Iowa’s colleges and universities are helping prepare students for careers in traditional industries like agriculture as well as newer contributors to the state’s economy such as healthcare and communication technology. The college landscape includes three public universities, almost 20 community colleges, over 30 non-profit private colleges, and several career and special-focus colleges. Read on to discover more about colleges in Iowa, including essential factors to consider when choosing a school and rankings revealing the best colleges in Iowa.

Iowa College Rankings: Best of 2017

Iowa Iowa

All colleges in Iowa strive to provide the best education at the best possible price, but some do a better job than the rest. To create our ranking of Iowa colleges and universities for the 2017 school year, we evaluated institutions on characteristics such as tuition costs, average earnings for alumni, how many students receive scholarship or grant aid (and how much they receive), and student-to-teacher ratio. Explore the Iowa’s best colleges and universities below.

1
1 Western Iowa Tech Community College
Score
99.80
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$29,800
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
46%
1Western Iowa Tech Community College
Score
99.80
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $29,800
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    17:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    46%

  • Graduation Rate 20%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 2
  • # Total Programs 118
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
2
2 Northwest Iowa Community College
Score
99.75
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$38,400
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
13:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
32%
2Northwest Iowa Community College
Score
99.75
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $38,400
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    13:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    32%

  • Graduation Rate 51%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 5
  • # Total Programs 34
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
3
3 Hawkeye Community College
Score
99.39
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$34,400
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
12%
3Hawkeye Community College
Score
99.39
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $34,400
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    15:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    12%

  • Graduation Rate 43%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 1
  • # Total Programs 59
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
4
4 North Iowa Area Community College
Score
99.37
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$32,400
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
20:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
43%
4North Iowa Area Community College
Score
99.37
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $32,400
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    20:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    43%

  • Graduation Rate 38%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 67
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
5
5 Kirkwood Community College
Score
99.09
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$33,600
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
18:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
19%
5Kirkwood Community College
Score
99.09
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $33,600
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    18:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    19%

  • Graduation Rate 20%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 3
  • # Total Programs 123
  • Placement Services No
  • Credit for Experience Yes
6
6 Des Moines Area Community College
Score
98.95
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$34,500
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
20:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
11%
6Des Moines Area Community College
Score
98.95
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $34,500
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    20:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    11%

  • Graduation Rate 17%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 4
  • # Total Programs 120
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
7
7 Iowa Central Community College
Score
98.90
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$32,700
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
20:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
60%
7Iowa Central Community College
Score
98.90
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $32,700
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    20:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    60%

  • Graduation Rate 34%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 8
  • # Total Programs 53
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
8
8 Indian Hills Community College
Score
98.72
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$31,500
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
7%
8Indian Hills Community College
Score
98.72
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $31,500
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    17:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    7%

  • Graduation Rate 21%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 2
  • # Total Programs 68
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
9
9 Iowa Lakes Community College
Score
98.46
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$29,700
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
47%
9Iowa Lakes Community College
Score
98.46
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $29,700
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    15:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    47%

  • Graduation Rate 40%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 2
  • # Total Programs 70
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
10
10 Northeast Iowa Community College-Calmar
Score
98.21
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$31,000
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
14:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
12%
10Northeast Iowa Community College-Calmar
Score
98.21
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $31,000
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    14:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    12%

  • Graduation Rate 29%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 6
  • # Total Programs 61
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
11
11 Eastern Iowa Community College District
Score
97.99
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$30,000
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
17%
11Eastern Iowa Community College District
Score
97.99
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $30,000
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    17:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    17%

  • Graduation Rate 23%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 6
  • # Total Programs 101
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
12
12 Southwestern Community College
Score
97.26
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$30,800
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
32%
12Southwestern Community College
Score
97.26
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $30,800
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    15:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    32%

  • Graduation Rate 42%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 4
  • # Total Programs 36
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
13
13 Southeastern Community College
Score
96.68
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$26,600
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
18:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
21%
13Southeastern Community College
Score
96.68
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $26,600
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    18:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    21%

  • Graduation Rate 25%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 1
  • # Total Programs 32
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
14
14 Iowa Western Community College
Score
87.48
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$34,100
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
19:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
38%
14Iowa Western Community College
Score
87.48
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $34,100
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    19:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    38%

