The presidents of the three state schools reported to the Regents during a meeting last Thursday that they have lost millions of dollars from the coronavirus shut down. University of Northern Iowa president, Mark Nook, is not sure how enrollment will be impacted.
“It’s really early right now to say that. What we are seeing is the students that we currently have on campus — they are re-registering and falling in line with what we have seen in the past for the students we have here,” Nook said. UNI has struggled to keep its enrollment up in recent years — and has focused on trying to bring in new students. He says it’s too early to say how many freshman and transfer students they will have, although he says they have been doing well in recruitment.
University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld said they expect an enrollment drop. “In the recruiting for the new class we see about nine to ten percent down from where we expected to be,” according to Harreld. “So instead of a class close to 5,000, we are looking at 4,500. If it moves a little up or a little down– it’s going to be in that zone.” Harreld said they aren’t expecting much change in current students.
“Most of the returning class — right now we see it pretty strong — we don’t see a real issue there. We are concerned about our international students, we have seen a downturn across the nation,” Harreld said.
Iowa State University president Wendy Wintersteen expects a drop in enrollment — but doesn’t have a projection yet. She also has a concern about international students. She said international students may be very interested in coming to ISU, but may not be able to get a VISA. Wintersteen says they are hoping online classes will help them with international students by keeping them linked to the school.
“Start your first semester with us online. So we’re taking some steps that we see address that problem for some very good students coming from other countries,” she said.
The Board of Regents will meet online today to discuss the tuition proposal and then are scheduled to vote on it in June.