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ISU Recruits Largest Freshman Class In Three Decades

ISU students on a sidewalk
Cindy Le
ISU enrolled 3,860 freshmen this fall, bringing total enrollment to 20,878 students. That's up 1.2% over last year.

UPDATED 5:15 p.m. | Illinois State University freshman enrollment jumped nearly 5% this fall—its largest freshman class in 33 years.

ISU said Wednesday that it's enrolled 3,860 freshmen this fall, bringing total enrollment to 20,878 students. That's up 1.2% over last year.

“This year’s historically large freshman class is part of the continuing trend of strong enrollment at Illinois State University,” President Larry Dietz said in a statement Wednesday “That is proof that students recognize the high quality of educational, growth, and leadership opportunities the University offers. Once they arrive on campus, students achieve real success, as evidenced by Illinois State’s high student retention and graduation rates.”

ISU also touted the diversity and academic record of its newest students. Around one-third are from traditionally underrepresented groups. International enrollment has also increased by 8% over the previous academic year.

This year’s freshman class had an average high school GPA of 3.48 on a 4.0 scale, an average ACT score near 24, and an average score of 1121 on the SAT. ISU's freshman class also includes 441 Honors Program students—the most ever.

“This fall’s enrollment figures reflect more than just an increase in the number of students on campus,” said Jana Albrecht, ISU's associate vice president of enrollment management. “They show an increasingly diverse and academically talented student body at Illinois State. These students are poised for success in a welcoming and supportive campus environment that will challenge them to be their best.”

In a statement, Gov. JB Pritzker's office said ISU's fall enrollment shows that "when you send the message that Illinois schools deserve world-class resources, they attract world-class students."

"In eight months in office, Governor Pritzker is proud to have worked with the General Assembly to give our students the funding they deserve. The historic Rebuild Illinois capital plan dedicates nearly $130 million to capital improvements at ISU, including the renovation of Milner Library. Nearly 7,000 more students will receive need-based scholarships and the state’s merit scholarship program increased by 40 percent, helping to make college more affordable for families across the state.

"While reversing the declines in student enrollment throughout the state will take time, Governor Pritzker is encouraged by the growth at ISU and is committed to helping colleges and universities build campuses where students build the skills to succeed."

Illinois State University Enrollment
More details are available at News.IllinoisState.edu.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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