University News

Fall '13 Enrollment: ACT, GPA Numbers Up, QC & International Student Enrollment Increase

September 6, 2013

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- While Western Illinois University has seen a decline in its total enrollment for Fall 2013, the average ACT score for incoming freshmen at Western now exceeds both the state and national averages, increasing to 21.1 compared to 20.7 in 2012, and the average high school GPA increased to 3.11 in Fall 2013 compared to 3.04 in 2012, according to 10-day enrollment reports.

Total enrollment is 11,707, down 4.1 percent (498 students) from Fall 2012, while the new freshman enrollment is 1,652, down from 1,754 in Fall 2012.

According to Admissions Director Andy Borst, the decrease in freshmen is due largely to 22.4 percent fewer students enrolling through WIU's alternative admissions program. Fall 2013 enrollment at the Western-Macomb campus is 10,205, a decrease of 623 students from Fall 2012 (10,828 total). Enrollment for the Quad Cities campus is 1,502 compared to 1,377 last year.

Borst added there is a 16.2 percent increase in the number of new freshmen who meet all four of the ACT benchmark scores for college readiness. The number of WIU students scoring in the top 2 percent in the nation on the ACT increased to 50 new students in 2013 from 10 new students in 2012. The percent of students scoring in the top 25 percent of their class increased to 27.7 percent in 2013 from 25.8 percent last year.

"While we acknowledge that we face significant recruiting challenges, including a declining number of high school graduates in the state of Illinois and an increasingly competitive market, we are pleased by the academic quality of this year's freshmen. We will continue to recruit high-achieving students within the state and beyond," noted WIU President Jack Thomas. "The Western Commitment and Centennial Honors scholarships are most certainly contributing to the academic quality of our student body. We are on the right track, attracting high-achieving students who select Western Illinois University to further their education and make their mark in the world."

As of Sept. 1, more than 1,783 commitment scholarships and 105 Centennial scholarships have been offered to incoming students [compared to 1,617 and 23 in Fall 2012, respectively]. This year's Honors College enrollment has increased by 70 students this fall, added Rick Hardy, director of the Centennial Honors College.

New transfer student enrollment is 1,243, down from 1,328 in Fall 2012. New graduate student enrollment is 573 compared to 580 last year.

An area of growth at Western's Macomb campus is in new international student enrollment. According to Richard Carter, executive director of the School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach, 370 international students have enrolled for Fall 2013, compared to 328 in Fall 2012.

"Dr. Carter has worked countless hours, and visited numerous embassy and education officials, and schools and colleges around the world to promote Western as the college of choice for international students," Thomas added. "Our goal is to increase the number of international students to 1,000 in coming years. One of our University's many initiatives is to further internationalize our campus, as well as to enhance WIU's study abroad, internship and academic cohort opportunities. We are excited about the possibilities on the horizon for expanding Western's reach far beyond the borders of this state, and this nation."

For more enrollment information, visit the Office of Institutional Research at

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Office of University Relations