U. of I. posts record enrollment, but SIU drops

The University of Illinois' main campus in Urbana-Champaign is reporting record enrollment this year, but the student population is down at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

The U. of I. released its 10-day attendance figures Tuesday, showing 42,606 students are enrolled. That is up more than 600 from 2010.

University spokeswoman Robin Kaler told the Champaign News-Gazette that 31,932 students are undergraduates, 9,551 are graduate students and 1,123 are professional students.

The liberal Arts and Sciences school is the university's largest, with 11,405 undergraduates and 2,484 graduate students.

The engineering school is the second largest with 6,455 undergraduates and 2,557 graduate students.

Kaler says the numbers may be slightly different in a report to be released soon by campus administration.

At SIU, enrollment has dropped 1.1 percent from last year to 19,817. Officials blame the decline partly on softening enrollment in graduate programs.

But SIUC Chancellor Rita Chen says she believes the university is turning the corner when it comes to undergraduate enrollment. Cheng says new freshman enrollment is up more than 5 percent to 2,344 students. She says SIUC also saw an increase in the number of transfer students this fall.


SIUC officials say another positive trend is the first-year retention rate, which stands at 69 percent.