COLUMBUS — The latest spring enrollment report shows the first decline at Indiana University’s main campus in five years. Total IU enrollment continued a decline that began with the spring 2014 semester. The numbers reflect national demographic and economic trends, according to a presentation at the IU Board of Trustees Academic Affairs and University Policies Committee meeting Thursday.
Total IU enrollment for spring 2019 is 88,262, a decline of 564 students or about 0.6 percent from spring 2018. This is the fifth year in a row total IU enrollment has declined during the spring semester. The university had 91,581 students enrolled during the spring 2014 semester, according to University Institutional Research and Reporting.
IU’s Bloomington campus had bucked that trend, increasing every year from 39,767 students during the spring 2013 semester to 41,651 during the spring 2018 semester. This semester enrollment is down to 41,295, a decrease of just less than 1 percent.
Higher education enrollment is closely linked to the economy, especially at IU’s regional campuses. Total enrollment at IU began to spike when the Great Recession hit and peaked at 94,097 in 2011. As the economy recovered, more people began to choose work over school. This had less of an impact on the Bloomington campus because it attracts students from all over the world, while regional campuses are focused on serving students nearby.