Saturday, September 19, 2020

Despite a worldwide pandemic and uncertainty about the 2020-2021 school year, enrollment numbers at the Tippie College of Business are holding strong.

While the University of Iowa as a whole has seen freshmen enrollment numbers dip, the college had more new students enroll this fall than in fall 2019.

“These numbers are a true testament to the incredible work that the Undergraduate Program Office did this summer,” interim dean Amy Kristof-Brown said. “I want to thank everyone involved for all that they did—seen and unseen—to make this happen and help Tippie maintain financial stability this year, even during state budget cuts.”

Efforts included academic advisors contacting every international student and working with faculty to make a fully online experience available to students who could not return to the United States. Because of their efforts, international students’ academic progression continues without disruption. Scholarship opportunities were also extended to students at risk of dropping out due to economic concerns. The college also successfully recruited 25 high-potential women from diverse and varied backgrounds through the new Dore Emerging Women Leaders Program. Tippie’s social media team created avenues for students and parents to directly reach out to administrators with their questions ahead of the return to campus.

Enrollment graph showing rising numbers from 2016-2020

All the efforts paid off, with the college retaining 96 percent of students that were enrolled in the spring semester.

“The numbers point to the students’ understanding of what a business education can provide,” Director of Enrollment Management Mike Schluckebier said. “In a year where we didn’t know what to expect, we are right around where we want to be.”

Schluckebier said that he expects 2021 enrollment to be even better, in part because the Iowa Board of Regents have said that students do not have to submit a standardized test as part of admissions criteria starting next year.

“Everyone with a 3.6 grade point average will get a second look from our admissions team,” he said. “Missing an ACT is no longer an automatic disqualifier. This new test-flexible policy will make a huge difference for those that didn’t have access testing because of the pandemic.”

Outside of the undergraduate numbers, another positive coming out of the college is the fall 2020 enrollment numbers for the college’s Online MBA Program, which is up substantially from past years. The explosive growth is a true testament to Tippie providing what people want at the time that they want it—in this case a world-class education in an online environment.