Campus sets new marks for undergraduate enrollment, diversity

The Urbana campus this semester reached record levels of undergraduate and total enrollment, as well as diversity and first-generation representation in the freshman class./Graphic by Julie McMahon

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Undergraduate enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reached record levels this semester, according to data released today.  The total number of undergraduate students enrolled at the Urbana campus was 33,624, higher than the previous record of 33,523 in 2016.  Similarly, total enrollment of 47,826 topped last year’s previous record of 46,496.

The new freshman class will again be among the 10 largest in the country and continues to become more diverse.  The class of 7,518 exceeded the campus target of 7,500 and includes 20.0 percent who come from underrepresented backgrounds and 21.9 percent who identify as first-generation students, both new campus records.

“We’re excited to welcome a record number of undergraduate students to Illinois this fall, with a freshman class that is more diverse than ever and includes a record number of first-generation college students,” said Chancellor Robert Jones. “We are extremely proud that Illinois continues to be a university that provides access to such transformational educational experiences on such a massive scale. To us, that is the land-grant mission in action.”

Nine hundred ninety-five of the freshmen are Latino and 500 are African-American, with last year’s totals 932 and 548, respectively. Another 118 freshmen who selected the primary category of Latino or multiracial also identified themselves as African-American but were not included in the African-American category.

The percentage of incoming freshmen who reported a status of first-generation college students continues to increase, from 20.5 in 2015, to 21.6 in 2016, and a record 21.9 this year.

The three universities in the University of Illinois System release statistics based upon the enrollments on the 10th day of classes, which for the Urbana campus was Sept. 11. International students from 31 countries accounted for 1,116 in the freshman class, an increase from 1,039 a year ago. Freshman enrollees from China rose by two to 716, while the tally from India increased from 117 to 178.

The residency mix of the incoming class includes about three out of four students from within the state.  A total of 5,507 freshmen are classified as in-state students, down slightly from last year’s figure of 5,664. The campus admitted 400 more Illinois applicants than last year; competition from schools outside of the state with generous scholarship awards appears to be the most significant factor in the decision not to enroll at Illinois.

The Illinois residency rate stands at 73.3 percent, down slightly from 74.6 percent in 2016 but consistent with the 73.1 percent total in 2015. Average ACT and SAT scores for the incoming freshmen were 28.5 and 1390, respectively.

“The academic and personal achievements of this freshman class are impressive. Beyond their test scores and academic excellence in the classroom, they’ve been leaders, innovators and role models throughout their high school careers,” said Kevin Pitts, the vice provost for undergraduate education. “These are the students every university wants in its new class and in its community. They’re going to do some great things at Illinois.”

The number of new transfer students held steady at 1,380, the same total as last year and consistent with the campus goal for 2017.

Source: Robin Kaler/Associate Chancellor for Public Affairs/Illinois News Bureau

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Campus sets new marks for undergraduate enrollment, diversity
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Campus sets new marks for undergraduate enrollment, diversity