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SIUE boasts record-high student enrollment



The freshman class enrolled for fall.


From Illinois Business Journal news services

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has exceeded its previous record student enrollment by a 2 percent increase over last year, school officials reported today.

The university registered an all-time high of 14,265 students for the fall 2015 semester. Overall enrollment leaped by 293 students.

Undergraduate registration is the highest it’s ever been at 11,781, which is a 3 percent jump (360 students) from last fall, a 5 percent rise (552 students) from fall 2013 and 8 percent growth (821 students) from more than a decade ago.

SIUE Interim Chancellor Stephen Hansen applauds the numbers, “We are extremely pleased with our enrollment growth. It reflects the fact that SIUE provides an excellent environment that enables students to learn and to grow.”

“Higher education is constantly evolving, and so is SIUE,” said Scott Belobrajdic, associate vice chancellor for enrollment and management. “Our chancellor, provost and deans have been willing to risk and invest in new academic programs, new delivery methods and new retention initiatives to provide students the education they want and need.

“During the past few years, we have experienced increased interest in our traditional residential experience, our online options for working professionals and our opportunities for international students. Our deans constantly present great innovative ideas.”

Enrollment climbed by at least 3 percent more than last fall in all undergraduate schools and the College of Arts and Sciences, according to Belobrajdic.

The School of Nursing soared by 15 percent (171 students). The School of Business added six percent (74 students). The School of Engineering (75 students), and the College of Arts and Sciences (122 students) both grew by five percent, respectively. The School of Education increased by four percent (52 students).

“More families and employers are starting to understand that all of our Schools, and the College of Arts and Sciences have the same exact national and international accreditations as private institutions charging $40,000 and $50,000 a year in tuition and fees,” Belobrajdic said. “When they compare our accreditation, tuition and fees (approximately $10,000/year), residential campus experience and starting salaries head-to-head, SIUE is an extremely attractive option.

“The savings are real. Approximately half of our May 2015 graduates left SIUE with no loan debt. That’s rare these days.”

SIUE Fall 2015 enrollment facts and figures

– Freshman class is the second largest with 2,096 students earning a mean ACT of 23.2

– Freshmen coming from Missouri: 13 percent (274 students), compared to only two percent (47 students) in fall 2012

– New transfer students total is the second highest in the past nine years (1,266)

– The retention rate has improved and has reached its highest in 10 years. First-year retention rate climbed by five percent over the past two years. The numbers for those returning are 74 percent of the fall 2014 freshman class, compared to 73 percent for fall 2013 and 69 percent for fall 2012.

– African American (1,982) and Hispanic (537) student enrollment are each at the highest levels in the history of the institution

– International student enrollment increased and is the highest at the University since fall 2004
Student body reporting a diverse cultural background: 28 percent

– Credit hours delivered online: nine percent, which compares favorably to 6 percent delivered last fall


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