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Iowa's public universities release enrollment totals for fall semester

Enrollment for the 2023 fall semester is up at two of Iowa's public universities, while another is bringing in record-breaking GPA averages.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa's three public universities welcomed their newest cohorts to campus in August, bringing high enrollment to some and record-breaking GPA averages to another. 

The University of Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa all released their enrollment totals for the 2023 fall semester on Thursday. 

Here's how the numbers break down, school by school. 

University of Iowa

Though the number of new Hawkeyes joining the University of Iowa in the fall 2023 semester (5,064) didn't top the previous year's enrollment of 5,178, the new class' average high school GPA broke school records. 

On average, incoming students averaged a 3.83 high school GPA, which is up from 2022's 3.82 and 2021's 3.81. 

The school's total enrollment is 30,042

  • Undergraduate students: 22,130
  • Graduate students: 6,079
  • Professional students: 1,833

The Class of 2027 is UI's fourth-largest first-year enrollment in school history. 

“We’re so excited these newest Hawkeyes are here and settling in for a great year,” UI President Barbara J. Wilson said in a statement. “What they’ll find on campus are the three C’s: Comprehensive excellence across disciplines—from nonfiction writing, to neuroscience, to nursing; Creativity— we have enormously creative faculty and staff who will help students find their own inspiration to solve problems; and Community—this is a place where everyone loves and supports the University of Iowa.”

Iowa State University

In Ames, enrollment for the incoming fall class increased by approximately 200 since 2022 to 8,715 students — bringing its total population to 30,177. In total, the university has 25,332 undergraduate, 4,210 graduate and 635 veterinary medicine students. 

“This growth is a direct result of Iowa State University’s commitment to provide innovative programs that meet student interest and workforce needs,” president Wendy Wintersteen said.

Here's how the 2023 enrollment breaks down by each college, including both undergraduate and graduate students. 

  • Agriculture and Life Sciences: 4,250
  • Business: 4,820
  • Design: 2,103
  • Engineering: 7,807
  • Human Sciences: 3,381
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences: 6,762
  • Veterinary Medicine: 801
  • Interdepartmental units and graduate undeclared: 253 

University of Northern Iowa

The UNI Panthers saw the largest year-over-year growth in the state, enrollment-wise, as they added 1,552 incoming students for a total of 9,021. 

That's 8% more than 2022's addition to the student population. Notably, 857 of those enrolling this fall are transfer students, marking the highest number of transfers since 2017. 

“We are grateful to all of these students and families for selecting UNI as their college home. Our faculty and staff are staunchly committed to student support and success ... We are excited about UNI’s positive trajectory for these and many more reasons,” said UNI President Mark Nook.

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