Best Colleges in America 2022
college_name
Prev RANK: 34 Next
Overall Score: 78

Iowa State University

Iowa State University, which sits about 30 miles north of Des Moines, has an excellent agricultural college, as you might expect. But the math and science departments are also among the best at any state university. In fact, some of the school's 35,000 students come from all around the world to study there (although more than half of undergraduate students are Iowan). Iowa State is an even more attractive option when considering the low tuition costs, since the net price of a degree for in-state students, as calculated by Money, is about $73,000 total. Iowa State is a leader in virtual reality, with a research center it says is "aimed broadly at enhancing the productivity and creativity of people." Students often mention the amazing friendships they've made at ISU. This could be attributed to the school's many clubs or events designed to promote school spirit. Or it could be the excellent academics. Or it could just be because Iowans are a friendly bunch. But whatever the reason, graduates seem to agree that their time spent at ISU was worthwhile. Iowa State's graduation rate of 73% is above that of similar schools. After college, the median early career earnings are about $57,000, also slightly higher than similar colleges, according to Money’s calculations.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$22,600
% of students who get any grants
97%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$17,000
Average price for low-income students
$9,770

Admissions

Acceptance rate
92%
Median SAT/ACT score
1220/25
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
27,930

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
98%
% of need met
79%
% of students who get merit grants
36%
Average merit grant
$4,060

Student Success

Graduation rate
74%
Average time to a degree
4.4 years
Median student debt
$22,754
Early career earnings
$57,350
% earning more than a high school grad
79%

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

More From Money’s College Team

  • Recent College News

    Recent College News

    Read the latest Money coverage on paying for college, succeeding on campus and transitioning to the working world.
  • How to Apply for the FAFSA

    How to Apply for the FAFSA

    The application is the gateway to billions of dollars in financial aid for college.
  • Best Student Loans

    Best Student Loans

    Learn all about private student loans with Money's expert guide.