SIUE Class of 2018.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Fall 2014 semester features a record freshman class of 2,126 students.
Those first-year students contributed to a record full-time student body of 10,979 students or 220 (2 percent) more full-time students than one year ago. Overall enrollment grew to 13,972 or 1 percent (122 students) more than last fall.
The freshman class is 8 percent larger (160 students) than a year ago. This is also the best-prepared group of freshmen, as their 23.5 mean ACT score is 0.5 greater than last year’s record score. The mean ACT for the class has increased more than one full point since Fall 2011 when the class averaged 22.4 on the ACT.
“We are extremely pleased with enrollment as it is indicative of our admissions staff’s ability to grow and adapt to be successful in a highly competitive educational environment,” SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe said. “As the awareness of SIUE’s academic programs and services continues to grow, we will seek to expand the SIUE brand and capitalize on new opportunities.”
SIUE also has 1,316 new transfer students, a 5 percent increase (65 students) from 2013 and the the second-largest fall transfer class in SIUE’s history, falling just 22 students short of the record set in 2006.
SIUE saw a 27 percent increase (89 students) in total international enrollment from 2013. The international enrollment reached 420 students, the first time in 10 years that international enrollment surpassed 400.
Another part of the enrollment growth story is a 3.5 percent increase in first-year retention rate. Among the Fall 2013 freshman class, 73.2 percent of those students returned for their sophomore year.
New graduate enrollment is up 10 percent (51 students) from a year ago, while total (new and returning) graduate school credit hour production is 0.5 percent more than 2013.
The School of Engineering’s undergraduate enrollment climbed 13.2 percent (161 students) since last fall. Dean Hasan Sevim has overseen steady growth from 1,054 total students in 2008 to the current 1,673 total students.
Scott Belobrajdic, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management said, “With our Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy and Dental Medicine at capacity, the interest in our professional schools reflects that prospective students are making decisions based upon career aspirations.” He pointed to online programs bolstering nursing.
“Our new direct entry options in business, engineering, nursing and pharmacy attracted 170 first-time freshmen entering the university, which had a direct impact on the average ACT,” Belobrajdic said. “Their mean ACT is 28. Direct entry allows us to compete for high-achieving students who were opting for direct admit options with private and public competitors in previous years.”
“An increase in transfer students is a trend that we expect to see continue as families consider financing a college education,” Belobrajdic said. “The debt accrued to attend college is a highly visible issue, and families are analyzing options to minimize their cost.
“So, attending a community college to obtain transferable credits and then transferring into a four-year university is a viable option. SIUE’s positive relationships with local and area community colleges benefit all parties in those situations.”