2022 Top Public Universities in Iowa

Public universities are often the most affordable option for students pursuing higher education, but it’s not just affordability that makes these institutions attractive. Public universities also rank highly among the best universities in many states, Iowa included.

Public universities receive state and federal funding. Although they generally have larger class sizes than private institutions, they also tend to offer a wide variety of academic programs, diverse student bodies, and prestigious research opportunities.

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.

Showing 19 schools

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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

    Northwest Iowa Community College

    Sheldon, IA

    Graduation Rate

    69%

    Enrollment

    1,777

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6240

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6540

    Located in Iowa, Northwest Iowa Community College enrolls students in 33 programs. Degree-seekers enroll in rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The average student-to-faculty ratio is unknown. The amount of aid students receive on average is not currently known. The school reports a 69% graduation rate for its programs. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers stand out. The admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Prospective applicants can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #2

    University of Northern Iowa

    Cedar Falls, IA

    Graduation Rate

    67%

    Enrollment

    10,477

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8938

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $21222

    University of Northern Iowa grants degrees as a public institution from its location in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. Students who complete an academic or technical program often enter the workforce right away. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The public institution reports a graduation rate of 67%. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #3

    Iowa State University

    Ames, IA

    Graduation Rate

    74%

    Enrollment

    33,372

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9320

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $24508

    Iowa State University, a public organization located in Ames, Iowa, offers multiple programs. Students can earn a degree or certificate that prepares them for the workforce. The institution offers academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their program, enrollees complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #4

    University of Iowa

    Iowa City, IA

    Graduation Rate

    72%

    Enrollment

    31,240

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9606

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31569

    Located in Iowa City, Iowa, University of Iowa offers multiple programs as a public institution. Students complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. The institution's affordable programs provide a rigorous course of study. Students can enroll in nationally ranked programs. Learners can expect to pay 661 per credit at the school. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. University of Iowa has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #5

    North Iowa Area Community College

    Mason City, IA

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    2,894

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5603

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7999

    Located in Mason City, Iowa, North Iowa Area Community College attracts students with their well-regarded programs. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help learners meet their career goals. Consult the institution's website to find information on the typical timeline for program completion. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The admissions department can help students complete the process. Enrollees at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. North Iowa Area Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #6

    Iowa Lakes Community College

    Estherville, IA

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    2,035

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6588

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6940

    Iowa Lakes Community College enrolls learners from its Estherville, Iowa campus. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help students reach a variety of career goals. Completing a program can take anywhere from a few months to seven years depending on degree or certificate type and whether the student chooses part-time or full-time enrollment. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can provide additional information on submitting an application. At the accredited institution, enrollees also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Iowa Lakes Community College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #7

    Northeast Iowa Community College

    Calmar, IA

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    4,408

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5940

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6660

    Northeast Iowa Community College ranks as a top school from its campus in Calmar, Iowa. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. Academic and technical programs help learners reach their unique professional goals. Academic programs can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete, depending on degree or certificate type. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. Northeast Iowa Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #8

    Southeastern Community College

    West Burlington, IA

    Graduation Rate

    31%

    Enrollment

    2,478

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5670

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5820

    Southeastern Community College enrolls students at its West Burlington, Iowa campus as a public institution. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The public school reports a graduation rate of 31%. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #9

    Southwestern Community College

    Creston, IA

    Graduation Rate

    49%

    Enrollment

    1,581

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6112

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6336

    A public institution, Southwestern Community College enrolls students on its campus in Creston, Iowa. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to bolster their knowledge. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Learners at the accredited school often fund their education with federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Southwestern Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #10

    Western Iowa Tech Community College

    Sioux City, IA

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    5,976

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4392

    Located in Sioux City, Iowa, Western Iowa Tech Community College offers multiple programs as a public institution. The school offers accredited programs that prepare learners for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The institution offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, enrollees complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Western Iowa Tech Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #11

    Marshalltown Community College

    Marshalltown, IA

    Graduation Rate

    32%

    Enrollment

    1,947

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4896

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5232

    Located in Marshalltown, Iowa, Marshalltown Community College grants degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their professional goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing the program's coursework. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. This makes it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Marshalltown Community College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #12

    Eastern Iowa Community College District

    Davenport, IA

    Graduation Rate

    37%

    Enrollment

    8,002

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5376

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7520

    Located in Davenport, Iowa, Eastern Iowa Community College District is a public institution that offers multiple programs. The school offers accredited programs that prepare students for a successful career. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners at the institution choose from academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Eastern Iowa Community College District has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #13

    Indian Hills Community College

    Ottumwa, IA

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    3,612

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4320

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5760

    Located in Ottumwa, Iowa, Indian Hills Community College grants degrees as a public institution. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to build industry-specific knowledge. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school often fund their education with federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Indian Hills Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #14

    Kirkwood Community College

    Cedar Rapids, IA

    Graduation Rate

    32%

    Enrollment

    13,788

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5028

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6512

    Located in Iowa, Kirkwood Community College enrolls students in 118 programs. Degree-seekers enroll in rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The average student-to-instructor ratio is unavailable. How much aid students receive on average is currently unknown. The public institution reports a 32% graduation rate. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #15

    Des Moines Area Community College

    Ankeny, IA

    Graduation Rate

    31%

    Enrollment

    23,258

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4800

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9600

    Des Moines Area Community College, located in Ankeny, Iowa, offers 142 programs for degree-seekers. Students enjoy rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The average student-to-instructor ratio is unknown. Data on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. The school reports a 31% graduation rate. Students should explore how workplace experience makes them more competitive employee candidates. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some students qualify for test-optional admissions. Prospective applicants can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #16

    Hawkeye Community College

    Waterloo, IA

    Graduation Rate

    29%

    Enrollment

    5,112

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5624

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6334

    A public institution located in Waterloo, Iowa, Hawkeye Community College offers a variety of programs. The school offers accredited programs that prepare learners for the workforce. The institution offers academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements depending on their program. Hawkeye Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #17

    Iowa Central Community College

    Fort Dodge, IA

    Graduation Rate

    33%

    Enrollment

    5,237

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5700

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8200

    Located in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Iowa Central Community College attracts students with their well-regarded programs. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help learners meet their career 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 a standardized test score waiver. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help prospective students complete their application. At the accredited institution, learners also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #18

    Ellsworth Community College

    Iowa Falls, IA

    Graduation Rate

    29%

    Enrollment

    741

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4896

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5832

    A public institution, Ellsworth Community College grants degrees and certificates from its campus in Iowa Falls, Iowa. Learners take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The school's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports a 29% graduation rate. The admission rate is unknown at this time. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. Ellsworth Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #19

    Iowa Western Community College

    Council Bluffs, IA

    Graduation Rate

    30%

    Enrollment

    5,977

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6240

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6400

    Iowa Western Community College, located in Council Bluffs, Iowa, offers 75 programs for degree-seekers. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. Information on the average student-to-instructor ratio is unavailable. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. The public school reports a graduation rate of 30%. Hands-on experience helps graduates stand out on the job market. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.