Online Colleges in Iowa

Search for online colleges by subject.

Best Online Colleges in Iowa badge

Many of the best colleges in Iowa offer fully online degrees. Some programs feature a hybrid curriculum, offering both online and on-campus components. Online programs provide the same instruction as in-person programs while allowing students to take classes from anywhere.

Several Iowa online colleges charge in-state tuition rates for enrollees who live in the state. To qualify for in-state tuition, students must live in Iowa for at least 12 months prior to admission. The state also requires learners to establish residency by obtaining a valid state driver’s license or ID. Once admitted, students must enroll in at least six credits to maintain residency. In-state tuition rates vary by program and school.

Accredited Online College Programs

Top 5 Online Colleges in Iowa

? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
Rank School Avg Net Price ? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
1 Graceland University-Lamoni $24570
2 University of Iowa $6678
3 Iowa State University $6648
4 William Penn University $18507
5 University of Northern Iowa $6648

Factors to Consider When Attended Online School in Iowa

  • Do online credits cost more or less in Iowa?

    The cost of online credits varies by school and program. Some online courses cost less than in-person classes, but schools may charge technology fees for fully online programs.

  • What is the most affordable college in Iowa?

    Iowa’s public colleges and universities offer the most affordable degrees. Public schools feature lower in-state and out-of-state tuition rates.

  • How long do you have to live in Iowa to get in-state tuition?

    The state requires a 12-month residency to qualify for in-state tuition. Applicants should consult their prospective schools for specific details about maintaining residency once admitted.

Best Online Colleges in Iowa 2021

See Our Rankings Methodology
  1. Graceland University-Lamoni

    Lamoni, IA



  2. University of Iowa

    Iowa City, IA



  3. Iowa State University

    Ames, IA



  4. William Penn University

    Oskaloosa, IA



  5. University of Northern Iowa

    Cedar Falls, IA




Why Choose Iowa for Online Higher Education?

The best colleges in Iowa offer learners affordable options for study at all academic levels. Graduates from Iowa online colleges with degrees in healthcare, engineering, and finance acquire skills that remain essential to Iowa’s fastest-growing industries.

The state’s largest employment sectors include manufacturing, healthcare, and education. Degree-holders in these fields may pursue careers in factories, hospitals, or schools. Iowa projects additional growth in areas like the performing arts and the retail trade.

Common Online Bachelor’s Programs in Iowa

The best colleges in Iowa offer many online options for studying in-demand fields like business, engineering, and healthcare. Read below for five of the most common bachelor’s programs at Iowa online colleges.

Undergraduate business degrees offer students a foundational education in management, accounting, and other key areas. Learners study macroeconomics, financial accounting, supply-chain management, and human resources. Online business degrees may feature fully online courses and in-person components like internships.

Online degrees in communication prepare learners to communicate effectively, a skill valued in many professions. Communication majors learn how to write and speak professionally. Enrollees may specialize in areas like journalism, sports communication, or broadcasting.

Students who pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering gain the skills needed to excel in Iowa’s large manufacturing sector. Online engineering degrees feature courses in many subfields, including chemical, mechanical, and civic engineering. Degree-holders may work in the automotive industry or in local and regional government.

Many of the best online colleges in Iowa host marketing degrees. Enrollees study business analytics, digital marketing, and branding. They may also complete internships prior to graduation. Marketing programs prepare learners to work in fast-paced corporate settings or at nonprofit institutions.

Degrees in the social sciences, such as social work and psychology, train students to work in healthcare and education. Enrollees may take courses in childhood development, counseling, or secondary education. Classes in the social sciences at Iowa online colleges lead to certification and licensure in many fields.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

Cost of Attending an Online College in Iowa

Although tuition costs vary by school, many Iowa online colleges maintain affordable rates. Online degrees in Iowa typically cost less than in-person degrees. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public, four-year degrees at Iowa colleges cost less than $10,000 on average. While private colleges cost more, online degrees at both public and private institutions can often save students money.

Online programs often require technology fees, but students may spend less on average. The flexibility of online programs allows many learners to work full time while attending school. Online students also benefit from the reduced operating costs of online programs. The chart below shows average tuition costs at Iowa colleges.

