EIU Spring Enrollment Confirms Recruitment Efforts Are On Course
Spring enrollment numbers at Eastern Illinois University confirm that the institution remains on course in its effort to stabilize and increase the number of students who attend there.
A modest increase in the number of freshmen, coupled with significant increases in the number of international and Hispanic students in attendance at Eastern, reflect evidence that recruitment efforts are working.
The number of international students attending EIU increased to 223, up from 137 a year ago.
Kevin Vicker, director of Eastern’s Office of International Students and Scholars, explained: “Our computer technology graduate degree, as well as other notable growing degree programs such as sustainable energy, economics, business administration, geographic information systems and kinesiology and sports studies, continues to attract international students.
“Our reputation in India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Nepal has grown quickly as many more students from these countries and others are choosing EIU due to our personal approach, scholarship options or attractive programs,” he added. “We regularly receive students from our partner universities in South Korea -- partnerships we established in the past few years.”
Minorities represent nearly 24 percent of Eastern’s enrollment. The numbers, broken down by category (with Spring 2013 figures in parentheses), are as follows: American Indian/Alaskan Native, 18 (26); Asian, 85 (83); Black, 1,413 (1,424); Hispanic, 402 (364); and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 4 (8).
Overall, spring numbers at Eastern are comparable to figures reported in the fall, with overall enrollment dropping from 9,775 to 8,833 -- a loss of 942. As usual, school officials anticipated a spring decrease due to the number of seniors and graduate students graduating in December.
A breakdown of Eastern’s total Spring 2014 student enrollment is as follows: freshmen, 1,308 (1,287); sophomores, 1,351 (1,488); juniors, 1,949 (2,083); seniors, 2,858 (3,203); and graduate students 1,318 (1,361.)
The numbers reflect a healthy and consistent 90 percent fall-to-spring retention rate for freshmen who enrolled for the first time in Fall 2013 -- 1,254, enrolled in Fall 2013; 1,127, still enrolled in the spring.
University officials are also encouraged by the number of out-of-state residents choosing to attend EIU. In Fall 2011, the university established a program in which individuals from states bordering Illinois -- Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin -- would pay the same tuition rate as someone from Illinois.
The number of participants taking advantage of the program seems to be growing overall: Indiana, 78 (49); Iowa, 10 (12); Kentucky, 2 (6); Missouri, 36 (26); and Wisconsin, 38 (23).