Iowa State University’s announced it expects enrollment to be down this fall by several hundred new and returning students. The University of Iowa expects student enrollment to be just about the same as the last four or five years. University of Northern Iowa director of enrollment management Roland Carillo says UNI’s hoping to make an educated guess. He expects to be down 400-500 students, from last year’s 14,441 to about 12-thousand 937. The economy has a lot to do with it, and with tuition going up at the state universities, they’re fighting to change the perception of some families that it costs too much to attend a four-year institution. Who’s the competition for those students? Carillo admits it may be the two-year institutions.He says there’s data showing increases at community colleges in recent years. Carillo says if fewer students will be coming, the school adjusts its food-service plans, and offers more students single rooms, since there’s likely to be unclaimed space in the residence halls. And some of the moves made to manage enrollment are clearly not aimed at coddling students. They’ve tightened up suspension policies, so students who aren’t doing well won’t find it easy to hang around as they could in the past, and a decision to change the graduation requirement from 124 hours to 120 has helped some graduate earlier. Carillo says UNI admissions staff may go on the road this year to make sure the message gets out that the University of Northern Iowa’s still a good value for the education dollar.
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