Philip Patton, UNI Registrar, (319) 273-2283
Vicki Grimes, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Following four consecutive record-setting years, the University of Northern Iowa's fall enrollment stands at 13,926 students, a decrease of 144 or 1 percent.
The decrease in this fall's official enrollment figure had been anticipated, according to UNI Registrar Philip Patton. Each year, UNI updates its 10-year enrollment projection and officials told the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, last April to expect enrollment of about 13,880 for fall 2002, down from the 2001 fall enrollment of 14,070.
While new freshman, transfer and graduate student numbers are down, there has been an increase in the number of returning students, implying that once students enroll at UNI, they are satisfied with their total educational experience, Patton says.
In a letter to regents last week, UNI President Robert Koob told the board members, 'About 95 percent of our undergraduate students are residents of Iowa, so how the citizens of Iowa view public education and its affordability will be directly reflected in our enrollment.'
Following a year of statewide budget cuts and several reductions to UNI's budget, Koob told board members, 'we are planning and taking action to reduce our enrollment to match our resources.' He said that in spite of a 29.8 percent tuition increase in the past two years, for the first time in his tenure as president, UNI had begun its fiscal year with a decrease in its General Fund Budget.
'Quality instruction is our number one priority and is our continuing commitment,' he said. 'We may see further declines in enrollment in the future, but that will be influenced by appropriations and recruitment strategies.'
Among specific enrollment categories for fall 2002, UNI's returning undergraduate enrollment is up 165, or 1.8 percent; returning graduates are up 113, or 9.6 percent; total non-resident enrollment is up 85, or 8 percent; and, total minority enrollment is up 41, or 5.7 percent. Those categories experiencing decreases include new freshmen, down 239, or 11.4 percent; new transfers 102, or 8.4 percent; and, new graduate students, 65, or 15.3 percent.