This fall’s incoming first-year class at the University of Iowa — a group that includes Lily Langford of Paradise Valley, who plans to pursue a degree in human physiology — has topped previous records with an average high school GPA of 3.82.
The university continues to attract high-achieving students, according to a press release, with the average high school GPA for the classes of 2025 and 2024 reporting 3.81 and 3.78, respectively.
It is also the third-largest incoming first-year class on record at 5,178 students, after 5,643 in the fall of 2016 and 5,241 in the fall of 2015.
“We are so excited to welcome these newest Hawkeyes, a large and accomplished class full of energy and new perspectives,” UI president Barbara J. Wilson stated in the release. “We’ll make sure they have the extraordinary opportunities they deserve as we continue to make progress on our university priorities: student, faculty, and staff success; transformational research and discovery; diversity, equity, and inclusion; holistic well-being for our campus stakeholders; and public engagement and impact. I can’t wait to make this year another great one for the University of Iowa.”
At 5,178, the class of 2026 has 657 more students than last year’s incoming first-year class. About 21% of the class are first-generation students, and about 20% identify as African American, American Indian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, Asian, Latinx, or two or more ethnicities.
Sarah Hansen, vice president for student life, said in the release that the Hawkeye spirit is as vibrant as ever in the newest student cohort.
“I can already tell that the Class of 2026 is going to be an exceptionally engaged class and that they will quickly make their mark on campus,” Hansen stated. “They participated in On Iowa! programming in record numbers and are demonstrating their commitment to being a part of the Hawkeye community already. We are so happy they chose us-the UI sense of community is second to none, and we are all here to help them succeed within and beyond the classroom.”
About 54% of the incoming first-year class are Iowa residents, and about 1% are international students. The class represents 92 of Iowa’s 99 counties, 45 U.S. states and territories (including Washington, D.C., and bases for the U.S. Armed Forces), and 40 countries.
“We know when prospective students see our campus in person, meet our faculty and staff, and experience our downtown, Iowa jumps to the top of their list of schools,” Brent Gage, associate vice president for enrollment management, stated. “This incoming class is a testament to our university’s collective effort to safely host campus visit programs despite the pandemic.”
The release added that this year, 21,973 undergraduates are enrolled at Iowa. About 45% of Iowa’s students identify as male and about 55% as female. Graduate students total 6,156, and professional students total 1,886. Total undergraduate, graduate, and professional enrollment is 30,015 students.
Additionally, Iowa has 1,302 postgraduate scholars (medical residents and postdoctoral students).