UI to reduce freshman class size despite record breaking number of applications

Freshman+participate+at+the+Welcome+celebration+in+Lot+31+after+the+New+Student+Convocation+at+State+Farm+Center+on+Aug.+20.+Even+with+the+33%25+increase+in+applications%2C+the+University+has+decided+to+decrease+the+size+of+next+years+freshman+class.+

Cameron Krasucki

Freshman participate at the Welcome celebration in Lot 31 after the New Student Convocation at State Farm Center on Aug. 20. Even with the 33% increase in applications, the University has decided to decrease the size of next year’s freshman class.

By Royal Shrestha, Assistant News Editor

Although the University reported the largest number of applications ever being received this year, it has decided to reduce the size of the incoming class compared to the last admissions cycle.

For the first time ever, the class of 2026 students were able to apply through the Common App. This led to a noticeable 33% increase in the number of applications received as compared to the last application cycle, according to Andy Borst, the director of undergraduate admissions.

Despite receiving 63,000 applications this year compared to 47,368 last year, Borst described the University’s decision to intentionally reduce the size of the incoming class. 

“We plan to intentionally reduce the size of the incoming first-year class by 600 enrolled students in order to maintain our undergraduate enrollment within the bounds of campus resources,” Borst said in an email.

Based on the number of freshmen admitted as part of the class of 2025, the University expects approximately 7,703 students to make up the incoming class of 2026, according to an email sent to University admissions counselors.  

Borst noted that acceptances were just recently sent out, and would not be sharing admissions statistics other than the number of received applications and the University’s enrollment target.

“Beyond the number of applications and our enrollment target, we consider all other statistics to still be in flux and will not be sharing additional numbers,” Borst said.

The email sent to University counselors noted that “admissions was significantly more competitive this year” especially for non-resident and international students. Despite this, the University still admitted the same number of Illinois residents this year. 

Moreover, the University is trying to become more representative of the state and is “admitting more students who are first generation, low income, or historically underrepresented,” the email said.

The email also said that students interested in the College of Engineering’s CS program will only be able to enter as first-year or off-campus transfer students due to the increasing competitiveness and number of applications being received for computer science. 

“(Students) will not be able to apply to change majors into Computer Science once on campus, although they will still be able to pursue a Computer Science minor or apply to change majors into our Computer Science + X programs,” the email said.

For students that have been accepted into the University, there are virtual and in-person tour visit options, including two in-person tours for admitted students: the “info session and campus tour” or the longer “admitted Illini days.”

 

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