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EIU Media Relations

Increasing honors, international enrollments reinforce EIU’s strategic direction


Improved academic profiles, targeted growth in key student populations align with Plan 2028’s success trajectory

Charleston, IL – Eastern Illinois University’s Fall 2023 enrollments continue to reflect strategic institutional priorities and align with Plan 2028—EIU's five-year blueprint for advancing its mission, serving all students, and supporting communities across the region and state.

Fall 2023 enrollment highlights include: 1) a 15 percent increase in international enrollment, with record highs for both number of international students (880) and countries represented (60); 2) continued growth in graduate education, including a 1 percent increase in students from 1,941 in Fall 2022 to an all-time high of 1,955 in Fall 2023; 3) a 24 percent increase in freshman enrollment in the College of Education via targeted marketing/recruitment initiatives to attract future teachers to EIU; and 4) expanded partnerships with K-12 schools, local industry, and the State of Illinois.

Increases in international and graduate student populations have helped EIU maintain stable fall-to-fall 10th-Day enrollment overall. The University’s headcount for Fall 2023 is 8,804 students, compared to 8,857 last year.

"The increase in high-achieving students and internationalization of our student population reflects the quality of our programs and the strength of our faculty and staff who prioritize relationships with our students," said EIU’s President Jay Gatrell. "We continue to be recognized as a campus that cultivates a sense of belonging where all students achieve.”

EIU’s commitment to academic excellence and status as a first-choice destination for high-achieving students continues as evidenced by year-over-year increases to the academic profile of new freshman and transfer students, with the highest number of students enrolled who are eligible to participate in the Pine Honors College in the last decade. As the Pine Honors College continues to grow, EIU is investing in additional staffing and resources to support the increasing number of high-achieving students on its campus.

"EIU continues to attract a diverse range of higher-achieving students," added Josh Norman, Vice President for Enrollment Management. "Despite the residual retention impact from COVID and the decline of community college enrollments driving the current enrollment cycle’s data, we’re proud of what the EIU enrollment management and admissions teams have managed to accomplish. It’s important to celebrate our wins this cycle, but it’s also important to acknowledge that there is much work yet to be done. The members of our campus community focused on recruitment and retention developed over 100 strategic enrollment action plans for this next year, including new scholarships, student support programs, and strategic partnerships, among many other concepts to help the University continue to grow and increase the support of our current students."

EIU’s figures come from the University’s 10th-Day enrollment report—the standard metric for enrollment data tracking in Illinois and the nationally accepted standard for tracking university and college enrollments every semester.

For more information about Eastern Illinois University, including its broad array of academic and career readiness programs, or any of EIU’s other community-based services and opportunities, visit 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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