#6 Best Private Colleges in Iowa

Cornell College

Mount Vernon, Iowa

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Cornell College overview
Location Mount Vernon, Iowa
Online cornellcollege.edu
School Type Private 4 Year
Setting Distant Town
Religious Affiliation United Methodist
Cornell College overview
Size Small
Status Non-profit
On Campus Housing Yes
Level of Study Undergrad
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Cornell College, located in Mount Vernon, Iowa, is a private liberal arts college distinguished by its unique One Course At A Time curriculum, where students immerse themselves in a single academic subject for an 18-day term. Founded in 1853, the college boasts a picturesque campus known for its hilltop view and historic, primarily stone, architecture. A small but vibrant institution, Cornell College offers a close-knit campus atmosphere in the heart of the Midwest, within driving distance of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. The college provides a range of undergraduate programs with strong emphasis on the liberal arts and sciences, and is particularly noted for fields such as biology, psychology, and economics. With a selective admission process, Cornell College attracts a diverse cohort of students. Residential life is an integral part of the student experience, with a variety of housing options available on campus. While not primarily renowned for its athletics, the college competes in NCAA Division III as the Cornell Rams.

In the most recent statistical year 3,057 prospective students applied, and 2,425 were granted admission.  Of those admitted 329 enrolled in the school.  1,065 students are enrolled on a full time basis, and 8 attend part time. In-state tuition for 2022/2023, excluding room and board, is $48,514 plus fees of $644. Cornell College is ranked 424 nationally in the CollegeSimply.com 2024 U.S. Colleges Ranking.












Cornell College is rated within the top 42% of four-year colleges nationally and earns a CollegeSimply grade of 6 out of 10. Learn how ratings are calculated


Rankings for Cornell College within the 2024 CollegeSimply Best Colleges Lists.

View the CollegeSimply ranking methodology.

Getting In

Admission Standards

Cornell College overview
SAT 1170/1380
ACT 23/30
GPA 3.53

Applications Accepted

Cornell College overview
Applications Due -
Applicant Competition Very Low
Application Fee $0

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Annual Cost to Attend


Costs for Cornell College
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$1,200
Other Fees$644
Room and Board $10,872
Budget for Other Expenses$3,506
Total One Year Cost$64,736

Tuition and financial aid details


Average Salary After 10 Years

$45,400 per year

Bachelor's Degree Graduation Rate

70% within 6 years

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Popular Areas of Study

Popular subjects studied by Cornell College students
Subject Percent of Class
Social Sciences 16%
Visual and Performing Arts 12%
Biology 11%
Psychology 8%
English and Literature 8%

View All 34 Majors

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Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=153162 IPEDS survey data for Cornell College.

Current students may use the Cornell College GPA calculator to determine their current college GPA.