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Buena Vista University

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Buena Vista University Overview

Buena Vista University is a private not-for-profit institution situated in Storm Lake, Iowa. Storm Lake is a good match for students who enjoy small-town life.

What Is Buena Vista University Known For?

393 Undergraduate Awards
$36,219 Avg Cost After Aid
56% Acceptance Rate
  • Students who want to work more closely with their professors have an easier time at BVU since the student to facuty ratio is 10 to 1.
  • The student loan default rate at BVU is 4%, which is significantly lower than the national rate of 10.1%. That's great news for students who are worrying about paying off their student loans.
  • Although it may not be available for every major, the master's degree is the highest award a student can attain at BVU.
  • For the 2019-2020 academic year, 22% of the faculty were full-time.
  • After graduation, BVU bachelor's degree recipients go on to jobs where they make $44,699 a year. That's about 10% more than their peers at other schools.
  • On average, it takes about 4.2 years for students from BVU to earn a bachelor's degree. This is excellent when compared to the average of 4.4 years.

Best Schools

Buena Vista University Rankings

These rankings may look different from those published by other outlets, because we use an outcomes-based approach rather than a subjective one. We get our data from a number of places, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the College Scorecard. For more information, check out our rankings and methodology page.

BVU has been awarded the following overall awards by our latest rankings.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#154 Best Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Program Level Awards

These are highlights of some of the most noteworthy awards granted to specific programs at BVU.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#10 Best Value Student Counseling Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#13 Best Value Curriculum & Instruction Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#22 Best Value Psychology Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#25 Best Curriculum & Instruction Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#29 Best Value Education Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#57 Best Student Counseling Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#89 Best Value Business, Management & Marketing Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#94 Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#94 Best Education Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#94 Best Law Enforcement & Firefighting Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Awards From Around the Web

The following table lists some notable awards BVU has earned from around the web.

Rank Ranking Name Source
#14 Best Value Graduate Degree Colleges for Instructional Media Design College Factual
#18 Best Value Graduate Degree Colleges for Student Counseling College Factual
#34 Best Value Graduate Degree Colleges for Special Education College Factual
#80 Best Value Graduate Degree Colleges for Education College Factual
#92 Best Teaching Master’s Degree Schools Teaching Degree Search
#137 Best Value Graduate Degree Colleges for Business, Management & Marketing College Factual

Where Is Buena Vista University?


Contact details for BVU are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 610 W 4Th St, Storm Lake, IA 50588
Phone: 712-749-2400

How Do I Get Into BVU?

You can apply to BVU online at:

Admission Requirements for BVU

Submission Required?
High School GPA required
High School Rank neither required nor recommended
High School Transcript required
College Prep Program recommended
Recommendations neither required nor recommended
SAT or ACT Scores recommended
TOEFL required

How Hard Is It To Get Into BVU?

56% Acceptance Rate
39% Of Accepted Are Women
With an acceptance rate of 56%, BVU does not let just anybody through their doors! Make sure you spend enough time polishing up your application so you will make a great impression.

Approximately 61% of accepted students are men and 39% are women. The acceptance rate for men is 59%, and the acceptance rate for women is 52%.

Can I Afford Buena Vista University?

$36,219 Net Price
81% Take Out Loans
4.1% Loan Default Rate
The overall average net price of BVU is $36,219. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group.

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.

Student Loan Debt

While almost two-thirds of students nationwide take out loans to pay for college, the percentage may be quite different for the school you plan on attending. At BVU, approximately 81% of students took out student loans averaging $7,364 a year. That adds up to $29,456 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at BVU is 4.1%. This is significantly lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, which is a good sign that you'll be able to pay back your student loans.

Buena Vista University Undergraduate Student Diversity

1,230 Full-Time Undergraduates
62% Women
20% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
There are 1,456 undergraduate students at BVU, with 1,230 being full-time and 226 being part-time.


There are also 407 graduate students at the school.

Gender Diversity

Of the 1,230 full-time undergraduates at BVU, 38% are male and 62% are female.


