Illinois College again sees record student enrollment


Illinois College is welcoming a record 419 new students to campus this fall, resulting in the largest total student body in IC history — 1,150 students.

Students and their families trust Illinois College to provide a safe, healthy campus environment and a valuable education that will prepare them to Graduate READY for their future careers.
Stephanie Elpers Chipman, Vice President of External Relations

That number is a nearly 10% increase from last year’s record of 1,048 students enrolled. 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. 

Vice President of External Relations Stephanie Elpers Chipman, who oversees enrollment, says that the increased number of students choosing IC this year is particularly notable given the challenges being faced due to the pandemic.

“Students and their families trust Illinois College to provide a safe, healthy campus environment and a valuable education that will prepare them to Graduate READY for their future careers,” Chipman said. “IC has experienced a 33% increase in overall enrollment over the past 10 years because we continue to expand and enrich opportunities for students and are dedicated to their success.”

According to Chipman, several factors that have helped IC thrive in recent years include expanded academic programs like IC’s new nursing and agribusiness majors, investments in College facilities, increased donor and alumni engagement, launching online degrees and expanding opportunities for internships, hands-on learning, student-faculty research and Division III athletics. 

While IC has grown, its small size remains an advantage, Chipman added: “Where you go to college matters. With so much uncertainty in the world, students are seeking IC’s personalized education more than ever.” 

Although larger colleges and universities have struggled to limit class sizes and offer social distancing in response to the global health crisis, IC’s already small class sizes and its student faculty ratio of 13:1 allowed it to more easily adapt to statewide restrictions and advice from health experts. The College has also expanded campus housing and reconfigured class schedules to further allow for distancing measures. 

A record number of transfer students joined IC this year, which includes students coming from MacMurray College who found special benefits at IC. Eighty students chose to remain in Jacksonville to continue their education on Illinois College’s campus following the March announcement that MacMurray would close its doors permanently this year.

Growing enrollment to 1200 students by 2022 is part of Illinois College’s plan to ensure student success, realize strategic growth and achieve sustainable foundations.     

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932, the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

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