By Neil Doyle
BLOOMINGTON – Freshman enrollment is up 9% at Illinois Wesleyan University, while the school’s overall enrollment remained unchanged.
The university welcomed 487 new students this fall, up from 446 last year, as total enrollment held steady at 1,636, according to a news release Thursday.
“As many universities across the country face significant enrollment declines amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are especially pleased to be breaking this trend with a larger-than expected group of diverse, accomplished students,” said IWU President Georgia Nugent.
IWU said 131 freshman, 27% of the total class, self-identify as students of color, representing the third-most diverse class of students in university history.
Students from six countries, 30 states and Washington, D.C. make up the incoming class. Locally, a record high 58 new students from McLean County enrolled this fall, a 38% increase over last year’s McLean County new-student total.
Transfer numbers also increased this fall, with 42 new transfer students –– a 35% increase –– including nine from Heartland Community College.
“We’re happy that students and families are recognizing that Illinois Wesleyan offers a distinctive education, combining a broad liberal arts curriculum with strong pre-professional programs – a uniquely valuable offering in our rapidly changing environment,” Nugent said.
Neil Doyle can be reached at email@example.com