Iowa v Northern Illinois in football at Kinnick Stadium - 01 Sep 2018

Are we the right fit?

UI REACH recognizes the unique attributes of each applicant and seeks to identify those students who are most likely to benefit from the UI REACH experience. Prospective students should be ready and motivated to embrace all aspects of our comprehensive transition program on a Big 10 campus.

Please read the student profile below. 

Prospective student application materials are reviewed using a holistic approach to determine if the student is an appropriate fit for admission to UI REACH. The academic, social, and adaptive behavior abilities of each student are evaluated to determine if the student has demonstrated baseline capacities needed to make meaningful growth while in the program, and remain safe while on a large university campus.

Applicants possessing the following are most likely to meet UI REACH admission standards:

  • Successful completion of high school and readiness for a collegiate experience
  • Diagnosis of a mild intellectual or developmental disability
  • Motivation to make continued personal growth in areas of academics, career development, social interaction, and/or independent living

The ability to be safely be part of a Big 10 campus community is essential. Applicants should have a demonstrated ability to:

  • appropriately manage unsupervised time independently
  • accurately recall and communicate past-events
  • navigate moderate social or executive functioning challenges independently
  • recognize appropriate social and physical boundaries
  • manage medicinal, basic health, and hygiene needs independently

Schedule a Visit!

Contact us today to schedule your visit.

Visit Campus

A tour of UI REACH and campus is required for application and provides a more thorough review of UI REACH and the University of Iowa. As a safety measure, given the current worldwide health threat posed by the COVID-19 virus, UI REACH is offering virtual tours only to prospective students, their family and guests as well as educators, transition specialists and service providers the opportunity to learn more about UI REACH. Tours provide detailed information on the UI REACH program and presentations led by UI REACH students and staff. A preview of housing options, a question and answer session with current students, alumni and families, along with videos highlighting student and family experiences are also included. Tours begin at 10:00 am Central Time and are facilitated via Zoom by invitation. Learn more about UI REACH and tours.

Application and Admission

Applications are received on an on-going basis. New students begin the UI REACH program only in the fall semester of each academic year. To be considered to start in the fall, applications are encouraged to be submitted by December 31 of the previous year.

The UI REACH Program utilizes an online application process. 


APPLICATION  MATERIALS:  Please download and refer to the Application Process Checklist.

  1. Application fee of $40 (non-refundable) can be paid online using a credit card. 
  2. General Application - Complete the application together with applicant parent/family or guardian.
  3. Skills Assessment - to be completed by parent/guardian
  4. Three references. Accepted sources are educators, service providers, case workers, or job coaches who have known the student for at least six months. Please e-mail this link to the three references of your choice: Reference Form (to copy the link, simply right click on it, select “copy hyperlink” or “copy shortcut” and paste it into your e-mail text).

  5. Intellectual Assessment. Please upload a copy of an Intellectual Assessmentless than 12 months old, or you can mail the assessment to the UI REACH office. The maximum file size for uploads is 16MB.

    If you will be scheduling the testing, please consult the Test Administrator Instructions for specific details on what is required Test Admin Instructions. When testing is completed, please have your provider either download the testing to (link) or mail it to the UI REACH office.

  6. Most recent high school transcript.  Please upload a copy of the applicant’s high school transcript, or you can mail it to the UI REACH office.

Please send all application materials and payments, not submitted electronically, to the following address:


UI REACH: Realizing Educational and Career Hopes
        S229 Lindquist Center
        College of Education
        The University of Iowa
        Iowa City, IA 52242

Following receipt and review of all required admissions materials, a campus interview may be offered.

Notification letters will be sent via email after and admissions decision has been made.

All accepted/admitted students begin the program during the Fall semester.  Families are encouraged to begin the admission process as early as possible. To be considered for Fall enrollment, the student and family are highly encouraged to submit all application materials by December 31st of the previous year.

When all application materials are received, the applicant’s file is reviewed by members of the Admissions Committee. If the student is a possible candidate, the family will be invited to campus for an interview. The interview allows the student to express his or her interests and to ask questions. Parents/guardians discuss relevant applicant information and gain a better understanding of the UI REACH Program.

