After falling 560 students, NIU has reached its lowest fall enrollment since at least 1986, according to data released Wednesday.
The ten-day count of enrollment for this fall was 16,609 students. Fall 2018 had an enrollment of 17,169.
The university’s Strategic Enrollment Management Plan, a five-year, three-goal plan to increase enrollment, released in January 2019, projected a Fall 2019 enrollment of 16,748 students.
This semester’s enrollment falls at 140 students less than the projection.
The administration attributes the drop to large graduating classes compared to incoming classes, according to Wednesday's press release.
The data shows a 585 student drop in the on-campus undergraduate population, a 4.7% change from Fall 2018. On-campus graduate enrollment increased by 298 students, an 11% change from Fall 2018.
The administration’s plan projects enrollment growth starting next year, if recruitment and retention objectives are met.