UI freshman class largest ever


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AMES — It’s official: the University of Iowa’s incoming class is the largest in its history.

UI President Sally Mason announced at Wednesday’s state Board of Regents meeting  that 4,666 new freshmen flooded campus this fall, compared with 4,460 last school year.

The previous record was a class of 4,565.

“That ‘I’ keeps getting fatter every year,” Mason said, referring to the tradition of gathering freshmen at Kinnick Stadium to form into the letter. “I think that this is a good start, but it is also just a start.”

Officials hope to heavily recruit even further, and two new dorms are planned to house more first-year students.

“It is my intention to grow the university, and we are working hard to make sure that that happens,” Mason said. “The growth of the University of Iowa will ultimately make some shifts in terms of how we recruit and particularly how we recruit in-state students.” 

Total enrollment for the UI is 31,387, up 322 students from the 31,065 last year. More than 22,000 of those students are undergraduates.

However, graduate enrollment at the UI dropped from 5,939 students to 5,804 this year.

Professional enrollment remained relatively static at 1,835 from 1,812.     

The average GPA of incoming freshmen was 3.63, compared with 3.62 last year.

In addition, the class of 2018 is also the most ethnically diverse in UI history. Approximately 20 percent identify as something other than non-Hispanic white, compared with 17 percent last year and 12.6 percent in 2010.

“The University’s Office of Admissions, and faculty and staff from many of the different colleges worked hard the past year to recruit undergraduate students to the UI,” Associate Provost Lon Moeller told The Daily Iowan in an email.

However, the freshman boost went further than anticipated.

In a July email to students who planned to live in residence halls, UI Director of Housing and Dining Von Stange described the incoming class as “larger than expected” and offered to let students out of their housing contracts past the original deadline.

Around 160 students were placed in expanded housing the first week of school, significantly more than in August 2013.

Moeller said the new class “will make the University of Iowa a more interesting place to study and go to school” while declining to name any challenges, if any, it could pose.

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