Urbana, Ill. – More than 56,000 prospective first-time freshmen have applied for enrollment next fall across the University of Illinois system, record demand that is up 13 percent from the year before, officials announced Feb. 5.
Applications include across-the-board increases among Illinois residents and African-American and Latino students. Overall, the university system has received 56,017 applications for freshman seats on its three campuses in fall 2016, up from 49,530 a year ago.
The university system enrolled 11,315 freshman in fall 2015, which was part of record total enrollment that topped 80,000 students at that time.
U. of I. President Tim Killeen said the strong demand reflects the academic excellence of the university’s campuses and ongoing efforts to hold down student costs. Last month, the board of trustees approved a tuition freeze for in-state freshman for the second straight year, a move that followed two years of inflation-based 1.7 percent increases.
“The university’s reputation for quality is resonating with students from around the state and beyond, and our commitment to affordability is ensuring access to a world-class education that transforms their lives and paves the way to success,” he said.
Killeen also credited financial stewardship and ongoing efficiency initiatives that have provided stability and channeled resources to academic programs and student services despite a state budget impasse that has shut off state funding to the University for more than seven months.
Systemwide, freshman applications increased by nearly 6,500, or 13 percent, including a 10.6 percent increase among in-state residents, from 29,099 last year to 32,176 for fall 2016.
Applications from Latino students are up 22 percent, from 7,848 to 9,580, while applications from African-American students increased 20.6 percent, from 4,202 to 5,066.
Student demand showed increases on the Chicago and Urbana campuses, where application deadlines have closed, while applications to date are down slightly on the Springfield campus, which will continue to accept applications until classes begin on Aug. 22.
On the Urbana campus, overall freshman applications increased 11.2 percent, from 34,033 to 37,844, and in-state applications were up 9 percent, from 16,681 to 18,177. Applications from Latino students increased 19 percent, from 3,181 to 3,785, and applications from African-American students increased 18.8 percent, from 2,044 to 2,429.
In Chicago, total freshman applications increased 19.4 percent, from 14,268 to 17,029, with a 14.6 percent increase among in-state students, from 11,302 to 12,956. Applications from African-American students were up 35.3 percent, from 1,651 to 2,234, and applications from Latino students increased 25.8 percent, from 4,350 to 5,474.
The Urbana campus informed its applicants Feb. 5 on whether they had been admitted and expects to accept about 22,000 students, with a goal of seating a freshman class similar to last fall, which was the second largest in the campus’s history at about 7,500. The Chicago campus also is in the process of informing applicants about whether they have been accepted.
Systemwide, applications from transfer students are up 11 percent, from 4,514 to 5,011, including an 11.3 percent increase among in-state students, from 3,345 to 3,724. Applications from African-American transfer students increased 14.1 percent, from 475 to 542, while applications from Latino students are up 11.6 percent, from 631 to 704.