Enrollment sees 4% decrease from Spring 2021

The+NIU+Huskie+Pride+Statue+and+Holmes+Student+Center+are+recognizable+landmarks+on+campus.+According+to+10-day+enrollment+data.%2C+total+enrollment+has+decreased+by+4%25+from+the+Spring+2021+semester.

Northern Star File Photo

The NIU Huskie Pride Statue and Holmes Student Center are recognizable landmarks on campus. According to 10-day enrollment data., total enrollment has decreased by 4% from the Spring 2021 semester.

DeKALB— Total enrollment has decreased by 4% from the Spring 2021 semester, according to 10-day enrollment data. The enrollment numbers reflected a familiar trend that NIU and other schools across the country have seen since the pandemic hit.

There are a total of 14,601 students enrolled at NIU for the Spring 2022 semester, 615 fewer than in Spring 2021. Of those students, 10,487 were undergraduate students, 3,828 were graduate students and 286 were law students. 

The downtick in overall enrollment is not a challenge unique to NIU, but enrollment retention is a challenge for NIU given the makeup of its student body.

“There are other institutions who have had similar student population characteristics,” Sol Jensen, vice president for enrollment management, marketing and communications said. “But it, it certainly makes us a bit more unique when I guess we look around at the other institutions around the state that we may be compared to.” 

Those characteristics being that almost half of NIU’s student body is a first-generation college student or would qualify as “high financial need,” Jensen said.

As the enrollment decreases, NIU plans to continue offering the same level of courses and services that it normally does.

“We are committed to offer all the courses students need to graduate on time,” Omar Ghrayeb, senior vice provost for academic affairs said. 

Ghrayeb said the university is also looking to increase the number of tutors, supplemental instruction and resources available to students to help bolster the reenrollment number.

Spring 2022 saw 84 new freshmen enroll at NIU, an increase of 90.9%, while transfer students decreased by 4.6%.

Jensen said that NIU is creating a new strategic enrollment plan because the pandemic has disrupted so much of the traditional college experience. Jensen said he has met with members of SGA and also sought input from students in developing this new plan.

The plan is expected to come out in early March, but Ghrayeb said that the university is not waiting for the plan to be released to start working on responding to students’ needs.