Best Associate Programs in Iowa

Students often begin their four-year education with an associate degree before transferring to a four-year institution. An associate degree helps others advance their careers. Two-year associate degrees in Iowa usually cost half as much as four-year degrees. Two years is a typical graduation time.

An associate degree in Iowa can increase your chances of making a good living. Iowa’s 1,484,970 workers earn a median annual wage of $39,070, or $18.79 per hour. In the state, the lowest earners earn $23,160, and the highest earners make $81,660.

We’ve ranked the best colleges in Iowa for associate degrees below. Using this information, you can determine which program is best for you.

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    St Luke's College

    Sioux City, IA

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    211

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $19440

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19440

    From its campus in Sioux City, Iowa, St Luke's College enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. St Luke's College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #2

    Divine Word College

    Epworth, IA

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    69

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13600

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13600

    Divine Word College ranks as a top school from its campus in Epworth, Iowa. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. Academic and technical programs help students reach their professional goals. Academic programs can take as little as a few months or as many as seven years to complete, depending on the degree or certificate type and the student's enrollment status. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department can provide additional resources on applying. Financial aid helps enrollees cover their educational expenses. Divine Word College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #3

    Allen College

    Waterloo, IA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    678

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $17864

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17864

    From its campus in Iowa, Allen College administers 36 total programs. Degree-seekers enroll in rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 11-to-1. The average amount of aid awarded per student is not available. The graduation rate is unknown. Real-world experience helps candidates stand out on the job market. The school offers experiential learning in the form of internships, research opportunities, and practicums. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores.

    #4

    Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary

    Ankeny, IA

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    504

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16990

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16990

    From its campus in Ankeny, Iowa, Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary grants degrees as a top school. Students choose from a variety of degree-granting programs. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help learners meet a variety of professional goals. Students typically earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in two, and a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. At the accredited institution, students also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #5

    Dordt University

    Sioux Center, IA

    Graduation Rate

    66%

    Enrollment

    1,662

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $32240

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $32240

    From its campus in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt University grants college degrees as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to build industry-specific knowledge. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #6

    Shiloh University

    Kalona, IA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    49

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $5250

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5250

    From its campus in Iowa, Shiloh University enrolls students in 14 programs. Learners benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. According to the school, the student-to-faculty ratio stands at 2-to-1. At the institution, 0% of the students receive some form of financial aid. The graduation rate is unknown. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The school offers experiential learning in the form of internships, research opportunities, and practicums. The admission rate is 33% for incoming students. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission.

    #7

    Northwest Iowa Community College

    Sheldon, IA

    Graduation Rate

    61%

    Enrollment

    1,666

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5340

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5640

    A public institution, Northwest Iowa Community College grants degrees and certificates from its campus in Sheldon, Iowa. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. At the accredited school, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 89% of students receive aid, and 16% receive loans. The public school reports a 61% graduation rate. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. Northwest Iowa Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #8

    Emmaus Bible College

    Dubuque, IA

    Graduation Rate

    83%

    Enrollment

    194

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $19250

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19250

    A top-ranked school, Emmaus Bible College enrolls learners in programs from its campus in Dubuque, Iowa. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help learners meet a variety of professional goals. Visit the program's website to find information on the typical timeline for completion. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department can provide more information on the process. Financial aid provides options for degree-seekers to pay for their education. Emmaus Bible College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #9

    Upper Iowa University

    Fayette, IA

    Graduation Rate

    27%

    Enrollment

    3,610

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31950

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31950

    A private institution, Upper Iowa University grants degrees from its campus in Fayette, Iowa. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their educational goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing the program's coursework. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. Upper Iowa University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #10

    North Iowa Area Community College

    Mason City, IA

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    2,681

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4973

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7459

    Located in Mason City, Iowa, North Iowa Area Community College awards degrees and certificates as a public institution. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. The accredited institution meets the requirements for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that 96% of students receive aid, and 28% receive loans. The school reports a graduation rate of 52%. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. North Iowa Area Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #11

    Iowa Lakes Community College

    Estherville, IA

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    2,288

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6016

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6368

    Iowa Lakes Community College enrolls learners from its Estherville, Iowa campus. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help learners meet their professional goals. Depending on the degree or certificate type, enrollees can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years completing a program. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. These policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #12

    Northeast Iowa Community College

    Calmar, IA

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    4,162

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5280

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6000

    Northeast Iowa Community College, a public institution in Calmar, Iowa, enrolls learners in multiple programs. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. Students prepare to contribute to their field by completing courses. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. A waiver makes it easier to apply. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school can pay for their educational costs with federal student aid programs. Northeast Iowa Community College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #13

    Southeastern Community College

    West Burlington, IA

    Graduation Rate

    33%

    Enrollment

    2,260

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5700

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5850

    Southeastern Community College, which offers programs from its West Burlington, Iowa campus, often ranks among the top schools. Students study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help learners meet a variety of professional goals. Depending on the program, students can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years earning their degree or certificate. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The admissions department provides more information about the application process. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. Southeastern Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #14

    Briar Cliff University

    Sioux City, IA

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    1,076

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31898

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31898

    A private institution, Briar Cliff University educates students on its campus in Sioux City, Iowa. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps students reach their professional goals. The institution's bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division coursework. Undergraduates also complete general education courses. In upper-division classes, undergraduates learn advanced concepts in their major. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Briar Cliff University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #15

