University of Iowa

Where do I start?" is the question we hear most often from prospective applicants. 

To help students shake off the paralysis that so often happens at beginning of any application process, we have pulled together some advice from past readers and scholars to help applicants kick start their application development. 

Applicant Checklist

Not sure where to start? We think this checklist is a good place.

  • Register for and take the ACT or SAT on or before the October 2017 dates.
  • Have your official test scores sent to the University of Iowa (Codes: ACT = 1356, SAT = 6681)
  • Apply for admission to the University of Iowa PRIOR to the Thanksgiving holiday.

In order to access the Iowa Scholarship Portal and apply for the Presidential, you MUST have a HawkID, which is only possible if you have been accepted to the university). It may take a day or two to receive it.

  • Set up your General Applicant Profile in the Iowa Scholarship Portal before November 17th!

This is an easy step to take care of once you have been admitted. When it is complete, you can familarize yourself with the application portal and the online form for the Presidential. Pro-tip! Work on your essays OUTSIDE of the Iowa Scholarship Portal until you are ready to submit them.  If you submit the wrong draft by accident, you will not be able to swap it out after the deadline passes.

  • Obtain a copy of your HS Transcript two to three weeks* before the application deadline.

*Your Student Records Office may require more than two to three weeks to process your request, so we recommend that you double check with them to make sure you know how long it may take to secure a copy of your transcript.  This is especially important since Fall Break and the Thanksgiving holiday fall in the week before the application deadline and many offices will be closed or minimally staffed.

Can you send me information about the Presidential Scholarship?  Where can I find the application?

The application is available through the Iowa Scholarship Portal, the University of Iowa's online scholarship platform.  To access more information about the about the Presidential Scholarship, visit our website at

 Do I have to apply for admission BEFORE I can apply for the Presidential Scholarship?  

Yes. Individuals MUST be admitted to the University of Iowa in order to apply for the Presidential Scholarship.  However, if students want to familiarize themselves with the required application components and essay questions before they apply for admission, this information is available in our 2018 Presidential Scholarship Sample Application on the Honors website.

If I requested my official ACT or SAT scores be shared with the University of Iowa on the date of my test, do I need to resubmit them for the Presidential Scholarship application?

If you have already sent your scores to the University of Iowa, you DO NOT need to do so again.  Once your official scores are received and posted, the information will be pulled into the Iowa Scholarship Portal and included in each application portfolio at the time of submission.

How long will it take for my official scores to post? 

Most scores – both ACT and SAT – are posted within two (ACT Composite) to four weeks (SAT Complete) after the test date.

When are the last eligible ACT and SAT test dates for the 2018 Presidential Scholarship competition?

To meet our November 28, 2017 application deadline, students will need to register for one of the following eligible test dates in Fall 2017:

  • ACT: September 9 and October 28
  • SAT: October 7 and November 4

I have already sent my high school transcript to the University of Iowa. Why do I have to upload a copy to the Iowa Scholarship Portal for the Presidential application?

Though we understand that a transcript file may have already been shared with the University of Iowa at an earlier date, this information is read from the original document and then integrated into the applicant's admissions record.  The transcript document is then archived and stored outside of our record system.

Because we review the full transcript of each applicant when selecting our Presidential Scholars, we must have a visual of the document which presents information beyond reported or collected scores and GPA. For this reason, we do require that Presidential Scholarship applicants upload a copy of their transcript document into their online application portfolio as is outlined in the submission instructions at

What is the deadline for this year's competition? When will the scholars be announced? 

A full, printable version of the 2017-18 Presidential Scholarship Timeline is available at PDF icon2017-18 Presidential Timeline.pdf

Application opens:  

      September 15, 2017

Deadline for application submission:  

      Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 11:59 PM

Scholarship offers are extended by: 

       March 1, 2018

Deadline for accepting admission and the scholarship:  

       May 1, 2018