11 Best NAIA Schools in Iowa

In the current world, many scholars are confused, and some don’t even know what they want to study or become in life, In this blog post we will answer the following questions; What do I study? what is the benefit of education? Naia schools in Iowa are some of the best options when it comes to situations like this!

Before we continue let’s first understand what NAIA is all about, Naia fully means National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. In the whole of the USA, the NAIA consists of over 250 schools and more than 77,000 student-athletes across all the states.

The NAIA schools in Iowa also provide scholarships for each NAIA team; 24 scholarships for football, 17 scholarships for basketball, and 12 scholarships each for baseball, soccer, lacrosse, competitive cheer, and indoor track and field.

Back to the questions asked earlier, what do I study? In NAIA schools you have varieties of programs/sports to choose from, which include; football, baseball, basketball, volleyball, Cheerleading, wrestling, swimming, golf, soccer, and many other interesting sports, having seen all these options the question has been answered.

What is the benefit of education? Education in NAIA schools is so interesting that you wouldn’t need an answer to this question after experiencing it yourself.

Almost all the states in the United States have universities that offer NAIA, some of these states are, Kansas, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, California, Arizona, Georgia, and many others.

Best 11 NAIA Colleges in Iowa

  • Briar Cliff University
  • Clarke University
  • Dordt University
  • Graceland University
  • Grand View University
  • Morningside University
  • Mount Mercy University
  • Northwestern College
  • St. Ambrose University
  • Waldorf University
  • William Penn University

List of 11 Best NAIA Schools in Iowa

Below are some of the amazing Naia schools that can be found in Iowa.

Briar Cliff University

This is Catholic University that focuses on bringing out the best in a student, this school does not only prepare its students for the future it plays a vital role in shaping their character.

Briar Cliff University was founded by the Catholic Franciscan order known as the sisters of St.Francis on September 18, 1930. Since its establishment the college has grown into a university that offers award-winning educational programs, It offers all levels of degrees and certifications to anyone who wishes to pursue higher education.

Briar Cliff University does receive countless awards due to its level of commitment to providing high-quality education and programs.

This University also happens to be one of the best NAIA schools in Iowa today because they offer outstanding athletics programs which include; football, baseball, volleyball, and many others.

Sometime in 2021, the institution’s athletics received a perfect Champions of Character score from the NAIA, one of only 16 colleges nationwide to have earned this particular honor so far.

Sports for Men(M) and and Women(W)

Clarke University

Clarke University is one of the best Naia schools in Iowa, the school is also a Catholic academic community that believes that learning can change one life and prolong one’s life. The institution inspires intellectual curiosity, professional preparedness, spiritual exploration, cultural engagement, and a commitment to contributing to the common interest in a global civilization.

The University was accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, its athletics training was accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), Its social work was accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, and so many other accredited programs.

Sports for Men and Women

Dordt University

Dordt University is one of the NAIA schools in Iowa and also it is one of the highest-ranked universities in Iowa based on its quality of education the university provides students with the best knowledge needed to succeed in the outside world.

The school is recognized by the U.S. News as one of the Best Value Schools(Regional Universities Midwest) and it ranks No. 24, which comprises institutions that offer the best value for scholars based on academic quality and college costs.

Dordt University offers many programs which include; undergraduate, graduate, and pre-professional programs, They offer Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Associate’s degrees.

The university also offers online education in the following programs; Master of Special Education, Master of Social Work, Master of Public Administration, Master of Education, and Bachelor of Business Administration.

The University is also part of the NAIA Schools in Iowa with so many athletic programs ranging from football, baseball, volleyball, basketball, and so many other sports for both men and women.

Sport for Men and Women (Athletics)

Graceland University

Graceland University is one of the best NAIA schools in Iowa, it offers a wide range of program that contributes greatly to the character and everyday life of its scholars.

The university is not just a place for learning and acquiring a degree, it’s also a place of self-discovery, an environment full of inspiration and value, in Graceland you will discover who you are and who or what you want to become.

Graceland has well-learned faculty who care about their student’s improvement and growth in knowledge and Understanding, with over 30 areas of study, which include 7 pre-professional programs, 5 master’s degrees, a doctorate of nursing practice degrees, and 21 undergraduate programs.

Graceland School athletics offers different sports like; baseball, football, soccer, volleyball, indoor and outdoor track & field, wrestling, and so on.

