Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 73.27

University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, IA
The University of Northern Iowa is known for its teacher program, but it offers more than 90 majors to its approximately 9,000 undergrads, with popular degrees ranging from business to parks and recreation. Consistently ranked among the country's "best buys" in higher education, UNI’s tuition and fees range from less than $8,000 to $9,500 for in-state students, depending on your major. The arts are also a major focus at this state school. Its Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center regularly attracts big-name performers, and the Strayer-Wood Theatre typically puts on four to six mainstage productions a year, in addition to the Iowa Thespian Festival (free to students!). The School of Music holds more than 200 concerts every academic year. Visual arts lovers, meanwhile, can get their fix at the college's Gallery of Art, which oversees the UNI Permanent Art Collection that includes pieces by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Andy Warhol. Students who like to explore the outdoors in their free time will find more than 100 miles of hiking and biking trails near campus, many of which are open to skiers and snowshoers during the winter months. Basketball games and tailgating are popular entertainment, too, with the Division I Panthers having made eight appearances in the NCAA March Madness tournament.


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4.4 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

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.

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