CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The 2013-14 freshman class of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is larger than last year, its makeup more diverse and its test scores higher, according to fall enrollment statistics released this week.
As of Sept. 11, the 10th day of classes, 7,331 freshmen were enrolled, an increase of 399 students over last year but well short of the 2005 record of 7,583.
ACT scores for the incoming class average 28.6, up slightly from last year, and the average SAT score rose from 1337 to 1344. More than half of the new students - 54.5 percent - were ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school.
Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise said she is impressed with the academic performance of the freshman class and said they will be given the opportunity make an impact at the U. of I.
"Clearly, students recognize the value of an Illinois education and want to be a part of our rich tradition of excellence," she said.
Wise said she also is optimistic about the possibilities that come with the diverse makeup of the class, which comprises 100 nations and every state. Illinois students make up nearly three-quarters of the class.
"Coming to Illinois is a great opportunity for students to know and be a part of the global community," Wise said. "I'm encouraging students to go outside of themselves and reach out to someone who is different than they are. That's how connections are formed."
Nearly 22 percent of freshmen are the first in their families to attend college, a slight increase over last year, and underrepresented minority students represent 16.1 percent, a 1 percent increase. Including Asian-Americans, the underrepresented percentage is 33.1 percent, nearly a 1 percent increase.
The top enrollment centers for this year's freshman class are in science, technology, engineering and math.
University admissions officials had predicted a freshman class of about 7,100 and say they were pleasantly surprised at the number of students accepting admission. The number of applications for the fall semester was 33,201.
"When you look at our overall yield, it's pretty apparent there are a lot of students wanting to be at Illinois," said Stacey Kostell, the director of admissions.
Kostell said the enrollment goal is determined in a given year by analyzing historic yield rates by college, program, residency and recent trends.
Gaby Garay, a freshman psychology major from McHenry, Ill., said she chose Illinois for a number of reasons, including the breadth of opportunities available.
"It offers something for everyone," Garay said. "It is such a diverse campus full of open minds that everyone is bound to find something that will enrich who they are and challenge the way they think."
"Illinois provides it all," said Anuj Chokshi, a freshman biology major from Bartlett, Ill. "It has strong academics, cutting-edge research, but above all, a vibrant student base providing endless opportunities and activities; you don't have an excuse to be bored."
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