AMES, Iowa -- Student enrollment at Iowa State University is 26,380, a level similar to fall 1999. It represents a 3.65 percent decrease (1,000 students) compared to fall 2003.
ISU total fall enrollment climbed between 1999 and 2002, but began to drop slightly last fall.
Iowa State University Admissions Director Marc Harding says enrollment variances aren't unexpected and tend to be cyclical over time. During the past 20 years (1984 to current), ISU's fall enrollment has fluctuated by more than 3,400 students - from a high of 27,898 students in fall 2002 to a low of 24,431 in 1995.
Harding says this fall's lower new student enrollment can be attributed to a number of factors, including tuition increases, more competition for a decreasing number of graduating Iowa high school seniors and multiple years of budget cuts at the university, which have resulted in some program eliminations (i.e., sports management and the social science teaching endorsement) and reduced marketing efforts.
"Of course we're interested in stabilizing enrollment, and we're working to bring in a new student class for fall 2005 that is at least as large as this year," Harding said. "And it's also important to note that Iowa State continues to serve more Iowa high school and community college graduates than any other college or university in the state, despite the fact that for fall 2005, the Iowa Department of Education projects 1,500 fewer students graduating from Iowa's public and private high schools than there were just five years ago."
Iowa State reports 123 fewer graduate students this fall, bringing graduate student enrollment to 4,618, the fifth-highest graduate enrollment on record. Undergraduate enrollment is down by 876, and professional student enrollment (veterinary medicine) is down by one student.
The 2003-2004 academic year set another record in the number of ISU degrees awarded, another factor that contributed to the overall enrollment decline, said Kathy Jones, Iowa State University registrar.
"Iowa State awarded 63 more undergraduate degrees than in the previous year, which also was a record. One of the major reasons for the increase in graduates is that more students are completing their degrees in four years," Jones said.
The number of students called to active military duty also affected fall enrollment. Of the 48 students called to active duty last year, none has returned to campus for the fall semester.
The number of new, international undergraduate students is up 24 percent from a year ago. The total number of international undergraduates at Iowa State is 741, down 15 percent from 871 in fall 2003.
Iowa State's total fall enrollment reflects the most ethnically diverse on record. New U.S. minority students comprise 9.5 percent of the entering freshmen class, the second highest on record and the most since 1993. Total U.S. minority student enrollment is 2,055 (7.8 percent of the student population). Last fall's total U.S. minority student enrollment was 2,082, or 7.6 percent of the student population. The goal, as set by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, is to raise that percentage to at least 8.5 percent.
Complete enrollment information is available at: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~registrar/stats/.