February 02, 2016

SIU Carbondale enrollment down as anticipated

by Rae Goldsmith

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Spring enrollment at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is down as anticipated following a decline in fall enrollment, according to Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell. 

Spring enrollment of 15,806 is down 878 students, or 5.3 percent, over the spring 2015 semester. 

“We expect the trends we see in the fall to carry over into spring,” Colwell said. “Since we were down in the fall compared to the previous fall, we are also down in the spring when compared with spring semester of last year. The good news is that we held our ground in undergraduate enrollment, but we lost ground in graduate enrollment.” 

Undergraduate enrollment declined 2.2 percent, or 263 students, from the previous spring, compared with a decline of 2.4 percent between the fall 2014 and fall 2015 semesters. However, graduate enrollment declined 11.5 percent, or 420 students, spring-to-spring compared with 7.2 percent fall-to-fall. 

“In part, we attribute the additional decline in graduate enrollment to the delayed decision to award graduate assistantships given the uncertainty in the state budget,” Colwell said. “While that uncertainty continues, we hope to make decisions about assistantships for next year sooner, likely within the next few weeks, so current and prospective graduate students have the information they need to commit to SIU.” 

The university’s decision to advance Monetary Award Program grants to students in need may have contributed to the relatively stable undergraduate enrollment, he added. 

“The lack of a state budget and MAP grant funding has contributed to a lot of concern among students, especially those who rely on financial aid to make college possible,” he said. “This was an important commitment to our students.” 

(For more information, contact Rae Goldsmith, chief marketing and communications officer, at 618/453-2589.)