Overall enrollment dropped at each of the three state-supported universities this fall compared to last year. Iowa State University saw the largest decrease — losing 639 students overall. The University of Northern Iowa lost 311 students and the University of Iowa 103. But , U-N-I vice president of educational and student services, Renee Romano, says not all the news was negative. She says enrollment was up in new students in all three categories, freshmen, transfers and graduate students. She says that’s exciting because they put in new enrollment initiatives to bring in those students. U-N-I had 37 new freshmen, 121 new transfers and 25 new graduate students for a fall enrollment of 12-thousand-513. Romano says some of the loss was a natural progression. She says they awarded the highest number of degrees in their history last year. She says that was because they had record enrollment in previous years and those students were graduating. A statement from I-S-U says they’re also graduating more students in four years — which has contributed to some of the drop in returning students. Romano says they don’t have direct data to back it up, but they believe higher tuition has impacted enrollment too. She says this year the largest number of new students are transfers, which she says indicates the students are going to community college first and then coming to U-N-I to get a graduate degree.U-of-I associate provost for undergraduate education, Lola Lopes, says there’s good news in their numbers too. She says they had increases in transfer students and an increase in returning students, so the undergraduate numbers are up 165 students. Total undergraduate enrollment at the U-of-I is 20-thousand-300 — the largest number since 1988. Lope says they lost students in one area and it was expected. She says the freshman class was down a bit, and they expected that because they made a change in the admission index used for admitting students in the lower half of the freshman class. Lopes says there were also loses in the School of Management and the law school.She says the law school has had a huge influx of students in the last several years and was trying to bring that number down. She says there was also a decrease in the number of residents in the college of medicine. Lopes says she’s not sure why the resident numbers were down. A statement from I-S-U says the two-point-five percent decrease isn’t a dramatic change when compared to the past. The university says there have been enrollment increases in 18 of the last 30 years and decreases in 12.
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