Daily Iowan: ISU School Looks to UI's

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

By Jennifer Delgado - The Daily Iowan

Iowa State University and the UI share similar ratios of U.S. and international engineering graduate students, but ISU is looking to recruit more domestic students, possibly incorporating some of the UI's recruitment style.

At the UI College of Engineering, 52 percent of graduate students are domestic while 48 percent are international. Meanwhile, in Ames, 1 percent fewer come from the United States.

"The UI engineering college has a strong and active program in recruiting diverse students," said Greg Carmichael, an associate dean of graduate programs at the UI engineering school. "Not only does the college reach out to different areas of the country, but we use current students as ambassadors."

Nancy Knight, director of diversity and graduate student affairs at ISU's engineering college, said she believes the Ames-based school lacks this element. ISU needs to change its tactic by drafting students from schools with strong science curricula and no graduate programs, she said.

She added that a lack of staffing is another reason why the problem exists, however recruiting efforts are picking up.

Carmichael credited the strong recruitment focus on graduate training and research, the small size of the engineering college, and the financial support given to these graduate students as factors contributing to the comparable rates.

"Our goal is to go after very fine graduate students," Carmichael said. "We do place a premium on going after domestic students."

At the UI, all students in the engineering graduate programs receive some type of monetary assistance. Typically, these students receive around $25,000 toward tuition through the help of training grants, fellowships, and graduate research assistantships.

ISU engineering graduate students receive anywhere from $1,300 to $1,800 a month with the help of assistantships and grants, said Knight. The majority of these students pay half of in-state tuition, as well.

One unique recruitment incentive that the UI College of Engineering offers undergraduates is a chance to begin taking graduate level work in their senior year of college.

Although the class load intensifies, students can graduate with their master's degree in less time.

"Financially, it's not a big deal," said Greg Neiswander, an engineering graduate student from Crystal Lake, Ill. "Here, I have a few scholarships, a graduate research assistantship, and in-state tuition. It just makes sense to go to here for graduate school."

E-mail DI reporter Jennifer Delgado at:

jennifer-delgado@uiowa.edu