Final year for Iowa Private College Week; Dubuque private schools say they'll continue the tradition
This week, students all across the state are touring private colleges as part of Iowa Private College Week. However, this is the last year the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities is hosting it.
That's because a majority of the presidents from each of the 25 private colleges voted to stop the event.
Representatives from Clarke University, Loras College and the University of Dubuque say they'll hold their own Private College Week next year.
On Tuesday, Loras hosted a morning session where high school students met with professors, coaches and toured the campus.
Dubuque Senior High School senior Ava Frye said she learned a lot from the visit.
"I think it's really helpful actually just getting out there, having help. I mean there's so many people around to help, it's awesome," she said.
Frye is among many students participating in the week-long event among Dubuque's three private schools.
University of Dubuque Associate Vice President and Dean of Admission Robert Broshous said, "we've always enjoyed hosting students during Iowa Private College Week and it's been a big event for us."
Broshous and other college representatives in Dubuque say an advantage of hosting summer tours is student availability.
Clarke University Vice President for Enrollment Management Jay Fedje said, "we're not fighting other schedules so heavily and it gives students access to colleges they wouldn't normally have seen."
They say visiting campus this week gives students a more authentic feel of the college experience, because they aren't on a solo tour around campus.
That's why all three colleges say they want to mimic this event next year in their own way.
"We're looking at how we can still capture this environment, this great energy, and excitement but doing it in a way that's more strategic as far as our own campus and the resources and having faculty and staff and students available to the students at the ideal time for our recruiting cycle," Loras College Director of Admission Recruitment and Retention Kyle Klapatkusaas said.
Whether it's coming together to host a tri-college week in August or doing separate events, all three colleges see the benefits of having prospective students commit to a school in Dubuque.
Fedje said, "the tide raises all ships. So if students are coming here and they're picking one of the private colleges here that are in this community...it helps us, it helps Dubuque."
Frye hopes the tradition carries on in some way.
She said, "It's such a great opportunity for exposure and to get people out."