NIU sees 1.3% decrease in enrollment from Spring 2020


Kierra Frazier

The 10-day count of enrollment for this spring was 15,216 students, a drop of 1.3% from Spring 2020.

By Kierra Frazier

DeKALB – Total enrollment has fallen by 203 students from the Spring 2020 semester, according to data released Friday. 

The 10-day count of enrollment for this spring was 15,216 students, a drop of 1.3% from Spring 2020. Total enrollment is down 1,553 students from Fall 2020, a 9.3% drop. 

NIU fall enrollment increased by 160 students, a 1% increase from Fall 2019.

This drop between fall and spring semesters is typical, but this academic year’s difference is more than between 2019 to 2020, which saw a drop of 1,190 students.

The total number of undergraduate students is down 1.4% from Spring 2020. 

The total number of NIU Law students, 282, saw an increase of 5.2% from Spring 2020. 

New first-year students saw a retention rate of 87%, a drop of 266 students, from the fall to spring semester, compared to 90% in Spring 2020. But the number of first-year students who enrolled mid-year rose by 12 students from Spring 2020. 

Transfer students dropped by 71 students from Spring 2020, a 14.6% difference. 

“We were more concerned about fall to spring re-enrollment of undergraduates this year than in any previous year,” said NIU President Lisa Freeman at a Wednesday University Council meeting. “I’m pleased to share good news, Fall 2020 undergraduates have re-enrolled for Spring 2021 at only slightly lower rates than previous undergraduate cohorts.” 

By Fall 2021, the university’s Strategic Enrollment Management Plan shows 17,005 students enrolled, which would be an increase of 1,789 students from the Spring 2020 semester. 

The 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 an opportunity to students from diverse backgrounds.