  • Graduation Rate 18%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 50
  • Placement Services No
  • Credit for Experience Yes
15
15 Ellsworth Community College
Score
87.20
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$32,000
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
21:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
53%
15Ellsworth Community College
Score
87.20
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $32,000
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    21:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    53%

  • Graduation Rate 21%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 1
  • # Total Programs 29
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
16
16 Marshalltown Community College
Score
86.00
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$30,400
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
26:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
37%
16Marshalltown Community College
Score
86.00
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $30,400
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    26:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    37%

  • Graduation Rate 24%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 2
  • # Total Programs 44
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
1
1 Allen College
Score
99.74
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$52,400
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
9:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
100%
1Allen College
Score
99.74
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $52,400
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    9:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    100%

  • Graduation Rate 82%
  • Acceptance Rate N/A
  • # Online Programs 4
  • # Total Programs 12
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
2
2 Drake University
Score
97.26
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$55,700
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
99%
2Drake University
Score
97.26
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $55,700
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    12:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    99%

  • Graduation Rate 72%
  • Acceptance Rate 69%
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 92
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
3
3 St. Ambrose University
Score
97.10
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$44,800
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
11:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
100%
3St. Ambrose University
Score
97.10
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $44,800
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    11:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    100%

  • Graduation Rate 63%
  • Acceptance Rate 96%
  • # Online Programs 2
  • # Total Programs 106
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
4
4 University of Iowa
Score
96.69
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$48,700
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
16:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
59%
4University of Iowa
Score
96.69
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $48,700
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    16:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    59%

  • Graduation Rate 70%
  • Acceptance Rate 81%
  • # Online Programs 5
  • # Total Programs 232
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
5
5 Iowa State University
Score
96.53
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$47,200
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
19:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
75%
5Iowa State University
Score
96.53
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $47,200
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    19:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    75%

  • Graduation Rate 71%
  • Acceptance Rate 87%
  • # Online Programs 17
  • # Total Programs 198
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
6
6 Grinnell College
Score
95.02
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$45,600
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
9:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
93%
6Grinnell College
Score
95.02
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $45,600
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    9:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    93%

  • Graduation Rate 90%
  • Acceptance Rate 28%
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 26
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
7
7 Simpson College
Score
94.69
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$45,800
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
13:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
100%
7Simpson College
Score
94.69
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $45,800
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    13:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    100%

  • Graduation Rate 67%
  • Acceptance Rate 85%
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 45
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
8
8 Coe College
Score
94.55
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$43,800
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
11:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
99%
8Coe College
Score
94.55
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $43,800
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    11:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    99%

  • Graduation Rate 68%
  • Acceptance Rate 55%
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 49
  • Placement Services No
  • Credit for Experience No
9
9 Cornell College
Score
94.25
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$41,900
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
11:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
99%
9Cornell College
Score
94.25
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $41,900
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    11:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    99%

  • Graduation Rate 71%
  • Acceptance Rate 74%
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 48
  • Placement Services No
  • Credit for Experience No
10
10 Buena Vista University
Score
93.54
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$38,100
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
9:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
100%
10Buena Vista University
Score
93.54
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $38,100
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    9:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    100%

  • Graduation Rate 51%
  • Acceptance Rate 68%
  • # Online Programs 16
  • # Total Programs 74
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
11
11 Mount Mercy University
Score
93.42
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$43,200
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
14:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
100%
11Mount Mercy University
Score
93.42
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $43,200
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    14:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    100%

  • Graduation Rate 54%
  • Acceptance Rate 57%
  • # Online Programs 2
  • # Total Programs 59
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
12
12 Loras College
Score
93.14
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$41,200
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
100%
12Loras College
Score
93.14
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $41,200
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    12:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    100%

  • Graduation Rate 66%
  • Acceptance Rate 95%
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 46
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
13
13 Luther College
Score
93.11
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$42,500
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
100%
13Luther College
Score
93.11
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $42,500
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    12:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    100%

  • Graduation Rate 77%
  • Acceptance Rate 71%
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 40
  • Placement Services No
  • Credit for Experience No
14
14 University of Northern Iowa
Score
93.07
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$41,700
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
16:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
59%
14University of Northern Iowa
Score
93.07
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $41,700
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    16:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    59%

  • Graduation Rate 66%
  • Acceptance Rate 78%
  • # Online Programs 10
  • # Total Programs 172
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
15
15 Clarke University
Score
91.76
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$40,900
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
8:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
99%
15Clarke University
Score
91.76
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $40,900
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    8:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    99%

