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EIU Media Relations

Eastern Illinois University enrollment continues to climb


Gains in key areas underscore EIU’s ongoing positive enrollment trajectory

(Charleston, IL) – Two weeks into its fall semester, Eastern Illinois University’s campus is once again bustling with activity—thanks in large part to another year of increased enrollments and a growing on-campus student population.

Official 10th-day enrollment counts for the state’s top-ranked public regional university reveal the following:

  • A total headcount increase of 3.7%, from 7,526 in fall 2018 to 7,806 in fall 2019
  • A total first-time freshman class increase of 12.5%, from 789 in fall 2018 to 888 in fall 2019
  • A 4.2% increase in graduate-level enrollment, from 1,491 in fall 2018 to 1,554 in fall 2019
    Dean of the Graduate School Dr. Ryan Hendrickson confirmed this fall’s Graduate School enrollment at EIU is at its highest point since fall 2010.
  • A 10% increase in freshmen and sophomores enrolled in on-campus classes

In addition, the academic profile of EIU’s incoming freshmen and transfer students—which are based on the GPA and ACT/SAT scores of EIU’s incoming students—once again increased from the previous year. The university also saw a moderate rise in students enrolled in its Jack and Sandra Pine Honors College. Historically, students demonstrating higher academic profiles, or who are enrolled in the university’s high-level honors programs, help to further enhance Eastern’s already-celebrated reputation for above-average retention and graduation rates.

Josh Norman, associate vice president of Enrollment Management, said that EIU’s recent enrollment numbers are extremely positive overall, and especially promising within the east central Illinois region EIU primarily serves.

“Once again, our freshman enrollment numbers have been phenomenal,” Norman said. “We’ve seen an unprecedented 48 percent increase in first-time freshmen who live within a 60-mile radius of campus. Clearly, EIU is reinforcing its reputation as a first-choice option for higher education in Illinois, and doing its part to keep Illinois’ best and brightest students right here in their home state.”

Norman also shared that EIU’s significant freshman class enrollment will help the university to continue to replenish what have been large, outbound graduating classes.

Other significant results of EIU’s fall 2019 10th-day enrollment report included the following:

  • Increases to Four-Year Transfer Enrollments
    EIU’s four-year transfer enrollments have increased by 50% from fall 2018 to fall 2019. Four-year transfer students are those who enrolled at EIU after prior enrollments at other four-year colleges and universities, including out-of-state institutions. EIU officials suggest that an increase in four-year transfer enrollments demonstrates that EIU is successfully doing its part to draw students back to Illinois from other states.
  • International Enrollment:
    EIU’s international student population increased slightly, from 322 students in fall 2018 to 332 students in fall 2019. University officials stated the increase is significant because prevailing federal policies continue to make it challenging for qualified and admitted international students to secure student visas from U.S. Embassies in their countries. What’s more, EIU’s overall international student diversity has once again expanded, with enrolled international students representing 61 countries from around the globe.
  • Dual-Credit/Dual-Enrollment:
    EIU’s dual-credit/dual-enrollment student population saw an increase from fall 2018 to fall 2019.

“As higher education institutions adapt to meet students’ evolving needs, dual-credit and dual-enrollment offerings are leading to increased enrollments at state and national levels,” explained EIU’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Jay Gatrell. “These options are growing in popularity because they offer busy students in-demand programs and flexible learning options for earning college credit while still in high school.”

Gatrell noted that these programs are highly advantageous because they reduce student costs and accelerate degree completion rates. In addition, he said, EIU’s dual-credit options serve as strategic, efficient onramps for students who eventually plan to live and learn on EIU’s Charleston, Illinois campus.

All told, EIU’s fall 2019 enrollment increase follows the university’s most recent enrollment trends. In summer 2019, Eastern’s 10th-day enrollment report indicated a 3.1 percent increase over summer 2018, including a more-than-threefold upsurge in first-time freshmen.

Earlier still, Eastern’s fall 2017 to fall 2018 first-time freshman class grew by 24.5 percent, supporting an overall enrollment increase of 7.1 percent in fall 2018. That was supplemented by another enrollment jump in spring 2019, when Eastern officials celebrated another seven percent increase.

Dr. David Glassman, Eastern’s president, said he’s proud of the work everyone at the university has done to support EIU’s reputation as a premier institution of higher education in the Midwest. In a recent email to employees, Glassman applauded Eastern’s outstanding faculty and staff, sharing that “Your passion, coupled with the tireless work of our phenomenal Admissions and Enrollment Management teams, is a prevailing reason why EIU remains a first-choice option for higher education in Illinois, and for the growing interest and reputation of our programs and services across east central Illinois and throughout the state.”

EIU’s fall 2019 figures come from the university’s 10th-day enrollment report. Tenth-day enrollment reports are the nationally accepted standard for tracking university and college enrollments every semester.

For more information about EIU, or to explore its growing assortment of programs and services, visit the university’s website at, or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.



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Contact Information

Media Relations
Josh Reinhart,
Public Information Coordinator

Booth House
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

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