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U of I System reports record on-campus enrollment
UIC total enrollment, Urbana’s freshman class largest ever

September 8, 2016

The University of Illinois System enrolled a record 77,073 on-campus students at its three universities this fall, and total enrollment is expected to top a record 81,000 students when all online and off-campus students are counted later this year, according to enrollment statistics released Thursday.

President Tim Killeen outlined the System’s second straight year of record enrollment during the first of a series of reports to the Board of Trustees on progress toward goals in a new Strategic Framework approved earlier this year that sets the U of I System’s vision for the future.

Killeen said total on-campus enrollment increased 1.2 percent from last fall’s record 76,166 students System-wide, based on enrollment as of last Friday, the 10th day of classes. The 10-day figures are the traditional benchmark for enrollment data among U.S. colleges and universities.

He said total enrollment is expected to top 81,000 students System-wide for the first time in history, breaking last fall’s record of 80,292, when final figures are available for online and off-campus students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Urbana).

Total enrollment, including online and off-campus students, has been determined for the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS), Killeen said, with record or near-record enrollment at both universities. At UIC, total enrollment rose 0.2 percent to 29,120, topping the record 29,048 set last fall. UIS enrollment was up 0.5 percent to 5,428, just three students short of the all-time record set in 2014.

In Urbana, on-campus enrollment increased 1.8 percent to 44,880 students, he said, and included the largest freshman class in its nearly 150-year history with 7,592 students, breaking a record set in 2005.

Killeen said the U of I System also saw significant gains in undergraduate minority enrollment for the second straight year. Enrollment of African-American undergraduates increased 5.1 percent to 3,780, while undergraduate Latino enrollment was up 11.2 percent to 9,124. Combined, African-American and Latino enrollment comprise nearly 25 percent of the System’s on-campus, undergraduate enrollment.

On-campus undergraduate enrollment of Illinois residents also increased 1.9 percent to 42,925 System-wide, and in-state students comprise about 80 percent of the record 53,320 on-campus undergraduates enrolled this fall.

Killeen said System-wide enrollment rose to record levels for the second straight year despite an ongoing state budget impasse that significantly reduced state funding for both fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

“Our enrollment gains are a testament to our global reputation for academic excellence, to our unwavering commitment to student success and holding down student costs, and to ongoing efficiency and effectiveness efforts that put their needs first,” he said.

Despite the state funding shortfall, the U of I System froze tuition for in-state freshmen this fall for the second straight year – the first back-to-back tuition freezes in more than two decades.

Over the last decade, the System also has increased need-based institutional financial aid more than fourfold to $84 million annually. Through state, federal, institutional and donor-provided financial aid, half of undergraduates pay less than full tuition-and-fee sticker prices across the System’s three universities.

Further enrollment increases are envisioned in the new Strategic Framework, a 10-year roadmap to guide the U of I System’s service to students, research innovation and the economic vitality of Illinois and the nation.

In Urbana, on-campus enrollment this fall increased 1.8 percent, from 44,087 to 44,880. Freshman enrollment was up 0.4 percent, from 7,562 to a record 7,592. African-American enrollment increased 9.8 percent, from 1,786 to 1,961, and Latino enrollment rose 11.2 percent, from 3,110 to 3,457. Total enrollment at Urbana will be known after figures for online and off-campus students are available later this fall.

At UIC, on-campus enrollment increased 0.3 percent, from 28,632 to 28,710. Freshman enrollment decreased 5.1 percent, from 3,485 to 3,307, but was offset by a 24.1 percent increase in first-time transfers, from 1,569 to 1,947. Enrollment of African-American students increased 3.2 percent, from 1,423 to 1,468, and Latino enrollment was up 11.1 percent, from 4,957 to 5,508. Total enrollment, including online students, increased 0.2 percent, from 29,048 to a record 29,120.

At UIS, on-campus enrollment was up 1 percent, from 3,447 to 3,483. Freshman enrollment increased 11.9 percent, from 268 to 300. African-American enrollment decreased 9.5 percent, from 388 to 351, and Latino enrollment rose 15.2 percent, from 138 to 159. Total enrollment, including online students, increased 0.5 percent, from 5,402 to 5,428.


The University of Illinois System is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 80,000 students, 24,000 faculty and staff, and universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I System awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.


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