Fall 2015 new first-time freshman enrollment numbers at Eastern Illinois University have increased by 2 percent from a year ago, suggesting that the institution’s aggressive admissions efforts are working.
Since taking office in June of this year, EIU President David Glassman has repeatedly said that the university’s first goal is to reach a point of enrollment stability, thus putting an end to a multi-year trend of decreasing enrollment.
“By closing that gap, I believe Eastern is clearly positioning itself for a promising future,” he said. “We plan to continue those recruitment efforts that have brought us success, intensify recruitment efforts in our nearby southern and eastern regions of the state, and enhance our marketability with new initiatives, as well.”
Other positive news revealed by this year’s official 10th day fall enrollment count was an increase in the number of graduate students attending EIU. The number rose by 45 -- from 1,273 in 2014 to 1,318 this year.
"The Graduate School is very pleased with our enrollment increase this fall,” said Ryan Hendrickson, interim dean of Eastern’s Graduate School. “We continue to have attractive and distinguished graduate programs and faculty, which helps explain our enrollment growth. In addition, we have added online graduate programs that have helped increase our accessibility, while at the same time maintaining program excellence."
Both Asian and Hispanic student populations saw increases, as well, and the number of international students continued to climb. There are now a record-breaking 291 students from 40 countries attending the university.
“We are thrilled to welcome the largest international student enrollment in EIU history,” said Kevin Vicker, director, International Students and Scholars. “This total number is up nearly 7 percent from Fall 2014 and up 39 percent from Fall 2013.”
According to Vicker, the most popular areas of study are technology, business and economics with sustainable energy, kinesiology and sports studies, and biological sciences.
“Eastern’s new out-of-state undergraduate tuition rate approved over the summer and new language center also helped fuel a strong incoming class of 47 new undergraduate international students, up 32 percent from Fall 2014,” he added.
“EIU is a wonderful choice for students looking for an outstanding, affordable education with personalized faculty attention within a beautiful, safe and friendly campus,” Glassman said.
Recent college rankings support these claims. U.S. News and World Report released its 2016 annual college rankings today, with EIU again listed as the highest ranking regional public university in Illinois and No. 5 among the Midwest’s top public regional master’s universities.
The region encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Rankings are based on schools’ academic reputations, student selectivity, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources and alumni giving.
In addition, the city of Charleston was recently ranked No. 2 for the safest college town in America and No. 2 for the most affordable college town in America by The SafeWise Report and Business Insider, respectively.
Fall 2015 Enrollment Numbers
Current enrollment numbers reflect a Fall 2015 total enrollment of 8,520 with an on-campus enrollment of 7,616 and an off-campus count of 904. A year ago, the number of students taking on- and off-campus classes was 8,045 and 868, respectively, for a total enrollment of 8,913.
Eastern’s undergraduate students number 7,202, down from 7,640 last year. This includes a drop in transfer students from 888 in Fall 2014 to 798.
Graduate student enrollments increased to 1,318 from last year’s 1,273.
EIU female students again outnumber male students – 5,113 to 3,407.
Minority student enrollment grew by 1 percent to 25.92 percent with increases over last year for Asian and Hispanic students and those listing two or more races.
In addition, the new first-time freshman class is of strong academic quality with average ACT scores (21.41) and high school GPAs (3.08) virtually identical to last year's class.