Excel. Stretch. Engage. Choose. Serve

As a University of Iowa student, you become part of the Hawkeye family—students and alumni transformed by their experiences at Iowa. The university asks you to follow their example and rise to the challenge of these five expectations.

Academic excellence means setting and meeting high standards for yourself as a student. Faculty, staff, and other students will ask you to work hard and push yourself intellectually. We expect a lot from you; you should expect only the best from yourself and the university.

At Iowa, you will find a diversity of people, ideas, opportunities, and experiences. That diversity is one of the benefits of being an Iowa student. Step away from the familiar, try new ideas, experience new cultures, and learn from people different from yourself.

You will be a more successful student and enjoy yourself more if you spend your time and energy on activities that matter. The University of Iowa offers almost limitless opportunities and the resources to help you become a leader in and out of the classroom. Take advantage of them.

Every day you make decisions that affect your education and your future. Take your choices seriously and use your freedom wisely. Your Iowa education is what you make it. Make it something you and your university can be proud of.

As an Iowa student, you are a member of many communities, on and off the campus. You have the opportunity and the responsibility to be a good neighbor and citizen, and to serve the community. Make your community a great place to live.

About the Challenge

The IOWA Challenge expresses important principles that help students succeed in the classroom and beyond. It establishes what the University of Iowa expects from its students, and what students should expect from themselves and each other. In essence, it’s a mission statement for UI students.

While the IOWA Challenge concept may be relatively new, the expectations it cites are grounded in University of Iowa tradition. The Challenge offers time-tested strategies for success and underscores values that the university has honored for generations.

The IOWA Challenge message was composed by and for our university community, a grassroots statement of what it means to be a UI student.

It began as an initiative by the University’s Student Success Team, a group of students, faculty, and staff working to enhance undergraduate education. They surveyed the university community to identify essential expectations for UI students, then compiled the responses into a statement of common themes. From there, they worked with groups across campus to refine the statement and give it a name—The IOWA Challenge.

Meet the Challenge Awards

The Meet The Challenge Awards is a collaboration between the Division of Student Life and the Office of the Provost. Students can nominate themselves or be nominated by a University or community member. Each year one winner is selected for recognition in each of the five IOWA Challenge areas. Winners will receive a $500 award sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Division of Student Life, and will be honored during the Hawkeye Leadership and Service Awards.

The purpose of the Meet The Challenge Awards is to recognize undergraduate students who exemplify the values promoted by The IOWA Challenge through their actions within the University of Iowa and surrounding communities. Students who are engaged on campus and in the community often do the work that they do because it is fulfilling to them, not for recognition. The Meet The Challenge Awards help us to recognize and communicate the many ways our students Excel, Stretch, Engage, Choose, and Serve.

The nomination application for the 2024 Meet The Challenge Awards is open until April 3, 2024: Meet the Challenge Awards

For questions about the Meet the Challenge Awards, please contact Teri Schnelle (teri-schnelle@uiowa.edu).