2022 Best Schools for the Money (No Aid) in Iowa

44 Colleges
$11,456 Avg Undergrad Tuition & Fees*
$8,182 Avg Room & Board*

It's not easy to decide which school to attend when you have so many options available. College Factual has developed its Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking as one thing you can use to help make this decision.

See What's Included in This Value Report:

Your Choice of School Matters

We analyzed 44 schools across Iowa to determine which have the best value programs. To come up with this ranking of the best value schools, we look at factors that are all objective measurements. In the next few paragraphs, we'll talk a little about what we use in our analysis and why.

Our Methodology

To determine the value of a school in our Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking, we first add average tuition, fees, and room and board costs (without aid) together. But, a school that excels in providing value for your money must also be a great school overall as well.

To take this into account we include a college's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a collection of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

Find out more about our best value ranking methodology.

Keep scrolling for the top schools in this ranking or select one of the other rankings methods below.

Want to see the list of best value schools for families with specific income levels or whether or not aid is being applied? Click on one of the tiles above. If you'd rather work on your degree in a specific area of the country, you might be interested in our rankings by place. Also, you may want to check out our other college rankings.

If you know what major you want to study, check out our list of the best value schools by major. If you're interested in other degree levels, you can view one of the lists below.

Best Value Schools (No Aid) in Iowa

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

Our analysis found Iowa State University to be the best value (no aid) school in Iowa in this year’s ranking. Iowa State is a large public school situated in Ames, Iowa.

Not only is Iowa State University a great value, but it is also ranked #2 in Iowa for overall quality. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $18,509 a year. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $20,179 a year.

Full Iowa State University Value Report

A rank of #2 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa list means Des Moines Area Community College is a great place for students working on their degree. DMACC is located in Ankeny, Iowa and has a large student population. It is a public school.

Not only is Des Moines Area Community College a great value, but it is also ranked #11 in Iowa for overall quality. The average cost without aid for the school is $12,376 a year for undergraduates. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $7,276 a year.

Read full value report on Des Moines Area Community College

#3

University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, Iowa

The quality degree programs at University of Northern Iowa helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa. University of Northern Iowa is a medium-sized public school located in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Not only is University of Northern Iowa a great value, but it is also ranked #5 in Iowa for overall quality. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $18,098 a year. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $19,592 a year.

Read full value report on University of Northern Iowa

#4

Kirkwood Community College

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

A rank of #4 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa list means Kirkwood Community College is a great place for students working on their degree. Kirkwood Community College is a fairly large public school located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Kirkwood Community College is ranked #21 for quality in the state of Iowa. The average cost without aid for the school is $11,710 a year for undergraduates. The average cost without aid for the school is $6,570 per year for graduate students.

Read full value report on Kirkwood Community College

#5

University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Out of the 44 schools in Iowa that were part of this year’s ranking, University of Iowa landed the #5 spot on the list. Iowa is located in Iowa City, Iowa and has a large student population. It is a public school.

University of Iowa has the honor of being ranked #4 in Iowa for overall quality on top of being a good value. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $21,196 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $23,256 per year for graduate students.

Learn More About Value at University of Iowa

With a ranking of #6, Northwest Iowa Community College did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa list. Located in Sheldon, Iowa, the school is a small public institution.

Northwest Iowa Community College has the honor of being ranked #19 in Iowa for overall quality on top of being a good value. The average cost without aid for the school is $12,672 a year for undergraduates. The average cost without aid for the school is $6,282 per year for graduate students.

Full Northwest Iowa Community College Value Report

Indian Hills Community College came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking. IHCC is located in Ottumwa, Iowa and has a small student population. It is a public school.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Indian Hills Community College is ranked #34 for quality in the state of Iowa. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $9,270 a year. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $4,830 a year.

Read full value report on Indian Hills Community College

Iowa Central Community College ranked #8 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa list. Located in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the school is a small public institution.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Iowa Central Community College is ranked #30 for quality in the state of Iowa. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $12,750 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $7,050 per year for graduate students.

Read full value report on Iowa Central Community College

Western Iowa Tech Community College landed the #9 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking. Western Iowa Tech Community College is a medium-sized public school situated in Sioux City, Iowa.

Not only is Western Iowa Tech Community College a great value, but it is also ranked #35 in Iowa for overall quality. The average cost without aid for the school is $10,778 a year for undergraduates. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $6,290 a year.

Read full value report on Western Iowa Tech Community College

North Iowa Area Community College came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking. This small public school is located in Mason City, Iowa.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, North Iowa Area Community College is ranked #29 for quality in the state of Iowa. The average cost without aid for the school is $13,133 a year for undergraduates. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $7,342 a year.

Learn More About Value at North Iowa Area Community College

#11

Iowa Western Community College

Council Bluffs, Iowa

Iowa Western Community College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking, coming in at #11. Iowa Western Community College is a medium-sized public school situated in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Iowa Western Community College is ranked #26 for quality in the state of Iowa. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $14,870 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $8,750 per year for graduate students.

