Find the Best Colleges in Iowa
Iowa has nearly 70 accredited colleges and universities. Most are not-for-profit private schools, 19 are public colleges and universities, and some are for-profit private institutions. Options range from large state-funded research universities to a “Hidden Ivy,” many small liberal arts schools, several Christian colleges, more than a dozen community colleges, two accredited law schools, and other special focus colleges.
Iowa’s public and private colleges and universities have impressive statistics. Overall they cost less than their counterparts in other states, and Iowa’s public colleges boast the second-highest graduation rate among all 50 states! Learn more and compare college stats with our free college statistics database.
Iowa College Education Data
College enrollment is falling in some states but it’s on the rise in Iowa. This is partly because Iowa leads the US in high school graduation rates; the US Department of Education reports that 90.5 percent of Iowa’s high school seniors graduated in 2014 while the national average was 82.3 percent. Here are some impressive statistics about Iowa colleges and universities.
- College students in Iowa are more likely than others to graduate within six years. Nationwide in 2010 the college graduation rate for four-year degree programs was 56 percent. In Iowa it was 69.4 percent.
- Community college students in Iowa have above average graduation rates. In 2010 the nationwide graduation rate was 20.4 percent, but in Iowa it was 33 percent.
- Private universities and colleges in Iowa cost slightly less than average. In 2012 the average yearly tuition for private four-year schools nationwide was about $24,500. In Iowa it was about $15,500.
- Public universities and colleges in Iowa cost significantly less than the US average. In 2012 the average yearly tuition for American public four-year schools was about $8100. In Iowa it was about $7850.
Check out our list of top Iowa colleges & universities below.
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Living & Learning in Iowa: Fun Facts and Useful Statistics
Nationwide surveys often rank Iowa as a top place to attend college and raise a family. Here are some interesting and fun facts about Iowa colleges and the state in general.
- The cost of living is relatively low in Iowa. According to 2012 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, housing in Iowa cost about 10% less than the national average. Health care, groceries and utilities were also cheaper.
- In 2011 Iowa was ranked as the 6th safest place to live in the CQ Press, a division of the academic publisher SAGE.
- Approximately 61% of students at Iowa’s public colleges and universities are female.
- Aspiring engineers, take note! The University of Iowa College of Engineering notifies each applicant of their admission decision within 48 hours of receiving the application.
- Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa is the only school in the US to have its entire campus included on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Iowa State University is America’s oldest land grant college. (Land grant colleges are established on federal lands in accordance with laws set in 1862 and 1890.) It was founded in 1864 and was originally named the State Agricultural College.
- Top industries in Iowa are agriculture, food production and insurance. Related Iowa facts: 1) There are more pigs in Iowa than people (about 12 million versus three million). 2) Iowa-based Quaker Oats is the largest cereal producer in the world. 3) Iowa has the 13th-largest insurance industry among the 50 states.
- Iowa ranks third in the nation for motorcycles per capita. It ranks #1 in golf courses per capita.
- The average commute time to work in Iowa is below the national average. It’s about 19 minutes while the US average is about 25 minutes.
- Iowa is the only state with its eastern and western borders formed entirely by water. The Missouri River is to the west and the Mississippi is to the east.
- A very green state, Iowa is #9 in the nation for number of state parks and other recreational natural areas. It’s also home to the famed bridges of Madison County.
- CNN Money recently named Ames, Iowa among America’s top 10 places to live.
Intrigued? Build your list of best Iowa college and university programs! Search here and sort the list of Iowa colleges by price, school size and other important stats.