SIUC: Enrollment grows for first time since 2014

University leaders say enrollment at SIUC is up for the first time in nearly a decade.
Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 6:10 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2023 at 12:27 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - For the first time since 2014, enrollment at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has grown, according to the university.

They say overall enrollment for fall 2023 is 11,359 students, or 2.3 percent more than in 2022. According to the university, that’s the highest overall boost in the number of students in 21 years and highest percentage increase in over 30 years.

“This is a moment for all Salukis to celebrate,” Chancellor Austin A. Lane said in a news release. “Over the last three years, our faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors set out to strategically increase our enrollment in a number of key areas. Today, that work has paid off, and there’s more to come as we continue to hit targets within the Imagine 2030 strategic plan. I want to personally thank everyone in Saluki Nation for everything they did to set us on the right trajectory. Today’s exciting news proves Salukis imagine ambitious goals, and then we make them reality.”

Lane said the university is on track to reach its goal of 15,000 students by 2030.

Breaking down the enrollment, 1,621 new freshmen started their college careers at SIU, which is 103 or 6.8 percent more than in 2022. University leaders say this is the first time in at least 50 years the university has increased its freshmen class for four consecutive years.

The university also saw a 10.8 percent increase in new transfer students to 1,188. They attributed part of that to Saluki Step Ahead agreements signed with more than 40 community colleges in Illinois, Missouri and Texas since 2021.

According to SIUC, enrollment in online degree programs also increased by 9.2 percent to 2,128. On campus, they say the residential student population rose 5.5 percent.

Also contributing to the overall enrollment is an 11.8 percent increase in new graduate and professional students, compared to the year before. International student enrollment increased 6.5 percent to 853 students.

Lane said the university’s ramped up efforts to recruit students from the southern Illinois region paid off. Overall undergraduate students from the region increased by 7.2 percent over last year to 754. New freshmen from the region rose by 7.7 percent.