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UIS reports 11% fall enrollment increase

Lincoln statue on UIS campus
Sean Crawford/NPR Illinois

For the second straight year, the University of Illinois Springfield has announced a rise in fall 2023 enrollment.

Total enrollment is 4,661, up from 4,198, which is 11% higher than last fall, when the student population was up 6%.

“I was ecstatic,” said UIS Chancellor Janet Gooch about the total. “It’s a real positive sign of how things are going at UIS.”

She said the campus has worked to boost the number of students choosing to enroll.

“Some of the things we’ve done is providing some personalized access for students…making sure our advisors are connected with students as they are thinking about coming to UIS,” Gooch said.

She also touts decisions like joining the Common App, which simplifies the college application process, customizing financial aid packages and better promotion of the campus.

UIS has also improved its transfer protocols and agreements with community colleges, along with increase partnerships in international programs.

Graduate students total 2,319 (up 28%), while online students are at 1,901 (up 19%), helping the overall increase. UIS online students reside in approximately 45 states, 74 Illinois counties and 19 foreign countries.

The number of new freshmen increased 6%. But total undergraduate enrollment fell slightly to 2,342.

The university saw a 3% rise in transfer students.

Other numbers show 1,005 international students, 360 more than last fall, which account for 22% of the student body.

UIS promotes itself as a diverse campus. Black or African American students make up about 11% of the total UIS population, followed by Hispanic students at 8% and Asian students at 4%.

UIS has struggled with enrollment over the past decade, dropping from a high of 5,431 students in 2014 to 3,944 in the fall of 2020. That has hammered campus finances. Gooch said this year’s news is welcomed.

“The more students we have on campus, the more students we have in our residence halls, all of that helps us balance our budget more effectively,” she said.

The chancellor said going forward, the campus will review its degree and certificate programs, along with campus activities for students.

“I’m really proud of what we’re doing and all of the efforts that people have contributed to our efforts,” Gooch added. “It really does take a team.”

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