White, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound native of Minneapolis, signed with Minnesota for last season but never played a game for the Golden Gophers.
"We had a long talk with Royce and he is disappointed," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said in a release. "He is fully on board on being a Cyclone. He's excited about how the team is playing and he is going to continue to take pride in his role as a member of our scout team."
White was suspended last fall after an incident at the Mall of America. He later pleaded guilty to theft and disorderly conduct and left Minnesota in February.
"I am disappointed with the decision," White said. "I am extremely happy with my decision to be a member of the Iowa State basketball team. It's my goal now to help this team any way I can during this season and prepare myself to be contributor on next year's team."
White announced he was transferring to Iowa State in July and had hoped to bypass the NCAA's rule that transfers must sit out their first season.