SPRINGFIELD - Spring enrollment at Illinois Community Colleges increased for the second straight year system-wide. Opening Spring 2024 enrollment increased by 5.1 percent from the previous spring according to the Illinois Community College Board’s (ICCB) Spring 2024 Enrollment Report.

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“The efforts of the Illinois Community College System to aggressively recruit and retain students, and to expand access to new ways of learning continue to pay off. The growth we are seeing consistently over these past two years, in the post-pandemic era, is a testament to the transformative power of the many accessible learning opportunities available across the system,” said ICCB Executive Director Brian Durham.

Enrollment growth at Illinois’ community colleges continues to outpace national growth which shows a 2.6 percent increase from 2023 according to the most recent national data on enrollment.

The 2024 Spring Enrollment Report shows the second Spring-to-Spring semester increase in the last five years. It’s also the third largest enrollment increase in nearly 15 years (7.8 percent increase between Spring 2009-2010, 7.2 percent between Spring 2022-2023).

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SUMMARY OF OPENING SPRING ENROLLMENTS IN ILLINOIS PUBLIC COMMUNITY COLLEGES FROM 2020 TO 2024

Spring 2020Spring 2021Spring 2022Spring 2023Spring 2024
Headcount279,771239,819223,041249,836262,638
Percent Change-1.2%-14.3%-2.8%7.2%5.1%
FTE152,349131,192124,013132,425139,764
Percent Change-1.5%-13.9%-5.5%6.8%5.5%

Data Source: ICCB Spring 2024 Enrollment Survey

Significant findings from the Spring 2024 Illinois Community College Opening Enrollment Report include:

  • Thirty-six community colleges experienced an increase in headcount enrollment from Spring 2023 to Spring 2024, while 12 community colleges had a decrease.
  • Five of six instructional areas exhibited increases in headcount enrollment from the previous year. Instructional areas primarily dependent on in-person instruction, including Career and Technical Education (+5.0 percent) and Vocational Skill Training (-7.3 percent) had mixed results compared to the previous year.
  • Transfer programs, which is the largest instructional area in the Illinois Community College System, increased 2.7 percent from the previous year, while General Studies Certificate programs increased by 0.4 percent during the same timeframe.
  • Adult Education, which encompasses a substantial at-risk population, increased its headcount by 19.0 percent from Spring 2023 to Spring 2024.
  • For Dual Credit, which allows academically prepared high school students to simultaneously earn credits that count toward a high school diploma and a college degree, headcount enrollments increased 9.1 percent in Spring 2024 compared to Spring 2023 and increased 35.2 percent from three years ago.

The full report is accessible here.

About the Illinois Community College Board

The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) is the state coordinating organization for the Illinois Community College System - the third largest in the country and the leading public workforce development trainer in the state. The ICCB has statutory responsibility for administering state and federal grants to community college districts and adult education providers and managing high school equivalency testing for Illinois. Illinois community colleges serve over 600,000 residents each year in credit, noncredit, and continuing education courses. Illinois is home to 48 colleges in 39 community college districts which provide high quality, accessible, cost-effective educational opportunities to the entire state.

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