Best Colleges in Iowa by Salary Potential

Before you set out to get your bachelor’s degree, find out what you can earn with it. These Iowa schools are the best colleges by alumni salary.

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RankSchool NameSchool TypeEarly Career Pay
Mid-Career Pay
% High Meaning
% STEM Degrees
Rank:1School Name:Iowa State UniversitySchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$56,100Mid-Career Pay:$101,300% High Meaning:48%% STEM Degrees:31%
Rank:2School Name:Drake UniversitySchool Type:Private School, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$52,800Mid-Career Pay:$99,900% High Meaning:49%% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:3School Name:University of IowaSchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$54,100Mid-Career Pay:$99,400% High Meaning:48%% STEM Degrees:16%
Rank:4School Name:Grinnell CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$53,400Mid-Career Pay:$96,500% High Meaning:49%% STEM Degrees:41%
Rank:5School Name:Allen CollegeSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$51,600Mid-Career Pay:$91,300% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:6School Name:Cornell CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$49,600Mid-Career Pay:$90,600% High Meaning:47%% STEM Degrees:22%
Rank:7School Name:Loras CollegeSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$48,000Mid-Career Pay:$90,100% High Meaning:56%% STEM Degrees:14%
Rank:8School Name:Dordt CollegeSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$51,000Mid-Career Pay:$89,600% High Meaning:57%% STEM Degrees:17%
Rank:9School Name:Central CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$49,000Mid-Career Pay:$88,800% High Meaning:55%% STEM Degrees:36%
Rank:10School Name:Graceland University-LamoniSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$48,300Mid-Career Pay:$88,700% High Meaning:66%% STEM Degrees:5%
Rank:11School Name:Simpson CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$49,900Mid-Career Pay:$88,600% High Meaning:47%% STEM Degrees:17%
Rank:12School Name:Wartburg CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$49,300Mid-Career Pay:$88,000% High Meaning:49%% STEM Degrees:34%
Rank:13School Name:Coe CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$47,200Mid-Career Pay:$86,900% High Meaning:41%% STEM Degrees:24%
Rank:14School Name:Luther CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$48,200Mid-Career Pay:$85,900% High Meaning:49%% STEM Degrees:21%
Rank:15School Name:University of Northern IowaSchool Type:For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$47,100Mid-Career Pay:$85,300% High Meaning:46%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:16School Name:Maharishi University of ManagementSchool Type:Engineering, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$46,800Mid-Career Pay:$85,200% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:65%
Rank:17School Name:Saint Ambrose UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$46,900Mid-Career Pay:$84,400% High Meaning:48%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:18School Name:Northwestern CollegeSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$44,800Mid-Career Pay:$82,400% High Meaning:42%% STEM Degrees:11%
Rank:19School Name:Morningside CollegeSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$44,900Mid-Career Pay:$82,100% High Meaning:60%% STEM Degrees:6%
Rank:20School Name:Clarke UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$44,900Mid-Career Pay:$80,200% High Meaning:52%% STEM Degrees:6%
Rank:21School Name:University of DubuqueSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$44,200Mid-Career Pay:$79,700% High Meaning:48%% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:22School Name:Mount Mercy UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$47,200Mid-Career Pay:$79,000% High Meaning:51%% STEM Degrees:4%
Rank:23School Name:William Penn UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$43,900Mid-Career Pay:$78,300% High Meaning:59%% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:24School Name:Upper Iowa UniversitySchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$44,200Mid-Career Pay:$78,000% High Meaning:56%% STEM Degrees:3%
Rank:25School Name:Iowa Wesleyan UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$42,600Mid-Career Pay:$77,200% High Meaning:60%% STEM Degrees:8%

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College Student

As a major agricultural hub, Iowa produces one-tenth of the nation’s total food supply. Unsurprisingly, agriculture is one of the top industries in the state, along with manufacturing, biotechnology and finance and insurance. Top employers include Genesis Medical Center, Principal Financial Group and various medical groups. Graduates seeking jobs in the area have a diverse range of industries to choose from. There are 43 undergraduate colleges in the Hawkeye state, and this list provides data on the best colleges by alumni salary for many of them.

For early career pay, with five years or less of experience, the highest-paid graduates in Iowa come from large public colleges. However, when ranked by alumni with 10 years or more of experience, the Iowa colleges with the highest-paid graduates shuffle to include Drake University, beats Iowa State University, Grinnell and the University of Iowa.

Ironically, the Iowa university that grants the highest percentage of science, technology, engineering and math degrees is one of the most famous liberal arts schools in the country, Grinnell College. With a relatively small number of students, Grinnell has the smallest student to teacher ratio in the state and home to famous alumni including Robert Noyce (the co-founder of Intel), comedian and Silicon Valley actor Kumail Nanjiani and Herbie Hancock. Grinnell also came in second on the New York Times’ new ranking of the most economically diverse colleges.