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updated: 9/11/2017 9:31 AM

EIU enrollment down 5 percent but lowest decline in 6 years

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CHARLESTON, Ill. -- Eastern Illinois University data show that enrollment for the fall semester is down by about 5 percent but it's the school's lowest decline from fall-to-fall in six years.

The Charleston school's fall enrollment is 7,030 students, down from 7,415 students in fall 2016. The (Charleston) Times-Courier and Mattoon Journal-Gazette report that the Charleston school also reported Friday that enrollment of traditional transfer students increased 19 percent.

EIU also saw a 30 percent increase in first-time domestic graduate students and a 2 percent increase in international undergraduate students. Eastern's freshman retention rates increased by an additional 4 percent.

EIU officials cite several factors for 2017 enrollment numbers including the two-year state budget impasse, fewer high school graduates available to be recruited and a statewide decrease in overall higher education enrollment.

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Information from: Mattoon Journal-Gazette, http://www.jg-tc.com

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