Returning to ISU/Alumni

Getting Started Checklist

For students who have previously studied at Iowa State University, whether on-campus or online, please refer to the checklist and resources below to help guide you through your online learning experience.

You may find that you are still familiar with systems, policies, and traditions of Iowa State University, however, if you have been away from Iowa State University for more than a few years, you may find it more helpful to visit our section for Students New to ISU.

Confirm your registration
Confirm your registration After submitting your application and registration, new students will receive a registration confirmation letter via mail containing your University ID number and password to login to AccessPlus.  If you register for courses within 5 days of the beginning of your course, you will receive these letters via email.

Existing students should verify their registration in AccessPlus.

Request an ISU ID Card
If you wish to have a physical ISU ID card mailed to you, please contact to request it.

Set up your NET-ID
NET-ID is required to login into ISU systems, including how you will access your course.

Once you receive your ISU Card Number you will be able to set up your Net ID.  Your Net ID is required  to log into our online course portal system, Canvas, that will have your course’s content.  To setup your Net ID, please visit the Acropolis Website and follow the instructions there.

Set up your email account
Your ISU email account is used as the primary source of communication for all things related to Iowa State University.

An ISU e-mail account is automatically set up when you establish your Net ID in the step above.  Your e-mail address will be your Net ID followed by  To check your ISU e-mail account you will need to log into the university’s WebMail System.

Login to AccessPlus
AccessPlus is your go-to place for your university information. This is where you can register for classes, verify registration, check your U-bill, and view personal information.

Review your academic resources
Iowa State University has many academic resources available to online students to make the online learning experience a positive one.  Making yourself familiar with these resources will allow you to easily find the resource you need when you need it.  Some examples would be making schedule changes and using the Parks Library, Career Services, and the Veterans Center.

Identify your advisor
Your advisor plays a key role in helping your success as a student.  They will assist you with identifying courses to take and making schedule changes.

It is important to know who your academic advisor is. If you do not have an advisor listed in AccessPlus please contact us at ELO and we can help you find out whom you can reach out to for academic questions.

Test your computer
Prior to the beginning of your course, you should test your computer to ensure you have the proper set up for your online course.

Taking your course
Approximately 10 days before your course begins, you will receive a welcome message with specific information about your online course, including accessing the content, instructor, and schedule change information.  Most courses are accessed via Canvas, however there are many ways to take an online course.

Get a proctor
Many online courses require that exams and quizzes be proctored. If you are on campus you can utilize the testing centers. If you are off campus you will need to find an off-campus proctor. It is very important that you identify your proctor early.

Do not wait until the week of your exam to go through the process of having your proctor approved.

Purchase textbooks
Required textbooks can be found at the University Bookstore.  If using another vendor, please check your syllabus for the correct textbook information.

Get Involved
There are many opportunities as an online student to get involved and connected with the University and learn about the culture and traditions that makes Iowa State University unique.

Contact Us



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