September 08, 2004

Enrollment stands at 21,589 -- up 202 over last fall

by Sue Davis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Fall semester enrollment at Southern Illinois University Carbondale stands at 21, 589, up 202 over a year ago, University administrators announced today (Sept. 8).

The climb represents an increase of about 1 percent over last fall, said SIUC Provost and Vice Chancellor John M. Dunn.

"These are solid numbers and this is good news," Dunn said. "We welcome all of our students this semester, and we want them to know we are committed to them as they progress in their studies."

SIUC Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Larry Dietz said that recruitment efforts for new freshmen also returned positive results.

"Total new freshmen have increased by 34 to 2,539; on campus, new freshmen increased by 11 to 2,489," Dietz said. "Our admissions representatives will begin their recruiting efforts in a couple of weeks for next fall, continuing to reach out to prospective students who are still in high school and students who will transfer to a four-year institution from community colleges."

Fall numbers saw a drop of 280 students enrolled in graduate school for a single hour while working on completing theses and dissertations. The drop reflects a change in campus policy last spring.

Also there are 157 fewer international students (1,250) on campus this fall compared to last.

"This national trend reflects tighter visa controls after 9-11 and newly emerging competition for international students in the higher-education marketplace," Dietz said. "Canada, England and Australia have expanded recruitment activities for college students from across the world."

On-campus enrollment stands at 19,099, down 438 from a year ago. Dunn said the majority of the drop is tied to the drop in students who were previously enrolled for a single credit hour to finish their theses and dissertations, and to the drop in international students. "When we review the number of credit hours generated on campus and compare those to the equivalent number of full-time students, we are down about 96 students," Dunn said. "This shows us that we must expand our efforts on student retention."

Off-campus enrollment stands at 2,490, up 640 students from a year ago. Most of these students are enrolled at military bases across the country. "SIUC has long been a leader in serving the educational needs of men and women in the armed forces, operating one of the largest military programs in the country," Dunn said. "It's a legacy that we take seriously and we're glad to see more individuals are continuing their academic studies."

Total enrollment breaks down this way:

  • There are 16,872 undergraduates enrolled, 506 more than last fall.
  • There are 390 law students enrolled, four more than last fall.
  • There are 291 medical students, one fewer than last fall, and 73 students enrolled in the MedPrep program, 10 more than last fall.
  • There are 2,869 master's students, 315 fewer than last fall and
  • There are 1,094 doctoral students, two fewer than last fall.

John A. Koropchak, SIUC's Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Dean, says he is concerned with the drop in graduate enrollment, particularly since the long-range plan Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, calls for growing graduate programs.

"Much of the drop can be traced to changes in enrollment of students working on theses and dissertations following policy changes, and fewer international students, but it still needs to be addressed, " Koropchak said. "In a news release this week the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington, D.C., said that international graduate applications dropped 28 percent nationally over the past year and international admissions dropped 18 percent over the same period. However, our plans still call for expanding graduate enrollment and we'll continue to work on the issue."