Enrollment up across Big Country universities

In what has become a recent trend, Abilene universities all reported increases in enrollment through the first weeks of the fall semester. However, non-resident students also are finding MSU to be a destination for exceptional education, with the university recording 34.6 percent enrollment from out-of-state, a one-point increase over last fall. “To realize an upward trajectory in these areas demonstrates our efforts to better engage with these populations have been successful, and we will continue to build on that”, Glassman said.

Ron Williams is Western’s Vice President for Student Services.

“I am grateful for the dedication of our admissions and enrollment management team, as well as our faculty and staff, whose hard work resulted in this record increase of first-time, full-time freshmen”, said University President Rodney D. Bennett. First-year retention rates for freshmen went from 71.3 percent to 74.8 percent.

Quality of the student body remains strong, as new freshmen ACT (22.77) and GPA (3.29) averages are both the second-highest in the University’s recorded history. Combined, a two-year state budget impasse, a smaller pool of high school graduates available to recruit, and an nearly decade-long statewide decrease in higher education enrollment have led to what administrators indicate were unique and exceptional circumstances for Eastern Illinois University, as well as for its Illinois higher education counterparts across the state over the past year. In addition, the number of students receiving academic merit scholarships increased more than 40 percent. They say, although the total enrollment for fall 2017 is down slightly, they’ve seen increases in key areas. That’s a 2.4 percent increase over last fall. “By setting a higher bar for admission to the university, we are ensuring that the new students will be capable of successfully engaging in all we have to offer in the McMurry learning experience”.

Fall 2017 enrollment at the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach is up 9.2 percent from 2016.

Following a more than 700-day State of Illinois’ budget impasse, which ended in early July, Western Illinois University is looking to the future and doing its part to restore the public’s confidence that higher education in the state of Illinois is strong, viable and sustainable.

Those are just two of the positives from Fall 2017 enrollment figures that have set the University on a course for future unmatched success.

“However, it’s clear that EIU’s enrollment cycle was adversely impacted by the state’s recent budget instability, and we’ve heard anecdotally that the implementation of the federal travel ban created concerns that likely impacted our worldwide student recruitment efforts as well”, Norman said.

WIU said there are some silver linings in the enrollment data. Still, Norman said he believes the enrollment numbers are encouraging given those broader circumstances.

Norman said Eastern’s enhancements to the enrollment management and marketing enterprise have created significant forward momentum that is being felt across campus.

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