Upper Iowa University has seen a slight increase in overall enrollment in 2013-14. Shown here during a getting-to-know-you activity during the Peacock Experience Weekend on the Fayette campus are freshman Mackenzie Taldone, a biology major from Crystal Lake, Ill., and Papa Pireku, a senior biology major from Cape Coast, Ghana. Pireku is vice president of the Student Government Association.
FAYETTE, Iowa (September 27, 2013) – This fall, Upper Iowa University is looking at a stable student enrollment University-wide represented by a 1.44 percent increase overall.
"When we look at all the changes this year – both at the University and in the world around us – we're pleased to see the strength of our numbers," said new University President William R. Duffy II. "They give us a strong base upon which to build."
Duffy said that as of census day the unduplicated headcount was 6,271 students when tallying first-term enrollment at the Fayette campus, at the University's 19 U.S. educational centers, its international locations in Hong Kong and Malaysia, as well as students enrolled in its online and self-paced degree programs. "Historically, we know that our total number of students climbs throughout the year since we have six, eight-week terms in which new students are added to the rolls. However, the official number for the year is always calculated on census day in keeping with national college data reporting standards," Duffy added.
UIU, along with other traditional residential campuses in Iowa, is finding it more challenging to recruit college freshmen, Duffy said, pointing to changing demographics nationwide. "We draw heavily from the surrounding communities for our traditional first-year student on campus, and that population has declined significantly in Iowa and across the Midwest. Despite this, our Fayette campus enrollment remained steady, and we believe we are poised for future growth. We are also pleased to see a tremendous increase in the number of students in our south central locations, which are located in a region where some of the population has shifted. Our total student enrollment there is up 37%."
The steadiness of enrollment at UIU is bolstered by increasing student retention both on campus and throughout all face-to-face and other delivery mechanisms, Duffy added. Retention of first-year students increased by 5% on the Fayette campus this fall, reaching a 74% return rate. Across all delivery options, UIU saw a 3% increase in retention of first-year students this fall, achieving 71%.
Duffy said other enrollment trends borne out by the broad-based University are increasing enrollment from active military and veterans as deployments wind down, and increasing enrollment in educational programs for non-traditional students and graduate programs. "As the U.S. economy changed in this last recession, people are coming back to college, studying online, getting a higher degree or even entering college for the first time as an adult because they need to develop skills and earn the diploma that makes them more marketable," Duffy added.
UIU has seen about a 6% increase this year in its Academic Extension programs, which encompass off-campus centers, as well as online and self-paced degree programs. Enrollment in UIU graduate programs has increased 10% overall, and military students/veterans now account for 17% of the University's domestic student population (up from 13.4% last year).
Duffy noted that UIU continues to be among the most diverse universities, with 1,306 of its domestic students – or 25% – representing non-white U.S. populations and students from 28 other nations.
"We have a world-wide reputation for providing a quality education," he added. "I can't say enough to thank the faculty and staff who work tirelessly to make UIU an experience for students that changes their lives forever."
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to some 6,200 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Associate Vice President for Communication and Marketing