Category Archives: Program Information

Acceptance Status FAQ

Acceptance emails for the Summer 2018 Secondary Student Training Program go out on Monday! With this information comes lots of questions, so here are answers to some of the most frequent questions we get.

Q: I’m an alternate. Why was I selected as an alternate?
A: Multiple factors determine the selection process for SSTP. We examine transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendations, and essay responses. After selecting students based on these criteria, we begin trying to find research group placements that would be a good match based on declared research interests, previous research experiences, and high school coursework. When all of the pieces fall into place, we are able to offer a placement in a research group for the summer.  In many cases, we are unable to offer students with outstanding application materials a spot in a research group right away because we are unable to find a suitable lab placement.

Q: I’m an alternate. What number am I on the wait list?
A: We work to match you with your indicated research interest. Because of this, names on the wait list aren’t just ranked 1 – 100. When a student declines their invitation to SSTP, we look for an alternate with similar research interests that might make a good match in the open research group seat.

Q: I’m an alternate. I really want to come to SSTP, but I’ve been invited to join other programs.  What should I do?
A: This is a question only you can answer.  We cannot guarantee that anyone on the wait list will be offered a spot in the SSTP program.

Q: I’ve been accepted. Why can’t I contact my mentor?
A: There are a few reasons we ask that you don’t contact your mentor. First, this is a busy time of year for faculty mentors! They are in the home stretch of their teaching assignments, helping students graduate, working on advisees’ dissertations, etc. In an effort to be respectful of their time, mentors do not formally engage with the program until June 1st.

Q: I’ve been accepted to SSTP! What’s next?
A: First and foremost, we need to know you’re serious about coming, which means you have to make a down payment on tuition. You received information about making this payment in your email. You have 3 options:

1) Make an SSTP payment in full by April 10th,

2) Make the suggested down payment to SSTP by April 9th, or

3) Contact the Belin-Blank Center to set up some sort of payment plan by April 9th.

The most important thing is that you make some sort of contact with us before April 9th to let us know you’re interested in coming to SSTP! If you’ve been accepted to the program and you have not made a financial commitment by April 9th, we reserve the right to offer your placement to another student on the waitlist.


Why Should I Participate in SSTP?


Applications for 2017 Open November 1st

Summer may be ending, but we are already looking forward to welcoming a new class of students to the Secondary Student Training Program in summer of 2017. During the application process, please keep in mind the following deadlines:

Important Dates

Applications open: November 1st, 2016

Application deadline: February 3rd, 2017

Notification of acceptance status: April 3rd, 2017

Be sure to mark your calendars!

Tuition Payment for the SSTP Class

All SSTP students have already been automatically enrolled in the 3 credit course associated with the program. In order to pay for this credit, students have to pay U-Bills through the Iowa Student Information System (MyUI). More information about U-Bills can be found on the University Billing Office website. The U-Bill payment for this month is due June 22nd. If the payment is late, there will be a $25 fee added to the bill. The bill does not immediately have to be paid in full (more information about installments can be found in the FAQ in the first link).

When you are logged into the Iowa Student Information System page (MyUI), click “Financial Aid & Billing” in the header and then click “University Bill” to access your U-Bill (as shown below) :

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SSTP Ending Events – Things to Know!

Hello! At the end of SSTP, we have a closing ceremony and public poster fair which parents are welcome to attend! This may be important information as you make travel plans.

Closing Ceremony: This is an end of the program banquet where students, mentors, and families will come together to enjoy a dinner and celebrate the accomplishments of SSTP students. Seating will begin at 6:30 pm.

  • When: July 28th, 7 pm

Poster Fair: Students will display their research posters for everyone to see! Poster awards from the poster presentation competition will be revealed at this event.

  • When: July 29th, 10am – noon

What Should I Bring?

What should students bring during their stay? Every year, students forget to bring certain items. I have created a short list of what I believe to be important items to bring for SSTP.

Items provided in the dorm room (yay!):

  • Towels & washcloths
  • Bed linens
  • Pillow & pillow case
  • Light blanket (past students have recommended bringing your own blanket)

Clothing to Bring:

  • Casual, every day clothes
    • Some research groups may require you to wear long pants and close toed shoes
  • Dress clothes for the Closing Ceremony and Poster Session
  • Swim suit/beach towel for the water park field trip
  • Comfortable clothes for outdoor activities (ex. Sneakers)

Additional Items to Bring:

  • Government issued ID (ex. Driver’s License, Passport)
    • This is needed in order to receive your University of Iowa ID card
  • Bathroom essentials (ex. Toothbrush, Shampoo, Deodorant, etc.)
  • Laundry soap/laundry bag
  • Umbrella/rain gear
  • Sunblock

Happy packing! See you in a few weeks!

Flying into Iowa

SSTP begins in less than 2 months! That means it’s time to start thinking about how you will get to the great state of Iowa to take part in our program.

For those who are flying into Iowa, it is important to establish travel plans as soon as possible. These students should book flights to the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids (CID).

  • Students flying into the U.S. should schedule their arrival for June 21st
  • Students flying within the U.S should fly in on the morning of June 22nd

Students flying within the U.S must to check the airport shuttle option in their registration materials (click picture below to enlarge).

Transportation General

At the airport, students will be greeted by a member of the Belin-Blank Center staff holding a large sign that says “BELIN-BLANK SSTP.” It’s a small airport, so there’s no need to worry about getting lost. Our staff will then drive the students to Iowa City for check-in at Burge Residence Hall and the Belin-Blank Center. An arrival at Cedar Rapids around noon is ideal for students flying in on the 22nd, though there is some flexibility—we just want you to be able to comfortably make it to Iowa City before opening ceremony begins June 22nd at 4pm.

Students who shuttled into Iowa City from the airport will be shuttled back. They should select a departure time on July 29th after the poster session. Students flying internationally may stay through Saturday, July 30th to help with flight arrangments. The end of the poster session on July 29th is at noon, which marks the end of the program. Departing students should aim for a departure time that won’t result in a frenzied rush to pack and reach the airport after the close of SSTP—any time after 2:30pm would work well with good preparation. If there is trouble scheduling a flight with a copacetic arrival or departure time, be sure to get in contact with us so we can ensure everything is in good order.

Residence hall check-in will begin at 1:00pm on the June 22nd. Students will have an opportunity to get familiar with Burge Hall, where they will live for the next 5½ weeks.  At 4:00pm, the opening ceremony for SSTP will begin. Parents are more than welcome to come to the ceremony. Some students will be with their parents at the ceremony, and others will be arriving solo.

June 22nd is quickly approaching—We look forward to finally meeting all of you!