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Give Incoming Freshmen the Iowa Edge!

Raised toward our $5,000 Goal
42 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on March 13, at 11:59 PM CDT
Project Owners

Give Incoming Freshmen the Iowa Edge!

The University of Iowa is an exciting place full of academic, cultural, and social opportunities, but attending a large university can be overwhelming and a little intimidating. Now entering its fourteenth year, The Iowa Edge extended orientation program has helped hundreds of underrepresented, first generation, LGBTQ+, and disabled students build community and feel at home on campus.

The Iowa Edge program begins a week before the fall semester, paying for more than 140 newly admitted University of Iowa students to move into their dorm rooms early. This gives them the chance to settle in and get comfortable with the campus environment. Each student is assigned to an eight-person group led by a trained peer leader—an experienced, responsible student who knows how to make the best of UI. This group spends the entire program together, learning about valuable resources, connecting with faculty, completing an exciting challenge course, exploring the larger campus community, and building friendships that will last their entire college career and beyond.

By the time the program ends, students feel like seasoned pros with sturdy support networks. Furthermore, The Iowa Edge continues to provide, support, and fund programming for students throughout the following years, encouraging them to help each other to persist.

The Iowa Edge works

Year after year, the data shows that Iowa Edge increases retention, persistence, four-year graduation rates, and six-year graduation rates for our students. The Edge helps students stay in college, and it raises the odds they’ll complete their degrees.

Unfortunately, though the program’s reputation continues to grow, and more students apply every year, our budget can’t keep pace with applications. Last year we had to turn down more than one in three students who applied—not because they weren’t qualified to participate, but because we had reached the limits of our funding.

The program’s expenses are paid by a grant from the Kevin and Donna Gruneich Charitable Foundation, in addition to funds provided by an anonymous donor. We’re so grateful for the strong foundations they’ve laid, and for their continuing support. For the Iowa Edge to continue to grow, so that we can serve more and maybe someday all of the students who apply, we need help from the community. That’s where you come in.


For every $500 you help this campaign raise, we can give another student The Iowa Edge

 If we meet our goal of $5,000, we’ll be able to add ten new students, including an additional peer leader. After that, funds will be used to improve and extend programming during the semester, when Edge students continue to need our support.

The Iowa Edge is an effective, cost-efficient method of improving student retention and graduation at the University of Iowa. With your help, we can continue to grow this program and serve more of the students who need it most.



NOTICE: The University of Iowa Center for Advancement is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization soliciting tax-deductible private contributions for the benefit of the University of Iowa. Please visit the UI Center for Advancement disclosures site for additional information.

Choose a giving level


Dinner Companion

Your $10 contribution will buy an Iowa Edge student one healthful, satisfying meal.


Ropes Course Champion

Your gift of $25 will pay for one more Iowa Edge student to participate in the University of Iowa team-building challenge course.


Campus Host

With your $50 donation, we can pay for a full day and night of one Iowa Edge student’s lodging on campus.


Craft Supplier

Your $100 donation will pay for craft and activity supplies for the Iowa Edge students’ evening at the University of Iowa cultural houses.


Transporter Maven

Your generous $250 donation will pay for one day of transportation for Iowa Edge students during the program.


Sponsor an Edger

A $500 donation will allow one more student to participate in the Iowa Edge program.


Iowa Edge Peer Leader Patron

A $750 donation is enough to pay one peer leader’s wages for the program—which will come in handy, because eight more students means we need another peer leader!


Iowa Edge Program Patron

A $1000 donation is enough to cover one meal for every student and peer leader in the program. Good, nutritious food keeps our students strong and fresh for each day of fun, friendship, and learning.

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