Decisions about admission to the program follow a review of all information by members of the Admissions Committee. An evaluation of an applicant’s strengths, areas needing further development, motivation, and fit to what the program can offer, rather than a diagnosis or test scores, determines if an applicant will be admitted. Once admission decisions have been made, families will be notified by letter. Due to the limited space in the program, some eligible students may not be admitted.

Costs & Financing

We advise applicants interested in seeking financial assistance to pursue potential sources of funding by contacting a local bank for student loan information, a guidance counselor to learn about local scholarships, or other service providers for funding information. Need-based scholarships may be available.

UI REACH Program Costs
Billed Expenses

Program costs and fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change per the Iowa Board of Regents approval. In addition to the fees outlined below, UI REACH has a non-refundable application fee of $40 and an acceptance fee of $150. For further cost information, please contact UI REACH.

2020-2021 (current costs for UI REACH)

Costs and fees
Related Costs Iowa Residents Non-Residents (a)
UI REACH Program Fee/Tuition $17,300 $35,400
University Student Fees $1,533 $1,533
Room and 20-meals/week plan $11,500 $11,500
Other Estimated Expenses $500 $500
Estimated Total $30,833 $48,933

UI REACH follows the University of Iowa policy:Iowa Residency Classification for Tuition Purposes.

Paying UI REACH Fees

A non-refundable $40 Application Fee must be paid online at the time of submitting all application materials.

A non-refundable $150 Acceptance Fee (fee change as of July 1, 2019) is due at the time of enrollment to confirm a student's place in the program.

The Application and Acceptance Fees can be paid online using a credit card. If you have questions regarding fees or payment, please contact UI REACH at or call us at 319.384.2127.

Individual and corporate donations have been earmarked as scholarship funds for UI REACH students. Limited need-based scholarships are available for qualifying UI REACH students.

To apply for a needs-based UI REACH Scholarship, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will need to be completed and submitted to The University of Iowa prior to March 1 to be considered for the following academic year. Please note that UI REACH requires an earlier deadline than FAFSA. Please refer to the  UI REACH Specific FAFSA Instructions when completing the FAFSA. The FAFSA is available beginning on October 1st each year.

Completing the FAFSA online at is easy, secure, and fast. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 319-384-2127or the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID FREE.

Scholarship award decisions are made in late spring by the Scholarship Committee. Families will receive a decision letter by mail. This scholarship award is contingent on the student's successful completion of each semester. In the event that a UI REACH scholarship recipient is unable to complete a semester, he or she will need to repay the scholarship amount.

Financial Statement

As part of the enrollment process, applicants for UI REACH must submit evidence of adequate support to cover the costs of one full year of participation in UI REACH. Once the student is offered a place in the Program, the student’s admission cannot be finalized without proper certification of financial ability to provide support. This information is requested annually for continuation in the UI REACH Program.

Billing Information

At the beginning of each semester (in August and January), the student will receive an email notice that their electronic University Bill (U-Bill)  is ready to be viewed.  The U-Bill will reflect the total contracted charges, which include UI REACH Program fees, University fees, and room and board for the semester.

Payments should be sent directly to the University Billing Office. The first bill is available to view on the student's U-Bill account on August 1st with payment due on August 22nd. An updated U-Bill statement is available each month through the student's U-Bill account.

U-Bills can be accessed by parents via the MyUI system once a guest account is set-up. The UBill and MyUI Guest Account information is introduced during summer orientation.

Make a Payment

You have the option to pay your UI REACH fees online using a credit card.

A list of fees you can pay online can be found to the right. Click on the fee you need to pay. The next page will ask for your email address and then you will be able to fill in your credit card information. Your credit card order will be processed by an external provider. Your card information will not be retained by the University of Iowa.

Email any questions to

Pay the $40, non-refundable Application Fee:

Pay Application Fee


Pay the $150, non-refundable Acceptance Fee:

Pay Acceptance Fee