A slow economy hasn’t put the damper on enrollment at DePaul University and Loyola University Chicago, which are reporting record enrollment figures for their fall terms.
DePaul is now the eighth-largest private university in the nation. The school says it serves 24,350 students, more than 700 over its previous high five years ago.
Of the 16,000 undergraduates, nearly 3,100 are freshmen. That’s a new freshman class enrollment record for the university, which also saw large numbers of juniors and seniors transfer in this year.
One big factor driving up enrollment at many colleges across the nation: The children of baby boomers are now graduating from high school.
“For that college-age demographic, we are near a peak for this year or next year,” says John Holden, a spokesman at DePaul.
Loyola’s total student population is nearly 15,700, including about 10,100 undergraduates. Both numbers are new records for the Jesuit university. This year’s freshman class has about 2,200 students; 600 students transferred to Loyola from other colleges.
In a news release, Vice President of Enrollment Paul Roberts said the Loyola is still trying to boost its minority enrollment figures and get more students to graduate within four years.
Both Loyola and DePaul said they saw big increases in the number of admissions applications as well. DePaul had about 13,000 applicants, while Loyola sorted through nearly 20,000 applications.
Peter Sachs is a Chicago-based journalist. He covers higher education for the Daily News.