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Net Price of Iowa Colleges by Income

Cost of Iowa Colleges Zoom In

Source: National Center for Educational Statistics. This is the most recent data available as of January 2021

Questions & Answers

  • What do all these numbers mean?

    All costs shown here are the average net cost paid by families in each income bracket for one year at the college in question. Net cost is the total cost of attendance for one year, minus government grants and institutional scholarships. Figures are based on data from the 2018-19 school year, which is the latest available as of January 2021.

  • What is “Total Cost” on the chart?

    Total cost is the total cost of attendance for one year at that particular college. It includes:

    • Tuition and fees (in-state tuition for public schools)
    • Room and board (on campus)
    • Books and supplies
    • Other expenses (travel and personal)

    There are detailed chart below for each school that shows these expenses. Click here to go to the individual cost breakdown for schools.

  • How can I use this information?

    This information is useful for building a realistic college budget. It's a good place to start until you better understand your specific circumstances. For example, let's say your income is $100,000 per year. This chart shows that the average state school would run $18,478 and the average private school would be $24,446. You can also get information on specific Iowa schools in the chart above or the tables below.

  • Will my family pay the amount on this chart?

    Probably not. The numbers are averages. You may be below average or above average. However, there are two key points we can learn from this data:

    1. Families with higher incomes ($75,000-$110,000 and $110,000+) will most likely pay close to full price at the public schools.
    2. Private colleges have a higher list price but offer more discounts. This brings their net price much closer to the cost of state-funded schools.

  • Where did this information come from?

    As part of federal financial aid, colleges are required to provide detailed cost information to the U.S. government. This data is made available to the public through the National Center for Education Statistics. For more details, click here.

  • What about athletes, merit aid or minority students?

    Athletes, high achieving students, and those with minority status are averaged in with everyone else. Within each income bracket, there are families that pay more than average and families that pay less than average.

  • The costs on this chart seem large. How can families afford to pay it?

    For many families paying for college is not easy, but in the end they figure out. Most families will pay their net cost of college with some combination of:

    • College savings and investments
    • Payments from current income
    • Loans
    • Outside scholarships (check out the Scholarship Guide For Busy Parents to learn how your student can win scholarships)
    • Tax planning
    • Student work
Cost of Iowa Schools Explanation

Net Price:

Net prices is the total cost of attendance for one year, minus the average amount in government grants and institutional scholarships the school awards. This is an average, so you may pay above the average or below the average. Your exact net price is likely to be different and sometimes drastically different.

Most families will pay the net price with some combination of savings and investments, current income and various loans. Some students will also receive scholarships from sources other than the federal or state government or the college. Any scholarships and grants from these outside sources are not included in the data. However, government grants and institutional scholarships are included in the averages.

Total Cost at University of Iowa (2018-19)
Tuition and Fees $8,965
Room and Board $10,450
Books $950
Other Expenses $2,242
Total $22,607

Total Cost:

Total cost is the total cost of attendance for that particular institution for the 2018-19 school year. This is the latest data available as of January 2021. Total costs include:

  • Tuition and fees (in-state tuition for public schools)
  • Room and board (on campus)
  • Books and supplies
  • Other expenses (travel and personal)

College Total Cost
Family Income IA Public $22,120 IA Private $49,813
$0 - $30k $11,262 $19,279
$30,001 – $48k $12,804 $19,557
$48,001 – $75k $16,054 $20,894
$75,001 – $110k $18,478 $24,446
$110,001+ $19,539 $27,993

Public vs. Private Averages

This table shows the average total cost of attendance for the Iowa public and private colleges we have included in our analysis. The costs include a breakdown of the average net price paid by family income. Notice that the average private college is $5,000-$9,000 more than the average public school, depending on your income bracket. It is important to stress that these are averages. Most families will not be average, and their individual circumstances could be drastically different. I encourage all families to work with their preferred colleges to get information specific to their family.

Below are similar charts for each individual private and public college in Iowa. Click a school to view its complete chart.

Public IA Schools Cost Breakdown

  • Iowa State University

    Ames
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $8,988 $9,320
    Room and Board $8,720 $9,149
    Books $1,048 $1,041
    Other Expenses $2,430 $2,430
    Total $21,186 $21,940
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $10,054 $10,412
    $30,001 - $48k $10,843 $11,229
    $48,001 - $75k $14,161 $14,665
    $75,001 - $110k $17,228 $17,841
    $110,001+ $18,895 $19,567
  • University of Iowa

    Iowa City
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $9,267 $9,606
    Room and Board $11,172 $11,400
    Books $950 $950
    Other Expenses $2,850 $2,850
    Total $24,239 $24,806
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $12,975 $13,279
    $30,001 - $48k $15,073 $15,426
    $48,001 - $75k $18,272 $18,699
    $75,001 - $110k $20,738 $21,223
    $110,001+ $22,355 $22,878
  • University of Northern Iowa

    Cedar Falls
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $8,938 $8,938
    Room and Board $8,948 $9,160
    Books $900 $900
    Other Expenses $2,148 $2,296
    Total $20,934 $21,294
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $10,757 $10,942
    $30,001 - $48k $12,495 $12,710
    $48,001 - $75k $15,729 $15,999
    $75,001 - $110k $17,467 $17,767
    $110,001+ $17,367 $17,666

