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Colleges / University of Northern Iowa

About Northern Iowa

University of Northern Iowa is a public, state school in an suburban setting in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Northern Iowa was founded in 1876 and now enrolls around 9,522 students a year, including 8,304 undergrads.

Northern Iowa offers housing for up to 4,356 students. Most students live off campus,.

As of 2021, the total market value of Northern Iowa's endowment was $147.011 million The institution spends around $16,995 for each full-time student enrolled. Northern Iowa employs one full-time professor for every 17 undergrads enrolled.

2021 Northern Iowa Admissions Facts At-a Glance
Academic Calendar Semester
Overall Acceptance Rate 79%
Average GPA 3.6
Mean ACT score 23
In-State Tuition $7,665
Out-of-State $18,207

2022 Northern Iowa Regular Decision Application Deadline

Northern Iowa Early Admission

University of Northern Iowa does not offer early decision or early action.

Applying Early?

Visit College Confidential's Early Admission Central – a place to share stats, questions, and results with others applying early to Northern Iowa in 2021.

Northern Iowa Acceptance Rate 2021

It is moderately difficult to get into Northern Iowa. In 2021, Northern Iowa accepted 79% of applicants. Last year, 5,034 students applied to Northern Iowa and 3,984 were admitted.

Northern Iowa Waitlist 2021

Northern Iowa reports that no students were waitlisted or admitted off the waitlist in 2021.

How Do I Get Into University of Northern Iowa?

Northern Iowa is considered moderately difficult to get into. Every admissions committee has a different way of evaulating applicants, but most look at a combination of grades, test scoes, activities, as well as essays and recommendations. To apply to Northern Iowa, applicants must submit the following items.

Northern Iowa Application Requirements

Area Required Recommended Required for some Details (if any)
Other Requirements 4 years of English; 3 years each of math, science and social studies; 2 or more years of electives, which may include foreign language and fine arts
Transcript of High School Record

Northern Iowa Average GPA and Test Scores

The average high school GPA for a student admitted to Northern Iowa is 3.6 on a 4.0 scale. The mean ACT score for Northern Iowa students is 23.

Visit the Admissions tab above for more on how to apply to Northern Iowa.

Is Northern Iowa Test Optional?

Northern Iowa is test optional. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

Out of all applicants, 3% submitted the SAT. 95% submitted the ACT.

Want a higher SAT score? Even a little bit of test prep can really help improve your score.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

Want to Score 23 or Higher on the ACT?

Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Dorms at Northern Iowa

Yes! Northern Iowa provides on-campus housing for up to 4,356 students.

Northern Iowa students are active in the school's Dance Marathon, Colleges Against Cancer/Relay for Life and Accounting Club. Homecoming, Dance Marathon, and and Welcome Week are a few of the events that the campus rallies behind each year.

Click the Student Life tab above to learn more about the student body and campus life at Northern Iowa.

Financial Aid at Northern Iowa

Northern Iowa meets 65.9% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates. The average financial aid package for a full-time, first-year student is around $8,900 a year.

The 2022-2023 FAFSA Opened on October 1st, 2021

Some aid is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so fill out the FAFSA early. Visit the FAFSA website to apply for student aid. Remember, the first F in FAFSA stands for FREE! You should never have to pay to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so don't give your money (or info!) to any website that claim you do.

Is Northern Iowa a Good School?

The definition of a "good school" is different for different people. Admissions difficulty and admitted student statistics can give you a sense of how competitive a school is, but they don't say much about the quality of the education or the student experience. There are a few statistics that can give you a good idea of how satisfied students are and how well a school supports its students.

Retention, graduation, and job placement statistics all give valuable information about the quality of the student experience, before and after graduation.

Retention and Graduation Rates at Northern Iowa

About 86% of students who start at Northern Iowa return the next year. Out of the 1,762 students who started at Northern Iowa as first-time freshman, 715 graduate within four years.

Northern Iowa's six-year graduation rate for undergrads is 64%. The average six-year graduation rate for U.S. colleges and universities is 61% for public schools, and 67% for private, non-profit schools.

Job Outcomes and Debt for Northern Iowa Grads

Job placement and student debt statistics for recent graduates can give you a sense of the return on investment a school offers. Within six months of graduating, 80% of graduates receive at least one full-time job offer.

Recent grads have an average starting salary of $43,122 a year. Graduates in the class of 2021 had an average of $23,710 in student loans per borrower. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

Based on this information, how does Northern Iowa sound? Remember, a school that is perfect for one person may not be the right school for another! So ask yourself: Is Northern Iowa a good school for you?

Want to Add University of Northern Iowa To Your College List?

Click the heart icon at the top of this page to save Northern Iowa to your own personal list of colleges.

Read on to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics, majors and more.

Still Exploring Schools?

Visit the College Confidential forums to join the conversation about Northern Iowa and get personalized recommendations for other schools that might be perfect for you.

Then use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Where is University of Northern Iowa Located?

Northern Iowa is located in the suburban setting of Cedar Falls, Iowa.

If you want to see Northern Iowa for yourself, plan a visit. The best way to reach campus is to take Interstate 380 and U.S. Highway 20 to Cedar Falls, or book a flight to the nearest airport, Waterloo Regional.

You can also take a virtual campus tour to get a sense of what Northern Iowa and Cedar Falls are like without leaving home.

Considering Colleges in Iowa?

See a full list of colleges in Iowa and save your favorites to your college list.

College Info

1227 West 27th Street Cedar Falls, IA 50614

Campus Setting: Suburban

Northern Iowa Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Continuous processing

Transfer Applications are Due

Continuous processing

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Northern Iowa is Continuous processing.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Northern Iowa is Continuous processing.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs


Wondering what your chances are of getting into University of Northern Iowa?

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Northern Iowa ACT Scores


ACT Range

19 - 25

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

25 and Above


19 to 25


19 and Less


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ACT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median ACT score of an admitted student to Northern Iowa is 23. Students with an ACT score of 25 and above have a good chance of getting into Northern Iowa. Students with an ACT score that falls between 19 and 25 have an average chance of getting admitted, and students with an ACT score of 19 or below have a low chance of being offered admission.

Northern Iowa SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

Not available


Math SAT Range

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Reading SAT Range

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Northern Iowa Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


In State


Cost Breakdown
In State
State Tuition

Student Life

Wondering what life at Northern Iowa is like? There are approximately 9,522 students enrolled at Northern Iowa, including 8,304 undergraduate students and 1,218 graduate students. 92% percent of students attend school full-time, 93% percent are from IA and 7% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

Quick Facts

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Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




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Application Deadline

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