Minority, international enrollment remain steady

Melissa Berg

International and minority student enrollment remained on a consistent track this year, and Iowa State administrators attribute the retention to extensive recruiting done by the university.

Recruiters of international students rely on the Internet and traveling on recruitment tours to get the word out about ISU.

Patricia Parker, assistant director of admissions for international students, said the admissions office sends counselors on recruiting tours to various countries.

Admissions counselors have traveled to Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean in the past. This year they toured Scandinavia, France and the Middle East.

Dennis Peterson, director of Office of International Students and Scholars, said new technologies, including an ISU CD-ROM, have been a very useful form of communication between the university and the prospective international students.

Director of Admissions Marc Harding said minority recruitment also was strong.

“From a recruitment perspective, we had a great year with the recruitment of minorities,” he said.

The freshman class set a record this fall for the third-largest number of minorities in university history with 328 students, a more than 30 percent increase from last year’s minority class.

This is the largest number of entering Hispanic and American Indians and the third-highest Asian class on record. African American enrollment is at its highest since 1993.

The Board of Regents has requested minorities to be at least 8.5 percent of the student body at the three regent universities. Currently, minority students make up 6.6 percent of the total enrollment.

Harding said one of the problems in reaching that number is that the state of Iowa’s minority population is only 4.5 percent.

“We are not a very ethnically diverse state,” he said.