IWU sets record for most new students from McLean County, overall 1% enrollment gain


BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) – Illinois Wesleyan University is reporting a 1% enrollment gain this school year compared to last year, featuring its most diverse class ever and a record high number of McLean County students.

“Despite unprecedented challenges facing higher education, our recruitment and retention efforts continue to buck nationwide trends,” IWU President S. Georgia Nugent said in a prepared statement.

Total enrollment counted after the 15th day of classes was at 1,653 for the private liberal arts school in Bloomington, with 473 new students.

The school reported a record high 66 new students are from McLean County, up 14% from last year, due largely to a $30,000 annual scholarship guarantee for qualified students who graduate from the county’s high schools.

Since the scholarship’s creation in 2018, IWU has been averaging almost 50 McLean County students in each incoming class. Before the scholarship, Illinois Wesleyan was averaging 27 McLean County students in each new class.

The university also reported 40 new transfer students who come to Wesleyan from Heartland Community College.

IWU said this year’s incoming class includes students from 15 countries, 25 different states and Washington, D.C.

The university said 34% of the incoming class, or 163 students, identify themselves as people of color. The incoming class, according to IWU, also includes 113 first-generation students and 40 who had a close family member or relative attend the school.

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