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ISU State's Largest Public University, Breaks 2012 Enrollment Record

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AMES, Iowa - For the first time since 1979, Iowa State University has topped the University of Iowa in total enrollment.

With 33,241 students attending the Ames-based institution, ISU has not only broken its previous record enrollment, reached in fall 2012 with a count of 31,040 learners, the school is now also the state's largest public university.

ISU's more than 7-percent enrollment gain makes it the state's lone regent institution to see an increase in student attendance this year. The University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa, the remaining regent schools, both released their enrollment information Wednesday as well.

The UI is educating 31,067 students this fall, a 1.37 percent decrease from last year's enrollment of 31,498. President Sally Mason attributed that loss to about 300 fewer graduate students, due to closing or downsizing weak programs. She also cited the UI's shrinking law school in discussing a loss of around 100 professional students.

"We graduated nearly 100 more grad students over spring and fall than we had in previous years," Mason said. "We always see a bit of a decline in graduate education when the economy improves. People are choosing to get out into the job market."

Undergraduate enrollment at the UI is 21,974 this year, only down 25 students from 21,999 in 2012.

"This year, thanks to enrollment management, our undergraduate enrollment has held steady," Mason said.

Despite enrolling 359 more students than projected, UNI's student population continued to decline, dropping to 12,159 from 12,273 in fall 2012.

The Gazette's Erin Jordan contributed to this story.

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