Nearly a year ago, Eastern Illinois University President Bill Perry determined that a total enrollment of near 12,000 was optimum for the institution with its resource base.
"And I would say we pretty much hit it on the button," said Blair Lord, provost and vice president for academic affairs, commenting on Eastern's Fall 2008 on- and off-campus enrollment of 12,040. "I am very happy with this number."
Numbers reflect an on-campus enrollment of 10,863 and an off-campus count of 1,177. A year ago, the number of students taking on- and off-campus classes was 11,013 and 1,166, respectively, for a total enrollment of 12,179.
"We achieved the enrollment level we wanted in spite of the fact that we have recently been seeing very sizeable graduating classes," Lord said. "And it speaks to the solid work we do as a campus in retaining our students, as well as the fine work of our Admissions Office in recruiting and enrolling new students."
A breakdown of Eastern's 10,261 undergraduate students (down from 10,410 last year) is as follows (with Fall 2007 figures in parenthesis): freshmen, 2,649 (2,581); sophomores, 1,966 (2,099); juniors, 2,448 (2,396); and seniors, 3,198 (3,334). Graduate students number 1,779, a slight increase from last year's 1,769.
EIU officials are particularly pleased with a continued increase in minority students (from 1,488 to 1,655). Minority students now make up 13.75 percent of total enrollment, up from 12.22 percent in 2007, and 11.35 percent in 2006. Those enrollments, broken down, are as follows: black, 1,151 (997); Hispanic, 324 (299); Asian/Pacific Islander, 141 (148); and American Indian/Alaskan Native, 39 (44).