospective students
The campus is gorgeous, and feels more like a state park than a college. Definitely go to a football game if you get a chance, but stay away from Welch Avenue afterward. Jimmy John's, Jeff's Pizza, and The Fighting Burrito are located a few feet from campus, have delicious food, good prices, make deliveries, and are all open until around 3 AM. Take your parents to Hickory Park when they visit, you'll be glad you did. First year roommate assignments are usually random, so be prepared. Cyride, the bus system, makes it easy to get anywhere in Ames. The guy to girl ratio is unfavorable for men, but every female in that count is hot enough to be a model. Girls, you'll find every type of man you could imagine, and then some. Take the time to meet some of the international students. There are a lot of them, and you can learn a lot from them. The career fairs are huge and bring big opportunities. Always be in attendance.
Great for these types of students
Prospective engineers, design majors, those pursuing computer-related fields, Iowa residents, and those looking for big opportunities.
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Kalynn from Davenport, IA

a current student here
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Only into my first semester at Iowa State University, I already feel like I have learned a substantial amount of useful material. I also find myself enjoying the course material exponentially more than I did in high school. The professors work really hard to make their lectures interesting, as well as, interactive in the hopes that students will better retain course material. For the harder courses like general chemistry, they even set up help sessions and Supplemental Instruction (SI) sessions in an effort to help students succeed in their class.
Am enjoying being here
Classes and help sessions keep my days pretty busy but campus life is enjoyable when I have free time. The week before school starts is one of the best times to experience Iowa State at its best. It is a time that is vibrant with new experiences as students move into their dorm rooms and freshmen participate in Destination Iowa State. Destination Iowa State is a unique event for freshmen as it gives them a chance to see the beautiful campus on a student guided tour, make new friends, receive free Cyclone gear and learn the school song in a spirited atmosphere. It is a great start to the multitude of events that happen on the Iowa State campus. Events during the school year include but are not limited to Free Friday Night Flicks (they tend to show movies that have just been in the theater), bowling in the basement of Memorial Union, concerts in Stephens Auditorium or the Hilton Colosseum and fairs within Memorial Union. There is something for everyone!
Bang for the buck
Compared to private colleges, Iowa State is pretty cheap. But it can be a pretty hefty price for students when it is compared to tuition rates at community colleges or when the prospective student is an out-of-stater. However, Iowa State does try to make it easier on out-of-staters by offering scholarships that specifically pertain to them. They also offer academic scholarships and financial aid for students from Iowa.
Tips for prospective students
1. Send in your application as soon as humanly possible ;)

2. Apply for outside scholarships as well as scholarships within Iowa State.

3. Complete your FAFSA as soon as possible.

4. Get involved on campus through volunteering, clubs and leadership activities

5. Take advantage of all the free things on campus like the gym. After all of the great food in the dining halls, you're going to need a way to work off those extra calories during the winter.

6. Try the Honors Program! You won't regret it :)
Great for these types of students
Engineers, Anthropologists, pre-vet students, agricultural students, budding scientists, design students, the musically inclined, business students and determined individuals!
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Hannah from Ames, IA

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
There are some classes I have taken that I have looked back on and wondered what the heck I learned. But, for the most part, the courses are challenging and apply to real life scenarios. The teachers here are wonderful people who are always happy to help out a struggling student.
Am enjoying being here
The people in Ames are generally good, nice people. Ames has a small town feel to it, but is just big enough to have some nightlife for the students to enjoy. And don't forget about VEISHEA or the Freeman Spring Concert!
Tips for prospective students
Be prepared to study! It's not going to be easy, but it will be worth it!
Great for these types of students
Engineering, chemistry, psychology, physics and design majors.
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Emily from Maplewood, MN

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Iowa State has a beautiful campus during all seasons. The professors are all super helpful and encouraging. There is always something to do on campus.
Tips for prospective students
Get involved! Whether it's joining clubs, sororities/fraternities, intramurals, or just going out with friends. The first few months are important in finding the people who can help you through everything that college life throws at you.
Academic Rigor
It depends on the classes you take. There are classes that are super difficult (like physics and engineering courses) but they balance out with easier classes (such as orientation and general ed requirements).
Dorm Life
If you get a good roommate and keep your door open, you will be fine. There are a lot of floor and building activities to get to know the other people who live around you. Be sure to meet the people on your floor. Who knows, they might be a super genius in the subject that you struggle with most!
Food and Dining
Like most dining center foods, there is about a three week rotation, meaning that every third Tuesday is ravioli night, etc. But overall, the food quality is good. Everything is made fresh and comes from a lot of the local farms and areas in Iowa.
What to do for fun
Campustown, directly across the street from campus, is the main social hotspot. It has a ton of places to eat, clubs to go to, and places to hang out. However, don't forget about historic downtown and the gourmet cupcake emporium! As well as off campus activities, there are always on campus activities. There are free, recently released movies playing every weekend, sports events, bands, art classes, music classes, special late night activities (sometimes including hypnotists and other semi-famous people), and a lot more!
Campus Safety
There is a free bus system that runs every day and takes you wherever you need to go in the city. Also, there is a free help van that will pick you up at night if you need to get across campus and have no one to walk with.
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Grace from Vermont

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Iowa State is a large university with the small college feel. It has many students but everywhere I go, I see people I know, and that are in my classes. Everyone is very nice and the professors know what they are teaching.
Tips for prospective students
One thing I would have to tell prospective students is that they will never get bored at ISU! There are uncountable opportunities! Whether looking for clubs, volunteering, greek life, or just someone to study with there is always someone about doing something.

