Illinois College has its largest student body of all time. According to a report released by the college on Friday, Illinois College welcomed 419 new students to campus this year bringing their total student body to 1,150
Vice President of External Relations Stephanie Chipman says it’s an exciting and interesting time to be an Illinois College student: “I think the numbers speak for themselves on how committed our families are to realizing an Illinois College experience. Illinois College is absolutely dedicated to inspiring achievement and empowering students in making a difference in the world. I think that need is now more than ever. The families are looking to us to protect them and help keep them safe; and we’ve done an incredible amount of work over the summer and into the fall to do just that. Our students came back. This is the first time in Illinois College history that our enrollment has been above 1,100. We are just so thrilled to work with these incredible young people and giving them a life-defining experience.”
The numbers are a 10% increase from last year’s enrollment of 1,048. This Fall’s enrollment includes 294 first-year students and 125 transfer students. IC’s online programs continue to grow, and currently have nearly 60 students enrolled. Chipman says that many of the reasons the enrollment is up is because of the school’s relatively small size, with a 13:1 student to faculty ratio and the college’s ability to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions easier due to its size. The college has also expanded campus housing and reconfigured class schedules to further allow for distancing measures to keep the community safe.
The new transfers to the college is a record, as over 80 MacMurray College students were able to transition across town. Chipman says she’s glad those students chose to stay in Jacksonville: “The MacMurray students have chosen Jacksonville as their home, and we are so happy to be a part of that choice. They are settling in well to Illinois College. While we were so sorry about the situation that MacMurray faced, we were happy to try and make that [transfer] process as easy and seamless for MacMurray students as possible. We had 83 students on campus taking classes this Fall that are here because of that decision, and we are happy to give them a second home.”
Chipman says with the higher numbers comes some physical growth for the college as well: “We are launching new degrees annually that are available fully online; so things like Human Resources, Reading Teacher Endorsement for our teachers – those are all things that were added this year. Some of that growth is going to be in person like our brand new nursing program, and some of that is online growth. Illinois College has grown enrollment by 33% over the last ten years, and a lot of that has to do with program expansion, being nimble when opportunities arise, and just trying to meet the needs of this region as community partners present themselves.”
Growing enrollment to 1200 students by 2022 is part of Illinois College’s long-term strategic growth plan.