Paying for College

Paying for College

Iowa’s 25 private colleges are committed to affordability. Even more, each delivers on value, quality and graduation rates that put students in their fields of study faster than peers from public institutions.

Iowa Private Colleges are Affordable

  • It costs less than you think! In 2012-2013, average net tuition and fees at private four-year colleges added up to $13,380. That’s less than half the average published tuition and fees of $29,056. Plus, on average, full-time students at private four-year colleges received an estimated $15,680 in grants and aid from all sources and tax benefits.1
  • The cost of private college is actually dropping. Average inflation–adjusted net tuition and fees at private colleges dropped 3.5% from 2007-08 to 2012-13.2
  • Grad rates mean gainful employment. Just as important as their degree, advancing students into the workforce more quickly adds up to better lifetime earning potential.
  • Fewer 5th year students. 78% of students who received a bachelors’ degree from a four-year private college were able to actually complete it in four years, compared to 60% of graduates at state institutions.3

1College Board, “Trends in College Pricing 2012,” October 2012
2College Board, “Trends in College Pricing 2012,” October 2012
3U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, “Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS: 04/09).” November 2011

  • Private College Aid. 94% of Iowa private college students get financial aid from the college itself.
  • Grants. For some students who also qualify for federal, state and local grants, the total grant aid (Note: you don’t pay this back) at Iowa’s private colleges can reach an average of $20,779 per student per year. (U.S. Department of Education: National Center for Education Statistics analysis for Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities member institutions)
  • Iowa Tuition Grant. Iowa residents who attend an Iowa Private College may qualify for the Iowa Tuition Grant. The Iowa Tuition Grant helps students heading to an Iowa private college by providing up to approximately $5,650 in grants...that’s money you don’t have to pay back.
  • College 529 PlansCollege Savings Iowa makes saving for college and managing your money easy and convenient.
  • Merit Scholarships