SIUE Fall Enrollment Largest In History; Also Record Freshman Class

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Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has reached the largest overall enrollment in the history of the school at 14,107, representing a 1.2 percent increase over last fall’s enrollment of 13,941.

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We continue to attract new students who are coming to SIUE as a first-choice, first-tier institution in Illinois.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has reached the largest overall enrollment in the history of the school at 14,107, representing a 1.2 percent increase over last fall’s enrollment of 13,941.

The record enrollment numbers were released on the heels of U.S.News & World Report ranking SIUE as one of the “Top Up-And-Coming Schools” in the nation for the second consecutive year and for the fourth consecutive year among the Top 20 of all public master’s granting institutions in the Midwest.

In addition, the rankings cited SIUE for its excellence in the senior capstone (assessment) category as one of 15 schools—alongside Princeton, Stanford and Brown—for the sixth consecutive year.

In the “Top Up-And-Coming Schools” category, SIUE was cited by its peers and reported as one of only three Midwestern regional universities for recently making “innovative changes in the areas of faculty, student life, campus life and facilities.” All the rankings are in the magazine’s Best Colleges of 2011 issue.

SIUE Provost Paul Ferguson released the fall enrollment numbers today, which include undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. The new freshman class of 2,030 is up from 1,940 last year, representing the largest group of new freshmen ever, for total growth since 2005 of some 16 percent.

“We continue to attract new students who are coming to SIUE as a first-choice, first-tier institution in Illinois,” Ferguson said. He also noted “this national recognition strongly supports the commitment of SIUE to continuous quality improvement and academic innovation in all of our academic programs, and is a wonderful affirmation of the excellence of our faculty, staff and students.”

According to Scott Belobrajdic, SIUE’s assistant vice chancellor for Enrollment Management, this is the third consecutive year of overall enrollment growth at the University including new graduate students. “Overall, our graduate program is up 13 percent since 2007 and our new transfers are up 8.3 percent over last year from 1,107 to 1,196 this year,” Belobrajdic said.

“Our new freshman class—with a mean ACT score of 22.5— includes 44 valedictorians and students from 18 states,” he said. The ACT score average is 20.7 in Illinois and 21.0 for the nation. “One third of the incoming freshman class has an interest in SIUE’s pre-professional health programs including pre-med, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, pre-veterinary medicine and the SIUE nursing program.

“Applications to SIUE undergraduate and graduate school programs reached 14,413 this year, up 10 percent from last year,” Belobrajdic added.

“Enrollment from traditional SIUE feeder high schools and the local region remained consistent with the past few years. We have experienced a significant increase in interest from Chicago and St. Louis,” he pointed out. “The diversity of the class has increased again this year with 27 percent of the students coming from ethnic and cultural backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in higher education in the state of Illinois.”

Belobrajdic pointed out that SIUE’s national recognition and low tuition may be factors in the University’s growth. “Two factors which may be converging to support the recent growth in enrollment are the increasing national recognition of the academic program by U.S. News and others, and the institution’s reasonable costs.

“There was no tuition increase for first-year students this fall but the financial aid office has seen a 10 percent increase in requests for aid and they have distributed nearly $8 million more than this date in 2009.”

Of the 3,500 students who live on campus, University Housing reports SIUE residence facilities house some 1,358 freshmen or about 67 percent of the freshman class.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is a nationally recognized public university offering a broad choice of degrees and programs ranging from career-oriented fields of study to the essential, more traditional, liberal arts. At SIUE we offer 44 baccalaureate degrees, 13 post-baccalaureate certificates, 47 master's degrees, 11 post-master's certificates, two first-professional degrees, and one post-first professional certificate. Known for an emphasis in health science education, SIUE offers a nursing school, pharmacy school and dental school. Additionally, undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates are available through the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, the School of Business, and the School of Education.

SIUE offers the advantages of a small, liberal arts college with the low tuition rates of a state university. SIUE emphasizes undergraduate education, complemented by faculty research to create practical applications for student learning. Located in the second most populated area of the state, SIUE draws students from all 102 Illinois counties, 42 states and 50 nations.

One of 12 Illinois colleges and universities, SIUE is located on 2,600 acres of rolling hills and woodlands in Edwardsville, just 25 miles from St. Louis, a major metropolitan area. Proximity to the St. Louis area enhances SIUE’s energy and vitality. The campus is easily accessed from several major interstates, while the city of Edwardsville offers ample opportunity for jobs, entertainment, shopping and fun.

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