  • Graduation Rate 63%
  • Acceptance Rate 70%
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 34
  • Placement Services No
  • Credit for Experience Yes
16
16 Wartburg College
Score
91.28
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$43,200
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
97%
16Wartburg College
Score
91.28
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $43,200
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    12:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    97%

  • Graduation Rate 65%
  • Acceptance Rate 79%
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 38
  • Placement Services No
  • Credit for Experience Yes
17
17 Central College
Score
91.01
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$41,200
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
13:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
100%
17Central College
Score
91.01
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $41,200
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    13:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    100%

  • Graduation Rate 69%
  • Acceptance Rate 69%
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 38
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
18
18 Briar Cliff University
Score
90.80
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$38,600
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
100%
18Briar Cliff University
Score
90.80
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $38,600
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    12:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    100%

  • Graduation Rate 43%
  • Acceptance Rate 62%
  • # Online Programs 11
  • # Total Programs 45
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
19
19 Grand View University
Score
90.70
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$39,200
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
13:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
100%
19Grand View University
Score
90.70
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $39,200
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    13:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    100%

  • Graduation Rate 49%
  • Acceptance Rate 99%
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 43
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
20
20 Dordt College
Score
90.63
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$38,400
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
100%
20Dordt College
Score
90.63
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $38,400
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    15:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    100%

  • Graduation Rate 65%
  • Acceptance Rate 73%
  • # Online Programs 2
  • # Total Programs 99
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
21
21 Graceland University-Lamoni
Score
90.50
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$36,600
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
13:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
100%
21Graceland University-Lamoni
Score
90.50
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $36,600
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    13:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    100%

  • Graduation Rate 50%
  • Acceptance Rate 50%
  • # Online Programs 11
  • # Total Programs 48
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
22
22 Morningside College
Score
89.14
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$35,600
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
13:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
99%
22Morningside College
Score
89.14
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $35,600
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    13:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    99%

  • Graduation Rate 59%
  • Acceptance Rate 57%
  • # Online Programs 5
  • # Total Programs 54
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
23
23 Upper Iowa University
Score
89.08
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$40,300
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
18:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
90%
23Upper Iowa University
Score
89.08
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $40,300
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    18:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    90%

  • Graduation Rate 41%
  • Acceptance Rate 70%
  • # Online Programs 7
  • # Total Programs 71
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
24
24 Iowa Wesleyan University
Score
89.00
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$34,100
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
10:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
99%
24Iowa Wesleyan University
Score
89.00
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $34,100
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    10:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    99%

  • Graduation Rate 30%
  • Acceptance Rate 41%
  • # Online Programs 5
  • # Total Programs 30
  • Placement Services No
  • Credit for Experience Yes
25
25 Maharishi University of Management
Score
88.53
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
N/A
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
11:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
94%
25Maharishi University of Management
Score
88.53
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    N/A
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    11:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    94%

  • Graduation Rate 58%
  • Acceptance Rate 38%
  • # Online Programs 2
  • # Total Programs 19
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
26
26 Northwestern College
Score
87.86
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$36,200
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
13:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
100%
26Northwestern College
Score
87.86
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $36,200
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    13:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    100%

  • Graduation Rate 63%
  • Acceptance Rate 78%
  • # Online Programs 1
  • # Total Programs 43
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
27
27 William Penn University
Score
87.67
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$41,200
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
96%
27William Penn University
Score
87.67
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $41,200
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    17:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    96%

  • Graduation Rate 31%
  • Acceptance Rate 60%
  • # Online Programs 3
  • # Total Programs 29
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No
28
28 University of Dubuque
Score
86.42
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$36,900
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
13:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
93%
28University of Dubuque
Score
86.42
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $36,900
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    13:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    93%

  • Graduation Rate 36%
  • Acceptance Rate 78%
  • # Online Programs 2
  • # Total Programs 43
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience Yes
29
29 Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary
Score
86.00
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
TUITION & FEES
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
ALUMNI EARNINGS
$28,100
STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
13:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
Gift Financial Aid
97%
29Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary
Score
86.00
  • Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
    TUITION & FEES
  • Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
    ALUMNI EARNINGS
    $28,100
  • STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO
    13:1
  • First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
    Gift Financial Aid
    97%

  • Graduation Rate 58%
  • Acceptance Rate 67%
  • # Online Programs 0
  • # Total Programs 14
  • Placement Services Yes
  • Credit for Experience No

Iowa College Search Tool: Research & Compare

The following search tool can be used to find colleges in Iowa based on tuition, type of school, location, student population, subject of study and degree level, and includes a map showing school locations and contact information. Using this data to compare Iowa colleges can help aspiring students identify which schools best fit their needs.

