UIC’s record growth continues for 5th straight year

Students on Campus
For the 5th consecutive year, UIC has shown record growth as its campus footprint expands. Photo by Jenny Fontaine.

The University of Illinois at Chicago this fall enrolled a record number of students for the fifth year in a row, as its campus footprint expanded to include the opening of two major buildings as well as the merger with the UIC John Marshall Law School as its 16th college.

The figures are 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 option for a world-class education at Chicago’s only public research university,” said UIC Chancellor Michael D. Amiridis. “Our capital improvements dramatize UIC’s growth and burgeoning role as Chicago’s leader in higher education, workforce development and intellectual thought.”

Total enrollment for the fall semester — when factoring in undergraduate, graduate and professional — jumped 5.4% to 33,390 from last year’s 31,683 students. The current numbers also reflect the 1,066 students who enrolled in the new UIC John Marshall Law School this fall. In 2017, the campus for the first time surpassed 30,000 students in its history.

The number of new freshmen showed the greatest climb, jumping by 6 percent from 4,159 to 4,407 students this fall. This continued a four-year upward trend that hit a milestone two years ago when UIC hit the 4,000-student mark for the first time. The numbers of new freshman have jumped by 45% since 2014 when the number of new freshmen barely broke the 3,000 student mark.

Overall undergraduate enrollment numbers climbed by 4.1% with 21,641 undergraduate students enrolled compared with last year’s 20,783 students. These numbers show a 29.4% overall increase since 2014.

Hispanic undergraduates showed the largest growth with 7,297 students enrolled this year, a jump of 4.7% compared to last year. As far as freshmen students, Asian students showed the largest single-year percentage increase of 13.4%, as 962 Asian students enrolled at UIC, compared to last year’s 848.

The number of professional students jumped by a whopping 29.4%, fueled by the addition of UIC John Marshall Law School students. Currently, there are 4,177 professional students.

While the number of new graduate students increased by 6.6%, the overall number of graduate students dropped by 1.3% to 7,572 graduate students.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences showed the largest enrollment gains, according to the latest numbers. This fall, 11,478 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, an increase of 193 students or nearly 2% from last year. The number of combined undergraduate and graduate students also increased in the College of Business Administration by nearly 4% to 4,305 students this year and the College of Education jumped by 12.5% to 1,096 students. As the Engineering College opened its Engineering Innovation Building this fall, it also rose by 1.6% to 5,425 students.

Recently, UIC was ranked 8th on the “Best Values” list of the nation’s universities by the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education. In the overall ranking of more than 340 U.S. public universities, UIC was tied for 21st with Michigan State University.