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U of I reports record enrollment
Increase includes record freshman class; higher minority enrollment

September 8, 2015

The University of Illinois enrolled a record 76,166 students on its three campuses this fall, including its largest freshman class ever and markedly increased enrollment of African-American and Latino students, according to enrollment statistics released Tuesday.

This fall’s enrollment included a record class of 11,315 freshmen across the University’s three campuses, up by 1,043 or 10.2 percent from the fall of 2014. Total undergraduate enrollment increased 2.1 percent to 52,361.

Total on-campus enrollment increased 2.2 percent University-wide, up from 74,527 last fall, 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.

Undergraduate enrollment of African-American and Latino students increased on each campus, according to figures that will be presented Wednesday to the Board of Trustees’ Academic and Student Affairs Committee. Undergraduate enrollment of African-American students increased 5.4 percent, from 3,414 to 3,597, while Latino enrollment increased 11.5 percent, from 7,359 to 8,205

The statistics include only on-campus enrollment on the University’s campuses in Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign. When final numbers are calculated later this fall, including online students and graduate and professional colleges, officials expect total enrollment will climb to about 79,000, also a historic record.

President Timothy L. Killeen said the enrollment increases reflect the University’s continued excellence in the face of the state’s fiscal adversity, along with ongoing efforts to promote access and affordability, including a tuition freeze for in-state freshmen this fall.

“We are committed to holding down student costs, while maintaining an uncompromising commitment to academic excellence that continues to attract the best and brightest students from across our state and around the world,” Killeen said.

This fall’s tuition freeze for in-state freshmen was the first in more than two decades and followed two straight years of 1.7 percent increases that tracked with the rate of inflation and were the smallest increases in nearly 20 years.

Over the last decade, the University also has ramped up internal efforts to protect the most financially vulnerable students, increasing need-based institutional financial aid more than fourfold to $84 million annually. Through state, federal, University and donor-provided financial aid, half of undergraduates pay less than full tuition-and-fee sticker price across the three campuses.

Further enrollment increases have been discussed as part of a strategic plan that will be developed by next spring to guide the University for the next 5-10 years.

In-state enrollment across the University’s three campuses was up by 1 percent, from 41,698 to 42,120, led by a 4.2 percent – or 675 student – increase on the Chicago campus.

In Urbana, on-campus enrollment increased 1.1 percent, from 43,602 to 44,087. Freshman enrollment was up 9 percent, from 6,937 to 7,565. African-American enrollment increased 2.4 percent, from 1,744 to 1,786, and Latino enrollment rose 10.2 percent, from 2,821 to 3,110 over the prior fall.

On the Chicago campus, enrollment increased 3.9 percent, from 27,563 to 28,632, and freshman enrollment jumped 15 percent, from 3,030 to 3,485. Enrollment of African-American students increased 8.1 percent, from 1,316 to 1,423 and Latino enrollment was up 12.4 percent, from 4,410 to 4,957.

In Springfield, on-campus enrollment was up 2.5 percent, from 3,362 to 3,447. African-American enrollment increased 9.6 percent, from 354 to 388 and Latino enrollment rose 7.8 percent, from 128 to 138. The Springfield campus has a substantial online enrollment program and when included total enrollments are over 5,400.

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The University of Illinois is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 78,000 students, 25,000 faculty and staff, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.