SIU spring enrollment down 7 percent

2013-01-31T07:00:00Z 2014-06-11T09:43:06Z SIU spring enrollment down 7 percentBY CALEB HALE, THE SOUTHERN The Southern
January 31, 2013 7:00 am  • 

CARBONDALE — SIU Carbondale’s spring enrollment is down nearly 7 percent from this time last year, and total enrollment now stands at 17,152 students.

Yet despite 1,290 fewer students on campus from last January, Chancellor Rita Cheng said the spring numbers were actually a pleasant surprise, given an unusually large graduating class in December.

“We had one of the largest December graduations in study history,” Cheng said. “Potentially, we could have been down quite a bit.”

Instead, the campus retained roughly 83 percent of the students who entered in the fall, the norm for this transition, Cheng said. In the face of graduating seniors, SIU kept more students than anticipated through retention efforts put in place a couple of years ago.

“I don’t think this is a negative for the region,” she said. “I think the progress that we’re making is exceptional.”

Still, with total enrollment just above 17,000, the campus is well below its roughly 20,000 average student population it has held since the mid-1970s. Enrollment records housed in SIU Carbondale Institutional Research go back to 1975, when total enrollment stood at 21,214.

SIU Carbondale’s overall enrollment has been sliding since 2005.

SIU had roughly 12,000 new freshman applications for fall 2013 as of Wednesday, which is a significant increase over the 9,800 applications they had at this time in 2010, Cheng said, a trend she attributed to increased work officials are doing to market the university to more students.

“We talk about families and students putting us into their consideration stacks for colleges. That wasn’t the case before,” she said. “The fact that we’ve got 12,000 applications now means more people are saying let’s consider SIU; let’s take a look.”

It’s difficult to tell how many applications yield new freshmen, and the trend nationally has been going down. By sheer numbers alone, however, Cheng said she hopes to see more students in the fall.

Cheng said the pressures students are facing in finding and keeping financial aid for college make it more difficult to enter and stay in school. Outside of financial woes, Cheng said the university has been working to make adjusting to campus life easier for students with a University College 101 course.

Roughly 86 percent of freshman who took the course returned for the spring semester.

SIU President Glenn Poshard said he sees positive trends on the Carbondale campus but the situation remains undeniably tough, from a depressed economy, a declining population base and regional competition.

“I think this will turn around at some point in time,” Poshard said. “But the challenges that this university faces on a multitude of levels are unlike any other universities in the state face.”


On Twitter: @bycalebhale

Copyright 2015 The Southern. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. Saluki Touchdown
    Report Abuse
    Saluki Touchdown - February 17, 2013 1:34 am
    Quit lying about the budget, Laraine. Quit lying.

    Cheng and Poshard are problems but to say that athletics caused this is a lie, a distortion, and a scapegoat. Stop.
  2. Laraine Wright
    Report Abuse
    Laraine Wright - February 01, 2013 12:36 pm
    What other university would continue to employ a president who has presided over seven years of huge enrollment losses, a rewrite of his master's thesis and Ph.D. dissertation, the loss of the U.S. Grant papers (here for 35+ years, now gone), big rise in student fees to pay for building boom to benefit crony insurance agent Roger Tedrick and local construction unions while chopping the hell out of the academic side (the university's MAIN MISSION), and on and on and on? Everyone: please scream to Quinn to remove the horrible SIU Board of Trustees and replace Poshard and these people with real advocates for students and faculty and high-quality academics here -- and thus real, lasting support for the Southern Illinois regional community and economy.
  3. Big Jim
    Report Abuse
    Big Jim - January 31, 2013 2:10 pm
    Our only hope is that Gov. Quinn will not re-apont the three sitting SIU board members or he will replace them. Poshard has destroyed SIU. He has made millions in salary, but done nothing to help. If Poshard stays on for a few more years, SIU-C might as well close its doors. I guess they are only staying open now by accepting the students that are not accepted anywhere else.
  4. Network Operations Center
    Report Abuse
    Network Operations Center - January 31, 2013 12:25 pm
    Excuses, excuses. Glenn Poshard, please... resign, retire. Times up. You failed.

    Enrollment began to decline in 2005, and you took charge on January 1, 2006.
    Let's face it, your solution was to increase fees, and attract "urban" students which has been a miserable failure, not only for the university, but for the City of Carbondale. You blame the economy, the population, competition.... blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile, the enrollment at community colleges and SIUE continues to bloom.

    Too many chiefs, not enough indians.
  5. singlemalt
    Report Abuse
    singlemalt - January 31, 2013 9:01 am
    "I think this will turn around at some point in time," says Poshard. The SIU administration is slowly but surely killing this once proud institution and chief among them is Poshard. They just don't get it; every sign of abject failure is somehow a positive in their eyes. To cite students who have remained beyond one semester as a sign of success is scary. We need a "top down" change and we need it soon.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

$6,000 dedicated to repairing Murphysboro headstones

$6,000 dedicated to repairing Murphysboro headstones

MURPHYSBORO — A lone man on a riding lawnmower is mowing the grass in City Cemetery, small circles visible in the morning grass from where he …

May 24, 2015 9:00 am Photos


Related (0)
Carbondale high school seniors graduate

Carbondale high school seniors graduate

CARBONDALE – Some of Southern Illinois' future leaders could have walked across the stage Saturday night at SIU Arena.

May 24, 2015 7:00 am Photos


Related (0)

Murphysboro police officer receives medal for bravery

Benjamin Jones, a Murphysboro police officer, has been awarded the Illinois Society Sons of the American Revolution Medal for Heroism.

May 24, 2015 6:00 am(0)
Apple City barbecue team 9th at World Championship

Apple City barbecue team 9th at World Championship

Mike Mills and the Apple City Barbecue team had a good weekend in the Whole Hog Competition at the 38th annual Memphis in May at the World Cha…

May 24, 2015 1:00 am(1)
Coalition of service, agency representatives tackling effects of poverty, homelessness

Coalition of service, agency representatives tackling effects of poverty, homelessness

CARBONDALE — As a young child, Shannon Butler and her brothers and sister wore clean clothes and shoes, even if they weren't the best, and she…

May 23, 2015 4:00 am Photos


Related (0)
Longbranch Coffeehouse hosts Asian spiritual spaces art exhibit

Longbranch Coffeehouse hosts Asian spiritual spaces art exhibit

For 12 years, Katherine Frith and her husband lived in Asia, snapping thousands of pictures in the various countries they visited.

May 23, 2015 1:00 am(0)

Illinois 13 lane closures near Giant City Road begin Tuesday

CARBONDALE - Illinois Department of Transportation is alerting motorists traveling Illinois 13 in Carbondale of nighttime lane closures beginn…

May 22, 2015 5:30 pm(0)

Herrin man sentenced to 16 years for drug dealing

A Herrin man was sentenced Thursday to two consecutive terms of eight years each in prison for selling crack cocaine last year near churches, …

May 22, 2015 7:00 am Related (0)

Autopsy on baby girl inconclusive

An autopsy Thursday of a 10-month-old girl found dead Wednesday in a foster home was inconclusive, said Marion Police Chief Dawn Tondini.

May 21, 2015 4:53 pm Related (0)
Zanotti: Marion hostage was shot by 'friendly fire'

Zanotti: Marion hostage was shot by 'friendly fire'

MARION — The woman taken hostage last month and injured during a gunfight with police was struck by a bullet from an officer’s firearm, Willia…

May 21, 2015 4:37 pm Photos


Related (0)