February 04, 2021

SIU’s spring enrollment reinforces positive trends

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Official spring enrollment at Southern Illinois University Carbondale reflects solid retention of students as well as an increase in the number of new students compared to previous years. 

In spring 2021, SIU has 1,056 freshmen, almost 36% more than it did a year ago. The class includes about 60 first-time students, more than double the number from 2020. 

Austin Lane, the university’s chancellor, said SIU’s efforts to recruit and retain students are paying off. 

“The highlight of our fall enrollment was a 31% increase in new students, signaling that we are positioned for future enrollment growth,” he said. “Our spring enrollment reinforces that trend, showing that we are retaining the students we recruit. That’s especially notable given the challenges and uncertainties associated with the pandemic, which have affected enrollment nationwide.” 

About 85% of first-time freshmen who enrolled at SIU Carbondale in the fall returned to continue their education in the spring semester. 

“Our faculty and staff have worked very hard to support students in challenging times,” Lane said, adding that the pandemic may have also led to an increase in students enrolling for the first time this spring. 

“Unlike in previous years, we are also seeing more new students start their college careers in the spring rather than the fall,” he added. “We believe that many students may have deferred starting in the fall due to the pandemic but are now moving forward to get started.” 

Total spring enrollment is 10,378 compared with 10,779 in spring 2020. It is a decline of 3.7% overall. 

Lane said that spring enrollment is traditionally significantly lower than the fall due to December graduation. About 870 students graduated in December 2020. Fall 2020 enrollment was 11,366. 

“We continue to focus on fall 2021 enrollment through increased outreach to prospective new and transfer students as well as ongoing student retention efforts,” Lane said. “We are also removing barriers through initiatives such as the Saluki Commitment and the Saluki Transfer Commitment. It’s early, but our applications and admissions numbers are very promising. Everyone on campus is working hard to let students know we are here for them.”