dubuque iowa

Best Colleges & Universities in Iowa
Top Consensus Ranked Schools 2018

Iowa consensus badge

To identify the Best Colleges in Iowa for 2018 we averaged the latest results from the most respected college ranking systems with thousands of real student review scores from around the web to produce a unique College Consensus rating for each school. You won’t find a more comprehensive ranking of the top colleges and universities in Iowa anywhere. Read more about our rankings methodology and sources at our about page.

1

Grinnell College

grinnell
76.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
75.8
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
77.6
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

2

Drake University

drake
69.6
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
69.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

3

Northwestern College

Northwestern College
69.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
60.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
78.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

4

Loras College

Loras
67
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
64.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

5

Saint Ambrose University

Saint Ambrose University
66.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
58.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
74.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

6

University of Iowa

University Iowa
66.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
56.8
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
75.6
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

7

Luther College

Luther College
65.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
57.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

8

University of Northern Iowa

U Northern Iowa
65.1
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
53.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
76.4
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

9

Wartburg College

Wartburg College
65
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
52.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
77.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

10

Clarke University

Clarke University
64.6
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
50.8
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
78.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

11

Cornell College

Cornell College
63.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
55
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

11

Dordt College

Dordt College
63.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
58.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

13

Mount Mercy University

mount mercy University
63.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
53.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
74
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

14

Iowa State University

ISU
63.1
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
51.4
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
74.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

15

Central College

Central College
62.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
47.8
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
77.7
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

16

Coe College

Coe College
61.6
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
52.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
70.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

17

Simpson College

Simpson College
58.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
45.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

18

Grand View University

Grand View University
57.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
46.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
67.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

19

Iowa Wesleyan University

Iowa Wesleyan University 1
56.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
44
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
68.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

20

University of Dubuque

University of Dubuque
54.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
45
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
64.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

While most Americans think of agriculture when they think of Iowa – miles and miles of endless corn, especially – in fact, Iowa has a highly diverse economy and a range of industries, many rooted in Iowa’s traditional agriculture. Bioengineering, manufacturing, finance, and energy (especially renewable and sustainable energy in the 21st century) are all bedrocks of Iowa’s economy, and Iowa has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation (tied for 4th).

When it comes to economics and job opportunity, the Hawkeye State has a lot to be grateful for, and some of the best schools in the Midwest are to thank. Iowa was settled by people who knew the value of work, but who also knew the value of education, and education has always been valued. The state’s oldest college, Loras University, was founded long before Iowa became a state, just a few years after the territory was opened to settlers; the University of Iowa was one of the first orders of business for the first state legislature. In fact, Iowa was a pioneer in secondary education, too, as one of the first states to establish public high schools state-wide.

Building the Hawkeye State: The Best Colleges in Iowa

The best colleges in Iowa are built on the qualities that make Iowa’s unique character – deep religious faith, ingenuity and work ethic, and deep ties to the land and community. Iowa’s top consensus ranked schools are diverse and exceptional, but they have one thing in common – they are all preparing Iowa’s leaders, workers, and educators for excellence.

Iowa’s higher education system is designed to meet all of Iowa’s unique employment demands, especially the state’s two leading public research universities. The University of Iowa and Iowa State University are both noted as standing among the best public universities, and the best national research institutions. Iowa State University, in particular, is one of the nation’s STEM leaders and a source for scientists, researchers, and engineers. (They know how to have fun, too; the University of Iowa is ranked for one of the best college rec centers in the US, and Iowa State has an award-winning campus aquatic center.)

A host of Catholic and Protestant liberal arts colleges maintain the classical emphasis on the humanities, arts, and sciences, while also setting standards for professions in the modern age, from law and business to computer science and healthcare. Schools like Northwestern College are named among the best Christian colleges and the best small colleges in the US, while also earning distinction as some of the best regional colleges in the Midwest. Iowa’s small colleges don’t just have a regional impact, though; some, like Luther College rank alongside the top national liberal arts colleges, while Grinnell College and Cornell College, for instance, are both featured in the College Consensus ranking of the Top Underrated Colleges Doing Great Things. We don’t look to Iowa for showing off, and none of them would likely toot their own horn, but the liberal arts colleges of Iowa are teaching the rest of the US what liberal arts education can accomplish.

Iowa’s Best Colleges and the Future of Higher Ed in the Midwest

Iowa isn’t slowing down; in fact, Iowa is strictly on the way up, ready for the changes of the 21st century. The Hawkeye State has turned around the declining population and economic struggles of the late 20th century, and has positioned itself for greatness. As energy becomes more and more critical, Iowa’s investments in sustainable and renewable energy will be a source of jobs and wealth for the state. The best colleges in Iowa are ready, too, committed to educating a population of professionals, technicians, and leaders who can carry Iowa into tomorrow with confidence, whatever tomorrow holds.