For the second consecutive year, Illinois State University has a record-breaking freshman class. The fall 2015 freshman class has 3,632 students, making it the University’s largest freshman class in the past 26 years.

Total enrollment as of the 10th class day at Illinois State is up by 1 percent to 20,788, a growth of 173 students over the previous fall semester. Enrollment growth is found in both new student numbers, which are up by 85 students, as well as in student retention, with continuing student enrollment up 89 students.

The academic quality of this year’s freshman class remains strong with a high school GPA of 3.4 on a 4.0 scale and an average ACT score near 24. More than 200 freshmen with an ACT score of 30 or higher are enrolled.

“Illinois State’s enrollment picture is strong and steady,” said Troy Johnson, associate vice president of Enrollment Management. “The University has strong enrollment numbers in many critical categories, from total enrollment growth to retention gains. The fall 2015 freshman, transfer, and graduate student classes continue Illinois State’s pattern of high academic quality and diversity.”

About one-fifth of the student population comes from traditionally underrepresented groups. The University is seeing an 8 percent increase in Hispanic students (137 more than in fall 2014) and a 6 percent increase in the number of African-American students (83 more than last fall).

The number of transfer students for fall 2015 is 1,913, an increase of 31 students over the previous year. Illinois State enrolled 77 more new graduate students compared to last fall for an increase of 9 percent.

A hallmark of Illinois State is its high student retention and graduation rates which are among the top 10 percent in the country. Student success after graduation is also reflected in the University’s student loan default rate which is among the lowest in the nation and is predicted to go even lower, from 4 percent to 2.7 percent, when the official U.S. Department of Education data are reported later this semester.

“Illinois State has a strong student-centered approach to education,” said President Larry Dietz. “Individualized attention, rigorous academic programs, and a welcoming and supportive campus atmosphere provide students with a great place to learn and grow. Those elements explain why our graduation rate of 71 percent is well above the national average and why our graduates go on to be leaders in their chosen fields.”


Total Illinois State University enrollment
Fall 2015

Total: 20,788
Undergraduate students: 18,423
Graduate students: 2,365
Freshmen: 3,632
Transfer students: 1,913