By Associated Press - Sunday, September 14, 2014

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - Southern Illinois University experienced its first enrollment jump in a decade largely due to a surge in international students at the Carbondale campus, according to a published report Sunday.

The population of international students jumped by almost 25 percent to 1,817 students, accounting for more than 10 percent of the school’s student body, according to a story in The Southern Illinoisan ( ).

“We knew it was going to be good,” Carla Coppi, director of the Center for International Education, told the newspaper. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think it would be this good.”

Earlier this month, the school reported that enrollment was up after nine years of declining enrollments. It was a small increase with just 25 more students, but school officials took notice. The campus lost more than 16 percent of its students over the last nine years. The total enrollment is 17,989, the school reported earlier this month.

The international students come from more than 108 countries, with the biggest numbers from India, Saudi Arabia, China and Brazil. The student population form Brazil includes one-year exchange students through a mobility program in that country that aims to send 100,000 students abroad to study math and science.

SIU officials said they hope to tap into emerging markets in Turkey, Kazakhstan and Vietnam, according to the newspaper.

Recruiters make about 10 trips each year to 25 countries, which school officials acknowledge can be expensive. However, international students pay out-of-state tuition rates, which are more than twice the price of in-state tuition rates.

SIU’s campus in Edwardsville has also reported an enrollment uptick, with 122 more students. The total enrollment was reported at 13,972.


Information from: Southern Illinoisan,

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