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Illinois State welcomes strong incoming class

While many universities struggle with enrollment declines, Illinois State started the academic year with an increase in new freshmen and transfers. With strong retention numbers as well, the University’s on-campus headcount rose to 21,080 this fall.

“Given the economy and the stiff student recruitment competition from public and private colleges, I think this year’s numbers are simply remarkable,” President Al Bowman said. “Illinois State University is once again proving to be a first choice for new students.”

There is a natural decline in the number of graduating high school seniors in Illinois which, combined with the economy, is creating competition for college-bound students. And yet the quality of the incoming freshman class remains high, with an average ACT score near 24 and a grade point average topping 3.3.

Diversity within the student body also improved. Bowman credited Illinois State’s many outreach programs with helping attract talented students from underrepresented groups. Non-white students comprise 18.9 percent of the incoming freshman class versus 17.8 percent last year. The largest gains were African American students, with a 25 percent jump from last fall.

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