Average Undergraduate Tuition in Iowa
Public Four-Year College Private Four-Year College Public Two-Year College
In-State $9,966 $33,821 $5,137
Out-of-State $24,521 N/A $6,449

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Career and Salary Outlook for Students in Iowa

Graduates from the best online colleges in Iowa can pursue many careers. Degree-holders work in business, healthcare, and educational fields. Learners who specialize in sales, IT, and management can often expect strong job prospects. The following list highlights five common careers for students pursuing online degrees in Iowa.

  • Chief Executives

    Executives oversee complex organizations and businesses. Responsible for organizational strategy and overall operations, these professionals collaborate with managers, board members, and other employees on company goals. Typically, chief executives oversee all personnel. They also analyze budgets and look for ways to cut costs or increase profits for their organization.

  • Sales Engineers

    These professionals sell technological and scientific products to businesses. They use the technical expertise gained from studying engineering to promote complex products or services to customers. Sales engineers also provide technical support to businesses after they make a purchase.They may also contribute to the research efforts behind new products.

  • Computer and Information Systems Managers

    These managers oversee information technology (IT) needs in businesses and other large organizations that use complex information systems. They coordinate technical policies and procedures and manage information security. Systems managers also maintain budgets and supervise IT personnel. They may also make decisions about technology adoption within their organizations.

  • Sales Managers

    These managers oversee corporate sales teams, hire sales specialists, and coordinate sales strategies. They analyze statistics and make short-term and long-term plans for improving sales efforts. Sales managers also typically oversee sales budgets and expenditures.

  • Compensation and Benefits Managers

    These managers typically work in human resources departments within large organizations. They specialize in issues related to salary, health insurance, retirement, and other workplace benefits. Compensation and benefits managers ensure that company employees receive pay. They also coordinate with benefits providers and other external vendors.

Highest-Paying Careers With a Bachelor’s Degree in Iowa
Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)
Chief Executives $161,410 4%
Sales Engineers $100,790 6%
Computer and Information Systems Managers $126,030 10%
Sales Managers $127,140 4%
Compensation and Benefits Managers $107,260 3%

Source: BLS, ProjectionsCentral

Iowa Scholarships and Grants

Students who attend Iowa online colleges may qualify for several scholarships. These opportunities help learners offset the cost of their education. See below for four scholarships open to Iowa online college students. Individual schools may also offer scholarships for online enrollees.

  • Robert D. Blue Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Iowa residents who attend or plan to attend an Iowa-based school may apply. Applicants must submit GPA information, reference letters, and a 500-word essay.

    Amount: Up to $1,000

    Explore Here

  • Brian Pearson Memorial Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Athletes who participate in the Iowa Games qualify for this annual scholarship. Application requirements include an online application, high school transcripts, recommendation letters, and a personal essay.

    Amount: $1,000

    Explore Here

  • Iowa National Guard Service Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Iowa residents pursuing a degree or certificate at an eligible Iowa school may apply. Applicants must be National Guard members during the scholarship term. Students must submit FAFSA information.

    Amount: Varies

    Explore Here

  • PMI Eastern Iowa Chapter Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The Project Management Institute sponsors this annual award for eastern Iowa residents. Application requirements include transcripts, two references, a resume, and a short essay.

    Amount: Up to $1,000

    Explore Here

Latest Posts

See All Posts
Cash, Card, or App: The Psychology of Spending

Cash, Card, or App: The Psychology of Spending

June 23, 2021   |   Staff Writers

A simple swipe or tap that exchanges money for goods can provide a shot of serotonin. Even before the card-tap function, when using a credit card than when paying with...

Biden’s Budget Proposals for Science, Tech, and Humanities

Biden’s Budget Proposals for Science, Tech, and Humanities

June 23, 2021   |   Nate Delesline III

President Joe Biden's $6 trillion federal budget for the 2022 fiscal year includes large investments in K-12 and higher education, transportation, healthcare, and the environment. The Biden budget proposal includes...

Search for Online Colleges by Subject

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.