News Local/State

EIU Reports 5% Jump In Spring Enrollment, After Years Of Declines

The Old Main Building at Eastern Illinois University

The Old Main Building on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. EIU reports a 5% jump in spring enrollment, its first increase in more than a decade. Travis Stansel / Illinois Public Media

Eastern Illinois University is reporting a five percent increase in spring enrollment --- its first enrollment increase in more than ten years.

The state school in Charleston released so-called 10th-day data Wednesday, showing a spring enrollment total of 7,016 full and part-time students, compared to 6,673 last spring.

Eastern Illinois University reports its strongest enrollment jumps among undergraduate transfer students.  Their number increased five-fold from last spring, from 260 to 1,335. That increase offset drops in the number of continuing and returning students. 

University officials said in a news  release that the boost in enrollment is largely due to EIU’s Vitalization Project. That’s a multi-year plan to address many of the problems higher education faces in Illinois. The plan includes re-investing in marketing, admissions and enrollment.

EIU officials are "cautiously optimistic" that the growth trend will continue in the fall, as long as Illinois avoids a second budget stalemate.

The last time Eastern Illinois University saw an increase in enrollment for any semester was in 2006.