University of Northern Iowa

University of Northern Iowa Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located in Cedar Falls, the University of Northern Iowa is a public university that offers undergraduate and graduate programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Is University of Northern Iowa the School for You?

The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) is located in Cedar Falls, IA, 63 miles from Cedar Rapids. This public university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in around 150 areas of study. Weigh the facts below to find out if you should attend UNI.


  • Ranked among top 25 Midwest universities
  • Acceptance rate is 13.2 percentage points higher than the national average
  • High number of academic programs
  • Student debt following graduation is $3,085 lower than the national average
  • Accepts AP and dual credits


  • Total cost, including all school and living expenses, is $1,740 higher than the national average for in-state students
  • Graduation rate is 3 percentage points lower than the national average

Rankings & School Analysis

In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked UNI the #2 public school in the Midwest and #22 among all universities in the region. As a UNI student, you'll be able to choose from more than 90 undergraduate and 50 graduate programs. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that 82% of full-time and 61% of part-time students returned for their second year.

In 2011, the NCES indicated that UNI accepted roughly 77% of applicants, well above the national average of 63.8%. Meanwhile, 37% of students graduated within 4 years, just below the national average of 40%, and 67% graduated within 6 years. The university's student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1, the same as the national average for all institutions.

The NCES reported that the total cost of attendance for the 2011-2012 academic year was $18,876 for Iowa residents, which is slightly higher than the national average of $17,136 for in-state students. Out-of-state students paid roughly $27,632 during that time, lower than the $29,703 national average. The College Board reported that students graduated with $23,575 in debt, well below the national average of $26,660, and just 4.2% defaulted on their student loans within three years of graduation.

Getting In & Financial Aid at University of Northern Iowa

According to the NCES, 54% of accepted students decided to attend the university. You'll need to submit the school's application, your high school transcript and standardized test scores. The school accepts either SAT or ACT results, but 98% of students submitted the ACT in 2011. The middle 50% of accepted students that year scored between 21 and 26 on the composite ACT. The application due date is August 15.

If you need help with tuition and other costs, you can apply for need-based aid and scholarships based on alumni affiliation, minority status, state residency and achievement in academics, art, athletics, leadership, music/drama and ROTC. The NCES reported that 60% of undergraduate students received some type of financial aid. However, the College Board indicated that just 12% of undergraduates had their full need met.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2013) August 15***
Notification of Acceptance (2013) Rolling notifications begin September 1***
Application Fee (2013) $40***
Acceptance Rate (2011) 77%*
All Tuition & Living Expenses (2011-2012) $18,876 for in-state and $27,632 for out-of-state students*
Average First-Year Financial Aid Package (2011) $7,708***
Percent of Students with Full Need Met (2011) 12%***
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2011) $23,575***
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 4.2%*

Student Life at University of Northern Iowa

According to the 2011 figures from the NCES, 56% of students at the university were female and 88% were Iowa residents. The vast majority of students were white, at 89%. If you're looking to get involved on campus, UNI offers approximately 300 students organizations, more than 10 Greek chapters and 17 NCAA Division 1 athletic teams.

The College Board reported that 54% of undergraduates live in campus housing. You'll be able to choose from 8 residence halls, 3 apartment complexes and 10 living communities based on academic and social interests. Students with families also have access to on-site daycare facilities. The school's academic resources include an observatory, a natural preserve and a NASA teacher resource center.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Small city*
Student Population (2011) 11,408 undergraduates, 1,760 graduate students*
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 44% to 56%*
% of Full Time Students (2011) 89%*
% of In-state Students (2011) 88%*
Retention Rate (2010-2011) 82% for full-time and 61% for part-time students*
Campus Housing Available Yes*
% of Students Living on Campus 54%***
Number of Libraries 1**
Extracurricular Activities More than 300 student organizations**

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

School Contact Information

  • Address: 1227 West 27th Street, Cedar Falls, IA 50614
  • Phone: (319) 273-2281