2022 Top Private Universities in Iowa

Private universities frequently top the lists of the best schools in the U.S. These institutions offer rigorous academic programs for students looking for a personalized college experience.

Private universities generally cost more than their public counterparts, but students often receive the benefits of smaller class sizes, strong alumni networks, and generous financial aid opportunities.

Unlike public universities, private institutions do not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state tuition. This means students from anywhere can enroll in Iowa’s private universities without paying higher out-of-state rates.

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

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Showing 30 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    St Luke's College

    Sioux City, IA

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    211

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $19440

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19440

    From its campus in Sioux City, Iowa, St Luke's College enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. St Luke's College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #2

    Grinnell College

    Grinnell, IA

    Graduation Rate

    87%

    Enrollment

    1,493

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $56188

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $56188

    Grinnell College, located in Grinnell, Iowa, offers 29 programs for students. The institution offers top-ranked programs that provide a rigorous course of study. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 8-to-1. Approximately 88% of students at this institution fund their education, at least in part, with financial aid. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 87%. Job seekers often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive job candidates. The admission rate for new students is 19%. Some programs offer test-optional admission policies. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #3

    Divine Word College

    Epworth, IA

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    69

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13600

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13600

    Divine Word College ranks as a top school from its campus in Epworth, Iowa. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. Academic and technical programs help students reach their professional goals. Academic programs can take as little as a few months or as many as seven years to complete, depending on the degree or certificate type and the student's enrollment status. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department can provide additional resources on applying. Financial aid helps enrollees cover their educational expenses. Divine Word College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #4

    Allen College

    Waterloo, IA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    678

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $17864

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17864

    From its campus in Iowa, Allen College administers 36 total programs. Degree-seekers enroll in rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 11-to-1. The average amount of aid awarded per student is not available. The graduation rate is unknown. Real-world experience helps candidates stand out on the job market. The school offers experiential learning in the form of internships, research opportunities, and practicums. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores.

    #5

    Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary

    Ankeny, IA

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    504

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16990

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16990

    From its campus in Ankeny, Iowa, Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary grants degrees as a top school. Students choose from a variety of degree-granting programs. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help learners meet a variety of professional goals. Students typically earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in two, and a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. At the accredited institution, students also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #6

    Luther College

    Decorah, IA

    Graduation Rate

    77%

    Enrollment

    1,802

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $45000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $45000

    From its campus in Decorah, Iowa, Luther College enrolls students in 48 programs. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 11-to-1. A total of 100% of students receive some form of financial aid. Students in the school's programs graduate at a rate of 77%. Experiential learning opportunities help graduates on the job market. Applicants can expect admission rates of 64%. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #7

    Drake University

    Des Moines, IA

    Graduation Rate

    78%

    Enrollment

    4,774

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $44188

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $44188

    A private institution, Drake University enrolls students on its campus in Des Moines, Iowa. With both academic and technical programs, the institution helps students reach their career goals. During a bachelor's degree, enrollees take lower-division and upper-division coursework. Undergraduates also complete general education credits. Upper-division courses emphasize advanced concepts in the major. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The college charges an average of 733 per credit. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #8

    Dordt University

    Sioux Center, IA

    Graduation Rate

    66%

    Enrollment

    1,662

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $32240

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $32240

    From its campus in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt University grants college degrees as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to build industry-specific knowledge. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #9

    Shiloh University

    Kalona, IA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    49

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $5250

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5250

    From its campus in Iowa, Shiloh University enrolls students in 14 programs. Learners benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. According to the school, the student-to-faculty ratio stands at 2-to-1. At the institution, 0% of the students receive some form of financial aid. The graduation rate is unknown. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The school offers experiential learning in the form of internships, research opportunities, and practicums. The admission rate is 33% for incoming students. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission.

