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Since its establishment in 1846, Iowa has prided itself as a state in which education is seen as the key to the prosperity, vitality and health of its citizens and communities. Iowa citizens have access to elementary, secondary and postsecondary educational institutions that are recognized as excellent throughout the world. Nowhere is this commitment to education and community more clear than at Iowa’s independent, non-profit colleges and universities.
Even before Iowa became a state, private citizens took the initiative to create schools of higher learning for their children. Iowa’s first independent college was founded in 1839, seven years before Iowa achieved statehood and 16 years before the first public university in the state was founded. Since then, both church-affiliated and non-sectarian groups have established more than two dozen high-quality liberal arts and professional colleges and universities. These institutions have a nationwide and worldwide reputation for excellence in teaching and nurturing students, advancing knowledge and serving their communities and the world.
Today, more than 48,000 students from Iowa and around the world enroll at Iowa’s independent, non-profit institutions. These institutions enroll 25% of all Iowa higher education students, confer 46% of all baccalaureate degrees, 45% of all professional degrees and 34% of all graduate degrees awarded in Iowa each year.
Students are as likely to earn their degree in four years at an independent institution as they are in six years at a public university. In fact, according to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, 79% of private four-year college graduates earned their degree in four years, compared to 49% at state four-year institutions.
These institutions do more than provide excellent educational opportunities for Iowa students. They also employ more than 10,000 Iowans and generate $1.8 billion in annual economic impact in cities and towns large and small across the state.
Iowa’s independent, non-profit colleges are universities are great for students and great for Iowa.
Contact the IAICU:
Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
505 Fifth Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-2315