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The University of Northern Iowa is located in Cedar Falls, Iowa and is a public university. Founded in 1876, the school boasts an enrollment over 10,000 with nearly 90% of students being residents of the state. University of Northern Iowa offers over 90 programs in education, business, behavioral science, humanities, science, and arts, as well as a robust graduate program. With over 50 graduate programs, if you wish to you can continue your education to the master’s or doctorate level without transferring to another institution. The campus itself is situated on 916 acres in a suburban setting.

Overview of University of Northern Iowa

UNI features a Teaching and Research Greenhouse, a greenhouse complex with extensive botanical gardens used for education and research in both science and agricultural programs. In 2020, the school was rated number 20 in Best Colleges in Regional Universities of the Midwest.

The UNI Athletics Program is robust and attracts athletes from all sports throughout the state and country, consistently earning a place in national tournaments in several sports. With roughly one third of students living on campus, there is a lively and diverse social atmosphere, and the school is also represented by several national fraternities and sororities.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Small
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 18:1
Graduation Rate 67%
Year Founded 1876

Student Enrollment

Total Students11,187


Undergraduate Student

Male 4,005
Female 5,531

Graduate Student

Male 693
Female 958

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Male 1,804
Female 2,897


Male 1,371
Female 2,347

Acceptance Rate79%

Male 76%
Female 81%

Enrollment 1,448

Male 497
Female 951
Application Fee $40
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Required
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline August 15
Common Application Accepted Yes

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Don’t eliminate a specific school just because of the listed cost to attend. Make sure you’re familiar with college financial aid terms, such as the average net cost (the bottom line after financial aid is subtracted from your total). Your first financial step for entering college should be completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as this application is used by all colleges and most grant and scholarship applications as well as federal loans. You should also dedicate considerable time for applying for a wide range of scholarships and grants, since this can make a big difference in your net cost and possible reduce it to zero out of pocket expense.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $15,760
Average Total Aid $4,655
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Room & Board $9,160

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $8,938
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $21,222
  • Books and Supplies - $900
  • Room & Board - $9,160
  • Other - $2,296


When you’re checking out details of a college, there are specific indicators that may point to the school’s level of dedication to student success.

Here are some of the things you should look for and add to your evaluation when choosing a school to apply to:

  • Retention Rate: The retention rate is the percentage of freshmen who return for their second year, and a low rate can indicate issues with academic, social, or financial aspects of the school.
  • Graduation Rate: A low graduation rate can indicate issues within the college system; it’s important to note only 40% of college students at this school graduate in four years, however the 6-year rate is around the national average, 68%, and the national trend is to take six years to complete a college degree.
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: A low ratio indicates more one-on-one time with professors and can also make it easier for a professor to remember you when you need references.
  • Student Population Total: The total population can help you know if you are choosing a more personalized education or more socializing opportunities in between classes.
  • Distance Learning: Distance learning should always be an option in case future events prevent you from attending one or more classes in person.
  • Accreditation: This shows the school has voluntarily been evaluated on the national level and is a requirement for most types of financial aid.

Student Population Total

Student Population 11,187

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 448 Total Graduates / 21%
Business Administration and Management, General 89 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 84 Graduates
Accounting 69 Graduates
Finance, General 67 Graduates
All Education Majors 378 Total Graduates / 17%
Elementary Education and Teaching 276 Graduates
Social Science Teacher Education 28 Graduates
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 24 Graduates
Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching 15 Graduates
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies 151 Total Graduates / 7%
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies 68 Graduates
Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General 83 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 145 Total Graduates / 7%
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 60 Graduates
Public Relations/Image Management 32 Graduates
Radio, Television, and Digital Communication, Other 30 Graduates
Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia 23 Graduates
All Social Sciences Majors 114 Total Graduates / 5%
Criminology 51 Graduates
Sociology 15 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 14 Graduates
Geography 9 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 43%

Outcome & Salary

The early-career salary for UNI graduates is $47,100, and mid-career graduates earn $85,300, with an average overall salary of $59,550. Compare this to the national average salary for those with no college degree, who earn around $38,792 on average, and you can easily spot the financial advantage your degree will give you.

When you look at your return on investment (ROI), you’ll find in 10 years an average earning potential of $595,500, and in 20 years an average of $1,448,500. When compared to those with no degree, you’ll find that, although they have no college education costs, their 10-year projected income is only $387,920, much lower than your potential income. Note the college ROI is for undergraduate students and, if you continue your education to earn your master’s or doctorate, your potential income will be much higher.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $47,100
College Grads Average Salary $59,550
College Grads Mid Career Salary $85,300
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $595,500
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,448,500
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $63,040
10 Year Projected ROI $532,460
20 Year Projected ROI $1,385,460
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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