Private IA Schools Cost Breakdown

  • Briar Cliff University

    Sioux City
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $30,970 $32,202
    Room and Board $8,896 $9,384
    Books $1,323 $1,320
    Other Expenses $3,297 $3,744
    Total $44,486 $46,650
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $20,372 $21,363
    $30,001 - $48k $20,688 $21,694
    $48,001 - $75k $18,662 $19,570
    $75,001 - $110k $20,337 $21,326
    $110,001+ $22,742 $23,848
  • Buena Vista University

    Storm Lake
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $34,004 $35,194
    Room and Board $9,538 $9,872
    Books $999 $999
    Other Expenses $2,267 $2,310
    Total $46,808 $48,375
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $14,210 $14,686
    $30,001 - $48k $12,773 $13,201
    $48,001 - $75k $15,292 $15,804
    $75,001 - $110k $18,120 $18,727
    $110,001+ $24,816 $25,647
  • Central College

    Pella
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $37,296 $38,600
    Room and Board $10,280 $10,280
    Books $1,323 $1,323
    Other Expenses $3,199 $3,199
    Total $52,098 $53,402
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $19,172 $19,652
    $30,001 - $48k $19,207 $19,688
    $48,001 - $75k $19,495 $19,983
    $75,001 - $110k $23,810 $24,406
    $110,001+ $28,720 $29,439
  • Clarke University

    Dubuque
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $33,350 $34,670
    Room and Board $9,600 $10,000
    Books $1,330 $1,330
    Other Expenses $3,120 $3,360
    Total $47,400 $49,360
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $32,534 $33,879
    $30,001 - $48k $31,801 $33,116
    $48,001 - $75k $33,213 $34,586
    $75,001 - $110k $35,138 $36,591
    $110,001+ $35,984 $37,472
  • Coe College

    Cedar Rapids
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $44,050 $45,580
    Room and Board $9,480 $9,820
    Books $1,000 $1,000
    Other Expenses $2,670 $2,670
    Total $57,200 $59,070
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $14,590 $15,067
    $30,001 - $48k $15,918 $16,438
    $48,001 - $75k $18,375 $18,976
    $75,001 - $110k $21,151 $21,842
    $110,001+ $26,686 $27,558
  • Cornell College

    Mount Vernon
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $42,299 $43,976
    Room and Board $9,384 $9,760
    Books $1,323 $1,200
    Other Expenses $5,375 $5,401
    Total $58,381 $60,337
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $20,458 $21,143
    $30,001 - $48k $21,970 $22,706
    $48,001 - $75k $23,700 $24,494
    $75,001 - $110k $28,238 $29,184
    $110,001+ $32,136 $33,213
  • Dordt College

    Sioux Center
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $30,840 $31,770
    Room and Board $9,590 $10,020
    Books $1,140 $1,110
    Other Expenses $3,500 $3,500
    Total $45,070 $46,400
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $24,967 $25,704
    $30,001 - $48k $22,177 $22,831
    $48,001 - $75k $22,821 $23,494
    $75,001 - $110k $26,237 $27,011
    $110,001+ $28,980 $29,835
  • Drake University

    Des Moines
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $41,396 $42,840
    Room and Board $10,528 $10,848
    Books $1,100 $1,100
    Other Expenses $3,700 $3,700
    Total $56,724 $58,488
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $25,212 $25,996
    $30,001 - $48k $24,060 $24,808
    $48,001 - $75k $26,589 $27,416
    $75,001 - $110k $30,031 $30,965
    $110,001+ $32,411 $33,419
  • University of Dubuque

    Dubuque
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $34,110 $35,570
    Room and Board $9,930 $10,210
    Books $950 $950
    Other Expenses $900 $900
    Total $45,890 $47,630
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $19,369 $20,103
    $30,001 - $48k $21,715 $22,538
    $48,001 - $75k $28,437 $29,515
    $75,001 - $110k $31,214 $32,398
    $110,001+ $34,945 $36,270
  • Graceland University-Lamoni

    Lamoni
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $29,240 $30,420
    Room and Board $8,760 $9,100
    Books $1,320 $1,400
    Other Expenses $3,120 $2,904
    Total $42,440 $43,824
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $15,015 $15,505
    $30,001 - $48k $17,337 $17,902
    $48,001 - $75k $18,800 $19,413
    $75,001 - $110k $17,136 $17,695
    $110,001+ $20,942 $21,625
  • Grand View University

    Des Moines
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $27,608 $30,508
    Room and Board $9,178 $9,704
    Books $824 $836
    Other Expenses $2,778 $2,898
    Total $40,388 $43,946
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $18,481 $20,109
    $30,001 - $48k $19,245 $20,940
    $48,001 - $75k $18,213 $19,817
    $75,001 - $110k $18,868 $20,530
    $110,001+ $23,104 $25,139
  • Grinnell College

