By SABINA IDRIZ
Drake University has been making strides in increasing enrollment when it comes to out- of- state and international students. As another semester begins, students from all around the nation – and even the globe – have traveled back to Iowa to receive their education here.
Drake University’s first-year students entering the fall 2018 semester came from 28 states and 10 countries. Only 34 percent of these students are from Iowa. The state of Illinois came in second: 20 percent of students call it home. Meanwhile, 1.6 percent of students are international.
Drake has a large amount of out-of-state students in comparison with other Iowa colleges. 59 percent of Iowa State University’s undergraduate students in the fall of 2018 were from Iowa, along with 58 percent of the University of Iowa’s undergraduate students in the fall 2017 semester.
Minnesota is the third most common home state among Drake students; it was the home of 14 percent of incoming first-year students. First-year student Sean Cusick is from Minnesota but decided to travel to Drake for his studies.
“It’s way less cold here than in Minnesota,” Cusick said. “I like Drake a lot and it’s the perfect distance from home. It’s about a four-hour drive so transportation is easy and somewhat cheap but I’m far enough away from home to feel independent.”
First-year student Sophia Gloo was born in Iowa but has spent most of her life in Wisconsin, where 7 percent of the fall semester’s incoming first-years are from.
“I enjoy being in Iowa because it feels like home to me since I was born in Des Moines,” Gloo said. “There’s a lot of nostalgia here.”
One potential drawback to out-of-state education is the travel and tuition expenses. Whether a bus trip or a flight by plane, some amount of time and money has to be sacrificed to get here, and out-of-state tuition is typically more costly.
Another drawback is the homesickness some students may feel as a result of being in a new and unfamiliar place.
“I sometimes get homesick, but I try and FaceTtime with my parents (and my dog) when I have free time and that helps,” Gloo said. “My only regret is that I occasionally feel like I’m missing out on things at tThe University of Wisconsin-Madison because most of my high school friends go there. Sometimes I feel a little left out, but I don’t regret my choice to come to Drake.”
Many believe that the time away from home has its benefits which can make it all worth it. The academic programs an institution has to offer are often paramount to students making their final choice on a college. Gloo identified another benefit, recommending going to an out- of- state college because of the independence the move provides.
“It’s a great experience and I think you’re able to gain a lot more of a sense of independence than if you were to stay in state,” Gloo said. “Plus, there are so many new things to explore! It has been a positive experience for me because of how I’ve been able to feel truly independent. There’s something about being in an entirely new place that gives you a sense of adventure.”
Cusick encourages those contemplating the move to take the leap.
“I think being away from home is a good way to introduce high schoolers to being independent adults,” Cusick said.