Gaining the Iowa Edge

The University of Iowa is an exciting place—full of academic, cultural, and social opportunities. Yet, attending a large university can be overwhelming and a little intimidating. The Iowa Edge is an exciting program for selected African American, Alaskan Native, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Latino/a, first-generation, and LGBTQ+ college students transitioning to college.

Participate in The Iowa Edge to:

  • Meet faculty and campus leaders who will support you during your college experience
  • Build community with a group of peers before the semester begins
  • Develop leadership skills for success in class, on campus, and in life

On the first day of class, you'll feel like a seasoned pro—your first step to becoming a University of Iowa graduate!

Move-in early at no charge; lodging, meals, and program expenses for all participants are paid by a grant from the Kevin and Donna Gruneich Charitable Foundation.

COVID-19 Update

Due to COVID-19, the Iowa Edge program is expected to occur in a hybrid format in 2021. Some elements may be done in person, while others will be virtual. The precise mix will depend on the University of Iowa's guidance and all relevant local, state, and federal public health authorities. The safety of our participants is always our first concern.

How to Apply

The application process is through MyUI and can be done in three, simple steps.

  • Log into MyUI (
  • Go to your Admissions Profile.
  • Look for the “Iowa Edge Application” section and follow the link to fill out the application

The deadline for applications is June 25, 2021.

August 15 – 18, 2021

Log into MyUI
Go to your Admissions Profile.
Look for the “Iowa Edge Application” section and follow the link to fill out the application.
The deadline to apply is June 25, 2021.

Late Afternoon Scenes


  • Log into MyUI (
  • Go to your Admissions Profile.
  • Look for the “Iowa Edge Application” section and follow the link to fill out the application.


Students should expect to move into their resident hall (dorm) sometime before the program begins at 5:00 PM Sunday, August 15, 2021.

No, the Iowa Edge Program will cover the cost of early move-in.

The room that you move into will be your actual residence hall room for the entire school year. The University of Iowa’s resident halls determines room assignments for all incoming students in advance. Before the program, we request their assignment information to have Iowa Edge Leaders welcome you to the residence halls and answer any questions. Since you move in early, chances are you will not meet many individuals in your residence hall until they move in four days later on the actual housing move-in date.

During a normal Iowa Edge session, all Iowa Edge participants would have meals provided for them, starting with dinner on Sunday until the end of the day Wednesday.

Unfortunately, due to safety complications relating to COVID-19, students may be required to depend on their meal plans for some meals. We will update this section as we determine what is safe and feasible.

Families and students will be provided with itineraries for the program during check-in on Sunday. Until we release the official itineraries, you can expect there to be arrangements for participants to interact with faculty and professors, tours of many important buildings and resource offices, leadership training and classroom experiences, and sessions on financial literacy, study skills, and career paths.

No, students living on and off-campus are responsible for their own housing costs. However, to participate in the Iowa Edge program, the student will have to move into their University Residence Hall early. Moving into University Residence Halls early incurs a daily charge of $45. For the length of the Iowa Edge program, we will cover the early move-in costs only. 

Additional FAQ's

If you believe that your application did not submit successfully, please send an email with your name and the date you suspect that you submitted your application to Katie Newcomb, with the email

Since the Iowa Edge program is limited in the number of students who can actually participate, we can only accept students who can commit to completing the program in its entirety.

While the Iowa Edge program is designed for students who live on-campus, we will accept students into the program who live off-campus. It will be your responsibility to arrive on- campus each day at the assigned time and stay for the duration of the program each day, or a cancellation fee will be assessed. For planning purposes, we would like to know where you will be living during the week of Iowa Edge to provide you with appropriate logistical communication regarding your participation in the program. Please note that the application will request that your address of residence be submitted before applying.

Unfortunately, due to significant time overlaps, students can't participate in the Iowa Edge program if they participate in Honors Primetime, the Hawkeye Marching Band, or any other conflicting program.

To select more than one Area of Study, please hold the CTRL button when selecting the options you want. It should allow you to highlight a couple of options.

If you have already made arrangements for the 15th, feel free to keep that arrangement. If you are accepted into the Iowa Edge Program, it will cover your early move-in fee at no cost to you. However, if you are not selected, you will still be charged the early arrival fee. If you move in before the 15th, you will be responsible for fees associated with those days.

