Enrollment decline continues through spring semester


Enrollment decline continues through spring semester

By Kurt Bitting

DeKALB — Total enrollment has fallen by 336 students from the Spring 2019 semester, according to data released Friday. 

The 10-day count of enrollment for this spring was 15,419 students, a drop of 2.1% from the spring of 2019. Total enrollment is down 1,190 students from the fall semester, a drop of 7.2%.


This drop between fall and spring semester is typical, but this academic year’s difference is less than between 2018-2019, which saw a drop of 1,394 students or 8.12%.

Undergraduate students living on campus decreased by 369 students, a 3.3% drop from spring of 2019.

From fall to spring, the university retained 90% of its 2019 first-year students, a 2% increase from last year’s rate. Fall-to-spring first-year retention is the highest it’s been since 2007.

The CHANCE program retained 87% of its students from fall 2019, a 6% increase from spring of 2019.

Beth Ingram, executive vice president and provost, said the increase in retention can be attributed to the university’s Strategic Enrollment Management Plan, which was put into place in January 2019.

The university’s Strategic Enrollment Management Plan is a five-year plan consisting of three goals: to strengthen NIU’s identity, achieve fiscally sustainable student enrollment and provide opportunity to students from diverse backgrounds. 

The plan projects a fall 2020 enrollment of 16,749 students, which would be an increase of 140 students from fall 2019.

Managing editor Noah Thornburgh contributed in the reporting of this story.