CARBONDALE – Southern Illinois University officials said Tuesday the number of first-time college students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale increased by 31.2% this fall, reflecting a 32.9% increase in new first-time students enrolling from the Southern Illinois region.
The university said the Carbondale campus also saw continued growth in the freshman to sophomore retention rate, reflecting the percentage of last year’s first-time freshmen who returned this fall. This year’s rate is 80.6%, the highest in 20 years and up from 72% in 2017 and 75% last year.
Chancellor Austin A. Lane said the increases reflect hard work across the campus and are a signal that the university will see positive growth in total enrollment in the near future.
“Our official enrollment figures give us a lot to celebrate,” Lane, who became SIU’s chancellor in July, said in a release. “Both applications and admissions of new students are up, and we are keeping more of the students we enroll. We are turning the tide.”
Total enrollment stands at 11,366, a decline of 2.8% from fall 2019. The university has seen declines between 8% and 12% in each of the last four years.