According to today‘s CR Gazette story, Iowa Wesleyan asked the state for $12 million in federal ARPA funds (COVID relief money) to help them transition to a self-sustainable enrollment of around 1000 students. Governor Reynolds said 1) we didn’t get that request until February 3, don’t you know we have other more important priorities right now and 2) our independent auditing firm says you’re a bad risk.
Interestingly, Iowa Wesleyan has actually been slowly growing enrollment, even through the pandemic, almost doubling since 2015. Undergraduates have gone from 386 in 2015 to about 750 this year.
The college was, though, still looking at some serious financial challenges - they still owe the US Department of Agriculture over $26 million on a loan they took out a few years ago, using the campus as collateral - and that loan could be called as early as this November. That was one of the issues cited by the auditing firm that said it wasn’t a good risk for the ARPA funds.