UCF vs. Iowa

Should I go to University of Central Florida or University of Iowa? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if UCF or Iowa is the better college for you.

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University of Central Florida vs. University of Iowa comparison
University of Central Florida University of Iowa College 3 College 4
University of Central Florida University of Iowa
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Location Orlando, FL Iowa City, IA
Setting Large Suburban Small City
Students 68,475 31,656
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $4,478 $8,073
Tuition (Out of State) $19,810 $30,036
Room & Board $10,010 $11,400
Avg Net Price $11,617 $17,008
Avg Grant Aid $9,708 $9,754
% Receiving Grant Aid 86% 64%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 44.4% 82.6%
Avg High School GPA 3.81 3.61
Admissions Standards Very High Very High
Applicant Competition Low
ACT Range 25/30 22/29
SAT Range 1170/1340 1130/1340
Application Deadline May 1, 2020 Apr 1, 2020


Graduation Rate 63% 71%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $48,900 $59,800
Making Student Loan Payments 59% 70%
Median Student Loan Debt $18,270 $21,616
Median Loan Payment $188 $223
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Comparable Facts

  • University of Central Florida is larger than than Iowa based on total student enrollment (68,475 students vs. 31,656 students)

UCF vs. Iowa Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, UCF or Iowa?

  • University of Iowa is 80.3% more expensive to attend than UCF for in-state tuition ($8,073.00 vs. $4,478.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 51.6% higher at Iowa than University of Central Florida ($30,036.00 vs. $19,810.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at University of Central Florida than Iowa ($11,617 vs. $17,008)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at University of Central Florida are 13.9% lower than costs at University of Iowa ($10,010 vs. $11,400)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at University of Central Florida than University of Iowa (86% vs. 64%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by University of Iowa students is 0.5% larger than aid received University of Central Florida ($9,754 vs. $9,708)

UCF vs. Iowa Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, UCF or Iowa? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between Iowa or UCF .

  • The average SAT score at University of Central Florida (1179) is 15 points higher than at Iowa (1164)
  • Incoming UCF students have at the same average ACT score (26) as students at Iowa (26)
  • Iowa has a higher acceptance rate (82.6%) than UCF (44.4%)

UCF vs. Iowa Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, UCF or Iowa? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between Iowa and UCF.

  • The graduation rate at Iowa is higher that University of Central Florida (71% vs. 63%)
  • Graduates from University of Iowa earn on average $10,900 more per year than UCF graduates after ten years. ($59,800 vs. $48,900)
  • University of Central Florida students graduate with a $3,346 lower median federal student loan debt than Iowa graduates. ($18,270 vs. $21,616)
  • UCF graduates are paying $35 less per month on federal student loans than Iowa graduates. ($188 vs. $223)
  • More Iowa graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former UCF students, three years after graduation. (70% vs. 59%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov IPEDS and College Scorecard https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/