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College Access Initiatives in Iowa

Getting a college education and starting a career may seem unattainable to students facing obstacles such as learning, social, financial or family issues. Many aren’t aware of the support and assistance available. Several federal and state programs exist to provide help, support and encouragement to those wanting a college education. Below are examples of programs in Iowa designed to make postsecondary education more accessible to all Iowa residents.

All Iowa Opportunity Foster Care Grant

This educational grant is available qualifying students who have aged out of Iowa’s foster care system, or have been adopted from the system after the age of 16. There are other specific requirements regarding students’ foster care status. They must also be between the ages of 17 and 23, and have filled out FAFSA® and Iowa Financial Aid applications. Grant funds – up to $9,010 per year – can be used for tuition and all college related expenses, including supplies, personal living expenses, transportation, housing and meals.

PROMISE JOBS

The PROMISE JOBS program is available through the Department of Human Services and Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) and funded by the Federal TANF program. It offers family development, work training and other education services to families participating in the Family Investment Program (FIP). Participants will enter into an agreement with the state to complete specific steps towards becoming self-supported, based on the family’s needs. Some components of the agreement are education-based; participants may be eligible to receive help with education courses leading to high school diplomas, GEDs and post-secondary education programs.

Iowa Project Lead the Way (PLTW)

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that works with state leaders across the country to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills among public K-12 students. PLTW programs help prepare students for postsecondary education and careers in STEM through courses in computer science, biomedical science and engineering. Eligible students apply those credits to a STEM degree at Iowa State University or the University of Iowa.

Cost of College in Iowa

Tuition is an important consideration when deciding on colleges. The amount students pay for tuition depends on several factors, including type of school, whether a student pays in-state or out-of-state tuition, and financial aid availability. The following charts break down costs using Iowa colleges’ average tuition and fees, percentage of students receiving financial aid, and the nature and amount of that aid. One can also compare Iowa college costs to the national average.

Average Iowa Tuition & Fees at 4-Year Public Colleges

Source: CollegeBoard

% of Iowa Students Receiving Financial Aid

Source: IPEDS

Average Financial Aid Award for Iowa Students

Source: IPEDS

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a postsecondary institution.

* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Most Affordable Colleges in Iowa

While tuition cost is often the standard by which colleges are rated on affordability, it isn’t the only or best metric one should consider. The following section ranks the top six most affordable colleges in Iowa using net price (cost of attendance minus financial aid received) to give a more accurate look at out-of-pocket costs and also provides a comparison to the national average.

Average
Annual Net
Price

Cost for students awarded federal financial aid, after school and government aid is deducted. At public colleges, only applies to in-state students.

Iowa College Net Price vs. National Average
IOWA $18,726 Average
Annual Net Price
$18,073

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Top Iowa Colleges to Maximize Earnings Potential

One thing that many aspiring college students might not think about when researching colleges is alumni salaries. This is definitely something to consider, as it can give students a possible glimpse into their financial futures. The following section shows the top-six Iowa colleges with the highest paid alumni 10 years after college and compares them to national averages.

Annual
Median Earnings
10 Years
After Entering
College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

Iowa Alumni Salaries vs. National Average
IOWA $41,057 Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After Entering College
$42,759

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Which Iowa College Alums Have the Least Student Debt?

Another thing to consider when looking at the college finances is what student debt looks like for Iowa college grads. The following section ranks the six Iowa colleges producing graduates with the least amount of student debt and reveals how Iowa colleges compare to the national average.

Median
Federal Student
Loan Debt After
Graduation

Only for undergraduates who completed college; does not include Parent-PLUS loans.

