Iowa State released its final student enrollment for 2019 with the highest freshman class in the state, as well as increased engagement and degrees earned within the student body.
There are 5,597 freshman students — the largest freshman class in the state of Iowa — contributing to the total 33,391 enrolled at Iowa State, which is less than 2018’s enrollment. According to a press release, the freshman class had a record-setting high school rank average of 77.68, a GPA of 3.68 and 28.4 percent of the students were in the top 10 percent of their high school class.
“That just makes me very proud as a cyclone,” said Laura Doering, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success. “[...] I love that we are growing academic profiles, diversity while still serving Iowans, and it’s fantastic. When you think about a land grant, you think about access and affordability, yet we’re still attracting top notch students, we’re still attracting a diverse group of students and we’re attracting students that come to us fully engaged with everything that Iowa State [...] offers them.”
There is a total of 33,991 students enrolled at Iowa State, coming from all 99 Iowa counties, 50 states and 115 countries as well as Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Mariana Islands.
Of the 33,391 students are 28,294 undergraduate students — 16,865 of them from Iowa alone. Including graduate students, there are 18,341 students coming from all 99 Iowa counties. There are 3,380 first-year students, which is slightly more than last year.
There are fewer undergraduate international students attending Iowa State, at a total of 3,189 students. Doering said the declining rate is a result of the national decline of international students.
“So the bottom line is that there are fewer international students [that] are looking to attend a U.S. university that is accounting for one-third of Iowa State’s decline in total enrollment,” Doering said.
Doering said this decline is a combination of multiple factors: competition from international universities, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand graduate schools, as well as the political climate, which includes trade policies.
“The political culture, the increased competition for international students — all of that is played into Iowa State’s ability to attract international students,” Doering said.
There is also a decline as most students are directly entering the workforce after graduating high school, according to the news release.
Despite the decline in international students, Iowa State is more diverse now than in 2018 as 15.3 percent of the undergraduate students are U.S. multicultural students and 14.63 percent are U.S. multicultural students as a whole.
Students at Iowa State are also actively engaged with more than 41 percent of them participating in high-impact experiences, such as learning communities, honor programs and undergraduate research.
“Our students are definitely taking advantage of the many opportunities to engage in what our high-impact practices from leadership experiences outside of the classroom to amazing co-curricular opportunities like study abroad or participating in our honor programs,” Doering said.
Doering said clubs and internships are high impact experiences that help students build connections and are the “greatest points of pride” for Iowa State.
Along with the academic success, Iowa State hit a record of undergraduate students in the 2018-19 school year and summer who earned degrees — this surpassed the all-time high that was set in 2018. Within six months of graduation, 95 percent of the students were employed or going to professional school.
“That 95 percent means that’s the number of students that are employed, or they decided to go on and get their graduate education or professional schools — medicine, law, vet med — whatever the case be, so we’re really pleased that we sit at 95 percent,” Doering said.
The College of Engineering has 8,778 students, making it the largest college on campus, while the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences follows with 7,876 students.
The College of Business — 4,820 students — and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences — 4,821 students — are extremely close. The College of Human Science has 4,124 students while the College of Design has 1,905.
The College of Veterinary Medicine has 599 professionals and 149 graduate students, and there are 319 students who are undeclared graduate students or in interdepartmental units.
Doering said the Enrollment Management Department is grateful to the university.
“Because it takes a village to bring in a strong and healthy class, and we were able to do that because of all of our colleagues across campus and in the Ames community,” Doering said.