University Admission

Iowa high school graduates must achieve a Regent Admission Index (RAI) score of at least 245 and take the minimum number of required high school courses to qualify for automatic admission as freshmen to Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa. The RAI Core Course Lists provide each Iowa high school with a list of their respective courses that are accepted for the RAI. Students who achieve a score less than 245 will be considered for admission on an individual basis.

The RAI combines factors that strongly predict success at the Regent Universities: ACT or SAT test score, high school cumulative grade-point average, and the number of completed high school core courses.

The Alternative Regent Admission Index score formula is used for Valley High School students because Valley High School does not provide class rank.

Formula:  (3 x ACT composite score) +  (30 X high school GPA) +  (5 X number of high school core courses) =

See a list of the RAI approved courses at Valley High School.

Iowa’s Regent Schools

Students need to refer to college requirements found online on college websites. Listed below are college requirements for the three state universities, set forth by the Iowa Board of Regents.

Iowa State

  • English/Language Arts – Four years of English/Language Arts emphasizing writing, speaking, and reading as well as an understanding and appreciation of literature.
  • Math – Three years, including one year each of algebra, geometry, and advanced algebra.
  • Natural Science – Three years, including one year each from any two of the following: biology, chemistry, and physics.
  • Social Science – Two years for admission to the colleges of Agriculture and Life Science, Business, Design, Engineering, and Human Sciences. Three years for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • Foreign Language – Two years of a single foreign language for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering. Foreign language courses aren’t required for admission to the Colleges of Agriculture, Business, Design, or Human Sciences.
  • Other Courses – Specific elective courses aren’t required for admission.

University of Iowa

  • English/Language Arts – Four years, with an emphasis on the analysis and interpretation of literature, composition, and speech.
  • Math – Three years, including two years of algebra and one year of geometry for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Four years, including two years of algebra, one year of geometry, and one year of higher mathematics (trigonometry, analysis, or calculus) for admission to the College of Engineering.
  • Natural Science – Three years, including one year each from any two of the following: biology, chemistry, and physics for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Three years, including at least one year of chemistry and one year of physics for admission to the College of Engineering.
  • Social Science – Three years, with U.S. History and World History recommended for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Two years, with U.S. History and World History recommended for admission to the College of Engineering.
  • Foreign Language – Two years of a single foreign language.
  • Other Courses – Specific elective courses aren’t required for admission.

University of Northern Iowa

  • English/Language Arts – Four years, including one year of composition; also may include one year of speech, communication, or journalism.
  • Math – Three years, including the equivalent of algebra, geometry, and advanced algebra.
  • Natural Science – Three years, including courses in general science, biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics; laboratory experience highly recommended.
  • Social Science – Three years, including courses in anthropology, economics, geography, government, history, psychology, or sociology.
  • Foreign Language – Foreign language courses aren’t required for admission. However, two years of a foreign language in high school with a C- or above in the last term will meet the university graduation requirement.
  • Other Courses
  • Two years of additional courses from the required subject areas, foreign languages, or fine arts.

Private Schools

Most of these schools have flexible entrance requirements but are mainly looking for students who avail themselves of the opportunity to take as many academic and enrichment courses as their abilities will permit.

Highly Competitive Colleges/Universities

Students considering highly competitive colleges should give special attention to their selection in mathematics, social studies, science (including two of these: biology, chemistry, physics), foreign language, and English, including a year of composition. In addition, some schools are requiring a fine arts credit and computer competency. Highly competitive colleges will expect a student to have taken a rigorous selection of courses. For further information, please confer with your counselor.

Career Counseling

  • Sophomore Year: Sophomores meet with their respective counselor in small groups during the first quarter.
  • Junior Year: The ASVAB, which matches aptitudes with interests, is offered. Juniors meet with their respective counselor in small groups during the first semester.
  • Senior Year: Counselors continue to encourage students to use the offerings in the Counseling Center with the idea of finalizing post-graduate plans. Seniors meet with their respective counselor in small groups during the first quarter. Seniors may take the ASVAB in the fall.