If you’re an aspiring animator and you live in Iowa, you don’t have to head to California to find a good training program or start a career. The State of Iowa is home to 66 Title IV degree-granting institutions. Many of these schools offer excellent programs for artists and designers of all kinds—including animators. And because they are Title IV schools, they are eligible for federal financial aid programs. This makes them more accessible to students with financial need.
To become a Title IV degree-granting school, the institution must (1) have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, (2) have been in business for at least two years, (3) sign a participation agreement with the Department, (4) grant an associate's degree or higher, and (5) offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length. Fortunately, even though these schools offer access to a variety of financial aid programs, many are still considered affordable compared to other schools across the U.S.
Continue reading to find out which Iowa schools offer top-tier animation programs and what you can expect to pay.
Most Expensive Iowa Animation Schools
Drake University, Des Moines - Tuition Cost: Undergraduate $33,550 for the 2015-2016 school year.
Loras College, Dubuque – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate $29,190 for the 2015-2016 school year.
Ashford University, Clinton - Tuition Cost: Undergraduate Campus-Based Programs $17,080, Online Programs $10,320 (12 credit hours per semester, $430 per credit hour) for the 2015-2016 school year.
Least Expensive Iowa Animation Schools
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls – Tuition Cost: Undergraduate residents $6,648, nonresidents $16,836 for the 2015-2016 school year.
More Animation related programs to consider:
Iowa Animation Scene
Iowa is home to 18,340 professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media occupations. Around 70 are salaried multimedia artists and animators averaging $57,590 per year. Thanks to the efforts of Iowa’s film office, the state offers many opportunities for aspiring animators. The Iowa Film Office offers incentives for film productions, which helps attract features of all kinds, including animated features. The state is home to a variety of animation or film studios, as well as a number of firms that list animation services among other offerings. Just a few include:
- ChromaVantage, Waterloo
- Right Purdy Animation and Design Studio, Iowa City
- Effective Digital Presentations, Davenport
- Grasshorse Studios, Winfield
- 3B Entertainment, Des Moines
In addition to production studios, Iowa-based animators and multimedia artists work at creative agencies, game design studios, for software publishers and in computer systems design and related services. The state is home to more than 800 technology firms, a number of game design studios, and well over 250 creative agencies. Just a few employment options include:
- Flynn Wright, Des Moines
- Fusion Farm, Cedar Rapids
- Hellman Associates, Waterloo
- JD Gordon Creative Labs, Sioux City
- McCormick Advertising, Des Moines
- Meyocks Group, Des Moines
- MindFire Communications, Le Claire
- North Forty, Hiawatha
- Sculpt, Iowa City
- Trilix Group, Des Moines
- Williams Interactive/Phantom EFX, Cedar Falls
Employment opportunities can be found in many cities across the state, but a greater number of opportunities can be found in Iowa’s largest cities. The state’s top five largest cities include Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, and Iowa City.
Awesome Animation Fact: Did you know that Mickey Mouse was the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but his star could have read “Mortimer” instead of Mickey Mouse? You can thank Walt Disney’s wife who convinced Mr. Disney to change the name to Mickey.