February 01, 2010

Spring semester enrollment dips 1.3 percent

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Spring semester enrollment at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is down 255 students, or 1.3 percent, compared to spring semester a year ago.

Total enrollment stands at 19,134, which includes 16,950 students on campus and 2,184 off-campus.  The off-campus enrollment reflects a 21-student increase compared to a year ago.

On-campus Graduate School enrollment totals 3,666 students, an increase of 34 compared to a year ago.  On- and off-campus Graduate School enrollment is 3,977 students, an increase of 25 students.

Total international student enrollment stands at 1,095, an increase of 44 students, or 4.2 percent, compared to spring 2009.

The overall enrollment decline parallels the drop in the number of seniors, reflecting a trend in recent years with that class.  There are 286 fewer seniors enrolled compared to spring semester 2009.

Meanwhile, SIUC enrolled 63 more freshmen this semester compared to a year ago. 

Chancellor Samuel Goldman is confident that long-term enrollment strategies will begin to have an impact next fall.  Student applications for the fall are up more than 8 percent compared to fall 2009, and the number of students admitted is up 27 percent compared to last fall.  There also is a 14 percent increase in the number of transfer students admitted for fall 2010.

There also are very positive signs in the numbers from Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee – the five border states where SIUC is offering students the equivalent of in-state tuition.

Currently, 640 freshman and transfer students from those five states have submitted applications for the fall semester, compared to 439 a year ago.  So far, 342 students from the five states have been admitted, compared to 212 a year ago.

Goldman also expects the number of international students to continue to increase, particularly from China.  Last November, Goldman led a six-member delegation on a two-week trip to universities in China and Taiwan.  SIUC has student recruitment centers at two Chinese universities and officials expect to open a similar center at a Taiwanese university.  In addition, officials from SIUC and Zhengzhou University in China have been in discussions about the establishment of a Confucius Institute on the Carbondale campus.