Full Iowa Western Community College Value Report

#12

Marshalltown Community College

Marshalltown, Iowa

With a ranking of #12, Marshalltown Community College did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa list. Located in Marshalltown, Iowa, the school is a small public institution.

Not only is Marshalltown Community College a great value, but it is also ranked #32 in Iowa for overall quality. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $12,658 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $7,690 per year for graduate students.

Learn More About Value at Marshalltown Community College

Eastern Iowa Community College District ranked #13 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa list. Eastern Iowa Community Colleges is a public institution located in Davenport, Iowa.

Not only is Eastern Iowa Community College District a great value, but it is also ranked #37 in Iowa for overall quality. The average cost without aid for the school is $12,080 a year for undergraduates. The average cost without aid for the school is $6,480 per year for graduate students.

Full Eastern Iowa Community College District Value Report

Northeast Iowa Community College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking, coming in at #14. NICC is a public institution located in Calmar, Iowa.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Northeast Iowa Community College is ranked #31 for quality in the state of Iowa. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $14,000 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $8,000 per year for graduate students.

Learn More About Value at Northeast Iowa Community College

#15

Southeastern Community College

West Burlington, Iowa

Southeastern Community College came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking. Southeastern Community College is a public institution located in West Burlington, Iowa.

Southeastern Community College has the honor of being ranked #33 in Iowa for overall quality on top of being a good value. The average cost without aid for the school is $14,850 a year for undergraduates. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $8,940 a year.

Read full value report on Southeastern Community College

#16

Ellsworth Community College

Iowa Falls, Iowa

Ellsworth Community College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking, coming in at #16. Iowa Falls, Iowa is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. It is a public school.

Ellsworth Community College has the honor of being ranked #39 in Iowa for overall quality on top of being a good value. The average cost without aid for the school is $11,968 a year for undergraduates. The average cost without aid for the school is $7,000 per year for graduate students.

Full Ellsworth Community College Value Report

#17

Hawkeye Community College

Waterloo, Iowa

Hawkeye Community College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking, coming in at #17. Hawkeye Community College is a medium-sized public school located in Waterloo, Iowa.

Hawkeye Community College has the honor of being ranked #38 in Iowa for overall quality on top of being a good value. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $14,732 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $8,942 per year for graduate students.

Learn More About Value at Hawkeye Community College

#18

Morningside College

Sioux City, Iowa

Morningside College came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking. Morningside is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Sioux City, Iowa.

Not only is Morningside College a great value, but it is also ranked #17 in Iowa for overall quality. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $44,080 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $15,510 per year for graduate students.

Read full value report on Morningside College

#19

Iowa Lakes Community College

Estherville, Iowa

With a ranking of #19, Iowa Lakes Community College did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa list. Estherville, Iowa is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. It is a public school.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Iowa Lakes Community College is ranked #41 for quality in the state of Iowa. The average cost without aid for the school is $13,808 a year for undergraduates. The average cost without aid for the school is $7,060 per year for graduate students.

Read full value report on Iowa Lakes Community College

#20

Central College

Pella, Iowa

Central College landed the #20 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking. Central is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Pella, Iowa.

Central College has the honor of being ranked #13 in Iowa for overall quality on top of being a good value. The average cost without aid for the school is $28,880 a year for undergraduates. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $10,280 a year.

Learn More About Value at Central College

#20

Northwestern College

Orange City, Iowa

Northwestern College ranked #20 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa list. NWC is located in Orange City, Iowa and has a small student population. It is a private not-for-profit school.

Not only is Northwestern College a great value, but it is also ranked #6 in Iowa for overall quality. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $42,720 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $16,140 per year for graduate students.

Full Northwestern College Value Report

Southwestern Community College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking, coming in at #22. Located in Creston, Iowa, the school is a small public institution.

Not only is Southwestern Community College a great value, but it is also ranked #42 in Iowa for overall quality. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $14,370 a year. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $8,460 a year.

Learn More About Value at Southwestern Community College

#23

Waldorf University

Forest City, Iowa

Waldorf University came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking. This small private for-profit school is located in Forest City, Iowa.

Waldorf University has the honor of being ranked #23 in Iowa for overall quality on top of being a good value. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $30,954 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $12,641 per year for graduate students.

Full Waldorf University Value Report

#24

Drake University

Des Moines, Iowa

Drake University did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking, coming in at #24. Des Moines, Iowa is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. It is a private not-for-profit school.

Not only is Drake University a great value, but it is also ranked #3 in Iowa for overall quality. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $55,518 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $23,084 per year for graduate students.

Full Drake University Value Report

Maharishi International University did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in Iowa ranking, coming in at #25. Maharishi International University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Fairfield, Iowa.

Not only is Maharishi International University a great value, but it is also ranked #44 in Iowa for overall quality. The average cost without aid for the school is $23,930 a year for undergraduates. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $36,930 a year.

Full Maharishi International University Value Report

Best Value Schools (No Aid) in the Plains States Region

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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