NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — A week and a half into the semester, the numbers are official: Illinois State University announced Thursday that this year’s freshman class is the largest they’ve seen in decades.

ISU welcomed 3,983 freshmen for the 2022-2023 school year when the semester began in late August. This record number is up 18% from last year’s freshman enrollment, and the largest freshman class in 35 years.

Total enrollment at ISU is up 2% as well, at a total of 20,683 students this year. This includes 18,055 undergraduates and 2,628 graduate students.

Graduate student enrollment is also up 18% from last year, and international student enrollment is up to 3% of the student body.

“Illinois State continues its tradition of strong enrollment, increased diversity, and student achievement,” said President Terri Goss Kinzy. “We are already planning for next year’s class, and we are working to assure that as many qualified students as possible have access to the Redbird experience.” 

Jana Albrecht, associate vice president for Enrollment Management said the numbers signal a rebound from the pandemic.

She also credits Illinois use of Common App, attracting other students that may not have looked at ISU. Common App is a single online application used by hundreds of colleges and universities across the country.

“We’re also pretty excited that we have over 1,000 students in this incoming class that have a 4.0 or higher gpa so that’s exciting. They’re coming in with a lot of experience from high school,” Albrecht said.

She said ISU is also becoming more diverse, With 37 percent of this year’s freshman class coming from traditionally underrepresented groups, and three present of the student body are international students.

Official enrollment numbers are tallied after the 10th day of classes.