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University of Iowa


The University of Iowa is a top-ranked school with top-notch academic programs. It is located in one of the country’s best and most popular college towns. Iowa University, which was founded in 1847, is the oldest university in the state. The university holds the title for establishing the first law school west of the Mississippi River and for being the first university to implement television in education in 1932. Not only did they pioneer and promote the science of standardized testing, they were also one of the first major institutions to promote an African American to a senior leadership position in the 1960’s. The university’s budgeted expenses and revenues are over three billion dollars every year.

Resource: 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest

The University of Iowa is recognized as one of the top higher learning institutions in the country. The Iowa campus is a massive 1,700 acres that is next to the banks of the Iowa River. The university has eleven colleges that offer over 200 areas of study, which equals to over 5,000 courses. Almost all students who enter as first-year students qualify for the unique Four-Year Graduation Plan. Students who fulfill their official student responsibilities are guaranteed that they can enroll in the core courses needed for them to graduate within a four year period. The Iowa alumni network has over 250,000 members, many of which are very famous in their own accord. For example, notable actors include Gene Wilder, who starred in the classic children’s film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, actor Ashton Kutcher, and Terry O’Quinn, one of the main characters of the hit TV show Lost. Other notable alumni include broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw, pioneer of aviation and film Howard Hughes and the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tennessee Williams.

The university also has some of the best research centers in the country. For example, the University of Iowa’s Hospitals and Clinics program is one of the best in the country. The university boasts a high level of research activity. They are members of a number of research coalitions, such as the Big Ten Academic Alliance and the Association of American Universities. On-campus facilities include the Institute of Agricultural Medicine, which was established through the Kellogg Foundation to study rural public health issues, and the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research (IIHR), which is a globally renowned center for public research. The University of Iowa is a Green Power Partner with the EPA. The university burns oat hulls instead of coal and their goal is to reduce coal consumption by 20 percent. They opened a student garden in 2009 and have publicly issued their own sustainability plan.

University of Iowa Accreditation Details

-They are accredited through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of Iowa Application Requirements

The average student who is admitted into the university has a high school GPA of at least 3.66. Approximately 70 percent of incoming students rank in the top 30 percent and 90 percent rank in the top 50 percent. The average ACT score is 23 to 28 and the combined SAT score is 1060-1267. The most popular degree areas are business, engineering, biology, nursing, medicine, psychology, English and computer science. First-year freshman will need to meet the basic high school transcript requirements for their future undergraduate college. For example, liberal arts, science and business students will need four years of English, two years of a single language, three years of natural science, two years in algebra and one in geometry.

However, the nursing school requires either four years in a single language or two years in two languages. Natural science classes should include biology, physics and chemistry. Those who apply to the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences must have a Regent Admission Index (RAI) score of at least 245 for Iowa residents and 255 or higher for non-residents. Those who apply to the College of Engineering must have a 3.00 GPA and either an ACT math score of 25 or an SAT math score of 640. To be admitted into the Tippie College of Business, students must have an ACT composite score of 26 or higher or an SAT composite score of 1170.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Iowa Residents will pay $8,570 for tuition, $10,100 for housing, $1,000 for books and $1,600 for personal expenses. The total is somewhere around $23,000 per year. The only difference for non-residents is that they will pay $28,810 for tuition every year. The university offers many internal scholarships, such as the Presidential Scholarship that awards up to $18,500 a year for Iowa residents and $20,000 a year for non-residents for up to four years. The Old Gold Scholarship awards $8,500 a year for Iowa residents and $10,000 a year for non-residents for up to four years. The Iowa Scholars Award awards up to $3,500 a year for residents, but students must have an ACT score of at least 27.

Student Experience

There are many undergraduate programs for students to choose from, such as the Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Science (BS) in Journalism and Mass Communication. Students learn everything from cultural studies to podcast making to global studies. The professional law degree program has produced many notable public servants, such as the first U.S. attorney of Native American ancestry. Students learn about legal principles, writing skills and public law. A mechanical engineering degree will prepare students to design complex products and systems.

Almost all students have positive things to say about the University of Iowa. The student-faculty ratio 16 to one and over half of classes have fewer than 20 students. In fact, over 80 percent of classes have fewer than 30 students. The average freshman retention rate is 86 percent. The University of Iowa is well known for its social scene and is consistently ranked as one of the top party schools in the country. However, most of the student night-life is spent in the pedestrian mall that contains many popular shops, bars and restaurants. Home football games draw thousands of alumni and residents from the entire Midwest. There are almost 500 student organizations, which include political, dance, song, and lifestyle groups.

The University of Iowa is one of the best universities in the country and offers some of the best student experiences in the country.