Eastern Illinois University's fall enrollment is down slightly from last year's record-setting figure, the result of officials' decision to pull in the reins to keep class sizes low and personal attention high.
Altogether, EIU has enrolled 12,179 students this semester. Although that's down 1.4 percent from last fall's 12,349 figure, it's still the second-largest in the university's history.
"A student enrollment of 12,000 is the right size for Eastern with its current resource base," said President Bill Perry, upon review of Eastern's tenth-day numbers. "We're right where we wanted to be."
"We're pleased that our enrollment has remained strong," said Blair Lord, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "The decrease in total student enrollment that we do see was expected, in that the university has taken deliberate measures to edge back with a long-term, sustainable goal in mind. We're pleased that our efforts have been successful.
"Our students come to Eastern, in part, because we offer small classes and offer them the personal attention that they both want and need. By adjusting our enrollment in measured but moderate ways, we can ensure our students that they, too, will benefit from Eastern's tradition of offering a quality education this year and in the future."
A breakdown of Eastern's 10,410 undergraduate students (down from 10,592 last year) is as follows, with Fall 2006 figures in parenthesis: freshmen, 2,581 (2,669); sophomores, 2,099 (1,980); juniors, 2,396 (2,671); and seniors, 3,334 (3,272). Graduate students number 1,769, a slight increase from last year's 1,757.
The number of students taking classes on campus is 11,013; the other 1,166 are taking courses at off-campus locations.
EIU officials are particularly pleased with a continued increase in minority students (from 1,401 to 1,488). Minority students now make up 12.21 percent of total enrollment, up from 11.35 percent in 2006, and 10.5 percent in 2005. Those enrollments, broken down, are as follows: black, 997 (924); Hispanic, 299 (284); Asian/Pacific Islander, 148 (154); and American Indian/Alaskan Native, 44 (39).
In addition, the number of international students has again increased from 151 to 185, a growth of 22.5 percent.