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More students are enrolled at UIS this fall

UIS 1
NPR Illinois
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Calling it a "spirit lifter" on the campus, University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Janet Gooch announced a 6.4 percent increase in enrollment this semester.

UIS now has a total of 4,198 students, still far off from a high in 2016 when enrollment stood at 5,428. That was also the last time the school had an overall increase in students. Many other colleges and universities have also seen declines during that period.

Gooch said UIS has made some changes she believes are paying off.

"We’ve increased our marketing. We’ve streamlined a lot of our processes for admission. We’ve also notified students sooner when they apply and provided more timely information about financial aid,” she said.

Still, Gooch said there are no target goals for enrollment going forward. "We don't have a specific figure. We think it is important for us to grow and accommodate as many students as we can. But we have to do that in a mindful way so we have enough space on for students who want to live on campus and we have the appropriate level of staffing."

This year's turnaround in enrollment is due to a big jump in graduate and international students. The number of graduate students at UIS totals 1,805 (a 25 percent increase compared to last fall). There are 645 international students, which is about 15 percent of the student body.

Not all the news was promising though. Undergraduate enrolment dropped again — from 2,503 last year to 2,393 now.

The number of students living on campus also increased by 5 percent. A total of 874 students live on campus, up from 833 in fall 2021.

Online learning at UIS has increased to 1,597 students, a 6.8 percent increase from last year. Nearly 62 percent of students have courses on ground, while about 38 percent study online. UIS online students reside in 43 states, 86 counties in Illinois and 14 foreign countries.

“Online learning at UIS continues to thrive,” said Vickie Cook, UIS associate vice chancellor for enrollment and online, professional and engaged learning. “We have students from many states and countries and so many great Illinois students who live throughout the state who are seeking to improve their employability skills, increase their options for career advancement, and complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree program."

A total number of 2,995 students are Illinois residents, making up nearly 72 percent of the student body. Black or African American students make up 11.9 percent of overall enrollment. Students who self-identify as Hispanic comprise 8.2 percent and Asian 4.6 percent.

UIS enacted a 1.5 percent tuition increase for incoming students this fall.

“I think what this says about the university of Illinois Springfield is that students and families know that this is a place to go to get a high quality education at a reasonable price and that students will be successful here. They’ve spoken essentially with their feet,” Gooch said.

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