When you become a student at Iowa State University, you will receive your own, unique electronic identity. Your electronic identity requires two items—an ISU ID number and a NetworkID (often shortened to just NetID).
A student's ISU ID number can most easily be recognized as the number on your red ISUCard. Most will receive their ISU ID number and red ISUCard during summer orientation. This ID number enables access to grades, course enrollment, and class schedules. A student will also need their ISU ID number to create their NetID. For more information regarding the ISUCard, visit http://www.isucard.iastate.edu.
Every student has an ISU NetworkID (NetID). A student's NetID is part of their email address, and it also allows them to log into various computer systems at Iowa State.
Unless a student signs up with the Registrar’s Office in Alumni Hall to suppress the release of information, their NetID will be published in print and online directories. Since their NetID is published, they should make these two considerations. First, a student should choose an appropriate NetID. Most use their first initial plus their last name to form a NetID. Second, a student should choose a good password, one which includes a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters plus numbers. Keep track of your NetID and password. You will use them to log into online systems (such as WebCT (SNS), the library catalog, and WebMail). Register for your ISU NetworkID
Add “@iastate.edu” to your NetID and this becomes a student's email address. To meet a variety of needs, a student can read email in several ways. More details about these options can be found via http://www.it.iastate.edu/email/.
A student may wish to keep their ISU email account or forward their ISU email to another email account. One of the advantages of using an Iowa State email account is that it allows for exchanging larger files than some other mail systems (for example Yahoo! or Hotmail), ensuring that large messages from instructors do not bounce because of an over-full mailbox. (Additional space can be rented.)
If a student wishes to forward their ISU email to another account, they need to access the ISU Account Services on the Web (ASW) website and complete the following steps. To access ASW, they need to enter their NetID and password. A student will then be prompted with the ASW system email manager screen.
A student should keep their NetID password and access code (PIN number for your ISUCard) private to protect their identity and stop anyone from accessing their files or personal information.
Some of the above information was gathered from the Computing at Iowa State University website