Interested in Donating?

Man getting his blood drawn


The College Gallon Grad program is a way to honor University of Iowa Engineering students who donate eight times while enrolled before graduating. After the eighth donation, the donor is presented with a red cord. The red cord can be worn at the COE graduation.





Direct all questions to the DeGowin Blood Center at

What counts as a qualified donation?

A “qualified donation” is either a whole-blood or platelet donation made by the student. Donations made prior to enrollment, in high school, and/or by another donor in honor of a student do not qualify. Student donors must meet all regular donor qualifications.



Types of Donations

Whole Blood (WB)

One pint of whole blood is donated. This can be done at the UI DeGowin Donor Center (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics; Elevator B, Level 2) or at a UI DeGowin Blood Center-sponsored blood drive. Donors should plan on a donation lasting about 45 to 60 minutes. The total time includes registering, answering the donor questionnaire, going through a health assessment with a phlebotomist, donating, and then spending 10 minutes at refreshments.

Donation Intervals

The interval at which a donor can donate whole blood is dependent on the age of the donor and is outlined here:

  • 16 or 17 years of age every 20 weeks
  • 18 – 24 years of age every 16 weeks
  • 25 years of age or older every 8 weeks

Platelets (Apheresis Donation)

The donor’s blood is drawn from the arm and is passed through a cell-separating machine (an apheresis machine). The products that are not being collected, such as red cells or plasma, are returned through the machine back to the donor. Platelet donations can only be made at the UI DeGowin Donor Center. Donors should plan on platelet donations lasting between two and two-and-a-half hours.

Donation Intervals

Students can donate platelets every seven days but no more than 24 times in 12 consecutive months. Additionally, platelets can be donated seven days after a whole-blood donation

Frequently Asked Questions

A blood donation is truly a selfless gift that you can give to others in need. Blood and platelet donations are needed every day. Those who may depend on donated blood include:

  • Cancer patients
  • Trauma patients 
  • Premature infants
  • Pregnant women
  • Surgery patients
  • Transplant patients
  • Patients with sickle cell anemia and hemophilia

Generally, anyone who is at least 17 years old or 16 with signed parent/guardian consent, weighs at least 110 pounds, and is in good health can donate.

No. The total time of a whole-blood donation appointment is about 45 minutes. Donating platelets takes one to two hours.

The length of time between whole blood donations is dependent on the age of the donor, ranging between eight and 20 weeks. Platelets can be donated weekly.

Blood Facts

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One pint of whole blood can save up to two lives.

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Nationally, a patient needs a blood product every two seconds.

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There is no substitute for human blood. 

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O negative is the universal donor, but donations from all blood types are needed.

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In the U.S., more than 5% of patients receive transfusions, making it one of the most frequently performed procedures in hospitals.

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Apheresis is a special kind of blood donation that allows a donor to give specific blood components, such as platelets.

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Blood and platelets cannot be manufactured; they can only come from volunteer donors.

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Platelets promote blood clotting and give those with leukemia and other cancers a chance to live.

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Platelets are very fragile and must be used within five days of collection.