Illinois Wesleyan Welcomes Strong Incoming Class, Enrollment Increases

Students on the Quad
Illinois Wesleyan welcomed 473 new students to the University for the 2021-22 academic year, and total enrollment increased by 1% to 1,653.

Sept. 14, 2021

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Wesleyan University welcomed 473 new students to the University for the 2021-22 academic year. Total enrollment increased by 1% to 1,653. Official enrollment figures were computed after the 15th day of classes.

“We are delighted to welcome a robust and diverse incoming class to campus this fall,” said President S. Georgia Nugent. “Despite unprecedented challenges facing higher education, our recruitment and retention efforts continue to buck nationwide trends. This success is a credit to dedicated faculty and staff who truly care about teaching and mentoring our students.”

The incoming class includes 163 students — 34% of the total class — who self-identify as students of color, representing the most diverse class in school history.

Students from 15 countries, 25 different states and Washington, D.C., make up the incoming class. A record-high total of 66 new students from McLean County enrolled this fall, a 14% increase over last year’s McLean County new-student total. Illinois Wesleyan also welcomed 40 new transfer students, including five from Heartland Community College.

“Over the past four years, we have seen a dramatic increase in enrollment by students from McLean County thanks in large part to the $30,000 McLean County Scholarship Guarantee, made possible by the Illinois Wesleyan Associates,” said Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing LeAnn Hughes.

IWU had averaged 27 McLean County students per incoming class in the years leading up to the scholarship announcement in 2018. During the four years following the scholarship launch, the University is averaging nearly 50 McLean County students in each incoming class.

“Through continued development of relationships with community partners, including our recently signed articulation agreement with Heartland Community College, we expect to continue attracting talented local students, along with students from across the country and globe, who are a great fit at Illinois Wesleyan,” Hughes said.

Academic quality held strong this fall, with an average GPA of 3.83. The incoming class consists of 113 first-generation students and 40 who had a close family member or relative attend Illinois Wesleyan.

Illinois Wesleyan continues to recruit and retain high-caliber students, with an 87% retention rate — 5% above the national average — according to College Scorecard data.

By John Twork