    Southwestern Community College

    Creston, IA

    Graduation Rate

    48%

    Enrollment

    1,503

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5520

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5730

    A public institution located in Creston, Iowa, Southwestern Community College educates students through multiple programs. Students leave the school with credentials that prepare them for the workplace. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The institution reports that students receive an average aid award of $5588, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $9182. The school offers both academic and technical programs. The school offers foundational courses, technical classes, and general education courses in multiple majors. Southwestern Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #16

    Western Iowa Tech Community College

    Sioux City, IA

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    5,360

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3792

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $3816

    Western Iowa Tech Community College, located in Sioux City, Iowa, enrolls students as a public institution. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The school's academic and technical programs prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. At the institution, 86% of students receive aid and 33% receive loans. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 39%. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #17

    Marshalltown Community College

    Marshalltown, IA

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    1,836

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4344

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4680

    From its campus in Marshalltown, Iowa, Marshalltown Community College educates college students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. Marshalltown Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #18

    Eastern Iowa Community College District

    Davenport, IA

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    7,081

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5600

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7744

    Located in Davenport, Iowa, Eastern Iowa Community College District grants college degrees as a public institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing degree- or certificate-specific coursework. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT scores. This makes it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #19

    Indian Hills Community College

    Ottumwa, IA

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    3,279

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4440

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5880

    Located in Iowa, Indian Hills Community College offers 128 academic programs. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school boasts a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The institution reports that of its total enrollees, 93% receive financial aid. The school reports a 35% graduation rate. Experiential learning opportunities help graduates on the job market. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #20

    Clarke University

    Dubuque, IA

    Graduation Rate

    66%

    Enrollment

    855

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34650

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34650

    Located in Dubuque, Iowa, Clarke University often ranks among the best schools. The institution offers multiple degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional goals. Typically, it takes students two years to complete an associate degree, four years to complete a bachelor's degree, 1-2 years for a master's degree, or 3-7 years for a doctoral degree. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can help applicants complete the process. Financial aid helps students cover the cost of their degree. Clarke University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #21

    Kirkwood Community College

    Cedar Rapids, IA

    Graduation Rate

    33%

    Enrollment

    12,277

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5040

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6636

    From its campus in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Kirkwood Community College offers multiple programs as a public institution. Students leave the school with experience and credentials that prepare them for the workforce. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Enrollees receive an average aid award of $5369, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $8727. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Kirkwood Community College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #22

    Des Moines Area Community College

    Ankeny, IA

    Graduation Rate

    31%

    Enrollment

    23,051

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5100

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10200

    Des Moines Area Community College, located in Ankeny, Iowa, offers 147 programs for students. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 20-to-1. According to the the school's reports, 71% of its students receive financial assistance. The school reports a graduation rate of 31%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning makes graduates more competitive. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #23

    Hawkeye Community College

    Waterloo, IA

    Graduation Rate

    25%

    Enrollment

    5,042

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5530

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6250

    Hawkeye Community College, located in Waterloo, Iowa, enrolls students as a public institution. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that 85% of students receive aid, and 29% receive loans. The institution reports a 25% graduation rate. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. Hawkeye Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #24

    William Penn University

    Oskaloosa, IA

    Graduation Rate

    37%

    Enrollment

    1,350

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $26600

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26600

    Located in Iowa, William Penn University offers 54 programs for students. Students choose from rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The student-to-faculty ratio at the institution is 15-to-1. According to the institution, 100% of enrollees receive some form of financial aid. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 37%. Job seekers often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive job candidates. The admission rate is 55% for new students. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #25

    University of Dubuque

    Dubuque, IA

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    2,180

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34070

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34070

    Located in Iowa, University of Dubuque offers 57 degree-granting programs. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 15-to-1. According to the school, 95% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 46% graduation rate. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. Learners participate in internships, research projects, and other forms of experiential learning. The admission rate is 79% for new students. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions.

    #26

    Waldorf University

    Forest City, IA

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    3,025

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $21886

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $21886

    Waldorf University, which operates a campus in Forest City, Iowa, often ranks as a top school. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help learners meet their professional goals. Depending on the degree or certificate type, enrollees can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years completing a program. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. These policies make it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Financial aid helps enrollees cover their educational expenses. Waldorf University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #27

    Iowa Central Community College

    Fort Dodge, IA

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    4,704

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4980

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7480

    A top-ranked school, Iowa Central Community College enrolls learners in programs from its campus in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help students meet a variety of professional goals. Consult the institution's website to find information on the typical timeline for program completion. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. Test-optional policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Financial aid provides options for degree-seekers to pay for their education. Iowa Central Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #28

    Mercy College of Health Sciences

    Des Moines, IA

    Graduation Rate

    51%

    Enrollment

    869

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $18332

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $18332

    Located in Des Moines, Iowa, Mercy College of Health Sciences operates as a private institution. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports that 91% of learners receive financial aid, while 72% take out loans. The private school reports a 51% graduation rate. The school reports that the rate of admission is 92%. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements. Mercy College of Health Sciences is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #29

    Ellsworth Community College

    Iowa Falls, IA

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    731

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4344

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5280

    Ellsworth Community College grants degrees as a public institution from its location in Iowa Falls, Iowa. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. At the accredited school, enrollees qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 98% of students receive financial aid and 48% take out loans. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 34%. The admission rate is unknown at this time. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #30

    Iowa Western Community College

    Council Bluffs, IA

    Graduation Rate

    27%

    Enrollment

    5,791

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5610

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5760

    From its campus in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Iowa Western Community College enrolls students in programs as a public institution. Graduates leave the school prepared for the workforce. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Students can enroll in nationally ranked programs. The cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that students receive an average aid award of $7424, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $10995. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Iowa Western Community College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.