Iowa (IA): Colleges, Universities and Technical Schools

There are 56 public and private non-profit colleges, universities and technical schools in Iowa. Learn about the schools with the highest graduation rates and lowest costs, among other areas, to find the school for you.

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Every traditional type of college can be found in the state of Iowa, including 4-year state schools, 2-year community colleges and private universities and colleges. These types of schools are typically non-profit institutions that offer a range of disciplines and degrees. Look at Iowa's traditional schools to compare them in each of the following categories based on stats from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES).

Iowa Schools Near Large Cities

Schools near large cities in Iowa are mostly centered around Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. A majority of them are 4-year private schools, with one community college offering certificates and associate's degree programs.

  • Coe College (Cedar Rapids)
  • Drake University (Des Moines)
  • Grand View University (Des Moines)
  • Kirkwood Community College (Cedar Rapids)
  • Mount Mercy University (Cedar Rapids)

Largest Schools in Iowa

The largest schools in Iowa will provide potential students with the opportunity to experience student enrollments of more than 20,000 students, as of fall 2015. The largest institutions are public schools, with undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

  • Iowa State University (35,714 students)
  • University of Iowa (30,844 students)
  • Des Moines Area Community College (22,298 students)
  • Kirkwood Community College (14,368 students)
  • University of Northern Iowa (11,981 students)

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Lowest Net Price

Knowing the cost of earning a degree often plays an important role in a student's decision about which college to attend. NCES determines a college's net cost by subtracting the average amount of government or institutional aid a student receives from the total cost of attending the college (tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies and miscellaneous expenses). The following Iowa schools offered the lowest net prices in the state, as of 2014-2015, for full-time undergraduate students.

  • Southeastern Community College ($5,524)
  • Southwestern Community College ($7,273)
  • Western Iowa Tech Community College ($7,518)
  • Marshalltown Community College ($8,037)
  • North Iowa Area Community College ($8,262)

Highest Graduation Rate

Another important factor in selecting a school is its success rate, which may be determined by its graduation rate. NCES bases this rate on full-time undergraduate students who complete a program in 150% of 'normal time' (e.g. three years for an associate degree or six years for bachelor's degree). The following are the Iowa non-profit schools with the highest graduation rate, based on students who began their studies in 2009.

  • Grinnell College (86% graduation rate)
  • Luther College (77% graduation rate)
  • Drake University (75% graduation rate)
  • University of Iowa (72% graduation rate)
  • Iowa State University (71% graduation rate)

To help you decide on a particular school, we've organized the Iowa public and private non-profit learning institutions into four categories based on location, affordability, graduation rates and net price.

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