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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Bachelor's Only
Salary data for alumni who earned a bachelor's degree and did not go on to earn any additional degrees.
All Alumni
Salary data for all alumni who earned a bachelor's degree, including but not limited to those who went on to earn additional degrees from any school.
Rank 
School Name 
School Type
Degree Type 
School Sector
Early Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 0-5 years experience
Mid-Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 10+ years experience
% High Meaning
 
% alumni who say their work makes the world a better place
% STEM Degrees
 
% degrees awarded in science, technology, engineering or math subjects
1Private School, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$51,600$100,90050%7%

1Drake University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$51,600
Mid-Career Pay$100,900
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees7%
2Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$52,500$100,20048%16%

2University of Iowa
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$52,500
Mid-Career Pay$100,200
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees16%
3Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$54,900$99,00047%31%

3Iowa State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$54,900
Mid-Career Pay$99,000
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees31%
4Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$51,200$96,70047%41%

4Grinnell College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$51,200
Mid-Career Pay$96,700
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees41%
5Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$46,400$93,50053%14%

5Loras College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$46,400
Mid-Career Pay$93,500
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees14%
6Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$48,900$91,80048%13%

6Cornell College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$48,900
Mid-Career Pay$91,800
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees13%
7Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$48,200$88,50059%36%

7Central College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$48,200
Mid-Career Pay$88,500
% High Meaning59%
% STEM Degrees36%
8Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$47,100$87,80066%5%

8Graceland University-Lamoni
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$47,100
Mid-Career Pay$87,800
% High Meaning66%
% STEM Degrees5%
9Engineering, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$43,800$87,400N/A65%

9Maharishi University of Management
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$43,800
Mid-Career Pay$87,400
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees65%
10Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$53,300$87,300N/A0%

10Mercy College of Health Sciences
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$53,300
Mid-Career Pay$87,300
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
11Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$46,000$86,70041%24%

11Coe College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$46,000
Mid-Career Pay$86,700
% High Meaning41%
% STEM Degrees24%
12Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$42,900$85,80043%11%

12Northwestern College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$42,900
Mid-Career Pay$85,800
% High Meaning43%
% STEM Degrees11%
13Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$50,200$85,70055%17%

13Dordt College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$50,200
Mid-Career Pay$85,700
% High Meaning55%
% STEM Degrees17%
14Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$51,900$85,100N/A0%

14Allen College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$51,900
Mid-Career Pay$85,100
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
15Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$48,600$84,80049%34%

15Wartburg College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$48,600
Mid-Career Pay$84,800
% High Meaning49%
% STEM Degrees34%
16Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$48,300$83,70049%17%

16Simpson College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$48,300
Mid-Career Pay$83,700
% High Meaning49%
% STEM Degrees17%
17For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$46,300$83,60046%8%

17University of Northern Iowa
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$46,300
Mid-Career Pay$83,600
% High Meaning46%
% STEM Degrees8%
18Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$47,300$81,50048%21%

18Luther College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$47,300
Mid-Career Pay$81,500
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees21%
19Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$45,800$81,30049%8%

19Saint Ambrose University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$45,800
Mid-Career Pay$81,300
% High Meaning49%
% STEM Degrees8%
20Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$44,200$79,60060%6%

20Morningside College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$44,200
Mid-Career Pay$79,600
% High Meaning60%
% STEM Degrees6%
21Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$43,800$78,20045%7%

21University of Dubuque
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$43,800
Mid-Career Pay$78,200
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees7%
22Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$41,200$75,20057%5%

22Buena Vista University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$41,200
Mid-Career Pay$75,200
% High Meaning57%
% STEM Degrees5%
23Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$44,600$74,70050%6%

23Clarke University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$44,600
Mid-Career Pay$74,700
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees6%
24Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$43,900$73,90055%2%

24Upper Iowa University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$43,900
Mid-Career Pay$73,900
% High Meaning55%
% STEM Degrees2%
25Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$42,900$73,80059%8%

25Iowa Wesleyan University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$42,900
Mid-Career Pay$73,800
% High Meaning59%
% STEM Degrees8%
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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.


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