Information for Students Applying for Fall 2023

The Iowa Board of Regents has permanently extended a provision that gives students the option to include or not include their ACT or SAT test scores when applying to Iowa’s public universities. Students who wish to be considered for admission without a test score may leave the test score section blank on the application. An individual review process will be used to make an admission decision for students who do not self-report a test score as part of their application. Students admitted to the University of Iowa without test scores may also be considered for direct admission to University of Iowa academic programs and some merit scholarships awarded by the Office of Admissions. 

Evaluation Without Test Scores

If a student does not provide an ACT or SAT test score at the time of application, they may be required to submit additional academic documents, transcripts, or a personal statement to receive an admission decision. Students will be contacted via email if any additional documents are required.

If a personal statement is requested, applicants should use this opportunity for the admission committee to get to know the student beyond what is supplied in the application or on a transcript. Applicants may meet the personal statement requirement by submitting ONE of the following:

  • An existing/previously prepared personal statement, or
  • A response to any of the essay prompts on the Common application, or             
  • A response to this prompt: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

There are no strict word limits. We suggest that the personal statement stay around 650 words. While we won't as a rule stop reading after 650 words, we cannot promise that an overly wordy essay will hold our attention for as long as a student hoped it would. Upload personal statements via the Admissions Profile in MyUI.

Updating Test Scores After Application

Students who apply for admission without a test score may change their mind and opt to provide an ACT or SAT score at a later date. Subsequent receipt of test scores will never negatively impact a previous admission or scholarship decision.

Students who opt to provide ACT or SAT scores after submitting an application or after receiving an admissions decision are encouraged to send updated official test scores that may strengthen their application. New or updated test scores must be received by April 1, 2023 to be considered for additional scholarship opportunities or additional scholarship consideration. Standardized tests taken after February of 2023 may not be used for additional scholarship consideration.


All admitted first-year students entering Fall 2023 with or without an ACT or SAT score on file will be considered for merit scholarships awarded by the Office of Admissions. Typically, students who are admitted with test scores above institutional averages (25.7 ACT/1230 SAT) will have more opportunities for merit scholarships compared to students who are admitted without a test score.

Scholarship awarding decisions for students who are admitted without test scores will be made following a review of a student's credentials.

We encourage you to review our Maximizing Your Financial Aid strategies to ensure you receive the maximum financial support you deserve.

This page will be updated regularly with information regarding testing and admission at the University of Iowa.