University of Iowa

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#157, overall score 40.33/100

Fun Fact:

The University of Iowa was the first public university in the U.S. to admit men and women together, going co-ed in 1855.

Why should Jewish students attend University of Iowa? “While we do not have the Jewish numbers that other schools in the B1G have, we have the spirit. We regularly get over 50 people to a Shabbat dinner, we have all sorts of cultural, religious, and social activities going on, and we have a very dynamic campus environment. We hope you’ll come check us out and see why the Hawkeye Jewish life is one worth living and loving.” — David Weltman, executive director, University of Iowa Louis Shulman Hillel Foundation at the Aliber Center for Jewish Life


  • Location: Iowa City, Iowa
  • Region: Midwest
  • Campus type: College town
  • Public/Private: Public
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 24,476
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 600
  • Jewish population share: 2%
  • Student origin: 63% in-state / 37% out-of-state
  • Student newspaper: The Daily Iowan
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Hawkeyes
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: IHUC / Saucy Nancy

COST & AID Score: 6.17/15

  • Score: 6.17/15
  • In-state tuition: $8,575
  • Out-of-state tuition: $28,813
  • Room & board costs: $10,108
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $10,249
  • Average loan debt: $28,405
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: No

ACADEMICS Score: 3.33/20

  • Score: 3.33/20
  • Acceptance rate: 86%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Median SAT range: 1140-1370
  • Jewish Studies major: No
  • Hebrew major: No

ISRAEL Score: 13.67/20

  • Score: 13.67/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 40
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: Yes
  • Israel-related clubs: Hawkeyes for Israel, SSI
  • Jewish Agency for Israel fellow: No
  • BDS vote in last four years: Never Introduced

SAFETY Score: 8.67/11

  • Score: 8.67/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 0
  • Campus crime rate: 5.56/1,000 students (medium-high)
  • City crime rate: 23.14/1,000 people (medium-low)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 9.17/34

  • Score: 9.17/34
  • Hillel: Iowa Hillel
  • Chabad: Lubavitch of Iowa City
  • OU-JLIC: No
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: AEPhi
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? No
  • Chicken soup hotline: Yes
  • Active Hillel clubs: 2
  • Hillel Friday night services: 1
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 65
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 25
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 1 (Conservative)
  • Eruv: No
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Gene Wilder
  • Most unique/noteworthy club: The Sukkot “Festival of Faiths” is very special, since it extends an invitation to a number of different religious and cultural groups on campus to join and share in the celebration each night.
  • Where do Jewish students come from? The University of Iowa has Jewish students from the coasts (up and down California, New York, D.C., etc.), as well as other locations throughout the Midwest, although the majority are from the Chicagoland area.
  • Kosher food details: There is a fully kosher kitchen for Shabbat and holiday meals. There is no kosher meal plan, but there are kosher options in the shops around.

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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