Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has reached the largest overall enrollment in the history of the school at 14,235, representing a nearly 1 percent increase over last fall's enrollment of 14,133. Among the changes contributing to record enrollment are an increase in overall undergraduate enrollment and an increase in the number of returning graduate students.
SIUE Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ann Boyle released the fall enrollment numbers today, which include undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. The University received a record 16,501 total applications for the fall term, including 10,300 for the freshman class and 3,723 for new transfers.
"We are proud of the caliber and quality of students we attract at SIUE," Boyle said. "Our faculty members and staff are committed to academic excellence, educational innovation, undergraduate involvement in research and continuous quality improvement in all areas. These factors, coupled with dynamic student support services and a beautiful, safe environment for learning are making the University a first-choice, first-tier institution in the state of Illinois."
Record undergraduate enrollment is supported by a record freshman class of 2,070 which is up five students from last year, and a new transfer class of 1,232 which is 3 percent larger than fall 2010. The new freshman class includes 494 merit and need-based scholarship recipients with an average ACT of 27, who have been recognized based on academic abilities and talents.
One-third of the class has indicated an interest in pre-professional health (pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-veterinary medicine, pre-pharmacy) or nursing.
New freshman enrollment from Madison and St. Clair counties remains strong with new growth coming primarily from the Chicago area and from out-of-state enrollment. SIUE attracted 77 freshmen with an average 25.5. ACT. Those students will live for at least one year in the University's residence halls.
"Approximately 29 percent of freshmen come from ethnically underrepresented backgrounds and 26 percent will be the first in their family to go to college," said Scott Belobrajdic, assistant vice chancellor for Enrollment Management, in the preliminary enrollment report. Belobrajdic noted this is the fourth year of overall enrollment growth at SIUE. It is the seventh consecutive year of growth in the size of the freshman class, which has increased by 20 percent since fall 2004.
The news comes on the heels of the recent ranking of SIUE as 48th among the Top 50 of 553 master's universities in the U.S. by the national magazine, Washington Monthly, which evaluates universities based on their "contribution to the public good" in the areas of social mobility, research and service.
Belobrajdic pointed out that SIUE's improving retention rates, national recognition and low tuition also may be factors in the University's growth.