The honors program application is available on your Admissions Profile. You will not be able to access the honors application without having first been admitted to the university. For Fall 2022, round 1 applications are due on November 15, 2021. Round 2 applications are due on January 10, 2022. If you do not see the Honors application email Susan Dickinson: susan-dickinson@uiowa.edu

    Application Materials

    Technical issues can happen. Plan ahead. Give yourself at least a few days in advance to prepare and submit your materials. You never know when you'll experience technical difficulties.

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    Unofficial and official transcript

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    A PDF version of your essay

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    Personal statement (optional)

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    Additional information

    More Details

    You must have an unofficial transcript in PDF format that you yourself will upload into the honors application.

    Don't have your high school send an unofficial transcript on your behalf. If you or your school have already sent a transcript to the university for other purposes, we still need you to upload a PDF version for your honors application. 

    Obtain a copy of your high school transcript at least two to three weeks before the application deadline.

    It may take up to two to three weeks to get a copy of your official transcript. Double-check to make sure how long it may take to get your official and unofficial transcript. You may have immediate access to your unofficial version.  

    Your essay will also be uploaded as a PDF.

    Draft your essay in your program of choice, then save it as a PDF. If you are unsure of how to convert the document into a PDF, the search engine of your choice is your friend! Or, contact the honors program and we'll try to help you out. The majority of the prompt must be addressed in English. 

    You can submit a personal statement.

    Through the optional personal statement, you can share with us relevant pieces of your history that aren't told through the rest of your application.

    There is also an option to submit additional information.

    This space is intended for students to be able to expand on an area of the application that they feel warrants additional explanation. This includes, but is not limited to: health issues that affected grades for a specific period of time, a brief explanation of high school course selection, or a description of how or why a student chose between two different activities (e.g. sacrificing a school organization for a part-time job). This doesn't need to be a formal essay - just let us know what's going on. If this part of the application is used to upload a resume or what appears to be a college admissions essay written on a prompt other than what we've requested, that information will be disregarded.

    Essay Prompt

    2022-23: What is something about which you have changed your mind in the last three years? Why?

    Essay Writing Tips

    Answer the question.

    This may seem like an obvious one, but we receive a lot of thoughtful, well-written responses to questions we have not asked.

    Use the space you've been given.

    We asked for a maximum of 750 words, but have not specified a minimum. While we see great essays at a variety of lengths, students who reach less than half of the maximum words typically have not engaged with the essay prompt in a way that helps us get to know them. 

    Don't forget that we're trying to get to know you.

    Sometimes this essay topic generates responses that sound like Wikipedia articles. We love a good information resource, but this is not what we're looking for here. Don't forget to illustrate how this topic teaches us about you. Explain why or how you changed your mind.

    Some additional questions you may consider as you try to tackle the prompt:

    • What happened to make you change your mind about a certain topic?

    • How did your perspective shift afterward?

    • Have you told other people about your change of mind?

    • What inspired the shift to happen? Was it sudden or over time?

    Stay away from absolutes.

    Words like "always", "never", and "impossible" tend to kick a reader's inner Devil's Advocate into gear. When we read them, we can't help but think of an example of when your assertion is NOT true. 

    Don't conclude by pandering.

    Your conclusion doesn't need an explicit statement along the lines of "And this is why I'm looking forward to all the opportunities in the honors program" or "And that's why I'm excited to be a Hawkeye". It's great if you're excited to join our community, but we take your engagement with the application, as it's written (i.e. follow the instructions), as your statement of interest.

    Try to enjoy it! (No, really!)

    Believe it or not, we do not ask for an essay just to see what we can get you to do, or because everyone else is doing it. We hope the essay can be an outlet for you to explore something you truly believe in or a chance to take some time to think about what makes you tick, as well as a tool for us just to get to know you better. Don't worry about proving anything to us, other than the fact that you sometimes have some thoughts about something that you find engrossing (and perhaps that you have proofread your writing prior to submission).


    To that end, our professional and student staff did some thinking about what we would write about if given this prompt. Examples include: [new examples]

    Completing the Activities Section

    In this section, you have the opportunity to share up to 10 of the most meaningful extracurricular activities you were engaged in from ninth grade to the present. We highly encourage you to provide a more detailed description for three of those experiences. These descriptions should talk about what about this extracurricular activity was meaningful or important, if you had a leadership role, or if you won an award. 

    Don't feel limited to just the usual extracurricular activities either. Talk about your employment, time-consuming hobbies, non-traditional volunteering, or caregiving responsibilities.

    Tips for the Activities Section

    Follow the instructions.

    Read the instructions carefully, then follow them. We thought about them a lot, and we think they'll help you introduce yourself to us in the most effective way for this process.

    Don't upload a resume as an "additional information" supplement.

    See the point above as well as the corresponding information in the Application Materials section above.

    10 is an upper limit, not a requirement. Think carefully about what you would like to highlight.

    You'll have the opportunity to list up to ten activities, but you get to provide a fuller description of only three of those. Please choose three activities that are truly meaningful to you. Don't choose the ones you think we want to see (you just might be wrong). Don't choose the ones that extrinsic feedback tells you are valuable. Choose the three that will help us get to know you.

    Use acronyms and abbreviations carefully.

    We can probably figure out what it means if you said you were the VP of a group, but other acronyms and abbreviations can be locally or regionally specific. Spell things out. 

    List the name of the actual group, employer, etc. in the first line of the activity, when applicable.

    We want to see specific organizations or activities you're involved in here. That helps us get to know you much better. It also leaves you more space in the "Participation Details" line to give us your actual position or roles. We know some independent activities, such as hobbies, don't have an overarching organization you are involved with, and in that case it's fine to give us more of a descriptor (e.g. "independent genealogy research").

    Test Scores

    Let's talk about test scores. The University of Iowa Honors College is test blind. That means that you are not required to submit your SAT or ACT test scores, and we won't use your test scores as a factor to determine your acceptance. 

    Do's and Don'ts

    When you're putting together your application, there are a few things we recommend you do and some things we recommend you don't do:

    Do's:

    • Read the instructions! Give a once or twice over to make sure you understand what we're asking for. 

    • Make sure you're answering the essay prompt. 

    • Ask people to look over your materials before you submit your application! Proofreading can go a long way. 

    • Give yourself time to submit your application. Don't wait till the last minute. 

    • Reach out to the Honors Program Admission team with any of your questions!

    Don'ts:

    • Upload unnecessary materials, such as your resume, pictures of yourself, or anything we don't ask for. 

    • Pander. Your accomplishments and experiences are important but don't pander to the admissions office. We can see right through it. 

    • Recycle an essay that you've written for another application, especially if it doesn't actually answer our prompt!