News Local/State

U of I Sees Rise In International, Minority, In-State Students

A woman walks on the U of I campus in Urbana in a February 19th photo.

(AP Photo/David Mercer)

The number of international students at the University of Illinois' Urbana campus continues to grow. Over ten percent of this year's freshman class is from China, while students from India and South Korea make up one percent each, according to numbers out today from the U of I.

International students often pay full sticker price for tuition and fees, which can exceed $50,000 per year.

U of I spokeswoman Robin Kaler says the University is proud of its international recruitment.

"We do take the most qualified students wherever they're from and we continue to be a destination of choice for international students, especially those from China," she said.

Minority students make up a bigger share of the University of Illinois' freshman class this year. Hispanic students are at an all-time high, and African American freshman have made a jump after a six-year slump.

Kaler credits recruitment programs and initiatives focused on minority students for the increase. But, she says, a drop in the state's financial aid, including "monetary assistance program" grants, cut into the number of minority and low-income students the University recruits.

"Certainly, when students don't choose Illinois, the top reasons they tell us are almost all financial," she said. "So certainly keeping the cost of tuition as low as possible and any kind of aid the state can offer to help students really makes a difference."

The number of in-state freshman also rose, along with the number of international students. Across all three University of Illinois campuses, the school hit record enrollment with over 76,000 students.