Racial-Ethnic Diversity

The racial-ethnic breakdown of Buena Vista University students is as follows.

Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 10
Black or African American 37
Hispanic or Latino 137
White 907
International Students 4
Other Races/Ethnicities 135

Geographic Diversity

Iowa students aren't the only ones who study at Buena Vista University. At this time, 17 states are represented by the student population at the school.

Over 18 countries are represented at BVU. The most popular countries sending students to the school are Rwanda, South Korea, and Burundi.

Online Learning at Buena Vista University

1,003 Took All Classes Online
1,151 Took At Least One Class Online
1.4% Avg Growth Over 4 Years
In 2019-2020, 1,151 students took at least one online class at the school.

The following chart shows how the online learning population at BVU has changed over the last few years.


This school is the 13th most popular in Iowa for online learning according to the online graduations recorded by the Department of Education for the academic year 2019-2020.

Online Affordability Rankings of BVU

During the most recent year for which we have data, the full-time undergraduate tuition at Buena Vista University was $36,426 for both in-state and out-of-state students. The following table shows how BVU is ranked for affordability for both in-state and out-of-state students among colleges and universities that are not mostly online.

Major Tuition for In-State Students Tuition for Out-of-State Students
Entrepreneurial Studies #27 #27

Online Growth Rankings of BVU

The average growth rate over the last four years of online students at Buena Vista University was 1.4%. This is the #834 largest growth rate of all schools that are mostly online. This refers to all students at BVU regardless of major.

The following table shows the 1-year growth rate of BVU majors that offer at least one online course. This table only includes majors with positive growth.

Major 1-Year Growth Rate
Curriculum & Instruction 69%
Education 37%
Special Education 7%
Teaching English or French 33%

The table below shows how the average growth rate over 4 years at BVU ranks compared to all other mostly online schools that offer a specific major. Note that the majors may or may not be offered online at BVU.

Major Growth Rate Rank
Teaching English or French #71
Curriculum & Instruction #114
Special Education #200

When we speak of partially online, we are referring to schools whose online population is less than 50% of its total student body. Mostly online refers to those with online populations greater than or equal to 50%.

Buena Vista University Undergraduate Concentrations

The table below shows the number of awards for each concentration.

Major Bachelor’s Master’s TOTAL
Student Counseling 0 80 80
Teacher Education Grade Specific 72 0 72
Business Administration & Management 41 18 59
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 54 0 54
Curriculum & Instruction 0 42 42
General Psychology 32 0 32
Teacher Education Subject Specific 25 0 25
Criminal Justice & Corrections 24 0 24
Accounting 23 0 23
General Business/Commerce 16 0 16
Special Education 2 12 14
Marketing 13 0 13
Health & Physical Education 12 0 12
Finance & Financial Management 11 0 11
Clinical, Counseling & Applied Psychology 0 7 7
General Biology 6 0 6
Computer Information Systems 6 0 6
Teaching English or French 0 6 6
History 6 0 6
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 5 0 5
General Education 4 0 4
General English Literature 4 0 4
Liberal Arts General Studies 4 0 4
Natural Resources Conservation 4 0 4
Design & Applied Arts 4 0 4
Computer Systems Analysis 3 0 3
Non-Professional General Legal Studies 3 0 3
Entrepreneurial Studies 2 0 2
Human Resource Management 2 0 2
Social Work 2 0 2
Arts & Media Management 2 0 2
Fine & Studio Arts 2 0 2
Graphic Communications 1 0 1
Romance Languages 1 0 1
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 1 0 1
Mathematics 1 0 1
Chemistry 1 0 1
Physics 1 0 1
Political Science & Government 1 0 1
Drama & Theater Arts 1 0 1
Music 1 0 1
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 0 0 0
Business/Managerial Economics 0 0 0
Communication & Journalism (Other) 0 0 0
Public Relations & Advertising 0 0 0
Other Education 0 0 0
Allied Health Professions 0 0 0
Other Philosophy & Religious Studies 0 0 0
Criminology 0 0 0
Public Administration 0 0 0
TOTAL 393 165 558


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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