    Grinnell
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $52,392 $54,354
    Room and Board $12,810 $13,292
    Books $900 $900
    Other Expenses $2,200 $2,200
    Total $68,302 $70,746
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $11,945 $12,372
    $30,001 - $48k $14,818 $15,348
    $48,001 - $75k $12,486 $12,933
    $75,001 - $110k $22,085 $22,875
    $110,001+ $35,934 $37,220
  • Iowa Wesleyan University

    Mount Pleasant
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $24,600 $25,424
    Room and Board $10,960 $10,865
    Books $1,316 $1,315
    Other Expenses $3,297 $3,116
    Total $40,173 $40,720
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $24,607 $24,942
    $30,001 - $48k $24,755 $25,092
    $48,001 - $75k $26,364 $26,723
    $75,001 - $110k $31,289 $31,715
    $110,001+ $32,304 $32,744
  • Loras College

    Dubuque
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $34,184 $35,218
    Room and Board $8,275 $8,425
    Books $1,100 $1,100
    Other Expenses $2,011 $2,011
    Total $45,570 $46,754
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $16,154 $16,574
    $30,001 - $48k $17,094 $17,538
    $48,001 - $75k $18,438 $18,917
    $75,001 - $110k $20,530 $21,063
    $110,001+ $24,759 $25,402
  • Luther College

    Decorah
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $42,290 $44,070
    Room and Board $9,460 $9,760
    Books $1,040 $1,040
    Other Expenses $3,015 $3,015
    Total $55,805 $57,885
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $16,636 $17,256
    $30,001 - $48k $17,630 $18,287
    $48,001 - $75k $19,852 $20,592
    $75,001 - $110k $24,393 $25,302
    $110,001+ $27,721 $28,754
  • Morningside College

    Sioux City
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $31,530 $32,720
    Room and Board $9,610 $9,840
    Books $1,323 $1,300
    Other Expenses $3,116 $2,800
    Total $45,579 $46,660
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $19,805 $20,275
    $30,001 - $48k $19,166 $19,621
    $48,001 - $75k $21,842 $22,360
    $75,001 - $110k $21,927 $22,447
    $110,001+ $22,194 $22,720
  • Mount Mercy University

    Cedar Rapids
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $31,998 $33,862
    Room and Board $9,534 $9,915
    Books $1,320 $1,320
    Other Expenses $3,680 $3,780
    Total $46,532 $48,877
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $13,992 $14,697
    $30,001 - $48k $15,098 $15,859
    $48,001 - $75k $20,957 $22,013
    $75,001 - $110k $24,649 $25,891
    $110,001+ $26,377 $27,706
  • Northwestern College

    Orange City
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $31,100 $32,300
    Room and Board $9,200 $9,600
    Books $1,300 $1,250
    Other Expenses $3,000 $2,750
    Total $44,600 $45,900
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $20,581 $21,181
    $30,001 - $48k $20,977 $21,588
    $48,001 - $75k $20,364 $20,958
    $75,001 - $110k $24,115 $24,818
    $110,001+ $25,776 $26,527
  • Saint Ambrose University

    Davenport
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $30,894 $31,812
    Room and Board $10,470 $11,024
    Books $1,320 $1,320
    Other Expenses $3,282 $3,282
    Total $45,966 $47,438
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $23,977 $24,745
    $30,001 - $48k $24,516 $25,301
    $48,001 - $75k $27,002 $27,867
    $75,001 - $110k $25,654 $26,476
    $110,001+ $27,504 $28,385
  • Simpson College

    Indianola
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $39,144 $40,666
    Room and Board $8,380 $8,820
    Books $1,324 $1,238
    Other Expenses $3,192 $3,284
    Total $52,040 $54,008
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $15,357 $15,938
    $30,001 - $48k $15,323 $15,902
    $48,001 - $75k $14,790 $15,349
    $75,001 - $110k $24,297 $25,216
    $110,001+ $25,933 $26,914
  • Upper Iowa University

    Fayette
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $30,450 $31,685
    Room and Board $8,454 $8,706
    Books $1,560 $1,560
    Other Expenses $3,286 $3,286
    Total $43,750 $45,237
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $21,427 $22,155
    $30,001 - $48k $17,928 $18,537
    $48,001 - $75k $18,943 $19,587
    $75,001 - $110k $24,690 $25,529
    $110,001+ $24,366 $25,194
  • Wartburg College

    Waverly
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $41,280 $43,930
    Room and Board $9,995 $9,280
    Books $1,100 $1,100
    Other Expenses $1,300 $1,300
    Total $53,675 $55,610
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $16,334 $16,923
    $30,001 - $48k $19,037 $19,723
    $48,001 - $75k $18,418 $19,082
    $75,001 - $110k $23,445 $24,290
    $110,001+ $25,590 $26,513
  • William Penn University

    Oskaloosa
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $25,600 $26,100
    Room and Board $6,952 $7,072
    Books $1,250 $1,278
    Other Expenses $4,398 $4,556
    Total $38,200 $39,006
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $18,845 $19,243
    $30,001 - $48k $19,203 $19,608
    $48,001 - $75k $21,361 $21,812
    $75,001 - $110k $21,561 $22,016
    $110,001+ $23,759 $24,260
 

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