Student enrollment dropped 9.1% this spring at Western Illinois University compared to spring of last year.
Total student headcount at the 10th day of the spring 2018 semester was 8,599. That includes all part-time and full-time students enrolled at Western’s Macomb and Quad Cities campuses.
That compares to 9,469 students in spring of 2017, when Western's enrollment first dipped below 10,000.
A University spokeswoman responded via email, “A decrease in spring enrollment can typically be attributed to mid-year graduation and to those who do not return due to other factors: financial, academics, personal.” She wrote, “727 students received degrees at December 2017 mid-year commencement."
The decline is similar to the one reported at the beginning of the academic year. Western's student enrollment was down nearly 9% this past fall semester compared to fall of 2016.
Part of the university’s strategic plan prioritizes recruitment and retention efforts in hopes of increasing student enrollment to 10,000 and stabilizing it.