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Iowa State University

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  • Statistics

    Ames, IA
    College Town
    Acceptance Rate:
    81 %
    Tuition and Fees:
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  • Summary

    Iowa State University isn't just a school for farmers.

    It does still have an excellent agricultural department, but the math and science departments are also some of the best offered at a state university--so much so that people come from all over the world to study here (although the student body is still about 70 percent Iowan). They've also got the world's first six-sided virtual reality room, which students sometimes use for programming. And most students mention the amazing

    friendships they've made at ISU. It could be the school's many clubs or events designed to promote school spirit, like VEISHEA, a week-long school celebration featuring music by popular bands and attracting alumni of all ages. It could be the excellent academics. Or it could just be because Iowans are such a friendly bunch. But whatever the reason, students seem to agree that their time spent at ISU was about the best time of their lives.

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  • Additional Info

    As reported by Jessica White ‘08, “Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm (now Iowa State University) was officially established on March 22, 1858. The Farm House, the first building on the Iowa State campus, was completed in 1862. Iowa State University is a land grant institute which focuses on the ideals and beliefs that higher education should be obtainable to all and that the university should teach liberal and practical subjects. In 1959, Iowa State University was officially renamed Iowa State University of Science and Technology.”

    Iowa State’s nearly 2000-acre park-like campus includes more than 160 buildings, many of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Stanton Memorial Campanile bells are housed in the Campanile, perhaps one of Iowa State’s best known landmarks. People all over Iowa know the Campanile, and many have probably smooched underneath it with their boyfriend or girlfriend.

    The center of the campus is a 20-acre lawn that has been lauded by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

    The area of Ames, Iowa, that ISU students spend most of their time in is Campustown, for obvious reasons. The neighborhood is a mere few blocks from ISU’s campus and features nightlife, restaurants, the Varsity Theater, and affordable housing for students.

    This is certainly not to say, however, that the rest of Ames is off limits. The city has a public transportation system called Cy-Ride which is free to any ISU student, a fact often taken advantage of to go to any of Ames’s nightlife or cultural locations.

    Iowa State VEISHEA, an all-university celebration, is the nation’s largest student organized and managed festival. VEISHEA is a week-long event that celebrates all the colleges on campus. Held once a year towards the end of the school year, VEISHEA hosts a number of popular bands (this year’s headliner was Eve 6) and attracts thousands of people (alumni, students, and locals alike). People look forward to the event all year.

    VEISHEA stands for Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, Industrial Science, Home Economics, and Agriculture.

    Robert L. Bartley was the opinion page editor of the Wall Street Journal for 30 years and a Pulitzer Prize winner and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    George Washington Carver (1894) was a botanist and the inventor of peanut butter as well as over 300 hundred other uses for peanuts and hundred more uses for soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes.

    Carrie Chapman Catt was a women’s suffragist who was president of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association when the 19th Amendment was adopted.

    Tom Harkin (1962) is a Democratic senator from Iowa.

    Ted Kooser (1962) is the thirteenth poet laureate of the United States, serving from 2004-2006.

    Henry A. Wallace (1910) was the 33rd vice president of the United States, 11th secretary of agriculture, and tenth secretary of commerce.

    The Iowa State Cyclones compete at the Division I level and are members of the Big 12. Jessica White ’08 discusses Iowa State athletics:

    "Iowa State University is home to the Cyclones, a team fervently loved by students and non-students alike that. In 2007, CY the Cyclone won a contest held by CBS to determine the most dominant mascot on earth.

    "The Iowa State Football team plays their home games at the almost always packed Jack Trice Stadium. The team’s record is outstanding, and in the 2005 football season, the Cyclones made their fifth Houston Bowl appearance in six years, playing Texas Christian University. The team is currently coached by Gene Chizik.

    "Iowa State University men’s and women’s basketball team plays home games at Hilton Coliseum. Cyclone Alley is infamous in the college basketball world as being one of the loudest, passionate, and loyal student sections in the nation. Prior to the start of the season, picked Hilton Coliseum as the ‘Hot Arena’ in the Big 12. Coaches in the Big 12 have said, ‘regardless of talent, the Cyclones have a home court advantage like no other.’

    "But, of course, the university is known for more than just football and basketball. Cyclones wrestling has taken seven NCAA Championships, and women’s cross country has taken five. And whatever sport ISU students play, they can be sure to be well supported by their fans."

    The world’s largest Rice Krispies Treat was made at ISU by students, faculty, staff and an assortment of volunteers. Weighing in at 2,480 lbs, it broke the previous record of 2,260 lbs set by Michigan State.

    Supposedly, if you step on the zodiac design in Union on your way to a test, you’re going to fail it. But fortunately, you can offset this bad luck by tossing a coin into the fountain. Phew.

    Campaniling signifies making out under the campanile (bell tower), something that most ISUers do with their sweetheart at least once. The first digital computer was invented at ISU.

    In high school, when you imagined college life, you were actually were imagining life in Friley. Friley is an old building, but one of the biggest dorms in the country. You can easily get yourself lost for hours. However, the rooms are decent size, it is right by all of your classes, and it is right by the good dining center. Friley is also by Cyride pick-up, which takes you all around campus and into the city of Ames. You will know everyone on your floor, and due to all the Learning Communities (live next to people in your same major), Friley is a big mix of partiers, nerds, design kids, jocks, and every other kind of group you can think of.

    Across from Friley is Helser, which should be avoided at all costs. Helser is old, hot and smelly. It was put up for temporary housing, and has not come down. You do get your own room, and a good location. Across from Helser are the suites. Martin and Eaton, clean, cool, with private bathrooms (shared with a connecting suite), these are the Ritz of the residence halls.

    Maple, Willow, and Larch (MWL) are three eight-story dorms connected in the center by the dining center. Larch is the trashiest, and also parties the hardest. Willow is the tamest, and Maple kids are stuck up. MWL was built in the seventies, and every room is exactly the same, with built-in closets, desk, dressers, everything. Maple was recently redone. Instead of community bathrooms, there is a bathroom for every three rooms, and the furniture moves around. It is the ‘nice’ dorm. It seems the nicer your room, the less likely you are to party. I have yet to be invited to a party in Maple. Willow, Larch (and Friley), you have to work to avoid a party.

    Old RCA is a group of dorm buildings across from MWL. These buildings are older, so they have quite a lot of historical character. Old RCA has cool architecture, old furniture in the dens, interesting room arrangements, and ghosts – the building is rumored to be haunted. These dorms are always a good dynamic of blend nerds, engineering nerds, honor nerds, design kids, and other various nerds.