Last Updated: October 11, 2021
Iowa - The Hawkeye State
Located in the Midwestern region of the United States, Iowa is named after one of the local Indian tribes that resided here. Some of the Native American tribes that originally inhabited this region are the Dakota Sioux, Otoe, Ioway, and Illini. Iowa received its statehood on December 28, 1846, making it the 29th state of the United States. Iowa is primarily bordered by the states of South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, and Nebraska. Iowa's capital is Des Moines which is also the largest city of the state. The estimated population of Iowa is about 3.21 million in 2021. The climate in Iowa is a humid continental one with four distinct seasons. Summer is hot and humid with lots of rain, and Winter is generally severe with heavy snowfalls. The winter temperatures can be as low as -6°C.
Major Cities in Iowa
With a population of almost 215,000, Des Moines is the largest city in Iowa. It is the capital city of Hawkeye State and was founded in 1843. The city is known for its vibrant environment and is also a major industrial, cultural, and financial center. The famous private university, Drake University, is situated in this city. The city is popularly called the "Hartford of the West". Popular places in this city include the Science Center of Iowa, John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Salisbury House & Gardens, Des Moines Art Center, and so on.
Cedar Rapids has an estimated population of around 138,000 which makes it the second-largest city in Iowa. It is situated in Linn County and was incorporated as a city in 1849. Due to the presence of the Cedar River, the city was originally called 'Rapid City'. The city is also popularly known as the "City of Five Seasons." The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Brucemore, Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, are some of the most popular tourist destinations in this city.
With an estimated population of 102,000, Davenport is the third-biggest city in Iowa. The city is situated in Scott County, was founded on May 14, 1836, and was incorporated as a city on January 25, 1839. The city was named by Antoine Le Claire to honor his friend Colonel George Davenport. Saint Ambrose University is a popular private university situated in this city. Some of the most popular attractions in the city are Lindsay Park, Figge Art Museum, Vander Veer Botanical Park, Putnam Museum, etc.
- Iowa is predominantly an agricultural state with the benefit of fertile soil. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Iowa holds the 2nd position among the top ten agriculture-producing states in the US.
- Livestock farming is another major sector along with agriculture. The leading agricultural products include corn, soybean, pork, milk, hogs, and egg.
- Other major industries followed by agriculture are advanced manufacturing, food processing, energy, biosciences, and financial services.
- Some of the largest companies (based on the number of employees hired) headquartered in Iowa are Hy-Vee, Rockwell Collins, Casey’s General Stores, The Merrill Company, Principal Financial Group, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, and HNI Corporation.
- The covid-19 pandemic was a major blow to the economy of the nation and Iowa is not far behind. However, the state is showing gradual signs of economic recovery and has an unemployment rate lower than the national rate. However, with an unemployment rate of 3.7% in March and 4.1% in August, the employment field seems to be at a disadvantage.
- The important sectors currently contributing to the state's economic recovery are trade, manufacturing, health services, education, and government services.
Tuition Fee and Living Cost in Iowa
The cost of living in Iowa is incredibly lower than the national average. Housing costs are the cheapest, followed by the cost of transportation. However, healthcare services in this state are on the more expensive side and are higher than the national average. Some of the most expensive cities in ‘The Hawkeye State’ are Iowa City, Ames, Coralville, and Hiawatha, and the most affordable cities include Denison, Webster City, Clarinda, and Marshalltown.
Public institutes in Iowa are just a handful and are affordable for in-state students and slightly expensive for out-of-state students. The majority of post-secondary institutes are private, and the top schools charge tuition fees higher than the national average. For instance, the tuition fee for undergraduate students in Grinnell College is about $50,000 and is almost $45,000 at Drake University.
List of Few Major Universities/Colleges
Iowa is known for its strong education system and its incredible high school graduation rates. Some of the best universities/colleges in the state of Iowa are:
- Iowa State University Situated in the city of Ames, this is a famous public university in the state of Iowa. Established in 1858, the university was originally known as Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm, and Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. The institution is popular for its excellent academic quality as well as its campus life. With around 38,000 students and almost 2,000 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. Mechanical Engineering, Marketing, and Agricultural Business are the popular majors offered here. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is about $11,000 and around $27,000 for out-of-state students.
