University of Iowa

University of Iowa Student Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located in Iowa City, the University of Iowa is a public research university that offers degree programs at all levels. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Is University of Iowa the School for You?

The University of Iowa is located near the Iowa River in Iowa City, 20 miles south of Cedar Rapids. This public research university offers more than 100 programs of study within 11 colleges at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral and certificate level. Weigh the facts below to decide if UI is the school for you.


  • Ranked among the top 30 for best public schools
  • Acceptance rate is 14.5 percentage points higher than the national average
  • Graduation rate is 31 percentage points higher than the national average
  • High number of academic programs
  • Accepts dual and AP credits


  • Total cost (including all school and living expenses) is $3,984 higher than the national average for in-state students and $8,751 higher for out-of-state students
  • High number of TAs teaching classes

Rankings & School Analysis

In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university #28 on its list of the top public schools in the country, with a number of graduate programs receiving top 30 rankings as well. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that 86% of full-time and part-time students return to the school after their first year. The total cost of attendance for 2011-2012 was $21,120 for in-state students, higher than the national average of $17,136. If you're an out-of-state student, you can expect to pay about $38,454 a year, well above the national average of $29,703. However, UI students graduate with an average of $27,480 in debt, which is roughly equal to the average of public universities.

The University of Iowa is a large school, with 21,564 undergraduates and 8,246 graduate students in 2011. UI accepts 80% of applicants, above the national average of 65.5%. The school's overall graduation rate is 71%, much higher than the 40% national average. You can expect a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, on par with the average for similar institutions, but teaching assistants make up around 40% of UI's instructional faculty, so some of your classes may not be taught by professors.

Getting In & Financial Aid at UI

The NCES reported that 30% of admitted students choose to attend the university. The admissions process varies depending on which academic program you choose; several of UI's colleges admit students selectively. If you are judged to be a strong fit for the business or nursing programs, you may be admitted directly to the department. If you are accepted to the university but not the program, you will be able to complete a series of courses and reapply for admission. Students interested in the colleges of education, pharmacy or medicine can also take general and prerequisite courses before applying to the relevant programs in their sophomore or junior years.

According to the NCES, 89% of students submit ACT scores with their application, while only 9% submit SAT scores. In 2011, the middle 50% of admitted students scored between 23 and 28 on the composite ACT and 990 to 1315 on the combined reading/math SAT. Whichever standardized test you take, scores are due at the school by the beginning of April.

You can expect to pay a higher annual tuition rate for some programs; the business, nursing and pharmacy schools are the most expensive. However, UI offers a number of academic and need-based scholarships to offset attendance costs. Roughly 81% of all students at the university are on some type of financial aid, and 21% have had their full need met. Graduate students may qualify for fellowships and research or teaching assistantships.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2013-2014) April 1***
Admission Notification Date (2013-2014) Rolling, beginning September 15***
Application Fee (2013-2014) 40%***
Acceptance Rate (2011) 80%*
All Tuition & Living Expenses (2011-2012) $21,120 for in-state students, $38,454 for out-of-state students
Average Financial Aid Package (2012-2013) $11,962***
Percent of Students with Need Met (2012-2013) 21%***
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2012-2013) $27,480***
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 2.9%*

Student Life at UI

According to the NCES, 52% of UI students are female, 46% are Iowa residents and 9% come from other countries. You'll live with fellow students in one of the university's 12 residence halls, which include suite- and apartment-style options and 30 special interest communities. Students with families can take advantage of on-campus day care facilities.

If you want to get involved on campus, there are more than 450 student organizations, including 40 Greek chapters and 22 NCAA Division 1 athletic teams. You will also have access to 8 libraries, including ones for art, business and engineering, and one of the largest university-owned teaching hospitals in the country. As a resident of Iowa City, you'll be surrounded by a variety of cultural and culinary venues and will live within several hours of Chicago, St. Louis and other major cities.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Small city*
Student Population (2011) 21,564 undergraduates, 8,246 graduate students*
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 48% to 52%*
% of Full Time Students (2011) 90%*
% of In-state Students (2011) 46%*
% of International Students (2011) 9%*
Retention Rate (2010-2011) 86% for full-time and part-time students*
Campus Housing Available Yes*
% of Students Living on Campus 29%***
Number of Libraries 8**
Extracurricular Activities More than 450**
Noteworthy University has one of the country's largest teaching hospitals**

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **University of Iowa, ***The College Board

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, 107 Calvin Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242
  • Phone: (319) 335-3847