UIC sets enrollment record for 6th straight year

Clouds backdrop ARC and Willis Tower on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. (Joshua Clark/University of Illinois at Chicago)

The University of Illinois Chicago this fall once again has set a record for the largest enrollment in its history.

Enrollment topped 33,518, setting a new record for the 6th year in a row. The previous record was set last year at 33,390 students.

There are 5,860 new undergraduate students (both freshman and transfer) and 3,058 new graduate and professional students enrolled at UIC this fall.

The record enrollment was set in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and builds on years of increasing enrollment for the second largest university in Illinois. 

The figures are based on enrollment from the first 10 days of classes, the traditional benchmark for enrollment data among U.S. colleges and universities.

“Our continued enrollment growth demonstrates that we are providing an accessible and affordable world-class education at Chicago’s only public research university,” said UIC Chancellor Michael D. Amiridis. “This record enrollment is accompanied by major capital projects and improvements, dramatizing UIC’s continued role as Chicago’s leader in public higher education, workforce development and research.”

Overall undergraduate enrollment numbers climbed by 1.3% with 21,921 undergraduate students enrolled compared with last year’s 21,641 students due to significant gains in continuing and transfer students. This comes despite a decrease in the number of incoming freshmen – from 4,407 last year to 3,541 this year. The overall undergraduate enrollment has increased by 24.7% since 2015.

The College of Education showed the largest enrollment gains this year. This fall, 1,206 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the college, an increase of 110 students or nearly 10% from last year. The number of combined undergraduate and graduate students also increased in the College of Nursing by nearly 4.8% to 1,589 students and the School of Public Health jumped by 9% to 857 students.

Freshman Jaleel Cannon (Photo credit: Joshua Clark/University of Illinois Chicago)

“I chose UIC because I saw it as an opportunity to receive an excellent education,” Jaleel Cannon, a freshman accounting major from Homewood-Flossmoor High School said. “It’s a great fit for me because it’s close to home, offers a great education and also provides me with a great network of people there to help me succeed.”

UIC faculty and administrators spent the summer creating a hybrid plan for fall classes, including online and in-person instruction for undergraduate and graduate students. The campus is prepared to shift to fully online instruction should circumstances require it.

In response to the unusual effects of the pandemic on the college admissions process, the campus implemented an SAT and ACT test-optional choice for first-year applicants applying to the Spring 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022 terms.

In addition, campus tours and the visitor center will reopen in late Fall 2020. Meanwhile, interested students and families can visit UIC virtually at discover.uic.edu. UIC’s Common Application is active for applications for Fall 2021 and can be found here.

Transfer student Noah Toth (Photo credit: Joshua Clark/University of Illinois Chicago)

“I attended Harper College in Palatine for two years, completing my basic engineering classes there,” said junior transfer student and mechanical engineering major Noah Toth. “The admissions process, for me, was pretty painless. Now that I’ve started classes, anytime I’ve had questions I’ve always had someone to ask, be it an admissions counselor, orientation leader, or professor. It feels like UIC is filled with people who actually like their jobs and want to help students, which isn’t always easy to find in a university.”

About UIC
Located in the heart of one of the world’s great cities, the University of Illinois at Chicago is Chicago’s largest university and only public research institution. Its 16 academic colleges serve more than 33,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UIC is recognized as one of the most ethnically rich and culturally diverse campuses in the nation, a leader in providing access to underrepresented students. As of last year, 52% of undergraduates are Pell awarded. With one of the largest colleges of medicine in the nation, and colleges of dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, social work, and applied health sciences, UIC is the state’s principal educator of health professionals and a major healthcare provider to underserved communities. UIC students become professionals in fields ranging from business and engineering to education, liberal arts and sciences, urban planning, and social work, as well as architecture, design and the arts. UIC is an integral part of the educational, technological, and cultural fabric of one of the world’s greatest cities.

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