Why This Matters


    Iowa has 20 educational institutions offering associate degree programs, according to College Navigator.


    Based on estimates from College Board, Iowans paid an average of $5,662 for tuition and fees at public in-district community colleges for the 2020-21 school year.


    For the 2018-19 school year, 437,899 enrolled students at two-year educational institutions received some type of financial aid.

Our Research

To create a comprehensive list of the learning opportunities and job training available in Iowa, we reviewed private and public community colleges as well as trade, technical, and vocational programs. Our rankings are based on tuition, required graduation credits, and the course delivery format (online or in-person).

Our list only includes accredited institutions to ensure that they meet high academic standards. Most of the Iowa community colleges on our list are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It accredits institutions in 19 states, ensuring they meet high standards in student learning and continuous improvement.

  • 16hours to write this article
  • 42universities and colleges we assessed
  • 49education programs we compared

The Top 50 Community Colleges in Iowa

Best Community Colleges in Iowa Badge
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What You Should Know About Graduating From Community College in Iowa

Looking at the top careers as well as declining careers should help you choose your educational program. Based on 2020 median wage data, the top five highest paying careers requiring an associate degree in Iowa were air traffic controllers, dental hygienists, nuclear medicine technologists, electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians, and diagnostic medical sonographers.

The top five careers with the most job openings in Iowa for people with an associate degree are preschool teachers (except special education), paralegals and legal assistants, agricultural and food science technicians, computer network support specialists, and dental hygienists.

Some career options for people with associate degrees are declining. The jobs in Iowa requiring an associate degree that are expected to decline the most are respiratory therapy technicians, desktop publishers, human resources assistants (except payroll and timekeeping), mechanical drafters, and avionics technicians.

What’s Next?

Understanding financial aid options can help make your college degree more affordable. Below, we’ve listed some federal and state resources that will help you find grants, scholarships, and other financial aid options for Iowa students earning an associate degree.

  • Iowa College Student Aid Commission. Explore scholarships and grants in Iowa as well as loan repayment programs, an Iowa financial aid guide, and additional college resources.
  • Federal Student Aid. More than $120 billion in financial aid is available each year through the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid. Options include loans, scholarships, grants, and work study. With FAFSA4caster, you can check your eligibility. Fill out the online FAFSA form to apply for financial aid.
  • CareerOneStop. Learn about financial aid options with CareerOneStop. You can filter by degree type and state to find available grants, scholarships, and loans.