Projections indicate ISU could surpass UI enrollment - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Projections indicate ISU could surpass UI enrollment

Growing up in Iowa City, Devlin Boyt has always known where he would end up attending college.

"For me, Iowa was pretty much the only choice.  You see Hawkeye stuff everywhere, it's a fun town," Boyt said. 

Sami Schmitt grew up in the heart of Hawkeye country in Cedar Rapids.  She attends the University of Iowa.  Many of her friends are now in Ames.

"I don't know if it's because friends were all going there or major, but everyone I know went to pretty much Iowa State," Schmitt said. 

There's never any love lost when Iowa and Iowa State get together on the field, but university officials say that's where the rivalry ends.

"I don't perceive us to be in a competition," said Michael Barron, executive director of admissions at the UI.

 "I don't think it's something that either one of our institutions is engaged in," said John McCarroll, executive director of university relations at Iowa State.

For the first time in some three decades, Iowa State is projecting it could overtake the University of Iowa in terms of enrollment numbers.

One reason for the significant growth could stem from the high demand in the agriculture industry, a strong program at Iowa State.

"These are professions that are in need of people, and there's a big demand, and students do get good jobs when they leave here," McCarroll said.

But ISU's enrollment boom doesn't mean the U of I is struggling.

In fact, school officials say the University of Iowa expects once again to meet its five year freshman enrollment goal and has strong overall numbers.

"For any institution that's hitting the targets, and hitting their goals, the message they have is resonating with the students with what they want, and that's going to be reflected in the enrollment.  We're certainly happy with ours," Barron said. 

University of Northern Iowa is expecting enrollment to slightly decrease this year.  The school's enrollment depends heavily on in-state students.  School officials say the decline in state high school graduates, and the economy could be factors in this year's numbers.

Final enrollment numbers for all three public institutions are expected to be released in early  September.

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