Online Colleges in Iowa

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Iowa may be known for corn and cattle, but agriculture is just a small part of the state’s economy. The state is also known for manufacturing, technology, finance, and insurance, among other things.

Online Colleges in Iowa

Between 2010 and 2025, the state of Iowa is expected to add 612,000 jobs to its economy, with 68% of the state’s jobs requiring postsecondary education or training.

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To meet the increasing demands, 70% of Iowans in the workforce will need to have education or training beyond high school by 2025. This initiative, called “Future Ready Iowa,” will work to increase program completion rates and improve how degree and certificate programs prepare students for in-demand jobs. Indeed, Iowa is a state that recognizes and appreciates the value education has on its overall economy.

Overview of Higher Education in Iowa

students taking online college degree in Iowa

In Iowa, there are 61 degree-granting institutions, according to a 2018-2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Of those, 24 are public, 34 are private non-profit and 3 are for-profit.

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To attend one of Iowa’s public 4-year schools, the NCES reports that tuition and fees will run residents an average of $9,966, while non-residents will pay around $24,521.

About Online Colleges in Iowa

two college students attending online class

Nearly all of Iowa’s post-secondary institutions offer online degree programs or courses, including the state’s largest public universities, University of Iowa and Iowa State University, and top private institutions like  Buena Vista University and Graceland University. And students are taking advantage of the programs!

According to NCES, students in Iowa were enrolled in programs at accredited online colleges, and another 17.9% were enrolled in one or more online courses. Those numbers continue to rise as students recognize the value and flexibility that distance learning affords. Iowa’s online degree programs are supported by several essential distance education organizations.

The Iowa Distance Learning Association (IDLA) is a group of Iowa distance educators and administrators sharing course materials, professional training, technical support, and more. The state’s community colleges have a support network of their own.

The Iowa Community College Online Consortium (ICCOC) connects six of Iowa’s community colleges, helping establish quality standards and provide comprehensive online educational opportunities and support across Iowa schools.

Scholarships and Financial Aid in Iowa

Scholarships and Financial Aid in Iowa

If you are interested in pursuing a degree from a college or university in Iowa, be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA will give you access to federal, state and private financial aid. The application becomes available each year on October 1st, and the sooner you fill it out, the more funds you will have access to.

Filling out the FAFSA is fairly simple. You will need to include your financial information as well as the financial information for your parents (unless you are considered independent). The information you provide will be used to determine how much and what types of financial aid you are offered. The best types of financial aid are grants and scholarships because they do not have to be paid back.

The state of Iowa funds the following grant and scholarship programs for residents:

  • All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship – Need-based; Renewable; Amount varies; Priority to students who have been in foster care, children of deceased public safety workers, those who attended alternative high school programs, and other criteria
  • Education & Training Voucher (ETV) Program – Must have been in the foster care system or been adopted after age 16; Up to $5000 per year
  • GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship – Must be a GEAR UP program participant; Amount varies each year
  • Iowa State Fair Scholarship – For high school seniors who have actively participated in the Iowa State Fair; Up to 10 awards; Up to $5000
  • Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Program – Must be a member of an Iowa Army or Air National Guard unit; 100% of the average tuition rate
  • Iowa Tuition Grant – Need-based; Amount varies
  • Iowa Vocational-Technical Grant – For community college students; Need-based; Up to $900 per year for up to 2 years
  • Kibbie Grant – For community college students in certain areas of study; Need-based; Up to ½ of the average tuition and fees per year, up to 2 years
  • Robert D. Blue Scholarship – For high school seniors who demonstrate literary and scholastic ability and moral character; $500-1000

Scholarships are also ideal forms of financial aid that do not have to be repaid. Scholarships may be awarded based on academic success, geographic location, the field of study, unique hobbies or skills, and so on.

Here are a few scholarships available to Iowa residents:

Scholarship Name Scholarship amount
Iowa Scholarship for the Arts $1500
Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Midwest Section Scholarships $2500
Telegraph Herald Scholastic Journalist Award $1000
The Iowa Funeral Directors Association (IFDA) Scholarships $500-1000 (multiple scholarships available)
The Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship $2000 (30)


These are just a few examples. To find more, check out scholarship search sites such as Fastweb.com where you can enter basic demographic information and be matched with dozens of scholarship opportunities!

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Also, be sure to reach out to the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend. Often they have access to financial aid resources you cannot find anywhere else.

List of Online Colleges in Iowa

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Briar Cliff University

Briar Cliff University

Briar Cliff University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Buena Vista University

Buena Vista University

Buena Vista University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Clarke University

Clarke University

Clarke University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Des Moines University

Des Moines University

DMU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Drake University

Drake University

Drake University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Graceland University

Graceland University

Graceland University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Iowa State University

Iowa State University

Iowa State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Iowa Wesleyan University

Iowa Wesleyan University

Iowa Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Maharishi International University

Maharishi International University

MIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Morningside University

Morningside University

Morningside University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Mount Mercy University

Mount Mercy University

Mount Mercy University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Northwestern College

Northwestern College

Northwestern is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

St Ambrose University

St Ambrose University

St. Ambrose University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

St. Luke’s College

St Lukes College

St. Luke’s College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Dubuque

University of Dubuque

The University of Dubuque is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Iowa

University of Iowa

The University of Iowa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Northern Iowa

University of Northern Iowa

The University of Northern Iowa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Waldorf University

Waldorf University

Waldorf University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

William Penn University

William Penn University

William Penn University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Conclusion

group of students from University of Iowa

With numerous support organizations and grants and scholarships abound, it’s clear that Iowa supports education. The state is working hard to provide the postsecondary education and training necessary for Iowans to secure quality, lucrative careers and succeed in tomorrow’s economy!

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Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.