BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Wesleyan welcomed 487 new students to the University this fall, a 9% increase in new-student enrollment. Total enrollment held steady at 1,636. Official enrollment figures were computed after the 15th day of classes.
“As many universities across the country face significant enrollment declines amid
the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are especially pleased to be breaking this trend
with a larger-than expected group of diverse, accomplished students,” President S.
Georgia Nugent said. “The strength of this class underscores the value of an Illinois
Wesleyan educational experience and the personal attention our faculty and staff provide
each student –– whether they opted to pursue their courses in person, online, or with
hybrid delivery this fall.”
The incoming class includes 131 students –– 27% of the total class –– who self-identify as students of color, representing the third-most
diverse class of students in University history.
Students from six countries, 30 states and Washington, D.C. make up the incoming class. Locally, a record-high total
of 58 new students from McLean County enrolled this fall, a 38% increase over last year’s McLean County new-student total.
“The Illinois Wesleyan Associates continue to invest deeply in the future of local
students through support of the McLean County Scholarship Guarantee,” Nugent said. “Over the past three years, the number of talented McLean County students
who have chosen to pursue their undergraduate degree locally at Illinois Wesleyan
has increased significantly, thanks in large part to the Associates’ steadfast commitment
to the success of our community and our students.”
Transfer numbers also increased this fall, with 42 new transfer students –– a 35% increase –– including nine from Heartland Community College. Academic quality held consistent, with an average
class GPA of 3.8. The incoming class consists of 62 first-generation students and 64 with an Illinois Wesleyan family legacy.
“We're happy that students and families are recognizing that Illinois Wesleyan offers
a distinctive education, combining a broad liberal arts curriculum with strong pre-professional
programs – a uniquely valuable offering in our rapidly changing environment,” Nugent
said. “We also believe that a number of students opted to defer their enrollments
due to the pandemic, and we look forward to having those students join us this spring
or next fall.”
Illinois Wesleyan continues to recruit and retain high-caliber students, with a 90% average retention rate –– 12% above the national
retention rate –– according to College Scorecard data.