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Coe College


Coe College was first opened in 1851 as the School for the Prophets by Reverend Williston Jones to educate young men for ministry. When the Catskills farmer Daniel Coe arrived on the frontier, he pledged $1,500 to the school. Its name was changed to the Coe Collegiate Institute and incorporated by the Iowa Presbyterian Synod in 1881. Today, Coe College stands proudly as a private, four-year Christian liberal arts institution. Within the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), Coe educates approximately 1,400 undergraduates. Spread across 65 urban acres, Coe is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s second largest city, around 100 miles from Des Moines.

Iowa Private College Week declared there’s “no substitute for a Coe education.” The U.S. News ranked Coe College the 116th best national liberal arts school and 83rd top college for military veterans. Forbes magazine honored Coe as the United States’s 250th top private school with the 133rd most grateful graduates. The Princeton Review included Coe within its prestigious list of “Colleges That Pay You Back.” Washington Monthly distinguished Coe College as the country’s 130th best liberal arts institution for service, social mobility, and research. Coe is one of five Iowa colleges with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Author Peter Arango chose Coe among “America’s Best Kept College Secrets” too.

Resource: 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest

Coe College Accreditation Details

Every decade since 1913, Coe College has had its regional accreditation reaffirmed by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). The school’s baccalaureate programs are approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Coe College has pursued additional program-specific accreditations from:

• Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
• American Chemical Society (ACS)
• Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)
• National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
• Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
• Iowa Department of Education

Coe College Application Requirements

Labeled “more selective,” Coe College has an average acceptance rate of 55 percent. First-year applicants must possess an recognized high school diploma or pass the GED with a 450. Coe’s core curriculum requires having completed four years of English and three years each of math, science, and social science. Credit can be carried for earning above a four on AP or five on IB exams. Honors courses are weighted based on rigor when calculating the minimum admission GPA of 3.0. Students must also present a SAT score of at least 1000 or ACT score of 20.

Undergraduates wishing to transfer to Coe College for a cutting-edge liberal arts education are accepted on a competitive basis. Incoming transfers should have completed at least one full-time college semester at an accredited institution. If less, the above criteria is mandated. Those holding an associate degree won’t have their high school records reviewed. Coe prefers transfers carrying a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better. Each course must be graded at least “C” for credit. A maximum of 16 Coe credits can be transferred into the 32-credit curriculum. Non-native English speakers must score 550 on the paper-based TOEFL or equivalent.

Coe College has an Early Action deadline on December 10th and Regular Admission deadline on March 1st. Before these key dates, prospective students should submit the following:

• Online or printed and mailed application
• Non-refundable $30 fee (paper only)
• Official transcripts from each school
• College entrance test scores
• One counselor or teacher recommendation
• Typed, one to two-page personal essay

Tuition and Financial Aid

Enrolling full-time at Coe College will cost $40,670 for undergraduate tuition each year. The mandatory student fees add $330 annually. Residential students must budget $4,170 for standard dorm housing and $4,650 for meal plans. Coe estimates that $1,000 more will cover textbooks and supplies. Total annual cost of attendance is approximately $51,260 (on-campus) and $42,750 (off-campus). Four years of tuition at Coe College equals $162,680, but this full price is rarely paid.

The NCES reports that 95 percent of full-time, matriculated students receive assistance. On average, financial aid packages are worth $27,687 each year. Institutional awards can lower the investment, including the Williston Jones Scholarship, Iowa Kohawk Scholarship, Impact Award, Visual & Performing Arts Scholarship, and Transfer Academic Scholarship. The Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant could fill unmet need. Hawkeye residents could benefit from the All Iowa Opportunity Grant, Iowa Tuition Grant, or Iowa National Guard Grant. Federal Work-Study (FWS) is available for six to 10 hours weekly. Veterans qualify for the Yellow Ribbon program. If needed, students can open interest-accruing Federal Direct, PLUS, and Perkins loans.

Student Experience

Coe College provides an inviting, high-tech learning environment for superior education in the liberal arts and sciences. Students can choose from 40 majors for their bachelor’s degree, including American studies, athletic training, creative writing, ESL education, film studies, neuroscience, and theatre arts. There are 11 pre-professional tracks available from architecture to pharmacy. The Honors Program can challenge students with a minimum 3.2 GPA. Coe has a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, so three-fourths of classes have fewer than 20 students. Professors encourage student research with the Oak Ridge Science Semester and Wilderness Field Station in Minnesota. There’s also the popular, discovery-based Lindsay Seminar.

Nearly 90 percent of Coe students reside on-campus in six dormitories and the Hampton Court apartments. Living in Cedar Rapids places students near attractions like the Cedar River, Indian Creek Nature Center, Brucemore, and Paramount Theater. Coe’s campus is centrally located near large metros like Chicago and Minneapolis too. That’s excellent news because every student must complete field practicum before graduation. Popular placements are St. Luke’s Hospital, Catherine McAuley Center, and Horizons Family Alliance. Some students join the Iowa College Americorps Program. Coe College offers domestic terms in New York City and Washington DC as well as 12 countries abroad.

Active campus life also helps Coe students build lasting memories with over 60 clubs and organizations. Depending on their interests, students could march with the Walahroo Drumline, write for the Cosmos newspaper, adventure with Rock Climbing Club, give back with Habitat for Humanity, and more. There are five fraternities and four sororities for students pledging Greek. Each year, events like Family Weekend, Flunk Day, Homecoming, and Coe-lympics make Cedar Rapids come alive. The Big Band Concert has drawn singers like Gavin DeGraw and Matt Kearney too. Coe College has 19 teams for cheering on the Kohawks in the NCAA Division III Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.