The enrollment decrease at Western Illinois University shows no sign of abating.
The number of students attending classes this spring at the main WIU campus in Macomb fell by almost 14 percent from last year, according to figures the university posted to its website.
Enrollment in Macomb this semester is 5,645. Last spring, it was 6,559.
Total number of freshman and sophomores is 1,685, down 20 percent from the previous year. Graduate-student enrollment is down 16 percent.
Enrollment in Macomb-based extension and independent-study courses increased 25 percent, from 833 students to 1,039.
Including students from the university's campus in Moline, total enrollment this spring at WIU is 7,893. That's an 8 percent decrease from the enrollment of 8,599 reported last spring.
The 2018-19 academic year began with 6,296 students enrolled in Macomb.
WIU and some other state universities have seen dramatic enrollment drops in recent years. A recent Journal Star-published story cited low unemployment rates, a shrinking population, funding instability and increased competition from other states.
Total enrollment at WIU for the spring 2009 semester was almost 12,000. That included 9,779 on the Macomb campus. Enrollment remained relatively steady until about five years ago.
In November, WIU officials announced $5 million was to be cut from the university budget for the current fiscal year. The cut for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, was expected to be $21 million.
Last month, the university announced it will offer several new programs, including an undergraduate degree in psychology, at its Moline campus.