The University of Iowa, located in Iowa City, is one of the top public research institutions in the nation. Home to just over 31,000 students, we deliver a world-class education in over 200 areas of study and over 100 graduate programs.

Because Iowa is such an important agricultural state (more than 85 percent of Iowa’s land is farmed), the University is familiar with the challenges rural and small-town students face. As a state institution, we have a duty to serve students from all communities in the state of Iowa, and typically serve students from all 99 counties each academic year. At the University of Iowa, we believe each student deserves to have access to higher education. Iowa City and the University provide a diverse community and rich educational experience for rural and small-town students to take back to their communities and create positive change.

The University of Iowa is well-poised to support rural students in their transition to Iowa City and the University of Iowa.

Our students enjoy a 15:1 student to faculty ratio, state-of-the-art academic resources, and small class sizes which allow them to work directly with their professors while gaining real-world experience and valuable, practical skills. Hawkeyes have access to personalized support and are equipped with the tools they need to stand out in a competitive workforce. As part of our STARS collaboration, the University of Iowa will provide transitional support and resources to all students to ensure their success.

With over 600 student organizations, there are plenty of ways for rural and small-town students to build a community on our campus. The university seamlessly blends into the greater Iowa City community, a top 10 college town that offers all the amenities of a big city in a safe, open environment. What’s more, there are over 100 restaurants, local shops, Big Ten athletics, and music venues within walking distance of campus, allowing students to connect to the community within a broader context.

STARS Network

STARS College Network

The University of Iowa and 15 of the nation’s most prominent universities and colleges have teamed up to help students from small-town and rural America enroll in, succeed at, and graduate from the undergraduate program of their choice.


STARS College Network (Small-Town And Rural Students) will build on efforts to create new pathways to college for students who might not otherwise recognize the full range of educational opportunities available to them.

STARS College Network

The University of Iowa accepts certifications for students participating in the STARS College Network. is a free, globally available platform founded by Sal Khan of Khan Academy where students can show subject mastery and tutor others in courses including calculus, computer science, and statistics.

Applicants participating in the STARS program are welcome to submit certifications as an optional supplement to their application via their Admissions Profile in MyUI.