    #10

    Northwestern College

    Orange City, IA

    Graduation Rate

    69%

    Enrollment

    1,496

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $32700

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $32700

    A private institution, Northwestern College enrolls students on its campus in Orange City, Iowa. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to build industry-specific knowledge. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to apply. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school can pay for their educational costs with federal student aid programs. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #11

    Central College

    Pella, IA

    Graduation Rate

    68%

    Enrollment

    1,120

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $18600

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $18600

    From its campus in Iowa, Central College administers 41 total programs. Students benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school reports a 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The institution reports that approximately 100% of enrollees receive financial aid. The private institution reports a graduation rate of 68%. Students should explore how workplace experience makes them more competitive employee candidates. The admission rate is 64%. Some programs offer test-optional admission policies. Applicants can reach out to the admission department to learn more about enrolling.

    #12

    Emmaus Bible College

    Dubuque, IA

    Graduation Rate

    83%

    Enrollment

    194

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $19250

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19250

    A top-ranked school, Emmaus Bible College enrolls learners in programs from its campus in Dubuque, Iowa. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help learners meet a variety of professional goals. Visit the program's website to find information on the typical timeline for completion. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department can provide more information on the process. Financial aid provides options for degree-seekers to pay for their education. Emmaus Bible College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #13

    Cornell College

    Mount Vernon, IA

    Graduation Rate

    67%

    Enrollment

    1,002

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $45288

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $45288

    From its campus in Mount Vernon, Iowa, Cornell College enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. Students complete courses and experiential learning opportunities to bolster their knowledge. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Cornell College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #14

    Mount Mercy University

    Cedar Rapids, IA

    Graduation Rate

    57%

    Enrollment

    1,705

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34506

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34506

    Located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mount Mercy University grants degrees as a private institution. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Bachelor's programs educate students with lower-division and upper-division coursework. Students also complete general education credits. Students learn advanced concepts in their major during upper-division courses. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #15

    Palmer College of Chiropractic

    Davenport, IA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    2,178

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10440

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10440

    From its campus in Davenport, Iowa, Palmer College of Chiropractic grants college degrees as a private institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. Students complete coursework to prepare them for advanced roles. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. These policies make it easier to apply. The school supports enrollees with tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant. Palmer College of Chiropractic has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #16

    Loras College

    Dubuque, IA

    Graduation Rate

    70%

    Enrollment

    1,404

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $33500

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $33500

    From its campus in Dubuque, Iowa, Loras College awards degrees and certificates as a private institution. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. At the accredited school, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. At the institution, 100% of students receive aid and 67% receive loans. The private institution reports a graduation rate of 70%. Hopeful learners can expect admission rates of 58%. Prospective students can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying. Loras College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #17

    Coe College

    Cedar Rapids, IA

    Graduation Rate

    62%

    Enrollment

    1,394

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $46860

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $46860

    From its campus in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Coe College offers academic programs as a private institution. Students leave the school with experience and credentials that prepare them for the workforce. The institution offers academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #18

    Simpson College

    Indianola, IA

    Graduation Rate

    71%

    Enrollment

    1,267

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $41466

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $41466

    A private institution, Simpson College educates students on its campus in Indianola, Iowa. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing the program's coursework. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Simpson College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #19

    Mercy-St Luke's School of Radiologic Technology

    Cedar Rapids, IA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    22

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3750

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $3750

    Iowa-based Mercy-St Luke's School of Radiologic Technology offers 1 certificate programs. For students who need to earn a credential quickly, most certificate and diploma programs last weeks or months, rather than years. The credential programs at the school commonly attract students looking to advance their careers quickly. Students build new skills that may lead directly to better employment. The school has been accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. For specific information about Mercy-St Luke's School of Radiologic Technology's application process, students can contact the school's admissions department. After completing their program, students can purse their career.

