After four straight years of record numbers, fall enrollment at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls has taken a slight dip. Enrollment dropped 144 students — or one percent — to 13-thousand-926 students this fall at UNI. Registrar Phil Patton says the drop was less than expected. Patton says some of the drop is by design as the school seeks to hold down enrollment in the face of state budget cuts. UNI is required to admit students who graduate in the upper half of their class. Patton says the school has admitted some students in the lower half of their class — but cut down on those exceptions to cut enrollment. He thinks there’s a second reason for the drop.Patton believes last year’s double-digit tuition increase kept some students out of UNI’s classrooms too. He says they could lose some more students by the end of the fall semester as they’re toughening up their academic standards. Those tougher standards will lead to more students on academic probation and academic suspension. Patton says there wasn’t any big trend in the enrollment decrease.He says the drop in students was across the board from freshmen to transfers. He says they did see an increase in students who return to school. The UNI drop in enrollment comes on the heels of the announcement of a small increase in enrollment at Iowa State University in Ames. Officials at the other state supported school, the University of Iowa, say they won’t have final enrollment figures until today.
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