Iowa State University: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

Fall foliage on Iowa State University Campus

rafael.radkowski / Flickr / CC BY-2.0

Iowa State University is a public research university with an acceptance rate of 92%. Located in the small city of Ames, Iowa State is about a half hour drive from Des Moines. ISU's strengths in teaching and research have earned it membership in the Association of American Universities. Iowa State University typically ranks in the top 50 public universities in the United States, and the school has particular strengths in science, engineering and agriculture. ISU's College of Business is also popular among undergraduates. On the athletic front, the Iowa State Cyclones compete in the NCAA Division I Big 12 Conference.

Considering applying to Iowa State University? Here are the admissions statistics you should know, including average SAT/ACT scores and GPAs of admitted students.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, Iowa State had an acceptance rate of 92%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 92 students were admitted, making Iowa State's admissions process slightly competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2018-19)
Number of Applicants 18,246
Percent Admitted 92%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 33%

SAT Scores and Requirements

Iowa State University requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 17% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 540 650
Math 560 690
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of ISU's admitted students fall within the top 35% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to Iowa State scored between 540 and 650, while 25% scored below 540 and 25% scored above 650. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 560 and 690, while 25% scored below 560 and 25% scored above 690. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1340 or higher will be particularly competitive for Iowa State.

Requirements

Iowa State does not require the SAT writing section. Note that Iowa State does not superscore SAT results; your highest composite SAT score from a single test date will be considered.

ACT Scores and Requirements

Iowa State University requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 87% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 21 28
Math 21 28
Composite 22 28

This admissions data tells us that most of ISU's admitted students fall within the top 36% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to Iowa State received a composite ACT score between 22 and 28, while 25% scored above 28 and 25% scored below 22.

Requirements

Note that Iowa State does not superscore ACT results; your highest composite ACT score will be considered. ISU does not require the ACT writing section.

GPA

In 2019, the average high school GPA of Iowa State's incoming freshmen class was 3.68, and over 69% of incoming students had average GPAs of 3.75 and above. These results suggest that most successful applicants to Iowa State University have primarily A grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

Iowa State University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
Iowa State University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to Iowa State University. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

Iowa State University, which accepts over 90% of applicants, has a slightly selective admissions process. If your SAT/ACT scores and GPA fall within the school's average ranges, you have a strong chance of being accepted. Iowa State uses a mathematical equation to determine admission eligibility that gives weight to ACT or SAT scores, high school rank, GPA, and the completion of core courses. A high number in one area can help compensate for a lower number elsewhere. Admission is automatic for students who score highly enough on the index of GPA, test scores, rank, and course work.

Iowa State University also offers a summer trial enrollment for students who are not admitted unconditionally. This program provides students with weaker academic measures an opportunity to prove that they are able to meet the challenges of college.

In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. As you can see, the majority of successful applicants had high school averages of "B-" or higher, ACT composite scores of 20 or higher, and combined SAT scores of 1000 or better (ERW+M). It's also important to note that the university attracts plenty of "A" students with standardized test scores that are well above average.

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