- University of Iowa This is another reputed public institution located in Iowa City. The university was established on February 25, 1847. This institution is popular for its equal focus on quality education as well as extracurricular activities. With around 36,000 students, the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Finance, Psychology, and Business Administration are the most sought-after majors in this university. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is about $11,000 and around $34,000 for out-of-state students.
- Saint Ambrose University Located in the third-largest city of Iowa, Davenport, this is a popular private university. It was established in the year 1882 by John McMullen, a 19th-century bishop, and is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. With almost 3,400 students and around 400 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. Popular majors include Nursing, Psychology, and Marketing. The tuition fee is roughly $34,000 for all undergraduate students.
- Drake University Situated in the capital city of Des Moines, Drake University is a reputed private institution in this state. It was established in 1881 by George T. Carpenter. The university is well-known for offering the best resources for its learners along with the best teach-learning experience. Actuarial Science, Marketing, Finance, and Accounting are the most popular majors offered here. With around 5,700 students, the student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1. The tuition fee is roughly $45,000 for all undergraduate students.
Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students
- Iowa Tuition Grant: This is a need-based grant for the students of Iowa. To be eligible for this grant, the student must be a legal resident of the state of Iowa, demonstrate the required level of financial need, and pursue an associate or undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in Iowa. The students must submit the FAFSA and the Iowa Financial Aid Application. The award amount may vary every year based on the availability of funds and the tuition fee of the individual institutions.
- Robert D. Blue Scholarship: This is a scholarship program to assist the academically sound students of Iowa. To be qualified, the student must be a permanent resident of Iowa, pursue an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in Iowa, and demonstrate "qualities of truth, courage, and fellowship; and display the moral force of character". The student must additionally submit the high school transcripts, a 500-word essay, two letters of recommendation, and the FAFSA and the Iowa Financial Aid Application. The award amount will be ranging from $500 to $1,000 per academic year.
- Iowa National Guard Service Scholarship: This is a scholarship program to assist students who are National Guard members of Iowa. To be qualified for the scholarship program, the student must be a legal Iowa resident, be a member of the Iowa Army or Air National Guard unit, complete the necessary Guard training, maintain satisfactory performance of duty as a National Guard member, and pursue an undergraduate degree (apart from Bachelor of Arts) at an accredited institution in Iowa. The students must also submit the FAFSA and the Iowa Financial Aid Application. The award amount will be roughly $10,000.
- Iowa Vocational-Technical Tuition Grant: This is a popular grant initiated to assist students pursuing technical education programs. To be qualified for the grant, the student must be a legal resident of Iowa, pursue an eligible technical education program, and enroll at a community college in the state of Iowa. The student must also demonstrate the required level of economic need and submit the FAFSA and the Iowa Financial Aid Application. The award amount is $900 per academic year.
- Governor Terry E. Branstad Iowa State Fair Scholarship: This is a popular scholarship program for the high school graduates of Iowa who have taken part in the Iowa State Fair. To be qualified, the student must be a legal resident of Iowa, must have graduated high school from an eligible Iowa institution, and plan to pursue an undergraduate degree from an accredited institute in Iowa. Students will be evaluated based on their high school GPA, an essay "explaining the impact the Iowa State Fair has had on your life", and community service. The candidate must demonstrate financial need and submit the FAFSA and the Iowa Financial Aid Application. The award amount is up to $5,000 per year.
Iowa is one of the leading agricultural states in America. This means that this is a land of rich and fertile soil that reaps the best produce and is also bountiful in its natural beauty. Some of the best tourist destinations in this state are National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Iowa State Capitol, Greater Des Moines Botanical Center, Pikes Peak State Park, Okoboji, and several others.
Autumns in Iowa are charged with the brilliant colors of foliage, beautiful landscapes, and pleasant weather. This is why this is the best season to visit this state, that is, during September and October. Some of the most popular and delectable cuisines available in this Hawkeye State are Prairie Breeze, Sour Cream Raisin Pie, Quad City-Style Pizza, Breaded Pork Tenderloin, Steak de Burgo, Corn on the Cob, and a lot more.
Universities & Colleges in Iowa
*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
- Recommended program (Top 250)