As the number of Iowa high school graduates attending Iowa’s public colleges are decreasing, the scholarships for these students are increasing. This could affect Wartburg’s enrollment, Vice President of Enrollment Management Edith Waldstein said.
“The legislation will make the regents universities much more aggressive about recruiting students from Iowa,” Waldstein said.
Waldstein said she doesn’t think this will result in lower enrollment at Wartburg because Wartburg’s strategies are geared toward meeting the competition head on and getting their market share of Iowa students.
“In terms of competition for that smaller pool that has developed over the years of Iowa high school graduates that will certainly affect us because the competition will be greater,” Waldstein said.
Assistant Vice President for Admissions Todd Coleman said he has seen a decrease in the number of Iowa students at Wartburg.
“We have been watching Midwest demographics for a long time and know that not just in Iowa, but throughout the Midwest there are declining high school graduation numbers,” Coleman said. “We have been broadening our outreach for a number of years, foreseeing that would take place.”
Coleman said recruiting more out-of-state students, brings certain challenges with it.
“Statistics say that most students will attend college within 250 miles of their home. That’s an immediate challenge, the distance and getting people to think outside of the box and outside of their comfort zone,” Coleman said.
“We place such a strong emphasis on visiting campus and making sure that they find a place that’s the right fit. That certainly becomes a bigger challenge the further away people are.”
Coleman said the increased competition for recruiting in-state students has not yet forced Wartburg to change how they recruit in-state students. “We continue to make our commitment in the $40 million of financial aid that we give away to students every year. We haven’t decreased that at all and are committed to providing that to students,” Coleman said.
Coleman added that, to his knowledge, Wartburg is the only school that has already set its tuition for next year.
“I think we have come out and very boldly said we are trying to keep costs as low as possible and announced it four to five months ahead of any of our competition,” Coleman said.
“I think that’s a statement there in and of itself of what we are trying to do,” he said.