The University of Iowa


What is Excelling@Iowa?

Excelling@Iowa is a University-designed early-alert system that asks students to respond to a survey in the first 3-5 weeks of each semester. Based on the student's response and some pre-college information, the system identifies students who may struggle with the transition to college and students who might be at-risk for leaving the university.

Excelling@Iowa is part of the Success at Iowa course for domestic students and College Expectations course for international students. This survey will help students better understand their transition to the university, what challenges lie ahead, and what support is available to help meet those challenges. It results in a personalized report written about the student. The report uses information supplied by the student, so each report is unique.

Spring 2021 Survey dates: February 10-26

What do we do with the information?

After a student responds to the survey, they may be contacted by staff around the university offering specific resources to help a student succeed at Iowa. Additionally, university administrators take the data from the entire first-year class to make decisions on how to best provide services to students.

Why are we utilizing Excelling@Iowa?

We want our students to succeed. Excelling@Iowa identifies students who may be struggling early in the semester and throughout the year, allowing for immediate support and intervention by Iowa faculty and staff.  We can connect with students who are having difficulties and are at risk for leaving the UI by connecting them to resources.  We want our students to feel that they matter and belong at Iowa.

The Goal of the UI Excelling@Iowa Initiative

Students who are admitted to the University of Iowa are capable of graduating.  Many of our students will need a balance of support and challenge during their college journey and Excelling@Iowa will help us to connect to those students early in their journey.  

  • Students will be able to identify at least two staff members who are committed to their success at Iowa through the Excelling@Iowa system.
  • At-risk students will receive multiple opportunities to connect with campus resources and support based on their survey responses.
  • The Excelling@Iowa Leadership Team will provide timely student data information to departments and colleges to help inform their student interactions and programmatic efforts.
  • Through their web-based customized report, students learn the differences between their expectations and academic and social behaviors necessary to succeed.  Their results are compared against their peers to help them better understand their strengths and areas of growth.

How Students Access the Survey

Students receive a personalized link in their Iowa email account the day the survey launches. This link is unique to each student and should not be shared. If a student needs the link resent they should email

How Staff Access the Survey

Faculty/Staff that are interested in being involved in the Excelling@Iowa program should contact Academic Support & Retention ( for more information.