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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

Des Moines

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

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.

Economy/Job Market

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:

Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students


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

University (city) Total StudentsUG (in) / UG (out)G (in) / G (out)
University of Iowa (Iowa City) 35339$10454 / $33454$12545 / $32408
Iowa State University (Ames) 37944$10454 / $26136$11499 / $27181
Grinnell College (Grinnell) 1705$49136 / $49136$N/A / $N/A
Saint Ambrose University (Davenport) 3352$33454 / $33454$18818 / $18818
Drake University (Des Moines) 5626$44954 / $44954$12545 / $12545
Simpson College (Indianola) 1668$42863 / $42863$9409 / $9409
Wartburg College (Waverly) 1569$45999 / $45999$22999 / $22999
Dordt College (Sioux Center) 1802$33454 / $33454$7318 / $7318
Northwestern College (Orange City) 1585$34499 / $34499$7318 / $7318
Cornell College (Mount Vernon) 1037$40772 / $40772$N/A / $N/A
University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls) 13040$9409 / $22999$11499 / $24045
Coe College (Cedar Rapids) 1411$41817 / $41817$N/A / $N/A
Loras College (Dubuque) 1594$37636 / $37636$11499 / $11499
Luther College (Decorah) 2337$41817 / $41817$N/A / $N/A
Central College (Pella) 1274$35545 / $35545$N/A / $N/A
Clarke University (Dubuque) 1106$36590 / $36590$11499 / $11499
Grand View University (Des Moines) 2197$30318 / $30318$7318 / $7318
Iowa Wesleyan University (Mount Pleasant) 457$29272 / $29272$1045 / $1045
Waldorf College (Forest City) 4631$24045 / $24045$5227 / $5227
Graceland University-Lamoni (Lamoni) 2221$32408 / $32408$18818 / $18818
Upper Iowa University (Fayette) 4797$30318 / $30318$18818 / $18818
Emmaus Bible College (Dubuque) 247$16727 / $16727$N/A / $N/A
University of Dubuque (Dubuque) 2179$29272 / $29272$12545 / $12545
Morningside College (Sioux City) 2797$30318 / $30318$6272 / $6272
Buena Vista University (Storm Lake) 2322$33454 / $33454$9409 / $9409
Mount Mercy University (Cedar Rapids) 2218$35545 / $35545$11499 / $11499
Maharishi University of Management (Fairfield) 2179$17772 / $17772$30318 / $30318
University of Phoenix-Iowa (Des Moines) 15$11499 / $11499$14636 / $14636
Kaplan University-Davenport Campus (Davenport) 45355$15681 / $15681$11499 / $11499
Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center (Des Moines) 1603$N/A / $N/A$11499 / $11499
Kaplan University-Cedar Falls Campus (Cedar Falls) 354$16727 / $16727$11499 / $11499
Palmer College of Chiropractic (Davenport) 2222$9409 / $9409$8363 / $8363
Kaplan University-Mason City Campus (Mason City) 255$16727 / $16727$11499 / $11499
Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus (Cedar Rapids) 513$16727 / $16727$11499 / $11499
Mercy College of Health Sciences (Des Moines) 789$17772 / $17772$N/A / $N/A
Divine Word College (Epworth) 81$13590 / $13590$N/A / $N/A
Briar Cliff University (Sioux City) 1379$34499 / $34499$11499 / $11499
Wartburg Theological Seminary (Dubuque) 115$N/A / $N/A$17772 / $17772
Kaplan University-Des Moines Campus (Urbandale) 838$16727 / $16727$11499 / $11499
Allen College (Waterloo) 844$20908 / $20908$19863 / $19863
William Penn University (Oskaloosa) 1635$21954 / $21954$11499 / $11499
Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary (Ankeny) 449$18818 / $18818$9409 / $9409
AIB College of Business (Des Moines) 348$16727 / $16727$N/A / $N/A

*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
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