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Enrollment falls at all three state universities

CEDAR FALLS — Fall enrollment is down at the three state universities The University of Northern Iowa has been trying to get its numbers back up for several years.

Vice President for enrollment, Kristin Woods, says they do have more new students coming in. “Our new freshman class for fall 2021 is 1,554 students. And that is an increase over last year by about five percent,” she says. “Overall, our enrollment is 9,231, and that is down about 291 students from last year.”

In-person classes are back after going online for a time during the pandemic. Woods says they aren’t sure how the pandemic impacted enrollment. “That’s something we are still learning about and continuing to dig into. We do know that it had an impact on our international enrollment,” Woods says. She says things haven’t gotten back to normal for international students.

“Students continued to have challenges to obtaining visas and that was tied to student’s often inability to get visa appointments with embassy closures and so on. So, that certainly has had a continued impact on international enrollment.”

While the overall enrollment is down slightly, she says there are positives. She says they are excited about the increase in the size of the freshman class and the record graduation rates — with one-in-14 students graduating in three years.

Iowa State’s fall enrollment is 30,708 — which is down by 1,117 students. The university saw a six percent increase in new first-year students The University of Iowa’s total enrollment is 31,206, down 394 from fall 2020. Iowa has 4,521 first-year students, up 11 from fall 2020.


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