Distance education is booming at Iowa’s public universities. Since 2013, total enrollment is up 44 percent and total credit hours taken are up 40 percent. This is by design, as the Regents’ strategic plan calls for the expansion of distance education efforts, which are already paying dividends.
These distance education efforts, including greatly improved online course offerings and the consolidation of the Regents Resource Centers in Western Iowa, have provided students more flexibility in how they schedule their classes and have expanded access to higher education and services throughout Iowa.
Each year, thousands of students across the Regents Enterprise apply for some kind of financial aid, and each year millions of dollars are distributed. In 2017-18, the total amount of financial aid awarded to Regent university students topped $1 billion for the fifth-straight year.
During the 2017-18 academic year, the Regents institutions awarded $410.8 million in institutional aid, including $263.5 million in grants and scholarships. Undergraduates were awarded 70 percent of all financial aid, including 84% of the available institutional grants. Resident undergraduates — students that call Iowa home — received more than $102 million in aid from Iowa’s public universities. Grants and scholarships, however, are only part of the financial aid package.
Students who graduate from one of Iowa’s public universities have a choice to make. Do they remain in the state, take a job and become a part of the state community that provided their education? Or do they take flight, move out of state, and get their start in a new area of the country?
Aggregated across the Regent Universities, 59 percent of bachelor’s degree earners choose to remain in Iowa after they earn their degree. Each year, Iowa’s public universities add 5,000 educated workers to Iowa’s workforce. These graduates live in every corner of the state and utilize their education to succeed in every field imaginable. Here are two such graduates and their stories: