Coe College navigates extraordinary recruiting year to welcome third-largest class

Classof25LibraryStepsHigh school students across the country continue to take notice of Coe College’s perennial national recognition as a leading college.

Coe recently welcomed 438 students to the college, which is in the top 7% of four-year colleges and universities on The Princeton Review Best Value Colleges list, and ranks 10th nationally in the private college category on its list of Best Schools for Internships and 20th for Best Alumni Network. Coe is the only Iowa college or university to earn rankings in both categories. 

The incoming students comprise the third-largest class in the college’s 170-year history, including the largest domestic first-year population ever. The nine largest classes in Coe’s history have all come over the past nine years.

Over the past year, communicating the opportunities and value that a Coe education creates took ingenuity and patience when relationship-building and campus visits were mostly limited to a virtual setting.

“I’m thrilled to be able to welcome these students,” said Associate Vice President for Enrollment Josh Kite. “This past year was atypical in so many ways, but the one thing that never waivered was the resiliency of the admission staff and Coe community working together alongside our incoming class to navigate this unforeseen situation.”

Coe remained committed to connect on a personal level with students who were interested in enrolling at Coe. In addition to limited in-person contact, online chats, video calls and virtual tours with an in-person student guide allowed admission counselors to demonstrate and discuss what being a student at Coe was like.

The efforts resulted in the impressive class, which is composed of students from 27 different states and six countries — the second-largest state distribution in the college’s history. Of the 438 students, 48% will play varsity athletics, 42% are first-generation students and one-third (33.5%) come from underrepresented backgrounds, also the second highest percentage in the college’s history. The class academic profile features an average GPA of 3.7 and average ACT of 25.

“It’s a historic class in historic times. It speaks to our reputation and to our commitment to foster academic excellence and student success,” Kite said.

The Class of 2025 is currently working with members of the newly-formed Office of Student Success and Persistence to aid in their transition to college. Success coaches will work with members of the class throughout the year to provide guidance on how to assimilate into a college environment.

“Coe is poised to meet the needs of this generation of students. We recognize the uniqueness of the times and have risen to provide the needed services to our community,” said Vice President for Enrollment Julie Staker. “In addition to the Office of Student Success and Persistence, our C3: Creativity, Careers, Community center is connecting students to alumni and internships in a way that’s nationally recognized, and Coe continues to proceed with innovations like our Center for Health and Society.”

“We’re excited to not only welcome these students to their new home, but to begin to pair them with these opportunities while they are undergraduate students which in turn will create valuable professional experience and networks to open doors upon graduation,” Staker said.

The efforts to enhance academics with career-affirming experiences and professional connections have been effective. For the past decade, reporting Coe graduates have been employed, in graduate school or involved in service opportunities nearly 100% of the time within nine months of graduation. The latest national average is 83%.

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