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In Greater Des Moines (DSM), education comes first, which is why it's known as one of the top 5 best places in the U.S. for children.  From cradle through career, we offer world-class educational opportunities that are accessible to all. Did you know that Iowa consistently ranks in the top five states nationally for statewide average scores on college entry exams? Or that the region alone boasts 17 higher education institutions?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Iowa maintains the highest public high school graduation rate in the nation, 6% above the U.S. average at 92% (2019). The DSM region boasts over a 93% graduation rate (Iowa Department of Education, Class of 2020), and student scores on the ACT and SAT college entrance exams rank among the best in the country. The DSM region's educational attainment is competitive with metros nationwide: 48.7% of residents aged 25 – 64 have an Associate's degree or higher (JobsEQ, 2021). 

From elementary through high school, college and beyond, we exceed the grade in DSM.

Interested in more information about Why DSM USA?

Visit any of the following pages for more information:

Why DSM Guide Relocation Packet

Primary and Secondary

The region is well-known for its quality education system. With approximately 7,400 students enrolled in private schools and 110,000 students enrolled in public schools, the region’s educational institutions offer a diverse and thriving academic population. Discover resources that will help you become familiar with public education in Des Moines and why DSM is the place for your family.


The region offers students a world-class education system that is committed to staying at the forefront of educational opportunities. Here you will find resources that will help you become familiar with public education in the region. 

Schools within the region include:


If private school is the right choice for your family, the region has several options and resources available. 


Homeschooling is a great way to tailor curriculum to a child’s specific needs while meeting educational standards. Read the Iowa Department of Education’s Private Instruction handbook and access other resources here.

Continuing Education

For those in search of a certificate, credential, apprenticeship, two-year degree, four-year degree or graduate degree, there are a host of educational institutions that offer a variety of programs and degree paths.

Area Colleges and Universities

State Universities


In DSM, we recognize the value of education outside of the classroom. Learning opportunities like apprenticeships are everywhere. No matter what trade you’re looking to pursue, we’re happy to connect you with a master of your craft who can mentor, teach and inspire you. 

Learn more about the Iowa Workforce Development Apprenticeship Program.