POPULATION (2021): 3.2 million
CAPITAL: Des Moines
LARGEST PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN IOWA: Iowa State University
LARGEST PRIVATE UNIVERSITY IN IOWA: Upper Iowa University
Iowa is prominent in the year every couple of years as it’s historically been a swing state whose voting tends to be a microcosm of what the country will do as a whole. Other than that, though, Iowa is a pretty low-key midwestern state with a lot of charm, a lot of nice people, and quite a few places to attend college.
Both the University of Iowa and Iowa State participate in Division 1 sports and offer the classic college life experience, but there are several other options for education in Iowa. Here is a closer look at the colleges and universities you can attend in Iowa.
Universities in Iowa – 4-Year Colleges and Online
Public Universities dominate the enrollment numbers, with 6 public universities serving more than 10,000 students each. Private universities are in much shorter supply, and none of them in the state has more than 6,000 students. If you’re looking for a big college experience, public universities are the way to go in Iowa, but there are several other options… here’s a look!
Public Universities in Iowa
The public university system in Iowa is quite robust, with the University of Iowa and Iowa State University leading the way as far as enrollment, and aside from several community colleges that offer a few 4-year programs, the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls is the only other 4-year public university in the state.
Private Universities in Iowa
Here is a list of all of the private universities in Iowa, with the largest (Upper Iowa University) serving about 5,000 students. Here is a list of some of the more prominent private universities in Iowa
- William Penn University
- St. Ambrose University
- Morningside College
- Luther College
- Drake University
Community Colleges in Iowa
There is a huge network of community colleges spread throughout the state, with a few of the larger ones offering some 4-year programs. Some of the larger community colleges in Iowa, that attract students from elsewhere, are Eastern Iowa CC, Iowa Western CC, and Hawkeye CC in Waterloo.
Prominent Online Colleges in Iowa
Both of the major state schools offer their students hybrid and fully online courses in the vast majority of their respective degree programs, and the community college system mentioned above has upped their online course offerings since the pandemic made it necessary. Online classes at private universities are also becoming more and more regular.
Get to Know Iowa
Iowa is located in the middle of the country, and surprising to many it actually holds some of the top ten (bottom ten?) records for coldest temperatures recorded in the country… but there are plenty of good things, too!
Though that extreme example isn’t enjoyable for most, the full 4-seasons of weather in Iowa allows students and other residents to enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities from hiking and fishing in the summer and spring to snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and everyone’s favorite: ice fishing in the winter months.
The people are as friendly as they come anywhere in the country, and the state is made up of primary slightly bigger-than-a-town-sized cities, each with plenty of forms of indoor entertainment for when it is cold. Live music is very popular in Iowa, as are sports, even though the state doesn’t have any top-tier professional teams.