University reports record enrollment: over 52,000 during COVID-19


Ryan Ash

Altgeld Hall stands prominently as the sun sets on Aug. 29.

By Luis Velazquez, Assistant News Editor

Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign exceeded its record for enrollment, with 52,331 students for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

Last year’s record-setting enrollment was 51,196 students. Across three UI System schools, overall enrollment stands at 90,000, also a record high. 

Although the overall count increased, there was a slight drop in undergraduate students for the University. Last year’s record of 33,850 students decreased to 33,492 students this year. Mainly due to the pandemic, there are 576 fewer undergraduate international students continuing their education at the University for the Fall 2020 semester. 

The freshman class enrollment met the University’s target of 7,530 students, slightly lower than last year’s record of 7,665 freshmen. Due to the pandemic, 227 students asked to delay their admission to a later term. 

The University’s increased enrollment also shows an increase in African American and Latinx student enrollment for both graduate and undergraduate programs.

Graduate student enrollment also rose to 17,802, an increase from last year’s 16,319  enrollment. This was a result of students enrolling to online graduate programs in the Gies College of Business and Grainger College of Engineering. However, 2,025 new graduate students also asked to delay their admission to a later term.

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