IU-Bloomington was the only IU campus with increased enrollment this semester, but international enrollment decreased sharply due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Enrollment includes online and in-person classes.
Enrollment decreased at all regional IU campuses this semester, with the highest drop in enrollment at IU-Southeast New Albany’s with a decrease of 7.4% from spring 2020 to spring 2021.
IUB spring 2021 semester degree-seeking enrollment numbers did not change significantly compared to spring 2020, according to a Feb 4. Board of Trustees’ meeting report. In-state enrollment increased by 1.1% this spring and out-of-state enrollment decreased by 0.9%.
Graduate and undergraduate degree-seeking enrollment increased 0.1% this semester compared to spring 2020, said Todd Schmitz, IU assistant vice president of university institutional research and reporting.
IUB saw a 3.3% increase in the number of graduate students, but a 0.9% decrease in undergraduate students this semester compared to spring 2020, Enrollment Management Vice Provost David Johnson said in an email. He said these numbers are relatively stable compared to past spring semesters. Both undergraduate and graduate spring enrollment have no grown or decreased by over 1% for the past three years.
The undergraduate enrollment decrease was larger during the fall semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson said. Fall 2020 degree-seeking enrollment was 0.5% less than fall 2019, he said.
Spring semester enrollment numbers typically decrease when compared to the previous fall semester, Johnson said. This semester’s decreased enrollment from fall 2020 follows a normal trend, he said. The fall-to-spring retention rate this school year was about 95%, Johnson said.
“We didn’t have that dramatic of a shift,” he said. “We definitely had challenges, but we also were pleased with the enrollment of our students this spring compared to last spring.”
He said December graduations for undergraduate and graduate students who finish programs in the middle of the academic year are a likely cause for decreased enrollment in spring semesters.
International enrollment decreased 24% from spring 2020 to this semester, International
Admissions Executive Director John Wilkerson said. It decreased 22% from fall 2019 to fall 2020.
The Office of International Services saw a record amount of students postponing enrollment this semester due to the pandemic, Wilkerson said.
“We weren’t too surprised to see the number of deferrals that we did and to see the decline in overall enrollment,” he said. “We were pleased to see the numbers of students who decided to enroll online.”
Some international students ran into issues trying to return to campus, Wilkerson said.
“If they could get the visa and get past the travel restrictions, there were significant problems trying to get transportation,” Wilkerson said.