SIUC: 2016 fall enrollment down, quality of freshman class up - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIUC: 2016 fall enrollment down, quality of freshman class up

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s official 2016 fall enrollment has dropped considerably from the previous school year, according to Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell.

Colwell said enrollment is at 15,987, a 7.6 percent decline over the previous school year.

However, Colwell said the overall quality of this fall's freshman has increased.

"While our numbers are down, the academic quality of our freshman class has increased,” he said. “We have continued to focus on enrolling and supporting students who are ready for college success and can benefit from the excellent, hands-on education and support we provide as a research university.”

Colwell said the decline, which was anticipated, is driven by a number of factors. A decline in the size of this year’s sophomore class was expected based on last year’s freshman class, he said, and a decline in graduate enrollment is due in large part to a budget-driven decision to reduce the number of graduate assistantships.

Both the junior and senior classes have increased in size over the previous year, and the enrollment of new international students has held steady, although the total number of international students has declined. SIU enrolls students from more than 100 countries.

Colwell said the university will continue to emphasize student recruitment at the undergraduate and graduate levels through expanded outreach.

“We have a great story to tell and a lot of great students, alumni, faculty and staff to help tell it,” he said. “We will be very intentional and strategic in our recruitment strategies going forward."

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