Record-breaking Enrollment Growth Continues at Iowa Wesleyan University

Mount Pleasant, IA – September 7, 2021 — This fall, Iowa Wesleyan University continued to see significant enrollment growth, posting its highest overall enrollment in over a decade and the largest number of new students in 86 years.

The University’s fall census boasted a total undergraduate enrollment of 669, a 13% increase over last fall. This enrollment growth is also a 20% increase over the past three years and a 41% increase over the past five years.

The overall enrollment of 835, a 15% increase over last fall, reflects growth in the University’s graduate and online programs and the undergraduate program.  This growth is a 58% increase over the past five years.

“We feel very fortunate to have this solid enrollment for fall 2021, especially amid all the challenges presented by the pandemic,” said President Christine Plunkett. “I am extremely proud of our faculty and staff for their remarkable devotion to our students as our enrollment trends are a direct reflection of a team effort on our campus.”

This growth in students has also pushed campus housing to its capacity.  As the University expects to continue to experience enrollment growth for the future, campus housing and facilities have been a focus of discussions throughout their strategic planning process that is currently underway. 

“We are tremendously excited to have the largest new student enrollment in over eight decades,” stated Meg Richtman, vice president for enrollment, marketing & communications. “While Iowa Wesleyan has focused on new student success initiatives to recruit and support our diverse community of students, the shift back to the NAIA athletic association provided new and exciting opportunities for students.”

The new partnership with Southeastern Community College (the Southeast Iowa Higher Education Alliance) also provided an immediate enrollment impact, with fifteen students transferring through the Alliance this fall.  The regional awareness has also increased the number of new Iowa students by 42% from last fall. 

The University was also able to bring back their international student enrollment to near pre-Covid numbers.  This fall, nearly 100 international students are on campus representing 34 countries. 

Iowa Wesleyan’s online and graduate programs continue to see solid enrollment growth. The University is proud to be an educational resource for all students, particularly in Southeast Iowa.