Hassle-free guide to parking on Iowa State’s campus

Matilda Kuenster

Parking on campus during school can be more than a struggle, but with this hassle-free guide on how to secure yourself a spot, you’ll be ahead of the competition.

All students that live in the residence halls at Iowa State have the opportunity for parking, whether that be in a parking lot around the residence hall or at Jack Trice Stadium.

While Iowa State offers lots of different options for parking, especially for underclassmen, with more than 36,000 undergraduate students on campus there are plenty of people that are racking up parking tickets left and right. We asked a few students their opinions on the parking situation at Iowa State.

“I feel as though there are not enough spaces on or near campus, which makes it difficult when you need to be on campus quickly,” said Shelby Vansteenwyk, senior in psychology. “The parking police are also very quick to give out tickets, which makes parking in the spots that are available a nerve-racking experience in the event that you might accrue a ticket.”

Amanda Johnson, junior in interior design, agreed with Vansteenwyk about ISU’s limited parking issues.

“I don’t have a car here personally, but I’ve seen so many of my friends get tickets because they’re desperate for a parking spot,” Johnson said. “I would advise getting a parking spot as soon as you can if you really need one.”

Here’s information about the various parking lots offered for students at Iowa State.

Iowa State’s Parking Division website, https://www.parking.iastate.edu/, is a great source to find the information you need to know about parking on campus. Below is information provided on the website about when students should purchase parking passes:

Residence Halls

New and transfer students with a signed contract may purchase parking permits beginning at 7 a.m. July 19.

Permits will be sent to the student’s university address before the start of classes and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Permits absolutely must be ordered through AccessPlus. Cost will be added to students’ U-bills.

Due to the amount of spaces offered, not all students living in residence halls will be able to park in Lot 63. Instead, those students will be issued a stadium parking permit at a lower rate.

Residence Halls and their corresponding lots:

  • RCA (Maple, Willow, Larch, Oak, Elm, Freeman, Barton, Birch, Welch, Roberts, Lyon, Linden Halls) – Lot 63
  • UDA (Friley, Helser, Martin, Eaton Halls) – Lots 59A and 61A/61B/61C/61G
  • TRA (Wallace & Wilson Halls aka the Towers) – Lot 61A/61B/61C/61G
  • Buchanan and Geoffrey Halls – Lot 62
  • Frederiksen Court – Lot 112
  • SUB (University Village & Schilletter Village) – Lot 201 – University Village & Lot 202 – Schilletter Village

Stadium Lots

All residents of RCA are eligible for parking at the stadium.

During football season, cars must be moved before midnight the night before a game for all home football games. The home game schedule is printed on the back of the permits and is available on the athletics webpage. Notifications will be sent before each game.

Permits are non-transferable. You may not move your permit between vehicles or give your permit to another person. If you bring a different vehicle to campus, please remove your current permit and bring it to the Parking Division office to exchange it for a new permit.

If you no longer need a permit, you may return it to the Parking Division office for a refund. All refunds are prorated monthly and will be issued to your U-bill. ISU Parking Division does not issue refunds under $5.


For those who drive to campus on a daily basis, there are a few options for parking that Iowa State provides.

  • Commuter Parking – Lots 29, 68 and 119
  • Lot 29 (North of Molecular Biology)
  • Lot 68 (Located off University Boulevard near Haber Road) This lot would be closest for commuters with classes on the east and south side of campus.
  • Lot 119 (Located at Wanda Daley Drive and Stange Road: A walking tunnel under the railroad tracks)
  • Lot 112N (Located east of Frederiksen Court off of Haber Road)
  • Lot 112L (Located north of Frederiksen Court off of 13th Street)

Permits will go on sale through AccessPlus at 9 a.m. July 20, 2017 for students living outside of Ames.

The Commuter Lot at Iowa State Center

Commuters can park at the designated (A3, A4, B4, B5, B6) parking lots at the Iowa State Center for free and take Cy-Ride’s Orange Route into campus.

Overnight parking is not available in the commuter lots.

Paying on Campus

Commuters have the option of paying to park each time they come to campus. Pay-by-the-hour machines are available in Lot 100 (Lied Rec Center), East Campus Parking Deck on the east side of campus and Lot 21 on the west end of campus. There are also meters in some of the lots, but carefully read the signs and meters as some have time limits that do not accommodate classes.

Pay by Stalls (75 cents/hr, 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday) – Lots 21, 100 and East Campus Parking Deck

Park and Ride – no permit required

Most General Staff and Reserved Parking (after 5:30 M-F and all weekend)