Don't be afraid of big lecture halls! There maybe a few hundred students in each class but if you have a question, raise your hand and the professor will answer it. If you don't get a chance to during class most professors stay after class to answer questions and also have office hours and you can email them too! Most professors also put up their powerpoint slides online so you can access them as well.
Academic Rigor
The academic rigor really depends on the professor and what class you are taking. Biology and Chemistry have difficult tests and lots of reading, but other classes like dance and some english classes have less homework levels and easier grading. It all depends on your major and what you enjoy doing!
Dorm Life
Dorm life is all what you get out of it! If you sit in your room with the door closed all day, it is likely that you will live a quiet dorm life on your floor. If all your friends are on the floor below you or above you it is easy to take the stairs and hang out there. The learning communities, and houses are a good way to get to know the people in your hallway! You have meetings and events just to chill out with your neighbors! If you don't like your roommate it is EASY to switch and/or politely ask them to switch! If you know who and where you want to dorm with you have to option to sign up with them and where when signing your forming contract.
Food and Dining
The food is delicious! The dining centers spend a lot of time working on different foods and the variety is great! If the dining center is closed then the C-Store will be open and have smoothies, made to order sandwiches, frozen food, and lots of other wonderful random food/refreshments! The Union Drive dorms also have access to Clyde's dining, which is more grill and pizza! It's delicious! So in other words you will never go starving.
What to do for fun
ISU has a wonderful green in front of the Campanile that can be used to play frisbee, football or hang out in the sun, read a book, what ever you wish to use it for. There are always performances going on in the CY auditorium. There is free performances and movies playing in the Memorial Union Building. You can just hang out in your dorm with friends or go out partying. One thing that is Huge at ISU is the football games! Everyone goes and the student section is so much fun! We love supporting our team and singing our school song!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
ISU has a very outgoing greek life! Yell Like Hell is a competition before homecoming that the sororities and fraternities pair up and create a crazy skit with cheers and chants talking about ISU! The performances are on central campus and after making second cuts those pairing get to be painted head to toe in red and yellow paint! It's fun to participate in and entertaining to watch! There is also lawn displays which a Fraternity and their pairing will create this huge stage on their lawn and put on a 10 minute skit for the public or anyone who wants to see it!

There is a tradition about kissing under the campanile. If you kiss someone under the campanile at midnight then you are supposed to be together forever, or something of that nature.
Greek Life
Greek life is very different then a lot of sororities and fraternities. There are so many fraternities and sororities that the recruitment opportunities really help you find a house that fits you! Each house has their own national philanthropy, meaning that they raise money every semester to give to that charity! They all have beautiful houses, and their are also fraternities and sororities that don't have houses so you can have the family feel but not have to pay house dues or live in house.
Campus Safety
The campus has a super safe feel, and public safety is always driving around if they are needed.
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Nathan from Stewartville, MN

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The professors here at Iowa State are very qualified to teach their expertise. You learn so much from class to class that you can apply to real life very easily and start using right away.
Am enjoying being here
There is a lot of life on the campus of Iowa State. It doesn't matter what dorm you live in or even if you live off campus. You can find something to do anywhere on campus very easily for almost every day of the week.
Bang for the buck
Iowa State is very expensive. I am an out-of-state student and am very concerned about having to transfer if either one of my parents lose their job or if tuition continues to rise. However, I feel like almost every dollar I spend here is worth what I'm getting out of it, otherwise I wouldn't be here. There are a lot of little fees that they charge you for but if you get involved with a lot of things on campus you can get something out of every dollar you are charged.
Tips for prospective students
If you are going to attend Iowa State I have a few very helpful tips for you. First, make sure you keep your grades up and stay very involved with extracurricular activities so that you can get some scholarships and so you can continue those activities in college. Second, really get involved as soon as you step on campus because if you don't not only will you be bored, but as many as your advisors will tell you it will be harder for you to get internships and job positions in the future. Thirdly, take advantage of your advisors. So far I have had nothing short of great advisors that are willing to sit down and discuss what I'm interested in and what would be better for me to take with my major and interests etc. Lastly, make sure you are organized with your time for studying, organizations, and friends.
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Monica from Naperville, IL

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The college that no really knows what to expects but falls completely in love with. Iowa State offers a wide array of majors and minors along with some of the kindest professors teaching those classes. Without a doubt my home away from home in my opinion.
Tips for prospective students
Definitely go and visit the campus in the spring or fall time because it's absolutely beautiful! Be prepared for an amazing 4 or 5 years of your life. The only issue I have with Iowa State is registering for classes and having the class times I want fill up so you could easily be stuck with 8ams.
Academic Rigor
As a business major, I don't think the general classes they have you take before the business core classes were too bad. But it really depends on your major.
Dorm Life
Social and never a dull moment. Lived on an all girls floor in Willow and became friends with a lot of girls from recruitment and some of the guys from the floor below and above me because of floor socials. I miss having a meal plan and just going into the dining halls whenever.
Food and Dining
Windows has really good food, but Seasons is a classic in my book. Wish there were more little cafes around campus
What to do for fun
Ledges, grabbing food from Welch street, Friday and Saturday nights, football games, club activities, hammock on central campus, stack line, etc.
Bang for the buck
It was cheaper for me to go out of state than to stay in state.
Clubs and Activities
HUGE variety of clubs so you're bound to find something that you like to do
Greek Life
It has a pretty big presence around campus and it's a great way to get involved, meet new people, volunteer, etc.
Campus Safety
Never really felt unsafe walking anywhere and if anything there's always SafeRide!
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