ISU: 2020 Requirements, Scores & GPAs
This is the go-to guide for getting into Iowa State University. We suggest you read until the end... Not only will we layout the exact GPA and test scores you should aim for when applying to ISU, but we’ll also offer creative ways to help your application stand out from the pack. We breakdown ISU statistics better than any article out there and show you how these have changed over time. Also, make sure to check out Iowa State University on CampusReel to see what it’s really like here. If you're interesting in transferring to ISU, the read our transfer guide. You can also use the below calculator to help determine your likelihood of acceptance at ISU
What GPA do you need to get into Iowa State University?
Iowa State University’s average GPA is 3.64. Iowa State University does require GPA. This average GPA means Iowa State University is very selective. Often times, schools in this range are trying to increase their selectivity and “prestige”. We can’t read the minds of ISU application readers, but they likely want to increase the average GPA from 3.64 to 3.82 this year - to play it safe, we recommend striving for the 3.82 GPA.
*BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE NOTE: GPA and “prestige” DO NOT mean a college is right for you. Iowa State University may seem amazing on paper, but you may hate it... That’s why 700,000 students transfer colleges every year - they end up going to the wrong school. It’s crucial to watch the videos on CampusReel and make sure you can envision yourself on ISU’s campus. These ISU admission statistics do not sufficiently tell you what a college or university is like.
What is Iowa State University’s acceptance rate?
Last year Iowa State University’s acceptance rate was 87.15. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.
|Acceptance Rate||87.0 %||89.0 %||87.15 %|
As you can see, Iowa State University is getting more and more difficult to get into. If this trend continue it’s likely that ISU will be even more competitive by the time you apply.
Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into ISU - it’s a very high level understanding of the true competition. Use the acceptance rate as a general guide for curating a list of 10-15 schools that fall into different ranges of competitiveness. Then, use the below data to get a deeper understanding of how your application will compare to the rest of the pool.
Does Iowa State University Require Test Scores?
Iowa State University requires that you either take the SAT or ACT. See the table below for how Iowa State University’s accepted students have performed on both tests. You may be wondering how many test scores should you submit. Generally, don’t freak out about taking the test too often. Industry consensus is that you can submit up to 6 tests as a reasonable limit.
Iowa State University SAT Requirements
Iowa State University’s average SAT score is 1125 - this is the sum of the math and reading portions of the SAT (the 1600 scale). Check out the below table for a deeper look into how students performed - it’s also very interesting to look at the average test score over time. The trend over time helps give insight into whether Iowa State University is getting more or less competitive.
|25th Percentile||75th Percentile||Average|
Iowa State University’s average SAT score is 1125. To be a competitive applicant for Iowa State University your SAT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 980, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider Iowa State University a “target” school (one that you are likely to get into) you should aim for a score of 1270.
Iowa State University ACT Requirements
Iowa State University’s average ACT score is 74. To be a competitive applicant for Iowa State University your ACT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 65, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider Iowa State University a “target” school (one that you have a good chance of getting into) you should aim for a score of 84.
|25th Percentile||75th Percentile||Average|
Iowa State University Requirements
Now you know where you need to be for getting into Iowa State University from a grade and test score perspective. Let’s quickly outline what else you’ll need to provide for your application to get reviewed, and then we’ll move onto the most important section: differentiating your app.
How to get into ISU
Follow these steps to maximize your chances of getting into ISU. Everything you read above will help prepare you for what you need to achieve to have a shot at ISU, but these steps will take you even further in applying that knowledge and differentiating your application.
Main Academic Excellence that is in line with ISU admission standards.
- Score at least a 1125 on the SAT or 74 on the ACT.
- Maintain a GPA of at least a 3.64.
Join Extracurriculars that Align with ISU’s Values.
- Join your school band, a sports team or another group activity. If Iowa State University values music heavily, for example, then try to participate in an organization related to that topic.
- Volunteer in your hometown. Ames has tons of ways to be involved beyond just the college. Iowa State University wants applicants that are also good ambassadors for the school - they want students who will give back to the local community and broader Ames area in general.
- Spend your summer doing something that speaks to your values, personal growth, leadership qualities and other less quantifiable characteristics. ISU needs to see past your test scores and grades - they need to know that you will be a valuable and contributing member of their community. You are more than grades and test scores - your experiences should demonstrate that.
Prepare Your Application
- Write a stellar essay that shows Iowa State University something they can’t figure out from the other parts of your application. For a detailed guide on writing the best college essay, check this out.
- Get teacher recs that speak to your character. If you know what you’re majoring in and include that in your ISU app, try to have at least 1 recommendation from a teacher in that department.
- Apply Before the Deadline. Too many students wait until the last minute to submit their application, and too much can go wrong during this precious time window. Since many students are applying on the last day, it’s possible that ISU’s own system crashes. Don’t risk the added stress this can cause - submit your app a few days early.
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