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The Fall 2016 freshmen class assembles for the traditional new freshmen class photo on Hanson Field.
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Western's incoming freshmen and their families take part in New Student Convocation during Move-In Weekend.
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WIU Honors College students present their research at the annual Undergraduate Research Day Symposium.
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Western Illinois University: A Bright Future

September 7, 2016

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September 7, 2016

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Western Illinois University is excited to announce a stable freshmen enrollment and an increased freshmen-to-sophomore retention for Fall 2016 as the University continues to provide an enriched foundation for growth and success.

Fall 2016 new freshmen enrollment remains steady at 1,527 (compared to 1,535, Fall 2015), despite a smaller number of graduating high school seniors from across the state and increased competition for those new college students. The freshmen-to-sophomore retention rate rose to 69.2 percent from 67.7 percent.

"We are excited that our numbers have remained stable, and that our retention rate has increased. Thanks to the University community for embarking upon a collective effort to aggressively recruit and retain the best and brightest students in our region," said WIU President Jack Thomas. "In addition, our tuition reduction also helped set students' and families' minds at ease that Western was doing everything possible to make public higher education affordable and accessible."

According to Interim Vice President for Student Services Ron Williams, the increase in retention speaks to the quality of WIU students. Last year, the number of new freshmen who qualified for a Western Commitment Scholarship (minimum 3.0 GPA & 20 ACT) increased by 21.4 percent, and approximately 121 more students qualified for merit-based scholarships. More than 42 percent of this year's new freshmen qualified for a Western Commitment Scholarship.

A prime indicator of the quality of WIU students and Western's academic excellence is the continued growth of the WIU Centennial Honors College, Thomas noted. The Honors College enrollment has increased at an accelerated rate over the past five years. This fall, the number has increased 11 percent to 852 students.

Total enrollment for Fall 2016 is 10,373 (down 721 students) from Fall 2015. The Fall 2016 total enrollment at the Western-Macomb campus is 8,943 compared to 9,563 last fall. The Quad Cities campus total enrollment is 1,430, compared to 1,531 in Fall 2015.

Undergraduate enrollment is 8,543 (9,141, Fall 2015), while graduate enrollment is 1,830 (1,953, 2015). The number of new transfer students is 967 (1,105, Fall 2015). International student enrollment is 491, a decrease of 14 from Fall 2015.

"Our vision remains to be the leader in quality, opportunity and affordability among regional universities. We will continue to be an outstanding regional university serving our students and our state (and beyond)," Thomas added. "Our priorities for this academic year, and in the coming years, include stabilizing our enrollment, further increasing retention and providing academic programs that are responsive to our students' and society's needs."

Fall 2015 new freshman and transfer enrollment figures can be found at Fall 2016 figures will be available online in the near future. Complete enrollment figures from Fall 2015 are available at

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations