College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Enrollment on a roll

With Iowa State University undergraduate and graduate student enrollment soaring at a record of 28,682 students this year, it’s little surprise that enrollment in the College of Engineering has surpassed last year’s numbers, which were at a 25-year high.

Still, there are underlying reasons why undergraduate enrollment increased this fall by 418 students and graduate enrollment increased by 73 students to reach a total of 5,448 undergraduate and 1,069 graduate students in the college.

“Enrollment gains over the last three years directly reflect both an increase in students choosing the College of Engineering at Iowa State as their choice to study engineering and an increase in retention rates, a measure of student success within our college’s curriculum,” said Joel Johnson, director of student services for the College of Engineering.

This year at Iowa State, 29 percent of all freshmen on campus are studying engineering. Additionally, both engineering international student and graduate student enrollments are at the highest levels in 12 years, and transfer student enrollment is the highest in 11 years.

“Students and parents in and outside of Iowa find our college as a place committed to a student’s successful college experience, offering varieties of wonderful opportunities to engage the campus culture via research, strong student success programs, and participation in student clubs and organizations,” Johnson said.

An aggressive focus on customer service to prospective students via various student recruitment efforts also contributed to the rise in enrollment. This approach also played a role in an increase in out-of-state students. This year, 42 percent of all engineering undergraduates are from areas outside of Iowa, up from 39 percent last year. Also, 51 percent of all engineering freshmen are from areas outside of Iowa, up from 45 percent last year.

Jonathan Wickert, dean of the College of Engineering, attributed the enrollment numbers to a number of factors that influence prospective students and their families.

“It is clear that students and families see the value of the engineering education experience we provide,” he said. “They understand our commitment to making sure that students get hands-on experience, the core courses they need early in their programs, and support through programs such as our learning communities.”