University News

Fall '11 Enrollment: Freshman, Macomb, QC Enrollment Up

September 8, 2011

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MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University's Fall 2011 new freshman enrollment has increased by nearly 200 students, while total enrollment for the University is 12,554, down 31 students from Fall 2010 due to decreases to transfer, graduate and Macomb extension enrollments, according to 10-day enrollment reports.

Total new freshman enrollment for Fall 2011 is 1,955, up 197 students from last year. In addition to an increase in new students, Western's new freshman minority student enrollment is nearly 38 percent of this fall's freshman class, compared to 30 percent last year and 15 percent six years ago. For the third consecutive year, Western Illinois University has been recognized in the Center for Student Opportunity's (CSO) "College Access and Opportunity Guide" for the retention of first-generation and low-income students. Western has also been cited among 20 U.S. public institutions by The Education Trust for successful graduation rates for Hispanic students.

While new freshman numbers are the highest since 2007, new transfer student enrollment has decreased from 1,344 in Fall 2010 to 1,301 in Fall 2011. New graduate student enrollment also decreased from 626 in Fall 2010 to 605 in Fall 2011.

The Fall 2011 student headcount of 10,423 at the Western-Macomb campus is up from 10,377 in Fall 2010. The total headcount for the Quad Cities and Quad Cities extension is up to 1,372, compared to 1,361 last year.

"We set a goal to increase this year's freshman class. I am thrilled we have met our goal, and I would like to congratulate the entire campus community for its work in promoting Western," said President Jack Thomas. "Our retention and graduation rates continue to exceed the national average, and we will work to ensure that all of our students, new and returning, succeed during their time at WIU."

Western is the only Illinois institution, and one of three in the Midwest, among 32 higher education institutions in the nation being recognized for helping students stay on track and graduate in a new national report published by HCM Strategists, a Washington, D.C. public policy advocacy firm. WIU was one of 13 institutions nationally to receive a "Best Practice" recognition from the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity for the retention of first-generation and low-income students, and has also been cited as a "best practice" model institution among 15 U.S. colleges and universities (the only Illinois university cited) by the Southern Regional Educational Board (SREB) for retention and graduation rates.

For the seventh consecutive year, the Princeton Review has named Western a "Best Midwestern College." U.S. News and World Report and G.I. Jobs Magazine will release their rankings Sept. 13 and 12, respectively. An all-encompassing rankings release will be posted Sept. 13.

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