Gaining the Iowa Edge

Embark on your college journey at the University of Iowa with a head start through the Iowa Edge program! 

This dynamic four-year mentorship initiative is open to all students with an emphasis on assisting those from under-resourced schools, first-generation college attendees, or transfer students. 

Iowa Edge begins before your first semester at the University of Iowa to help with the transition to the campus. Here is what you can look forward to in the pre-semester experience:

  • Networking: Forge connections with faculty and campus leaders ready to guide you.
  • Community: Join a vibrant group of peers and start building lifelong friendships.
  • Leadership: Hone skills that will propel you to success in academics and beyond.

Kick off your first day of classes feeling confident and prepared, paving your way to becoming a proud University of Iowa alum. Plus, you can earn a semester hour credit by participating in the Iowa Edge course (CIAE: 1050) during your first term.

Meals and program expenses for the Iowa Edge pre-semester experience for all participants are privately funded.

How to Apply

The Iowa Edge application for Fall 2024 opens in late April. 

Apply via MyUI by selecting ‘Admissions Profile’ and completing the Iowa Edge Application. 

The program will admit up to 150 students. Submit applications by June 30, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. for priority consideration. Notifications will be sent by July 8, 2024. Applications post-deadline are accepted if space permits.

Submit Application

Submit your application by June 30, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.
Go to MyUI, select Admissions Profile, locate and fill out the Iowa Edge Application

Iowa Edge Contacts

Aranda, Luis

Luis Aranda

Interim Director
Blake Simpson-Wade Headshot

Blake Simpson-Wade

Iowa Edge Program Coordinator



The Iowa Edge application for the Fall 2024 Cohort is now open. To apply for the Iowa Edge, please follow these steps:

  • Go to MyUI
    • Select Admissions Profile
    • Locate and fill out the Iowa Edge Application
    • For questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Luis Aranda, Interim Director and Iowa Edge Program Lead (

Applications will be accepted through 11:59 PM, Sunday, June 30, 2024. For questions, please contact Luis Aranda ( or Blake Simpson-Wade (


For the Fall 2024 cohort: You should select a residence hall move-in time in mid-August. Details will be posted here when 2024 dates are released.

Please visit the Move-In site for details on Early Move-In. The Iowa Edge program will cover the cost of one night of early move-in. You will see charges appear on your U-Bill account but don’t worry, as credits will be posted to your account by the Iowa Edge program.

You can move right into your residence hall room for the year. You should receive your room assignment by late July and that information is shared with Iowa Edge staff.

During the Iowa Edge program, most meals are provided by the program, but students may also need to depend on their meal plans for some meals. For students without meal plans, alternative arrangements may be possible.

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 are responsible for their own housing and meal costs, whether living on or off campus. Iowa Edge will cover up to one night of early arrival to residence halls at the cost of $35/day

Additional FAQ's

Once the application is open, if you believe that your application did not submit successfully, please send an email with your name and the date that you attempted to submit your application to Luis Aranda, using 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.

Honors Primetime has options for students to choose from. If you would like to participate in Iowa Edge and Honors Primetime, select Option 2 as described on the Honors Primetime website.

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

If you have already made arrangements for the 18th, please keep that arrangement. If you are accepted into the Iowa Edge Program, it will cover your early move-in fee at no cost. If you are accepted into the Iowa Edge Program, it will cover your early move-in fee for up to one night at no cost. If you move in before the 18th, 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.

Alejandra Almazan, Office of Student Financial Aid

Luis F. Aranda, Center for Inclusive Academic Excellence

Kennedy Bland, Associate Peer Leader, Associate Peer Leader

Valerie Garr, College of Nursing

Kate Garrett, Orientation Services

Jacqueline Hernandez-Garcia, Associate Peer Leader

Virginia Ibrahim-Olin, University Housing and Dining

Mike Meginnis, International Writing Program

Gabriela Rivera, Tippie College of Business

Josie Snyder, Associate Peer Leader

Bella Vondracek, Associate Peer Leader



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

Leadership and Engagement

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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