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 Ten campus.

Please read the student profile below. 

Prospective student application materials are reviewed using a comprehensive 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 safely be part of a Big 10 campus community is essential. Applicants should have at least basic skills in the following areas:

  • 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. UI REACH offers both virtual and in-person tours to prospective students, their families, and guests. UI REACH also offers tours specifically for educators, transition specialists, and service providers to learn more about UI REACH. Tours provide detailed information on the UI REACH Program and presentations are 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. In-person tours also include a meal in a dining center and campus walking tour led by admissions. In-person tours begin at 10:00 am Central Time and virtual tours begin at 4pm Central Time via zoom invitation. Prospective families are welcome to request a personalized 1 to 1 tour should group tour days not accommodate scheduling needs.

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 $50 (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 guidance counselor to learn about local scholarships, or other service providers for funding information. Need-based scholarships sponsored by UI REACH are typically available to eligible students.

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 $100 and an acceptance fee of $200. For further cost information, please contact UI REACH.

2023-2024 (current costs for UI REACH)

Costs and fees
Related CostsIowa ResidentsNon-Residents (a)
UI REACH Program Fee/Tuition$18,350$37,540
University Student Fees$1,948$1,948
Room and 20-meals/week plan$12,176$12,176
Estimated Total$32,474$51,664

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

Paying UI REACH Fees

A non-refundable $100 Application Fee must be paid online at the time of submitting all application materials.

A non-refundable $200 Acceptance Fee  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 students admitted to UI REACH. 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) must 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 is easy, secure, and fast. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 319-384-2127 or 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 via email. This scholarship award is reflected on the student’s U-Bill (University Bill) in two installments, contingent on the student's successful completion of each semester. If a UI REACH scholarship recipient is unable to complete a semester, they may be required to repay any scholarship amount that has been credited to their U-Bill.

Financial Statement of Additional Financial Aid

As part of the enrollment process, applicants for UI REACH must submit evidence of any additional forms of financial aid that will be used to pay tuition costs. This information is used to determine scholarship award amounts. This information is requested annually for continuation in the UI REACH Program.

Billing Information

At the beginning of each semester (in August and January), all UI students receive an email notice that their electronic (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.

Click on the fee to be paid. Click on “View Details” and enter the required information for Application fees, Acceptance fees and Explore Program. Enter the amount of your invoice and required information for payment of Supplemental Supports. 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