Continuing a trend that began four years ago, the University of Illinois at Chicago enrolled a record number of students at its campus this fall, including a record number of undergraduates.
The figures are from the first 10 days of classes, the traditional benchmark for enrollment data among U.S. colleges and universities.
Total enrollment for fall semester, including graduate and professional students jumped to 31,683, an increase of 3.7 percent from last year’s 30,539 students. Last year was the first time that UIC had surpassed 30,000 students and this year’s numbers are continuing the upward tick.
Undergraduate enrollment numbers showed the greatest increase, climbing by 6.9 percent this year with 20,783 undergraduate students enrolled compared with last year’s 19,448 students. The numbers show a 24 percent increase since 2014, when UIC had an undergraduate population of 16,718 students.
New freshmen also accounted for a 2.7 percent increase from 4,050 to 4,159 students this fall, also continuing a three-year upward trend that became particularly noteworthy last year when UIC hit the 4,000-student mark for the first time in its history. The number of new freshmen has shown a 37 percent overall increase since 2014.
The latest numbers also show that UIC’s efforts to continue to diversify its campus has continued to bear fruit.
“As we continue to invest in the infrastructure of our campus and our students — the majority of whom are eligible for federal financial aid — we are providing an accessible and affordable option for a world-class education at Chicago’s only public research university,” said Michael D. Amiridis, UIC chancellor.
While no ethnic majority predominates on campus, Hispanic undergraduates make up 33.5 percent of the student body with 6,967 enrolled this year, continuing a five-year, 58 percent climb since 2014. The number of Hispanic freshmen climbed this year to 1,660, making up nearly 40 percent of the freshman student body.
The number of undergraduate black students also showed a nearly 24 percent jump from five years ago with 1,628 students enrolled and making up nearly 8 percent of the undergraduate student body.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences showed the largest enrollment gains, according to the latest figures. This year, 11,285 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, an increase of 420 students, or nearly 4 percent, from last year’s figures. The College of Business Administration also jumped by nearly 6.5 percent to 4,140 students overall.
The number of professional students at UIC also continued a steady, five-year climb. Currently there are 3,227 professional students, up from 3,176 last year and up nearly 10 percent since 2014.
New undergraduate transfer students decreased slightly, to 2,080 students. Overall, graduate enrollment also dropped by 3 percent to 7,673 from last year’s 7,915 figures.
UIC was recently recognized by the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education as one of the nation’s top 10 “Best Value” universities and ranked in the top 30 public universities in the country by the same publication. In addition, U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Best Colleges” ranked UIC as the 61st best public university in the nation, jumping 11 spots from its previous year ranking.