Peer Leaders are trained to provide a person-centered, community-centered orientation to university life the week before classes begin for students who face challenging issues of transition. Iowa Edge peer leaders directly address and positively impact these students’ rates of persistence, retention, and graduation. In 2021, the following students will serve as peer leaders:

Associate Peer Leaders:

Dominique Badajoz
Major: Art & Informatics
Hometown: Newport Beach, CA

Carolina Herrera
Major: Ethics and Public Policy (Sociology) 
Hometown: Aurora, IL

Chris Vazquez
Major: English and Creative Writing
Hometown: Fridley, MN

Peer Leaders:

Luz Alcala
Majors: Management (Human Resource Management), Business Analytics and Information Systems
Hometown: Villa Park, IL

Jennifer Cano
Major: English
Hometown: Columbus Junction, IA

Johanna Castillo Aguirre
Major: Microbiology (Pre-Dental)
Hometown: Council Bluffs, IA

Zoe Dervin
Major: Speech and Hearing Science
Hometown: Chicago, IL

Phoenix Doan
Major: Business
Hometown: Des Moines, IA

Erin Elizalde
Major: Environmental Engineering
Hometown: Coralville, IA

Marco Guadiana
Major: Finance
Hometown: Beach Park, IL

Stephanie Gutierrez
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Chicago, IL 

Shyisha Hodges
Major: Psychology & Sociology
Hometown: Davenport, IA

Abi Jacobo
Major: Nursing
Hometown: West Liberty, IA

Lisa Lee
Major: Business
Hometown: Des Moines, IA

Kat Lopez
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Chicago, IL

McKrina Lopez
Major: Marketing Analytics
Hometown: Stom Lake, IA

Branycia Mitchell
Major: Human Physiology
Hometown: Kingwood, TX 

Nikole Molina
Major: Business
Hometown: Muscatine, IA

Xavier Ortega
Major: Social Work
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Karishma Patel
Major: Business, Biology
Hometown: Oak Brook, IL

Dominic Rivas
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Ackworth, IA

Emily Rodriguez
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: West Liberty, IA

Stephanie Rodriguez
Major: Public Health
Hometown: West Des Moines, IA

Daniela Sanchez
Major: Social Justice
Hometown: West Liberty, IA

Hariram Saravanan
Major: Interdepartmental Studies (Health Science-Multidisciplinary Science)
Hometown: Coralville, IA

Paulina Solis
Major: West Liberty, IA
Hometown: Social Justice

Nacho Torres
Major: Health & Human Physiology
Hometown: Storm Lake, IA

Joey Villalobos
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Bartlet, IL

Carlos Yaque
Major: Public Health
Hometown: Muscatine, IA

Alejandra (Alex) Almazan
Office of Student Financial Aid

Kelly Clougher
University Counseling Services

Jennifer Eimers
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Keniese Evans
University Housing and Dining

Dan Gall
Library Administration

Valerie Garr
College of Nursing

Hannah Hodges

Kristin Lang
College of Engineering 

Mike Meginnis
Center for Diversity & Enrichment

Katie Newcomb
Center for Diversity and Enrichment

Jessica Padilla
Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) 

Marcus Phillips
Office of Admissions

Susie Regan
Career Leadership Academy

Gabriella Rivera
Tippie College of Business

Sheila Schechinger
Office of Admissions

Tristan Schmidt
TRIO Upward Bound

Mike Smith
Academic Advising Center

Cara Wiebel
Orientation Services

Tab Wiggins
Center for Diversity & Enrichment

Stephanie Yazell
TRIO Student Support Services 

Dominique Badajoz
Associate Peer Leader

Carolina Herrera
Associate Peer Leader

Chris Vazquez
Associate Peer Leader

The purpose of The Iowa Edge Student Organization (link is external) is to provide year-round academic, social, and volunteer programming for all students, focusing on students of color, first-generation students, and Iowa Edge alumni. It is a student organization created by Iowa Edge alumni to increase both student retention, student diversity, and the quality of student life at the University of Iowa.

The Iowa Edge Student Organization's goal will be to provide leadership opportunities and year-round programming for all Iowa Edge alumni and the multicultural community. The Iowa Edge Student Organization will help foster community and student success among the overall community of color. Building from The Iowa Edge program, the organization will pursue continued growth at both the community and individual level through community building, diversity education, and student support.

The organization will provide enriching academic, social, and volunteer programming opportunities throughout the year that all students may take part in or become active leaders in organizing to increase student retention, student diversity, and student life quality at the University of Iowa. This will be done for all students, focusing on students of color, first-generation students, and specifically Iowa Edge alumni.

The Iowa Edge is funded by the Kevin and Donna Gruneich Charitable Foundation.

The Iowa Edge is coordinated by a coalition of UI students, faculty, and staff. Individuals from the following academic programs and campus offices plan and implement The Iowa Edge.

Academic Advising Center

Center for Diversity & Enrichment

Center for Student Involvement & Leadership

Henry B. Tippie College of Business

College of Engineering

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Carver College of Medicine

College of Nursing

College of Pharmacy

Office of Student Financial Aid

Office for Study Abroad

Office of Admissions

Pomerantz Career Center

Student Disability Services

University Housing & Dining

University Libraries

Kevin Gruneich BBA 1980 Park City, Utah

“I am just beginning to return the investment others have made in me.”

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