Iowa College Grad Debt Vs. National Average
IOWA $23,648 Median Federal Student
Loan Debt After Graduation
$23,145

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Iowa Living Expenses

A key piece to the college-financing puzzle is students’ cost-of-living. Students must look closely at what living expenses are like in various college towns as they can definitely impact overall college affordability. Take a look at the following table get a sense of cost-of-living in Iowa and its five largest metropolitan areas.

area composite index housing groceries utilities transportation health care misc.
Statewide Average 93% 87% 93% 96% 100% 97% 95%
Ames 93% 98% 92% 85% 101% 96% 89%
Burlington 88% 74% 92% 102% 93% 95% 90%
Cedar Rapids 95% 85% 95% 107% 97% 102% 98%
Des Moines 89% 83% 92% 91% 95% 97% 91%
Dubuque 91% 68% 97% 105% 97% 95% 101%

Source: The Council for Community and Economic Research

Why it Pays to Attend Accredited Iowa Colleges

Choosing an accredited college ensures that institution meets or exceeds specific quality standards in areas such as operations, curriculum, faculty, accountability, self-regulation and improvements. In addition to quality, accreditation comes into play when students transfer credits, or apply to graduate school, for financial aid or professional licensure. The regional accrediting body for colleges in Iowa is the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which evaluates degree-granting colleges and universities in the North Central region of the United States. Individual programs within colleges can be accredited, as shown in the following two examples.

College City Spotlight: Des Moines & Iowa City

Des Moines
College Name School Type Annual Net Price Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

Des MoinesDrake University Private not-for-profit $26,045 $55,700
Drake is a private liberal arts university serving about 5,000 students near downtown Des Moines. The university has over 70 majors and a uniquely structured curriculum featuring the First-Year Seminar, Areas of Inquiry and the Senior Capstone. Students at Drake have several opportunities to work collaboratively with faculty on research and outreach projects, and can choose from over 160 student organizations. The Drake Law School and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication are popular here.
Des MoinesGrand View University Private not-for-profit $18,229 $39,200
Grand View is a private, Evangelical Lutheran Church-affiliated liberal arts university located in the heart of De Moines. The university offers about 40 majors, including an adult program with 16 evening majors. Grand View offers a flexible core curriculum focused on students' interests and specific outcomes, including career-development and community service. Popular programs at Grand View include business and accounting, nursing and education.
Des MoinesDes Moines University-College of Osteopathic Medicine Private not-for-profit N/A N/A
Des Moines University's is an osteopathic medical school and health sciences university located near downtown Des Moines. It offers several graduate programs, including Doctor of Osteopathic, Podiatric and Physical Therapy Medicine degrees, and master's degrees in physical therapy, health care administration and public health. DMU also offers research-related degrees like the Master of Science in Anatomy and Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences. Other options: online master degrees, continuing education, and professional development courses.
Iowa City

Iowa City recently ranked no. 13 on the American Institute of Economic Research's Top 75 College Cities and Towns in America list for small metro areas. Iowa City has one major public research university and a community college, but there are several other higher education options nearby. The University of Iowa has a large presence in Iowa City, contributing to the community and economy in several ways. Another fact that may be of interest to college students is that Iowa City is the only city in the United States awarded the City of Literature title by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

College Name School Type Annual Net Price Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

Iowa CityThe University of Iowa Public $14,379 $48,700
The University of Iowa is a large, public research university with a student population of about 32,000. There is a lot going on at UI, ranging from major research to world-class writing, visual and performing arts. Students can choose from over 200 major, minor and certificate programs, including several high-ranking graduate programs like its MD, Law, and MBA degrees. The university also offers its ever-popular Iowa Writer's Workshop, a two-year residency program in creative writing. The University of Iowa has graduate assistantships and more the 500 student organizations.

Source: College Scorecard

Other Helpful Iowa College Resources

Below are some helpful resources for potential and current students researching colleges in Iowa.

Iowa College Access Network (ICAN)

The ICAN works with Iowa public school to increase access to post-secondary education for low-income and first-generation students. The program provides advisement, planning tools, support and other resources starting in middle school, and continuing through high school and college.

Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG)

The IJAG program works with students to remove barriers that may prevent high school graduation and college access.

Iowa College Student Aid Commission

This is Iowa State’s student financial agency, with financial aid resources for students and schools. Students can learn about adult continuing education, state scholarships and grants, loan repayment programs and other college resources.

Transfer in Iowa

This website is a guide to transferring credits between Iowa’s three Regent universities and 15 community colleges, and provides resources and information on topics such as advisement, reverse-transfer credits and distance education.