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.

  1. #1

    Grinnell College

    Grinnell, IA

    Graduation Rate

    89%

    Enrollment

    1,733

    Format

    In person

    Grinnell College enrolls students at its Grinnell, Iowa campus as a private institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs for students planning to enter the workforce or pursue further studies. The cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. At the institution, 89% of students receive financial aid and 39% take out loans. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 89%. The admission rate for incoming students is 23%. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  2. #2

    Divine Word College

    Epworth, IA

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    66

    Format

    In person

    A top-ranked school, Divine Word College enrolls learners in programs from its campus in Epworth, IowaInstructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help students reach a variety of career goals. Visit the program's website to find information on the typical timeline for completion. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. These policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. Enrollees at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Divine Word College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  3. #3

    St Luke's College

    Sioux City, IA

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    235

    Format

    Online, In person

    St Luke's College offers programs from its campus in Sioux City, Iowa. Students study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help learners meet a variety of professional goals. Depending on the program, students can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years earning their degree or certificate. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. These policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. St Luke's College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  4. #4

    Shiloh University

    Kalona, IA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    41

    Format

    Online

    From its Kalona, Iowa campus, Shiloh University enrolls students in 14 programs. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The school reports a student-to-faculty ratio of 2-to-1. How much aid students receive on average is currently unknown. Data on the graduation rate is currently unavailable. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. Degree-seekers benefit from internships, research opportunities, and other forms of service learning. The admission rate is 33% for hopeful students. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores.

  5. #5

    Capri College-Cedar Rapids

    Cedar Rapids, IA

    Graduation Rate

    75%

    Enrollment

    165

    Format

    In person

    A private institution, Capri College-Cedar Rapids ranks among the top schools in Iowa. The school offers courses in person in Cedar Rapids or via distance education. Learners can choose from 5 certificate programs. The programs build specialized skills in a specific subject area. These credentials feature no general education requirements, which lets students graduate faster. A certificate or diploma can greatly change students' career prospects. Common professional outcomes include increased job opportunities and higher salary levels. These credentials may also prepare students to pursue an associate or bachelor's degree. Credits earned in a diploma or certificate program may transfer to a two- or four-year degree.

  6. #6

    American College of Hairstyling-Des Moines

    Des Moines, IA

    Graduation Rate

    77%

    Enrollment

    22

    Format

    In person

    American College of Hairstyling-Des Moines is a private school based in Iowa. The institution offers learners seeking an accelerated course of study 3 certificate programs. The coursework covers core topics and specialized training. After earning their certificate, graduates can pursue careers or still further studies. After completing a certificate, graduates seek opportunities in related fields. The institution awards financial aid to 70% of students. As an accredited school, learners qualify for aid from the federal government. Prospective students should contact the school's admissions department for more information about the application process. Learners can rest assured that they receive a quality education given the school's accreditation status.

  7. #7

    Wartburg Theological Seminary

    Dubuque, IA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    186

    Format

    Online

    Wartburg Theological Seminary, located in Dubuque, Iowa, enrolls students in 2 programs. The institution's top-ranked programs offer students a challenging course of study. The average student-to-teacher ratio is currently unavailable. Information on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. The graduation rate is unknown. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements.

  8. #8

    Allen College

    Waterloo, IA

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    656

    Format

    Online, In person

    Allen College, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Waterloo, Iowa. Learners choose from a variety of degree-granting programs. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help students meet their career goals. Generally, it takes 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. A waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department can help prospective students complete their application. Learners at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Allen College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  9. #9

    Carlson College of Massage Therapy

    Anamosa, IA

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    14

    Format

    In person

    A top choice for students seeking professional eduation in Iowa, Carlson College of Massage Therapy hosts 1 certificate programs. Programs deliver a rigorous curriculum and help learners gain theoretical and practical knowledge in the field. Students gain skills necessary to enter the workforce or advance professionally. The school's experiential learning opportunities help enrollees apply their knowledge in the real world. The postsecondary institution's accreditation demonstrates its high academic standards. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. As an accredited institution, learners enrolled in a program at the school qualify for federal financial aid. Prospective degree-seekers can learn about requirements through the school's website. The postsecondary institution holds accreditation from the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation.

  10. #10

    Aveda Institute-Des Moines

    West Des Moines, IA

    Graduation Rate

    76%

    Enrollment

    181

    Format

    In person

    Ranked among the top private schools in Iowa, Aveda Institute-Des Moines trains students in many professional fields. Students can take online courses or study in person in West Des Moines. A total of 3 certificate programs offers many options for students. The programs develop specialized skills in one professional subject area. Diploma and certificate programs take less time to complete than four-year bachelor's degrees. Diplomas and certificates can impact students careers greatly. Graduates can commonly increase their available job opportunities and salary potential. Many graduates also enroll in associate or bachelor's programs. Credits earned in a diploma or certificate program may transfer to a two- or four-year degree.