Why This Matters


    The 2019 median salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that people with bachelor’s degrees earn $502 more per week than people who only have a high school diploma.


    Based on estimates from College Board, Iowans paid an average of $9,370 for in-state tuition and fees at public colleges for the 2020-21 school year.


    This amount was the average financial aid received by full-time undergraduate students in the United States for the 2019-20 academic year.

Our Research

We conducted extensive research to create a curated list of the best online colleges in Iowa. Our review included all types of undergraduate colleges, from large state universities to small, private liberal arts colleges in Iowa. We looked at the tuition costs, the credits required for graduation, and the way in which coursework is offered (in-person or online).

The academic institutions on our list are all accredited to ensure they offer a high-quality education program. Most of the Iowa colleges on our list are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which offers accreditation for colleges and universities located within a 19-state area and holds institutions to high quality standards.

  • 68 hours to write this article
  • 90 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 102 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Iowa

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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Iowa

Looking at the career outlook for potential careers can help you choose where you attend college and what major you want to study. The 2020 data shows that the top five highest paying careers for people with bachelor’s degrees in Iowa were architectural and engineering managers, computer and information systems managers, sales engineers, marketing managers, and financial managers.

Another measure for career potential is the number of openings. In Iowa, the careers requiring a bachelor’s degree with the most job openings are registered nurses, elementary school teachers (except special education), accountants and auditors, business operations specialists, and general and operations managers.

Not all careers have increasing numbers of openings, so it’s a good idea to know which jobs are declining. The jobs for holders of bachelor’s degrees in Iowa with the highest rate of decline are reporters and correspondents, literacy teachers and instructors, chief executives, radio and television announcers, and labor relations specialists.

What’s Next?

Part of your research process for the best online colleges in Iowa is understanding the financial aid options. Our list below shows federal and state resources for grants, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid available to undergraduate students attending Iowa colleges.

  • Iowa College Student Aid Commission. Iowa’s Higher Education Agency details the Iowa-specific scholarships, grants, and loan repayment programs available. It links you to the federal and Iowa financial aid applications.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Each year, more than $120 billion in financial aid comes from the office of Federal Student Aid, including scholarships, grants, work-study opportunities, and loans. You can easily check your financial aid eligibility through FAFSA4caster. When you’re ready, you can apply online through the online FAFSA form.
  • CareerOneStop. This nationwide resource provides information on financial aid options, including scholarships and grants, which you can filter based on state and degree level to match your personal situation.