A: The University of Iowa is the Iowa online college with the highest aggregate score for student satisfaction according to the niche.com rankings, though Iowa State University comes in at a close second and there are a handful of other schools that grade highly. Student satisfaction ratings are compiled based on surveys that question students on their enjoyment of different variables that go into their college experience. Prospective students should ask themselves what aspects of the college experience will mean the most for their own satisfaction since they will be making a substantial investment of time and money. Students who are planning on taking the majority of their courses online would not care so much about dorms and campus life, and should instead look at rankings for value, academics, and professors. Some of the other colleges in Iowa that accommodate distance learning and rank well among students include Drake University and The University of Northern Iowa. Iowa online colleges rank highly on the national level and have been included in the top 100 online colleges.

Founded in 1847, The University of Iowa is a well-established institution that has national name recognition. Over the past decade, the University has allocated a large amount of its sizable endowment towards accommodating online students by giving them options with eight different online undergraduate degrees, and eight distinct graduate degrees. Their student satisfaction has been strong enough to warrant an A grade and furthermore, they score well in areas that would be important to online learners, making it the top Iowa online college for students.

Iowa State University ranks similarly to the University of Iowa, with an overall A grade for student satisfaction, while grading highly in areas that would be important to distance learners as well. Iowa State University offers a Bachelors of Liberal Studies degree for undergraduate online learners, designed to accommodate adults who have some college credits but didn’t finish their degree. They also have 25 different graduate degrees that can be completed online, and even have the rare option of two Ph.D. degrees in Hospitality Management and Apparel, Merchandising and Design that can be mostly completed online with only two summer sessions that are a maximum of three weeks on campus to meet residency requirements.

Drake University has a very respectable A- composite grade for student satisfaction but has an elite A+ rank for value, so distance learners who are considering their budget should take note. While Drake University does not offer full degrees that can be completed online, they do have a number of undergrad and graduate classes that can be completed online to supplement credit hours from other institutions to count towards a degree. Distance learners who are very close to finishing their degree can get great value by taking individual online courses at Drake University.

The University of Northern Iowa has a B+ grade for student satisfaction and has made a point of accommodating distance learners. They offer five undergraduate degrees and fifteen graduate degrees that can be completed entirely online, with a handful of other degrees that can be mostly completed online.