Thursday, September 10, 2020

UIS Enrollment Drop "Better Than Expected"

Despite a global health threat and concerns of students taking a gap year, enrollment on the University of Illinois Springfield campus saw only a slight decline. That gives hope the school might be able to weather the disruption brought on by the pandemic.

After the first ten days of the fall semester, officials announced the number of students taking classes dropped three percent from a year ago.

“So actually we were bracing for a lower enrollment, so that’s why I can tell you it was better than expected," said Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney. "So financially we are in a stronger position that we anticipated.”

Whitney said COVID-19 testing on the campus for all students, faculty and staff appears to be working and she has confidence about completing the semester as planned. In addition, new classes will be offered starting in October and during the traditional winter break.

The drop might have been larger, except for a six percent increase in online class enrollment. That does not include hybrid and remote classes. Whitney said more students are using that option during the pandemic. Students in 46 states and nine foreign countries have signed up.

This story appeared on NPR Illinois on September 9, 2020.