Male and female enrollment shows large disparity

By Gus Bode

The gap between the number of male and female students at SIUC decreased this year, but only because the university lost more men than women.

The male student population at SIUC fell from 11,314 in fall 2008 to 11,063 this year, a decrease of 251 students. The female student population fell from 9,359 last year to 9,259 this semester, a decrease of 100 students.

The men at the university outnumber the women by about 1,800 students.


Chancellor Sam Goldman said the disparity could be attributed to SIUC’s lack of courses aimed towards females, but the university is trying to implement these programs.

‘For example, nursing, which men go into also, but predominantly it’s a lot of women that go into that program,’ Goldman said. ‘We’re seeing an increase in enrollment in women there.’

The Carbondale campus has started a partnership with the Southern Illinois University’-Edwardsville nursing program. The number of students enrolled in the pre-nursing program in the College of Science this fall increased by 40.

While overall enrollment dropped, the university added some diversity.

Hispanic enrollment increased for the fourth consecutive year, going from 746 students in fall 2008 to 795 students this year, an increase of 49 students.

Larry Schilling, director of Institutional Research and Studies, said the percentage of Hispanics living in Illinois outweighs the percentage of Hispanic students on campus because many immigrate to the United States as adults.

‘And on top of that, the dropout rate for Hispanic high school students is higher than other groups,’ Schilling said. ‘The actual pool of Hispanics available is less than that population percentage, but it is growing.’


The university also recorded an increase in American Indian and black students. The black population at SIUC grew to 3,385 this fall, four more students than last year, while there are 83 American Indian students, one more than last year.

There was a decrease in both Asian and white students. The white population decreased to 13,053 students, 653 fewer students than in fall 2008. The university enrolled 465 Asian students, down 66 from last year.

Schilling said the white student population went down because minorities are becoming more of a majority.

‘We’re seeing, in a smaller way, the effect of a bigger change in the whole population,’ Schilling said.

Goldman said campus diversity is important to the university.

‘It helps with respect to cross cultural events,’ Goldman said. ‘It helps so much to learn the difference in ethnicity. If you want kind of a world-view experience in higher education, you would come to a university like this, and that’s very important to us.’

Stile Smith can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 259 or [email protected]