WIU Sees Drop In Enrollment Numbers

Feb 21, 2017

Student enrollment has been trending down at Western Illinois University for much of the last decade. For the first time this century, there are fewer than 10,000 students enrolled at Western.

Credit "old gym locker room" by Flickr user Charles Kremenak / (CC X 2.0)

Dr. Ron Williams is the interim vice president for student services at Western. He says there about 629 fewer students this semester compared to last spring. 

He says that’s a loss of about 6.5 percent.

“We are down,” he says. “We are continuing to see a decline but the good thing is we have not seen as much of a decline as we had expected given the crisis of confidence with our budget situation and the demographics of the state with a lot of students leaving the state of Illinois.”

Western is relying more on student tuition and fees to cover general operating expenses in the absence of a state budget. Western says fewer students will equal a loss of about 2-million dollars in tuition revenue. 

Just under 9,500 students are taking classes this spring at the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses.

Williams says there are a couple bright spots in the numbers. He says international student and graduate student enrollment are both up over last spring.