Right now, many high school seniors across America are applying to colleges to further their education. Some will move far away from home and pay a crap load of money in out-of-state tuition and others will stay in their home state and still pay a crap load of money.

If you're a senior at an Iowa high school, or your child is, and they aren't sure where they should attend college but they know they want to stay in Iowa, a new study has come out showing the top 10 colleges in Iowa. If you think this article favors the Cyclones or Hawkeyes, you've come to the wrong place.

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How Do We Know The Best Iowa Colleges?


In order to determine the best higher-education institutions in Iowa and the U.S., our friends WalletHub compared 913 colleges and universities across seven key dimensions:

  1. Student Selectivity
  2. Cost & Financing
  3. Faculty Resources
  4. Campus Safety
  5. Campus Experience
  6. Educational Outcomes
  7. Career Outcomes

WalletHub then evaluated those dimensions using 30 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the best school performance and the most favorable conditions for undergraduate students during and after attendance.

Iowa Or Iowa State Has To Be #1, Right?

Wrong. As a matter of fact, Iowa and Iowa State aren't even in the top 3. Luckily, WalletHub broke down each college and gave rankings in the 7 key dimensions.

Iowa State v Iowa
Getty Images

The University of Iowa is the 4th best university/college in Iowa and overall the 257th best university/college in the U.S. Iowa also landed an overall score of 57.23. This is how the U of I ranked in the 7 key dimensions compared to the other 912 colleges and universities:

  • Student Selectivity - 409th
  • Cost & Financing - 596th 
  • Faculty Resources - 527th
  • Campus Safety - 288th
  • Campus Experience - 609th
  • Educational Outcomes - 181st
  • Career Outcomes - 194th

If you're here for bragging rights, this is where Hawkeye fans can rub it in. Iowa State University of Science and Technology, a.k.a. Iowa State University, a.k.a Iowa State, a.k.a ISU, was deemed the 6th best university/college in Iowa and overall the 338th best university/college in the U.S

Northern Iowa v Iowa State
Getty Images

Iowa State also landed an overall score of 56.11. This is how ISU ranked in the 7 key dimensions compared to the other 912 colleges and universities:

  • Student Selectivity - 672nd
  • Cost & Financing - 305th 
  • Faculty Resources - 822nd
  • Campus Safety - 623rd
  • Campus Experience - 705th
  • Educational Outcomes - 168 
  • Career Outcomes - 141st

Which College Is The Best In Iowa?

To find the best college/university in the state of Iowa, you need to travel to Grinnell, IA

Google View
Google View

WalletHub found that Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA was named the best university/college in Iowa and overall the 31st best university/college in the U.S.

Grinnell College also landed an overall score of 73.01. This is how Grinnell ranked in the 7 key dimensions compared to the other 912 colleges and universities:

  • Student Selectivity - 37th
  • Cost & Financing - 772th 
  • Faculty Resources - 31st
  • Campus Safety - 385th
  • Campus Experience - 27th
  • Educational Outcomes - 79th
  • Career Outcomes - 251st

St. Ambrose University was named the 8th best college in Iowa with Simpson (9th), University of Northern Iowa (10th), and Wartburg (11th) behind the Davenport university.

The best college/university in the U.S. is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and the worst-ranking college/university is Southern Adventist University in Tennessee.

Source: WalletHub

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