The University of Iowa continues to attract high-achieving students. This fall’s incoming first-year class has topped previous records with an average high school grade-point average (GPA) of 3.82. The average high school GPA for the classes of 2025 and 2024 were 3.81 and 3.78, respectively.
It is also the third-largest incoming first-year class on record at 5,178 students, after 5,643 in the fall of 2016 and 5,241 in the fall of 2015.
“We are so excited to welcome these newest Hawkeyes, a large and accomplished class full of energy and new perspectives,” says UI President Barbara J. Wilson. “We’ll make sure they have the extraordinary opportunities they deserve as we continue to make progress on our university priorities: student, faculty, and staff success; transformational research and discovery; diversity, equity, and inclusion; holistic well-being for our campus stakeholders; and public engagement and impact. I can’t wait to make this year another great one for the University of Iowa.”
At 5,178, the Class of 2026 has 657 more students than last year’s incoming first-year class. About 21% of the class (1,063) are first-generation students, and about 20% (1,061) identify as African American, American Indian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, Asian, Latinx/a/o, or two or more ethnicities.
Sarah Hansen, vice president for student life, says the Hawkeye spirit is as vibrant as ever in the newest student cohort.
“I can already tell that the Class of 2026 is going to be an exceptionally engaged class and that they will quickly make their mark on campus,” she says. “They participated in On Iowa! programming in record numbers and are demonstrating their commitment to being a part of the Hawkeye community already. We are so happy they chose us—the UI sense of community is second to none, and we are all here to help them succeed within and beyond the classroom.”