Iowa College Foundation

Private Colleges Work Hard To Help Students Succeed

ICF member schools are valuable assets

Today, the Iowa College Foundation's 23 member schools provide an array of diverse opportunities for higher education in our state. These institutions have a nationwide and worldwide reputation for excellence in teaching and nurturing students.

IFC member schools are good for Iowa

They save Iowa taxpayers more than $287 million annually by providing higher education to more than 41,000 students who might otherwise attend public institutions and receive taxpayer subsidies for tuition costs. While they enrolled only 25% of the total undergraduate students in Iowa, they awarded 45% of all four-year degrees and 34% of all graduate degrees in 2013. Yet, Iowa's private colleges only received 3% of the state dollars appropriated for higher education.

Last year, 73% of ICF member school graduates remained in Iowa after graduation to work or continue their studies.

They employ more than 10,000 Iowans, and generate $1.8 billion in annual economic impact for the cities and towns across the state in which they reside.

Facts about Iowa's private colleges

  • First generation students are more likely to graduate from private colleges
    • 70% graduated from private colleges within 6 years
    • 57% graduated from public universities within 6 years
  • Employers want liberal arts knowledge
    • 80% of employers think every student should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts
  • Private college graduates finish on time
    • 59% of graduates of smaller private colleges finish within 4 years
    • 38% of graduates of regional public universities finish within 4 years
  • Private colleges award 3x larger grants
    • $14,826 awarded on average per student at private colleges
    • $4,765 awarded on average per student at public universities
  • Liberal arts students are engaged citizens
    • 77% of 18–24-year-old private college students are registered to vote
    • 53% of 18–24-year-olds who do not attend private colleges are registered to vote
  • Private colleges award 2x more grants
    • 80% of students at private colleges receive grants
    • 40% of students at public universities receive grants
  • 14,165 Baccalaureate degrees were awarded last year from Iowa's private colleges
  • 98% of Iowa private college students are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation
  • 78% of students at private colleges and universities graduate in four years compared to
  • 40% from state institutions
  • 38% are first generation students
  • 59% are residential students
  • 34% are non-traditional students

The most important beneficiaries of ICF's annual activities are the students at Iowa's independent colleges and universities.