UIC sets record enrollment with more than 29,000 students
UIC set a new record for total enrollment this fall with more than 29,000 students, according to 10th-day statistics.
“It’s an amazing number and a huge vote of confidence by the students, parents and those who support our applicants in selecting UIC,” said Kevin Browne, vice provost for academic and enrollment services.
Total enrollment for fall semester is 29,048 — up nearly 4 percent from last year’s 27,969 students. The student population includes 17,511 undergraduate, 8,114 graduate, 3,007 professional and 416 continuing education students.
“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,” Browne said.
The number of new freshmen increased by 15 percent, to 3,485 this year from 3,030 last fall.
The campus has seen an increase in applications since switching to the Common Application for the fall 2013 admissions cycle and revamping its marketing materials and outreach, Browne said. Students can apply to multiple universities with one application using the Common Application.
UIC recruiters are also traveling more outside Chicago, Browne said, visiting nearly 1,000 high schools across the country.
“There’s been a huge improvement in putting the UIC experience into context for our students and parents and allowing students to make a choice,” Browne said. “Admissions is not about selling, it’s about information sharing — about who we are and what the experience is going to be like. If it resonates, they enroll.”
The number of international freshmen is up 67 percent – from 59 last year to 88 this year, Browne said, as recruiters visit other countries. “Our goal is to grow cautiously with international students but to really bring in geographic diversity as part of the class,” he said.
One-year retention rates for students who were freshmen last fall are also up, increasing to 81.5 percent from 79.7 percent in 2014. Students are returning to campus because they are learning more about UIC before attending, Browne said.
“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.”
The number of new transfers decreased 8.7 percent to 1,569, but was on target, Browne said. “Last fall we were very surprised by how successful we were with transfer students,” he said.
UIC has already received about 1,000 applications for next fall’s freshman class, Browne said. Students who apply by Nov. 1 will have an early admissions decision before Thanksgiving. About one-third of this fall’s new freshmen submitted their applications for an early decision last November.
“Submitting for early decision is not binding on them, it’s binding on us,” Browne said. “It allows us to have a six- or seven-month relationship with them before they have to commit May 1.”
The student body continues to reflect UIC’s commitment to diversity, with a total racial and ethnic makeup that is 37.7 percent white, 20.8 percent Hispanic/Latino, 18.4 percent Asian 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.
The University of Illinois enrolled a record total 76,166 students on all three campuses this fall, including a 10.2 percent increase in freshmen across all campuses. Ten-day enrollment numbers show an 11.5 percent increase in Latino students and 5.4 percent rise in African American students at the three campuses.