Traditionally, fall-to-spring enrollment numbers at Eastern Illinois University decrease -- in large part, a result of the number of students who graduate at the end of the fall semester.
Spring 2015 is consistent with years past. Numbers are comparable to figures reported in the fall, with overall enrollment dropping from 8,913 to 8,214 – a loss of 699 students. Given that 728 degrees were awarded to graduating students in December, the decrease was not unexpected.
"Our fall-to-spring enrollment changes are based on the number of students who graduate in the fall, enter in the spring, and who are retained across the semesters,” noted Mary Herrington-Perry, assistant vice president for academic affairs.
“Our freshman retention rate was exceptional once again (89 percent), and we also enrolled more ‘readmitted’ undergraduate and graduate students than we did last spring, which is a good sign: Student who have not been at EIU for a while are now returning to complete their degrees. That shows confidence in EIU and underscores the importance of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees which, as studies continue to show, lead graduates to higher lifetime earnings,” she added.
The number of international students attending EIU also showed an increase – 281, up from 273 in the fall.
“International enrollment has grown, making it the largest international student enrollment in EIU history,” said Kevin Vicker, director, International Students and Scholars. This includes 79 new international students for the spring semester – 27 undergraduates and 52 graduates.
“Key partnerships have contributed to this growth, including our partnership with Chungnam National University in South Korea who send 10 undergraduate students for this semester, and our partnership with a couple of education consultants in Nepal who sent nine undergraduate students for this semester.
“At the graduate level, our largest overall major (among international students) continues to be computer technology, followed by MBA, sustainable energy and kinesiology and sports studies,” Vicker continued. “At the undergraduate level, business-related majors are the most popular, followed by communication and kinesiology and sports studies.”
Majors with the largest number of bachelor's degree recipients among all EIU students in FY 2014 were kinesiology and sports studies, communication studies, general studies, family and consumer sciences, and psychology.
A breakdown of Eastern’s total Spring 2015 student enrollment stands as follows (with Fall 2014 figures in parentheses): freshmen, 1,137 (1,693); sophomores, 1,273 (1,454); juniors, 1,818 (1,923); seniors, 2,668 (2,522); post baccalaureate undergraduates, 47 (48); and graduate students, 1,271 (1,273).
Minorities represent nearly 25 percent of Eastern’s enrollment. The numbers broken down by category are as follows: American Indian/Alaskan Native, 24 (21); Asian, 88 (80); Black, 1,360 (1,500); Hispanic, 409 (444); Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 5 (6); and two or more races 153 (169).
University officials continue to be encouraged by the number of out-of-state residents choosing to attend EIU. In Fall 2011, the university established a program in which individuals from states bordering Illinois – Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin – would pay the same tuition rate as someone from Illinois.
The number of participants taking advantage of the program is as follows: Indiana, 90; Iowa, 6; Kentucky, 7; Missouri, 41; and Wisconsin, 38.