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2021 Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa

50 Colleges
$41,500 Avg Salary*
43% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

Which colleges in Iowa are succeeding at true diversity? Check out this ranking to find out.

Our analysis looked at 50 schools in Iowa to determine which ones were the most diverse. Overall diversity was determined by considering these four factors of the student body: racial/ethnic background, geographic representation, male to female ratio, and age.

Find out more about our ranking methodology.

Custom Rankings

To further customize your search, try narrowing your list by location. You can also check out rankings for racial-ethnic diversity, male/female diversity, or geographic diversity. Or explore other college rankings that prioritize different factors.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Grinnell College

Grinnell, Iowa

Grinnell College tops this year’s ranking as the most diverse school in Iowa. Located in Grinnell, Iowa, the small , private not-for-profit school awarded 524 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

About 23.43% of the students are international. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell go into careers with an average salary of $49,100.

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#2

William Penn University

Oskaloosa, Iowa

The excellent diversity at William Penn University helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the most diverse schools in Iowa. Oskaloosa, Iowa is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 299 students in 2018-2019.

There is high student age diversity at this school with about 60% falling into the traditional age range. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $42,100 during the early years of their career.

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#3

Cornell College

Mount Vernon, Iowa

Out of the 50 schools in Iowa that were part of this year’s diversity ranking, Cornell College landed the #3 spot on the list. Cornell College is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Mount Vernon, Iowa. It awarded 268 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Cornell College go into careers with an average salary of $43,000.

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#4

Iowa Wesleyan University

Mount Pleasant, Iowa

You’ll enjoy a diverse student body if you attend Iowa Wesleyan University. The school came in at #4 in Iowa on this year’s diversity ranking. Mount Pleasant, Iowa is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 86 students in 2018-2019.

About 17.56% of the students are international. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Iowa Wesleyan is $39,500 during the early years of their career.

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You’ll enjoy a diverse student body if you attend Maharishi International University. The school came in at #5 in Iowa on this year’s diversity ranking. Maharishi International University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Fairfield, Iowa that handed out 115 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from MIU make an average of $21,400 a year.

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#6

Briar Cliff University

Sioux City, Iowa

If you crave a diverse college experience, Briar Cliff, coming in at #6 in our latest diversity ranking, could be the right place for you. Located in Sioux City, Iowa, the small , private not-for-profit school awarded 240 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

This school has a higher percentage than average of non-traditional aged students. Only 54% of the students fall into a traditional age range, adding to the overall diversity score. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff go into careers with an average salary of $41,900.

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With a ranking of #7, Graceland University - Lamoni did quite well on the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa list. Graceland Lamoni is a private not-for-profit institution located in Lamoni, Iowa. The school has a small population, and it awarded 401 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Roughly 39% of the students fall into a traditional age range, meaning this school has higher than average age diversity. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $36,200 during the early years of their career.

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#8

University of Dubuque

Dubuque, Iowa

University of Dubuque landed the #8 spot on the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa ranking. Dubuque, Iowa is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 389 students in 2018-2019.

There is high student age diversity at this school with about 61% falling into the traditional age range. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from UD Iowa is $39,200 during the early years of their career.

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#9

Iowa Central Community College

Fort Dodge, Iowa

Iowa Central Community College ranked #9 on this year’s Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa list. A medium-sized institution, Iowa Central Community College is public.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Iowa Central Community College is $36,500 during the early years of their career.

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#10

Waldorf University

Forest City, Iowa

Waldorf University ranked #10 on this year’s Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa list. This small , private for-profit school is located in Forest City, Iowa, and it awarded 674 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

This school has a higher percentage than average of non-traditional aged students. Only 22% of the students fall into a traditional age range, adding to the overall diversity score. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $37,800 during the early years of their career.

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#11

Coe College

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Coe College came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa ranking. Coe is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 411 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Coe is $46,200 during the early years of their career.

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#12

Ellsworth Community College

Iowa Falls, Iowa

If you crave a diverse college experience, Iowa Valley Community College District, coming in at #12 in our latest diversity ranking, could be the right place for you. Iowa Valley Community College District is a small public school located in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $33,400 during the early years of their career.

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#13

Emmaus Bible College

Dubuque, Iowa

Emmaus Bible College ranked #13 on this year’s Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa list. Emmaus Bible College is located in Dubuque, Iowa and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 91 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $34,400 during the early years of their career.

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#14

University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

University of Iowa did quite well in the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa ranking, coming in at #14. Iowa City, Iowa is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 5,811 students in 2018-2019.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $51,900 during the early years of their career.

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#15

Morningside College

Sioux City, Iowa

Coming in at #15 for 2021 overall diversity in Iowa is Morningside. This small , private not-for-profit school is located in Sioux City, Iowa, and it awarded 337 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Roughly 43% of the students fall into a traditional age range, meaning this school has higher than average age diversity. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Morningside is $43,700 during the early years of their career.

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#16

Clarke University

Dubuque, Iowa

Clarke University did quite well in the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa ranking, coming in at #16. This small , private not-for-profit school is located in Dubuque, Iowa, and it awarded 182 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Clarke is $41,300 during the early years of their career.

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#17

Saint Ambrose University

Davenport, Iowa

Saint Ambrose University landed the #17 spot on the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa ranking. This small , private not-for-profit school is located in Davenport, Iowa, and it awarded 612 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from St. Ambrose University make an average of $47,300 a year.

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#18

Drake University

Des Moines, Iowa

With a ranking of #18, Drake University did quite well on the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa list. Drake is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Des Moines, Iowa. It awarded 896 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $58,300 during the early years of their career.

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#19

Upper Iowa University

Fayette, Iowa

If you crave a diverse college experience, UIU, coming in at #19 in our latest diversity ranking, could be the right place for you. Located in Fayette, Iowa, the small , private not-for-profit school handed out 1,155 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

This school has a higher percentage than average of non-traditional aged students. Only 22% of the students fall into a traditional age range, adding to the overall diversity score. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from UIU is $42,900 during the early years of their career.

Full Upper Iowa University Report

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#20

Iowa Lakes Community College

Estherville, Iowa

Iowa Lakes Community College did quite well in the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa ranking, coming in at #20. Iowa Lakes Community College is a small public school located in Estherville, Iowa.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Iowa Lakes Community College is $34,000 during the early years of their career.

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#21

Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa

Iowa State University did quite well in the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa ranking, coming in at #21. This large , public school is located in Ames, Iowa, and it awarded 7,380 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Iowa State make an average of $50,700 a year.

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#22

Marshalltown Community College

Marshalltown, Iowa

Coming in at #22 for 2021 overall diversity in Iowa is Iowa Valley Community College District. Iowa Valley Community College District is a small public school located in Marshalltown, Iowa.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Iowa Valley Community College District make an average of $31,500 a year.

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#23

Grand View University

Des Moines, Iowa

Grand View University came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa ranking. Grand View University is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Des Moines, Iowa. It awarded 473 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Grand View University is $43,200 during the early years of their career.

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#24

Luther College

Decorah, Iowa

Luther College came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa ranking. Luther is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Decorah, Iowa. It awarded 591 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $47,400 during the early years of their career.

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#25

Loras College

Dubuque, Iowa

Loras College did quite well in the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in Iowa ranking, coming in at #25. This small , private not-for-profit school is located in Dubuque, Iowa, and it awarded 429 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Loras make an average of $44,600 per year during the early years of their career.

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Most Diverse Colleges in the Plains States Region

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

References

  • 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).

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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