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Students preparing to attend Drake University (DU), located in Des Moines, Iowa, will find themselves one of nearly 5,000 students when they arrive on campus. Des Moines itself is a midsize city, with a variety of points of interest. Students may choose to go to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden or spend a lazy Saturday afternoon at Gray’s Lake to help them re-energize after a busy week of academics. Students who appreciate art or who are art majors may also enjoy the Des Moines Art Center.

Overview of Drake University (DU)

The university provides students with campus housing, so you can expect to enjoy the relationships you form every evening and on the weekends without ever needing to drive anywhere. Students who have opted for the dining plan gather at the university dining hall for their meals. If you prefer, there are several restaurants located on the campus.

The university also makes recreational activities and locations available for students to take part in sand volleyball and other sports. Academic buildings, such as the campus library, make it easy for students to work on class assignments or to study for exams.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting City: Midsize
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 10:1
Graduation Rate 81%
Year Founded 1881

Student Enrollment

Total Students4,884


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,211
Female 1,743

Graduate Student

Male 791
Female 1,139

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Drake University Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 2,828
Female 4,116


Male 1,838
Female 2,881

Acceptance Rate68%

Male 65%
Female 70%

Enrollment 803

Male 303
Female 500
Application Fee N/A
High School GPA Required
High School Rank N/A
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations Recommended
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted Yes

DU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Attendance at a state university is often a huge expense and part of the calculus of whether or not you can even attend school. Many families find this to be one of the most important statistics on any school they consider. For a private, non-profit university, tuition is nearly always more expensive than it is for public colleges and universities. Drake University’s sticker price was a whopping $60,000+ in the most recent school year.

This breaks down to an in-state and out-of-state tuition of $44,000. Room and board cost around $11,100, books and supplies add another $1,100, and other fees and charges can add up to $3,700.

However, families don’t necessarily pay the entire cost each year. Drake University’s financial aid office helps students to find scholarships, grants, and student loans that can help ease the pressure for those students who want to attend this prestigious school. The average net price for the 2018-2019 school year was just around $30,300. The university also tracks how the net cost breaks down by income since the FAFSA awards moneys to students based on their family’s income from the year before. Students whose families earned less than $30,000 paid around $25,300, while families earning $110,001+ paid around $33,100.

One hundred percent of beginning students were able to receive financial aid in recent years. They received $25,929 in grants or scholarships as well as $23,903 in institutional grants and scholarships.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $30,265
Average Total Aid $25,929
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Room & Board $10,848

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $42,840
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $42,840
  • Books and Supplies - $1,100
  • Room & Board - $10,848
  • Other - $3,700


As students go through their college options, they should take some time to learn what the different academic statistics are for each school. For Drake University, the statistics are good.

The retention rate, which measures the percentage of first-year students who return to the campus for their second year, is 84%, quite a bit higher than the national average. The total acceptance rate is 68%, making it a bit more difficult to gain acceptance. This is lower due to the fact that the admissions committee accepts only the students whose college exam scores are higher than average. The SAT acceptance requirements (Combined) are 1,100 and 1,370. The acceptance requirements for the ACT combined are 24/31.

Additionally, the 4-year graduation rate is 73%, also higher than the national average, and the 6-year graduation rate is 80%. That makes it very possible that, once you are accepted into this school, you may be able to get all the way through your academic career and graduate with the same friends and students you started with.

Drake University also offers both evening classes and some distance learning (individual classes, not degree programs). So, if you have trouble attending a class because of an internship or work program, or if you simply want to speed up your graduation by taking a few extra classes over the school year or summer, that’s something you can discuss with your academic advisor.

The most popular degree programs are business, management, marketing, and related support services; communication, journalism, and related programs; biological and biomedical sciences; social sciences; and visual and performing arts.

Student Population Total

Student Population 4,884

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 204 Total Graduates / 29%
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 52 Graduates
Actuarial Science 42 Graduates
Finance, General 23 Graduates
Accounting 21 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 73 Total Graduates / 10%
Public Relations/Image Management 38 Graduates
Journalism, Other 28 Graduates
Advertising 6 Graduates
Broadcast Journalism 1 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 58 Total Graduates / 8%
Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Other 27 Graduates
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 18 Graduates
Neuroscience 13 Graduates
All Social Sciences Majors 50 Total Graduates / 7%
Political Science and Government, General 14 Graduates
International Relations and Affairs 10 Graduates
Sociology, General 9 Graduates
Anthropology, Other 8 Graduates
Visual and Performing Arts 46 Total Graduates / 6%
Music Performance, General 13 Graduates
Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other 11 Graduates
Commercial and Advertising Art 7 Graduates
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 4 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 40%

Outcome & Salary

By the end of a student’s time at Drake, they should be able to find a job in their degree field. Early-career salaries for graduates averaged around $54,800 in recent polls, and their mid-career salaries increased to $107,900.

Ten-year salary earning potential for Drake graduates is $662,820 and 20-year salary earnings potential is $1,741,820. After deducting the 4-year average cost of education ($240,000), the return on investment (ROI) is as follows: 10-year projected ROI is $422,820 and 20-year projected ROI is $1,501,820.

High school graduates who don’t go to college earn a national average salary of $37,960, their 10-year projected income is $379,600, and their 20-year projected income is $759,200. As you can see, earning an expensive education can mean more money in the long term.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $54,800
College Grads Average Salary $66,282
College Grads Mid Career Salary $107,900
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $662,820
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,741,820
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $121,060
10 Year Projected ROI $541,760
20 Year Projected ROI $1,620,760
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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