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UI student admits increase

BY BRENDAN MAGEE | JANUARY 23, 2015 5:00 AM

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Students whose applications were accepted by the University of Iowa are up 9 percent —nearly 1,400 more students — from the previous academic year, University of Iowa officials said.

UI President Sally Mason said at a press availability on Wednesday that student admittance had markedly increased from previous year.

“I have to say admits are up 9 percent, and that continues to be a strong indicator that we should have a good, healthy freshman class in the fall,” Mason said.

The announcement comes months after the state Board of Regents announced a new enrollment- and performance-based funding plan that would base 60 percent of state funding distribution on the basis of in-state enrollment.

Under the plan, the UI is expected to lose almost $50 million, split between Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa. The formula was created in an effort to rebalance what some perceived to be an unfair way to allocate state funds based on history.

Because the UI is composed of nearly half nonresident students, the university has attempted to attract more in-state students since the announcement.

Its “For Iowa” ad campaign totaled nearly $800,000 in advertising expenses, according to documents obtained by The Daily Iowan in a public records request.

“Overall, there have been almost 1,400 admits this year compared with the previous year,” said Emil Rinderspacher, the director of UI Admissions & Enrollment. “This is all proving that our recruitment plan to admit more first-year students, and this shows it’s working.”

Over the summer, UI also increased its recruitment strategies by deploying print, radio, TV, online, and out-of-home advertising to help increase applications.

The university also increased admissions-staff presence across the state.

“We’ve done a lot more personal contact with students,” Mason said. “We have full-time counselors in Des Moines now, and I think it’s been really helpful.”

The campaign, launched in July, ended with nearly 62 million ad impressions, focusing primarily on the major cities throughout Iowa.

At last count, the UI received 46 percent of state funding, ISU received 36 percent, and UNI received 18 percent.

Some officials said the new model will help alleviate underfunding at UNI and compensate for ISU’s spike in enrollment in recent years.

“The new financial plan might be more enticing to bring more in-state students, but attracting Iowa residents have always been our No. 1 priority,” said Phil Caffrey, the senior associate director of ISU admissions.

Although ISU has the largest number of in-state students, the UI has most of the state’s professional and graduate programs, such as the medical, pharmacy, and law schools. In the funding model, they receive 5 percent.


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