Best Online Colleges in Iowa
for 2022

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We Can Help You Find an Online Program in Iowa

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Iowa is a small state and therefore it has a smaller workforce than other states. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.7 million Iowans were part of the workforce in a recent year. This equates to 63% of state residents and Iowa has an unemployment rate of 3.7%. Like other states, Iowa has industries that are increasing in employment, while other industries are losing workers. The industries on the rise include hospitality, government jobs and the service industry in general. Industries that are on the decline are financial services, business services, and education and health services. The median income in Iowa in 2020 was $60,500, which is higher than the national average.

Online Higher Education in Iowa


  • How much is college tuition in Iowa?
    For the 2020-2021 academic year, tuition for in-state Iowa students was $6,176, while out-of-state students were charged $22,339 for tuition. Graduate students paid $11,028 for in-state tuition, and out-of-state graduate students paid $14,069. For students who opted to live on campus, the cost for room and board for all students was $11,955. The college with the highest undergraduate tuition is Grinnell College, recent costing students around $58,600, and the least expensive college tuition was at Shiloh University with a cost of $5,250. For graduate school, Maharishi University of Management has the highest tuition at $16,530 and Shiloh University has the lowest at $5,250.
  • How many students are enrolled at colleges and universities in Iowa?
    As of the 2020-21 academic school year, there were 209,492 Iowa students attending colleges. The vast majority (181,465) are undergraduate students, with the remaining 28,027 students being enrolled in graduate programs. Full-time students make up the majority of student attendance at 132,924 and female students outnumber male students at 115,394 and 94,098, respectively.
  • How many students attend online classes?
    For the 2020-21 academic year, 50,386 students attended classes exclusively online and another 80,379 attended both on-campus and online courses in a hybrid format.
  • What are some of the most popular degrees to get online?
    Some of the more popular programs include Accounting, Business, Communications, Criminal Justice, Education, and Information Technology.

Our School Rankings Methodology


We use a particular set of criteria when creating our rankings. Some of the factors we consider include:

  • Admission Rate:
    This rate shows how competitive a school actually is. High admission rates mean it’s easier to be accepted, while a lower rate means the school is more selective of its students.
  • Graduation Rate:
    We check the length of time students need to complete programs and whether that timeframe is within the standard four to six years for an undergraduate degree.
  • Net Price:
    This is the total amount a student will have to pay out of pocket for their education. This amount is the balance of tuition and fees after grants, scholarships, and work study credits have been applied.
  • Online Availability:
    Whether courses and programs can be completed online either partially or completely is considered.
  • Retention Rate:
    We evaluate how many students return after their first year of classes.
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio:
    The smaller the ratio, the smaller the classes, and the greater chance for instructor interaction. Some students prefer smaller classes, while other students prefer larger ones, and a higher student-to-faculty ratio tells you which you’re likely to find at any particular institution.

What are the Best Online Associate & Community College Programs in Iowa?


The best online community college programs in Iowa are the programs that match a student's needs, therefore it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. One thing that all students need to evaluate is if the school is accredited. Regional accreditation is the most desirable because it means that your education will be recognized by future potential employers and the Department of Education. The next thing a student should consider is whether the school offers the type of online program they want. Online programs can be completely discussion board based, a mix of discussion boards and scheduled seminars, or act as a virtual school that has a traditional school schedule with classes completely online. For students who want a classroom setting but have no desire to visit a brick-and-mortar campus, virtual is the best option. For those who need more flexibility when they attend classes and complete their work, the discussion board or mixed program is a better option.

Northwest Iowa Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
1,666
Graduation Rate
61%
Net Price
$10,395
Grads Salary
$51,500
Iowa Lakes Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
2,288
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$9,804
Grads Salary
$38,300
Southwestern Community College-Creston
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
1,503
Graduation Rate
48%
Net Price
$9,182
Grads Salary
$38,300
Kirkwood Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
13,788
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$8,727
Grads Salary
$39,300
Marshalltown Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
1,947
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$7,199
Grads Salary
$36,700
Iowa Central Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
4,704
Graduation Rate
34%
Net Price
$9,931
Grads Salary
$40,800
Indian Hills Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
3,612
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$8,048
Grads Salary
$37,400
Western Iowa Tech Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
5,360
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$8,784
Grads Salary
$36,000
Southeastern Community College-West Burlington
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
2,260
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$6,719
Grads Salary
$33,000
Des Moines Area Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
23,051
Graduation Rate
31%
Net Price
$9,296
Grads Salary
$39,100
Full Ranking Report

What are the Best Online Universities & College Programs in Iowa?


Our rankings are created to take the stress out of making choosing the right college. Potential students can evaluate schools in Iowa and other states and seek schools and programs that match their needs. Student will be prepared to reach out to the schools and not go into the conversation blind but informed regarding what the school has to offer and how it suits them. No matter what you are looking to study, there are all kinds of options all over the state. And, no matter where you live, these excellent programs are available from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection.

Iowa State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
31,822
Graduation Rate
75%
Net Price
$16,105
Grads Salary
$71,000
University of Iowa
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
30,318
Graduation Rate
72%
Net Price
$17,452
Grads Salary
$72,000
University of Northern Iowa
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
9,507
Graduation Rate
64%
Net Price
$16,166
Grads Salary
$62,000
Simpson College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,355
Graduation Rate
71%
Net Price
$20,457
Grads Salary
$62,000
Clarke University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
904
Graduation Rate
66%
Net Price
$25,756
Grads Salary
$72,000
Graceland University-Lamoni
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,517
Graduation Rate
41%
Net Price
$18,434
Grads Salary
$75,000
Northwestern College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,496
Graduation Rate
69%
Net Price
$24,513
Grads Salary
$65,000
Mount Mercy University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,705
Graduation Rate
57%
Net Price
$25,182
Grads Salary
$73,000
Morningside University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
2,411
Graduation Rate
60%
Net Price
$22,146
Grads Salary
$66,000
Buena Vista University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,863
Graduation Rate
62%
Net Price
$18,300
Grads Salary
$57,800
Full Ranking Report