Aug 20, 2017


Bordered by Minnesota to the north, Missouri to the south, Nebraska and South Dakota to the west and Wisconsin and Illinois to the east, Iowa is located in the Midwestern region of the U.S. Des Moines is the state capital and largest city. Other large cities in the state include Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City and Iowa City. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Iowa has a population of 3,046,355 (2013 estimate - 3,090,416).

IowaIowa's economy is diverse with manufacturing, biotech, finance and insurance services, and agriculture all contributing significantly to the economy. Manufacturing accounts for 21 percent of the state's gross state product and 16 percent of employment. Many companies are attracted to Iowa by its low cost of doing business. Today, Iowa is a major insurance services hub with over 80 insurance companies headquartered in the state, including the Fortune 500-listed Principal Financial Group.

The Iowa Board of Regents oversees higher education in the state. With three public universities, 73 private colleges and 15 community colleges, Iowa offersplenty of options for higher education.

Top Reasons to Study in Iowa

  • Education Quality: Iowa boasts one of the best education systems in the country. Its schools consistently rank among the best in the country. The University of Iowa was ranked one of the top 30 public institutions in the country (U.S. News & World Report, 2014), while the Iowa Writers’ Workshop is rated the one of the top writing programs in the country, according to Poets & Writers magazine.
  • Employment Prospects:Iowa's low unemployment rates and business costsmake it an attractive destination for many professionals. Three of the state’s cities – Dubuque, Iowa City and Ames, were named among the top 20 best small cities for business and careers, according to Forbes (2014).
  • Quality and Cost of Living: Iowa has one of the lowest costs of living in the country, and consistently ranks among the safest and most livable states in the country. Iowa ranks #9 in the nation for the number of state parks, recreation areas and natural areas. The state has more than 1,400 miles of trails for hiking and biking. Iowa City was ranked among the top four college towns in America (American Institute for Economic Research, 2014).

Featured Colleges and Universities

Below are some of the popular colleges in the state. You can also use our college finder search tool  to find the right college for you based on your preferred area of study.

For a full list of accredited colleges and universities in Iowa, contact the Iowa Board of Regents.


College Popular Majors Type of Institution Enrollment
University of Iowa Business,Education,Health Public >10,000 Request Info
Iowa State University Finance,Marketing,Mechanical Engineering Public >10,000 Request Info
Grinnell College Biology,English,Psychology Private >10,000 Request Info
Luther College Business,Communications,Visual/Performance Arts Private >10,000 Request Info
Drake University Business,Education,Psychology Private >10,000 Request Info
Wartburg College Business,Health,Social Sciences Private >10,000 Request Info
University of Northern Iowa Business,Interdisciplinary Studies,Social Sciences Public >10,000 Request Info

References and Useful Links