Ames, IA
Tuition (in-state)
$19,838 ($7,726)
Admission Difficulty
Very Easy
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4 College Sophomore

Facilities: A pricey school comes with all you could ask for including some off the best gyms around

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: This school really wants to be a home for students that move there. They really make everything in their power to look beautiful.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Facilities: There are plenty of study spots and quite a few computer labs for students. The library has awesome hours (they're open from about 7 a.m. until about 2 a.m.) and there are a ton of research materials available.

4 College Junior

Facilities: great campus with lots of ammentities for students

5 College Junior

Facilities: The sports and the atmosphere that is around with basketball and football.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 46th
    Greenest Campuses
  • 50th
    Best Athletic Facilities
  • 118th
    Best Library
  • 200th
    Best Student Centers
  • 344th
    Best Performance Venues

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Staci Harper
English/Rhetorical Studies/Speech minor
View all previous student authors

Iowa State has so much to offer that students could stay on campus for a month and be entertained all the while. The lecture series offers interesting speakers on varying topics and is definitely worth checking out. Lectures, presentations, and conferences are also held at the MU, and many take advantage of the events offered. There are computer labs in almost every building on campus, whether you need to type a report or just swing in and check email five minutes before class. Whether you prefer athletic events, bowling, live entertainment, eating out, working out, or hanging out, it can all be done at ISU without ever leaving campus!

The students seem to be more than satisfied with the facilities that are available to them. Students pay an activity fee that grants them full access to the recreation center. The Memorial Union is a great multipurpose facility that offers everything from living accommodations (there's a hotel on the top floor) to food, postal services, and recreation. It's a great place to hang out, meet friends, study, or catch a bite to eat. Whatever your personal tastes, ISU has adequate facilities to meet your needs.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
1,984 acres
Student Centers
Memorial Union
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Parks Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • Central Campus
  • Maple-Willow-Larch Commons
  • Memorial Union
  • Parks Library
Bar on Campus
The Maintenance Shop
Bowling on Campus
Memorial Union
Coffeehouse on Campus
The Maintenance Shop
Movie Theater on Campus
None, but there are Free Friday Flicks in Carver and SUB (Student Union Board) Films in the Memorial Union.
"Green" Initiatives
ISU is committed to sustainability through many projects. The University has three LEED Certified buildings: Morrill Hall, King Pavilion, and the Biorenewables Research Laboratory.
School Slang
  • Campanile: The bell tower located in Central Campus
  • Campustown: Strip of bars, shops, and restaurants that run along Welch Avenue, just south of campus and Friley Hall
  • C-Stores: Short for convenience stores, the C-Stores are located in the commons areas of the major dorm complexes on campus: Willow-Larch, Friley, and Towers.
  • The Daily: Short for the Iowa State Daily, which is the campus newspaper
  • Dining Dollars: Dining Dollars are often included with a meal plan (if you get one), but they can also be purchased separately. Dining Dollars are accessible on your ISU card and work just like cash on campus.
  • Drunk Bus: Also known as the Moonlight Express, this bus offers a safe and free ride home (or to other parties) on Friday and Saturday nights from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. when ISU classes are in session.
  • Free Speech Zone: A place on campus designated for students to freely speak their minds on whatever issues they feel are important. It is located right out in front of the Hub and Parks Library.
  • The Hub: Originally built to fulfill the University's need for a bookstore, post office, and waiting room for the Ames and College Railway, the Hub was built in 1892. It has moved from its original location and is now located just south of Parks Library and west of Morrill Hall. The Hub now serves as a multipurpose building for students to utilize.
  • Learning Communities: Small groups of students who have similar areas of study. Usually, they have anywhere from one to three classes together and may live in the same residence hall.
  • Library 160: A class that all students at Iowa State are required to take, the purpose of this class is to show students where to find everything and how to use the library.
  • M-Shop: Short for the Maintenance Shop, which is located in the Memorial Union
  • MU: The common abbreviation for the Memorial Union
  • Towers: Towers is the common collective term for the dorms Wallace and Wilson, located on the far south end of campus, just behind Campustown
  • VEISHEA: VEISHEA is an acronym for the seven colleges that were part of Iowa State University in 1922: veterinary medicine, engineering, industrial science, home economics, and agriculture.
  • Campaniling: Campaniling is an ISU tradition. A student is not an official Iowa Stater until he or she is kissed under the Campanile at midnight.
  • Homecoming: Beginning in 1914, ISU alumni began returning to Iowa State for Homecoming. The celebration has grown since then and now includes such traditions as "Yell Like Hell," tailgate parties, fireworks, lawn displays, and mass campaniling.
  • Lake LaVerne: If you walk around Lake LaVerne three times with your beloved, it is believed that you are destined to be together.
Urban Legends
  • Allegedly, all of the tuition dollars go to cover the dome on Beardshear Hall, which is dollar-bill green.
  • If you step on the zodiac in Memorial Union, people say you'll fail a test!
Favorite Things To Do
The Memorial Union (MU) is full of amenities. There's a food court with popular restaurants. There is also a nightclub called the Maintenance Shop, or the M-Shop, which serves alcohol, coffee, and hosts live entertainment.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Newspaper
The Iowa State Daily
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Marching band
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: Yes
Army ROTC: Yes

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 82 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are the best on-campus student jobs?    Based on 8 responses

  • 27% Dining halls
  • 20% Lab/research assistant
  • 20% Office jobs
  • 20% Teacher's Assistant
  • 7% Insect Zoo!
  • 7% Lab monitor

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 7 responses

  • 36% VEISHA
  • 21% Homecoming
  • 21% Campaniling
  • 14% CyServe Day
  • 7% Greek Week
  • 0% Lake LaVerne

Where are your favorite places to just hang out?    Based on 7 responses

  • 36% Memorial Union
  • 18% Parks Library
  • 18% Central Campus
  • 18% Music Hall
  • 9% Union Drive
  • 0% Maple-Willow-Larch Commons

What are the worst on-campus student jobs?    Based on 6 responses

  • 38% Maintenance/janitorial
  • 25% Phone bank
  • 25% Dining Halls
  • 12% Parking division

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 98 responses

  • 2% The student center is in need of a major renovation.
  • 14% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 52% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 32% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 85 responses

  • 1% I hate my school and have no school spirit.
  • 2% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 44% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 53% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.

What is the most interesting urban legend about campus?    Based on 6 responses

  • 100% Hmm...the zodiac @ Memorial Union

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 5 responses

  • 100% Intramural sports


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