UIC enrollment sets new records

students passing between the Science and Engineering Laboratory buildings

At UIC this fall, more students are enrolling and retention has increased. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

The University of Illinois at Chicago reported enrolling institutional-bests in total students, undergraduates and professional students in data released last week.

Total enrollment for the 2015-2016 academic year is 29,048 students, as measured on the 10th day of classes, a traditional benchmark for enrollment data. The new mark is a 4 percent increase over last year and 1,010 students more than the previous high, set in 2013.

This year’s student body includes 17,511 undergraduate, 8,114 graduate, 3,007 professional, and 416 continuing education students. Undergraduate enrollment rose 804 students from the prior year, while the graduate and professional enrollments increased by 202 and 63 students respectively.

“It’s a huge vote of confidence by the students, parents and those who support our applicants in selecting UIC,” says Kevin Browne, UIC vice provost for academic and enrollment services. “It’s a great year and a compliment to the university – the energy of the chancellor, deans and colleges, who are talking about UIC in a way that resonates with parents and students.”

This year’s freshman class increased by 15 percent, to 3,485 from 3,030. The one-year retention rate for new freshmen was also up, to 81.5 percent from 79.7 percent last year.

Browne said more students are enrolling and returning to UIC — due, in part, to improved marketing and recruiting efforts.

“We are doing a better job of letting students know what the experience is,” Browne said. “Their perspective matches their reality. Your first day on campus shouldn’t be your first day on campus. We want to get the students here to see we are an urban, diverse, research university.”

UIC’s well-known diversity continues, with a racial and ethnic makeup of its student body that is 37.7 percent white, 18.4 percent Asian, 20.8 percent Hispanic/Latino and 7.9 percent African-American. Undergraduate enrollment is 33.7 percent white, 28.2 percent Hispanic/Latino, 22.2 percent Asian, and 8.1 percent African-American.

Earlier this year, the Department of Education recognized UIC as eligible to apply for federal opportunities set aside for Hispanic-Serving Institutions. UIC was designated an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution in 2010.

Beginning with the fall 2013 admissions cycle, UIC became the first public university in Illinois to use the Common Application, an online undergraduate admission application shared by more than 600 colleges and universities.

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