Iowa Private College was held last week, sponsored by the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (IAICU). The week-long event is designed to give prospective students and their families a special opportunity to visit the state's 31 nonprofit, private college campuses, including Buena Vista University. The annual event, which welcomes hundreds of college-seeking students each year, allows students to participate in campus tours and activities specifically designed to assist them in evaluating their needs and desires for their higher education experience.
In 2003, Iowa Private College Week generated 5,286 campus visits to Iowa's private colleges and universities, creating an increase in participation rates of more than 12 percent from 2002. Since the beginning of IPCW in 1999, participation has grown 140 percent, demonstrating that students are finding the on-campus experience beneficial to their college search process.
During Iowa Private College Week, each campus conducts tours and free information sessions on financial aid twice daily. During the tours, prospective students and their families can meet current students and faculty and learn about academic programs.
"Visiting college campuses is an excellent way for students to objectively learn about the college or university they may be interested in attending," said Deb Barger, Iowa Private College Week chair and vice president for enrollment management at Grand View College in Des Moines. "One of the students' big concerns, of course, is how they will pay for college. This event helps students realize that an education at one of Iowa's private colleges and universities is feasible." In fact, more than 90 percent of students attending Iowa's private college receive financial aid and the institutions themselves grant more than $200 million in non-returnable financial student aid.
"Iowa's private colleges and universities are dedicated to providing students with immediate access to an educational experience that best serves their needs," Dr. David Maxwell, IAICU chair and president of Drake University, Des Moines. "By allowing students to come visit our campuses and experience firsthand our campus communities, both academically and socially, we hope to give them the information they need to make an educated decision about the future.
Iowa's private colleges and universities are a diverse collective of 31 independent institutions that offer students the choice of enriching, individualized educational experiences, both academically and socially. Located in cities and towns that span the state, Iowa's private colleges educate more than 50,000 annually. Combined, they offer 147 undergraduate degree programs and an expansive selection of extra-curricular activities and work-study/internship opportunities. Iowa's private college campuses are safe, stimulating, participatory communities with an average student-faculty ration of 14 to 1. These 31 schools are represented by the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Des Moines. For more information about Iowa's private colleges, go to the website www.ThinkIndependently.com