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Release: Immediate

Enrollment in Iowa colleges up by only 1 percent; new freshmen numbers increase 7.6 percent

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Enrollment in Iowa public and private colleges and universities increased by 1 percent from the fall of 1997 to the fall of 1998, according to a report issued by the Iowa Coordinating Council on Post-High School Education. The total number of students enrolled in the state's institutions of higher education this fall is 182,528, an increase of 1,959 over the 1997 total of 180,569.

The number of new freshmen in the state was up by 7.6 percent, however. That number jumped to 41,700, up from 38,754 last year.

Iowa's three state supported universities enrolled a total of 67,619 students, an increase of 1,256 over last year. Those schools account for 37 percent of the total headcount for higher education institutions. The number of new freshmen at the state universities was up by 124, to 9,791. That is 23.5 percent of the total of new freshmen.

Community colleges have 61,479 students this year, up from 60,620 last year, an increase of 859. That total accounts for 33.7 percent of the overall enrollment of college students. Community colleges saw the number of new freshmen rise by 528, to a total of 20,667. That equals 49.6 percent of the state's total.

The state's private colleges and universities have 47,391 students this year, down 91 from the 47,482 students enrolled last year. This year's enrollment equals 26 percent of the overall figure. However, the private colleges led the way in enrolling new freshmen, jumping to 10,086 this year, an increase of 1,989 over their 1997 total. All told, the privates have 24.2 percent of the new freshmen for 1998.

Private junior colleges and business schools showed the largest percentage increase in overall enrollment, going from 2,207 students last year to 2,325 this year, an increase of 118 (5.3 percent). Their new freshmen count for 1998 is 1,028, up from 816 last year.

Enrollment at nursing schools and medical technology schools also increased. Nursing school enrollment is 450, up from 434 last year. Medical technology school enrollment is 112, up from 109. Likewise, the number of new freshmen at nursing schools is up from 51 in 1997 to 60 in 1998. The number of new freshmen in medical technology schools increased from 36 in 1997 to 41 this year.

Jerald W. Dallam, registrar at the University of Iowa, prepared the report.