Your Iowa State story is about to begin

Your Iowa State story is about to begin. For our team in New Student Programs, orientation is a celebration. A celebration of the story you and the rest of our newest Cyclones are about to write. Iowa Staters from your academic college and all over campus come together to welcome you to the Cyclone Family.

I am writing to share the news that due to COVID-19 safety precautions, we have made the difficult decision to transition to online orientation services this summer....

Here is our promise to you

We know you were looking forward to coming to campus for orientation and we recognize many of you are being impacted by our current situation in complex ways. Even though we are going digital this summer, we promise you a warm welcome this fall and assure you that you will get the support you need to succeed and thrive at Iowa State.

Here is our promise to you:

  • Top-notch virtual experience - We will provide you and your support system with a top-notch online orientation virtual experience to prepare you to succeed at Iowa State University. We will be contacting you by May 4 with more details on how to complete online orientation at your own pace between June 1 and 26.
  • Advisers available for course registration - Academic advisers are preparing to connect with you virtually and looking forward to facilitating your personalized academic advising and course registration experience. Instructions for how to schedule your virtual advising appointment will be included in online orientation. You will be encouraged to register for an advising appointment between June 1 and June 26. If you are worried a later advising appointment time will affect your course selection, don't be. We time release courses throughout the month of June to make sure all students have equal access to a wide variety of options.
  • Fun Destination Iowa State Experience - After guests make their way home and students settle in to campus, Destination Iowa State kicks off on Thursday, August 13 through Saturday, August 15. This once in a lifetime event gives you the chance to meet new people, connect with experienced students, have tons of fun, and explore campus. Register today!
  • Accessible programming - We know that online learning can present challenges. We are committed to ensuring our online orientation will be accessible to students with all abilities. If you run into any challenges completing orientation virtually, contact New Student Programs and we will be happy to help along the way.

As you prepare for orientation, we know you have many important things on your mind. This letter from our Director of Admissions may help clarify a lot of your concerns and we encourage you to check it out.

As we prepare to move forward together, these words from the Lord of the Rings speak to me. "I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I" said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

If I'm being honest, some days I feel like Frodo and some days I feel like Gandalf. But, this I can promise you – you will be the author of your amazing Iowa State story. We hope this adjustment will be just a footnote in your epic adventure.

Forever True,

Sarah Rockwell Merrill

Sarah Rockwell Merrill
Director, New Student Programs
(515) 294-0801


New Student Programs 515-294-0801