    #20

    UnityPoint Health-Des Moines School of Radiologic Technology

    Des Moines, IA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    15

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3600

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $3600

    UnityPoint Health-Des Moines School of Radiologic Technology is a private school that operates a main campus in Iowa. Learners seeking a faster course of study can choose from 1 certificate programs at the school. The coursework teaches core topics and specialized training. The programs deliver rigorous curricula. Graduates seek opportunities in related fields after finishing a certificate. As an accredited school, students can receive federal financial aid. The school's admissions office is available to field any questions about the application process. The school holds accreditation from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

    #21

    Buena Vista University

    Storm Lake, IA

    Graduation Rate

    62%

    Enrollment

    1,863

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $36426

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $36426

    Buena Vista University, located in Storm Lake, Iowa, operates as a private institution. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The school's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. At the institution, 100% of students receive financial aid and 77% take out loans. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 62%. The admission rate is 56% for prospective students. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying. Buena Vista University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #22

    Maharishi International University

    Fairfield, IA

    Graduation Rate

    43%

    Enrollment

    2,015

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16000

    Maharishi International University, a private organization located in Fairfield, Iowa, offers multiple programs. Enrollees earn an accredited degree that prepares them for the workforce. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The institution offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Maharishi International University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #23

    Upper Iowa University

    Fayette, IA

    Graduation Rate

    27%

    Enrollment

    3,610

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31950

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31950

    A private institution, Upper Iowa University grants degrees from its campus in Fayette, Iowa. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their educational goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing the program's coursework. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. Upper Iowa University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #24

    Wartburg College

    Waverly, IA

    Graduation Rate

    68%

    Enrollment

    1,563

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $43500

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $43500

    Located in Waverly, Iowa, Wartburg College awards degrees and certificates as a private institution. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 98% of students receive aid, and 65% receive loans. The school reports a 68% graduation rate. The admission rate for prospective students is 72%. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #25

    Hamilton Technical College

    Davenport, IA

    Graduation Rate

    70%

    Enrollment

    120

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $14250

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14250

    A private institution, Hamilton Technical College enrolls students on its campus in Davenport, Iowa. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. Students complete coursework to prepare them for advanced roles. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. Hamilton Technical College holds accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

    #26

    Morningside College

    Sioux City, IA

    Graduation Rate

    60%

    Enrollment

    2,411

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $32460

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $32460

    From its campus in Sioux City, Iowa, Morningside College educates college students as a private institution. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. The institution's bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division coursework. The degree typically requires general education credits. Upper-division credits emphasize advanced concepts in the major. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Morningside College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #27

    Saint Ambrose University

    Davenport, IA

    Graduation Rate

    64%

    Enrollment

    3,003

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $32478

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $32478

    Saint Ambrose University, located in Davenport, Iowa, enrolls students as a private institution. Learners take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. Learners can expect an average cost of 1012 per credit. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. A total of 100% of students receive financial aid and 68% take out loans at the school. The private school reports a graduation rate of 64%. The admission rate for incoming students is 74%. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling. Saint Ambrose University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #28

    Graceland University-Lamoni

    Lamoni, IA

    Graduation Rate

    41%

    Enrollment

    1,517

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $30650

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30650

    A private institution, Graceland University-Lamoni grants degrees from its campus in Lamoni, Iowa. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that 100% of learners receive financial aid, while 74% take out loans. Bachelor's students graduate from the school at a rate of 41%. Prospective enrollees can expect an 68% admission rate. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. Graceland University-Lamoni has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #29

    Briar Cliff University

    Sioux City, IA

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    1,076

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $31898

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31898

    A private institution, Briar Cliff University educates students on its campus in Sioux City, Iowa. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps students reach their professional goals. The institution's bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division coursework. Undergraduates also complete general education courses. In upper-division classes, undergraduates learn advanced concepts in their major. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Briar Cliff University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #30

    Clarke University

    Dubuque, IA

    Graduation Rate

    66%

    Enrollment

    855

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34650

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34650

    Located in Dubuque, Iowa, Clarke University often ranks among the best schools. The institution offers multiple degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional goals. Typically, it takes students two years to complete an associate degree, four years to complete a bachelor's degree, 1-2 years for a master's degree, or 3-7 years for a doctoral degree. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can help applicants complete the process. Financial aid helps students cover the cost of their degree. Clarke University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.