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NIU enrollment down 5.5 percent

September 7, 2016 GMT

DeKALB – With total enrollment for the fall semester showing a decline of more than 5 percent, Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker vowed Wednesday to take steps to put the school back on a path to growth.

Total enrollment was counted at 19,015 on the 10th day of classes this year, down 5.5 percent from fall 2015, according to data released Wednesday by the university. There are 1,115 fewer students enrolled at the school than there were at this time last year.

“Our largest decline is in the freshman class, while smaller declines took place among transfer and graduate students,” Baker said in a written statement sent to NIU faculty and staff. “We are clearly not where we need to be.”

Total undergraduate enrollment declined to 14,079, down 6.2 percent from 2015, according to data provided by NIU. Graduate school enrollment fell 3.7 percent to 4,672. Enrollment at the law school was a bright spot, growing 4.3 percent.

“Certainly we continue to face challenges that all Illinois higher education institutions confront, most notably Illinois’ continued population decline and the state’s continued and persistent status as the nation’s second-largest exporter of high school students to other states for higher education,” Baker wrote.

“These are ongoing trends, which means we need to focus on increasing our market share of those students who remain here in the state.”