Sports for Men and Women(Athletics)

Grand View University

One of the amazing things is that this university was founded more than 100 years ago in the late 1890s, The school is still in existence today because it puts its best to provide high-quality education to its students. Not only that this university offers quality education they also offer a wide range of program, like master’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees.

Grand View also accepts traditional scholars and adult learners from different religions, countries, and backgrounds. This institution offers 40+ majors, 28 minors, and 4 certificates. It also takes graduate programs and athletic training.

Grand View University is one best NAIA schools in Iowa, it provides its students with all the required equipment to keep them fit at every step of their journey to becoming great athletes. The athletic program includes; football, baseball, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and many other interesting sports.

Sports for Men and Women(Athletics)

Morningside University

Morningside University is one of the best universities in Iowa, the school is also one of the NAIA schools in Iowa. The university is known for its dedication to providing quality education to its students.

The University is located in Sioux City, Iowa. They offer different varieties of programs which include both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Its NAIA athletics team is one of the best in the whole of Iowa and they are also recognized in the whole of the USA, they offer many athletics programs like; Golf, soccer, football, baseball, basketball, and many others.

Sports for Men and Women(Athletics)

Mount Mercy University

The University is bent on teaching students the importance of being responsible and how to become adults through the study of social sciences and humanities. The school also offers a wide of sports programs that will help you as a student stay fit and active, which is the no. 1 importance of athletics.

Mount Mercy University welcomes all kinds of students from every part of the world, despite their tribe, belief, and ethnicity. The school does its best for excellence in accomplishing its mission through four interdependent goals.

Just like every other NAIA school in Iowa, Mount Mercy University offers interesting athletics programs that contribute massively to the health of its students, these programs include volleyball, baseball, basketball, soccer, etc.

Sports for Men and Women(Athletics)

Northwestern College

This University is a private liberal arts college located in Orange City, Iowa. Currently, the school enrolls more than 1,500 students, over 1,000 students in bachelor’s degree programs. The institution also has a fast-growing graduate school, which consists of a master’s degree program in physician assistant studies which has been in existence since June 2020.

Northwestern College offers graduate and adult learning programs, these programs are structured to have an instant positive effect on your profession and also relevant to your personal goals.

Northwestern College is known to be one of the best NAIA schools in Iowa, it offers 100% online programs on the following courses, Master of Education degrees, Master of Arts Counseling degrees, Bachelor degrees, Education endorsements (graduate-level), Certificates, and also Graduate degrees.

Sports for Men and Women(Athletics)

St. Ambrose University

St. Ambrose University is a private Catholic university that was founded as a school of commerce for young men in 1882, The University is located in Davenport, Iowa. The school was formally known as St. Ambrose Academy.

St. Ambrose University is one of the NAIA schools in Iowa, It offers varieties of interesting athletics programs that will help its students to be mentally and physically fit. These sports programs include; Football, Soccer, Tennis, Basketball, and many others.

Studying at St. Ambrose will help you to grow through real-world learning experiences, the school also offers online programs that include both full-time and part-time classes, and some of their graduate programs have accelerated, 8-week classes.

Sports for Men and Women(Athletics)

Waldorf University

Waldorf University is a for-profit private university that was founded in 1903 and is associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The university is located in Forest City, Iowa.

Waldorf University also offers admission to international students and professionals who wish to further their careers. The school offers many interesting and standard online programs and an online admission process.

Since the institution was established it has been at the forefront of academic innovation, trailblazing a pathway for forthcoming generations. The school faculty and staff work hand-in-hand to make sure that its scholars are equipped with the necessary knowledge that will help them in reaching their full potential and provide encouragement each step of the way.

Waldorf is one of the best NAIA Schools in Iowa, it offers a wide range of athletics programs that are physically and mentally beneficial to our everyday life, these sports programs include; football, field and track, volleyball, basketball, baseball, and so on.

Sports for Men and Women(Athletics)

William Penn University

William Penn University formally known as Penn College was founded in 1873 after the name was changed in 1933 to Williams Penn College, it was finally changed in 2000 to William Penn University, a university founded by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

The university’s athletic team is known as the Statesmen, and the school is also one of the Naia schools in Iowa. They normally compete in the Heart of America Athletic Conference since the 2015/2016 academic year.

William Penn University Athletic competes in over 23 intercollegiate university sports: Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, track & field, volleyball, and wrestling; while women’s sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, track & field, volleyball and wrestling; and co-ed sports include cheer & dance and shotgun sports, and Esports.

Sports for Men and Women (Athletics)



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