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SIUE enrollment at all-time high

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Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has the largest freshman class and the most full-time students in the university’s 57-year history.

Photo by Roger Starkey

Photo by Roger Starkey

After a one-year hiatus, the fall 2014 freshman class of 2,126 students set another record for the university. The freshman class is 8 percent larger than a year ago. The fall 2012 freshman class of 2,075 was previously the largest in SIUE history.

The first-year students contributed to a record full-time student body of 10,979 students, 2 percent more full-time students than one year ago. Overall enrollment grew to 13,972, 1 percent more than last fall.

The freshman class’ mean ACT score of 23.5 is 0.5 greater than last year’s record score. The mean ACT for the class has increased more than one full point since fall 2011, when the class averaged 22.4.

“We are extremely pleased with enrollment as it is indicative of our admissions staff’s ability to grow and adapt to be successful in a highly competitive educational environment,” SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe said in a released statement.”As the awareness of SIUE’s academic programs and services continues to grow, we will seek to expand the SIUE brand and capitalize on new opportunities.”

SIUE also has 1,316 new transfer students, which is a 5 percent increase from 2013 and the second largest fall transfer class in SIUE’s history, falling just 22 students short of the record set in 2006.

SIUE saw a 27 percent increase in total international enrollment from 2013. The international enrollment reached 420 students, the first time in 10 years that international enrollment surpassed 400.

Another part of the enrollment growth story is a 3.5 percent increase in first-year retention rate. Among the fall 2013 freshman class, 73.2 percent of those students returned for their sophomore year.

New graduate enrollment is up 10 percent from a year ago, while total (new and returning) graduate school credit hour production is 0.5 percent more than 2013.

The School of Engineering’s undergraduate enrollment climbed 13.2 percent since last fall. Dean Hasan Sevim has overseen steady growth from 1,054 total students in 2008 to the current 1,673 total students.

In a statement from the university, Scott Belobrajdic, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, said, “With our Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy and Dental Medicine at capacity, the interest in our professional schools reflects that prospective students are making decisions based upon career aspirations.”

An increase in transfer students is a trend that the university expects to continue as families consider financing a college education, Belobrajdic said. “The debt accrued to attend college is a highly visible issue, and families are analyzing options to minimize their cost.

“So, attending a community college to obtain transferable credits and then transferring into a four-year university is a viable option. SIUE’s positive relationships with local and area community colleges benefit all parties in those situations.”

SIUE Fall 2014 Enrollment Facts & Figures

  • Undergraduate enrollment is up 13.2 percent (161 students) in the School of Engineering
  • Undergraduate enrollment is up 5.1 percent (58 students) in the School of Education
  • Undergraduate enrollment is up 4.9 percent (56 students) in the School of Business
  • Undergraduate enrollment is up 7.2 percent (77 students) in the School of Nursing
  • Schools of Engineering (1,672 students), Nursing (1,424 students) and Pharmacy (380 students) all have record total enrollments
  • New transfer students are up five percent (64 students)
  • Total of new transfer students is 1,316, largest since 2006
  • Total international enrollment is up 27 percent (89 students)
  • New graduate international enrollment is up 38 percent (81 students)
  • Total new students (freshmen, transfers and international) exceeds 3,000 for 12th consecutive year
  • Freshman Enrollment: 2,126, largest freshman class in SIUE history
  • Total 2014-15 Enrollment: 13,972, which ranks fourth all-time at SIUE

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