Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Tell me about ISU!

country4mecountry4me Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
edited July 2011 in Iowa State University
I am a high school (rising) junior who is interested in urban and community planning. I have been doing a bit of research on this field and Iowa State seems to have a great reputation for it, especially in the area of small town development. I live in Virginia and know pretty much nothing about Iowa State except what I can see from its online website.

General school questions:
It is supposed to be a pretty campus, is it? What is the weather like generally during the school year? Does it have a lot of school spirit? Are the students easy going/friendly? Esp to out of state kids?

Financial questions:
My folks have told me that in order for me to head OOS to school, I need to be able to find a way to get the total costs down in merit aid to what I would pay for in state here in Virginia. (around 18-22K a year). I looked at the website for ISU and there are a lot of scholarships available. Does their FA office "stack" scholarships to award more money? Are they generous for OOS students? Right now my GPA is 4.5 and I am ranked 6th out of 350 +/- students with a rigorous (AP/Honors) curriculum. I have yet to take any SATs or ACTs so that will decide a great deal of course.

If you have any thoughts, I would love to read about them. Ames, Iowa is a looooong way from Virginia, but that is kind of exciting to me! Thanks everyone!
Post edited by country4me on

Replies to: Tell me about ISU!

  • GLAWGLAW Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    country, our DD is also OOS. My best advice is to read through all of the Iowa State threads here. You will learn so much. In general, the weather is midwestern, meaning all four seasons. The campus is gorgeous. The people are extremely kind and welcoming. We've visited so many schools and now it looks like we may have another D going to Ames.
  • buzymom3buzymom3 Registered User Posts: 570 Member
    My DD is going to be a soph in two weeks...Her first year was amazing! To answer your question, the campus is beautiful, in fact it is considered one of the top three most beautiful in the nation. It was designed by the same gentleman that designed Central Park in NY, and once you see the quad you will understand this.

    There are definitely 4 seasons. The first few weeks of school can be very warm, then you get the lovely Fall weather and the leaves start to turn. Best football weather around. Winter, especially in January can be tough. But the campus has an top notch bus system. There is always a Cyride bus coming by. Spring is a great time...nice weather, kids on the quad playing frisbee and football. Lots of soccer too.

    This is a school with a strong fan base for sports. Parents weekend football tickets are almost sold out. Just got a beautiful new scoreboard for the stadium. Basketball games are not to be missed in the Hilton.

    One thing you do need to know...this is not a party school. Do kids party? Absolutely they do, but they are also serious about academics. The engineering school is very difficult, my DD is in health sciences and it is tough. So you do need to balance.

    People are very friendly and even the faculty is very caring. My dd was seriously ill in late October last year. Hospital and everything, we are OOS, about 5 - 6 hours away...one of her profs actually emailed her and asked her if she needed anything or if they could help in anyway as they knew that she was far from home. I was very impressed with that.

    Midwestern feel to the town. The town of Ames is very supportive of the campus. In fact once you are accepted, the mayor sends a letter of congratulation and explains all the city services that are available to students. The bus system even in town is free for students.

    Nice shopping, good restaurants and friendly people in town. DD has never felt unsafe or unwanted.

    The school itself is very well ranked. Engineering, Arch., Urban Planning, rising business school. Faculty are very approachable and easy to meet with. DD never had any problems with getting help when needed. I don't know of any classes that are taught by TA's...all are taught by professors, with recitations taught by GA's.

    The one thing that really impressed me with the school, was when we went for orientation and the President of the college stood up and said: "My job is not to just educate your child, my job is to make sure that your child is employed once they get out of college"...we are in the employment business. Let me tell you every parent in that auditorium clapped! lol I was very impressed by the job resource center. Iowa State is very highly ranked by recruiters and was highlighted in a WSJ article highlighting the top schools that recruiters love.

    Oh and OOS scholarships...they are very generous and they do give more than what they list on the website. Yes they do stack...

    My youngest is a rising senior in HS right now, and Iowa State is in her top two.
    Feel free to ask any other questions ... GLAW is a great wealth of info too!
  • country4mecountry4me Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Wow! Thanks for your replies. It sounds like a great school and is definitely on my list. Hopefully my grades and upcoming board scores will be good enough to make me competitive for receiving enough merit aid and to make attending financially possible. Time will tell.

    I am glad that it doesn't have a reputation of being a party school. I don't drink. I would love to be able to join a faith based club, participate in club running (I do cross country) and be at a school that has a "homey" feel to it, if that makes sense. I have always been interested in two areas of the country, the south, blame Huckleberry Finn, and the midwest, blame Little House on the Prairie. lol

    If I were to be able to attend there, it would be a big change for me, being so far from home. After reading about your daughter's situation, busymom, that makes me feel a lot better about it, though. I also know it would be a big step for my parents, having a child go to school 18 hours away. I have told them that with today's technology, Skype, etc., it doesn't matter really whether you are 3 hours away or 18. Away is away.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write and reply. I am sure to have many more questions as the next two years roll by. Have a great day!
  • Tdjcb09Tdjcb09 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    ISU is DEFINITELY a beautiful campus. I'll post a few links to galleries below.

    Definitely check this one out first, this guy is brilliant with a camera:

    ISU Photostream
    Newest Photos - Photostream - Iowa State University

    Look at some of the photos Facebook users have posted on the "Class of 2015" page!

    I don't know much about the financial stuff. Sorry ;(
  • GLAWGLAW Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    Iowa State has a wonderful youth group, SALT, that is very active and soooo fun. Our D has met some of her best buddies there. It is so true that technology eases the homesickness and closes the distances between you. If you are going to live on campus almost anywhere, it will be an adjustment for you and your family. But that's all a part of growing up, right?

    You have amazing opportunities at Iowa State to get involved in any kind of club, service project, job, research, excursion or distraction. There is something for everyone, but buzymom3 is right about the balance. It is the most important aspect of college. Work hard, live well.
This discussion has been closed.