Local high school students are also choosing to start
their college careers early at Lincoln College, with 34 students
enrolled in dual-credit courses at Lincoln College and either
Lincoln Community High School or other area schools.
Although total enrollment was down slightly on the Lincoln campus,
at 674 compared to 710 last year, Gerlach said he is pleased by the
support the College is receiving in the local market.
“The fact that so many local students and their parents are choosing
Lincoln College is a tremendous vote of confidence in our ability to
provide a quality, affordable college education close to home,”
Gerlach said. “Central Illinois is a very competitive market for
higher education and we know our students have a multitude of public
and private universities to choose from. We are very proud that we
are not only keeping local students here, but able to attract
students from communities where other schools are based.”
Another positive sign, according to Gerlach, is an increase in
students transferring to Lincoln College from other institutions,
either coming from a community college or simply choosing to enroll
at Lincoln College after attending another school. The number of
full-time students transferring to the College from other
institutions went from 51 to 68, a 33% increase.
The number of returning students, 323, is approaching the number of
new students, 351. This continues a trend the college has been
seeing since it began its transition in 2015 to full four-year
academics. About 281 students are also enrolled in Lincoln College’s
adult education Accelerated Bridge to Education program, which now
serves campuses in Normal, Peoria, Oglesby and Lincoln.
Despite the small drop in students overall, Gerlach said he is
pleased with enrollment and said the school remains on track in its
plan to transition to a full university offering a range of
bachelor’s and graduate degree options, while still giving students
the option to complete a two-year associate degree.
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“We are the most affordable private college in
Illinois and, in fact, we are competitive on price with most public
universities in the state,” Gerlach said. “Students and their
parents are discovering what a great value Lincoln College offers
and as we grow our programs, I am confident we will continue to
attract and retain students.
“We know from talking to our two-year graduates, that most of them
would stay at Lincoln College if we can offer the majors they want
to pursue,” Gerlach added. “With two new majors added this year,
bringing our total to twelve, we are getting closer to the goal of
assuring every one of our students that they can stay at Lincoln
College and receive the education they need for their chosen
The Lincoln campus now offers bachelor’s degree programs in:
Community and Human Services;
Contemporary Jazz Studies;
Radio, Television and New Media;
The four-year format also opened the door to new
opportunities in athletics, as Lincoln College began competing in
the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) this
fall. The transition allows Lincoln College student athletes to
compete for a full four years and has meant that the school now has
junior varsity teams for many of its sports.
“Lincoln College has an annual $41 million impact on the local
economy. As Lincoln College grows it will mean new options for area
students, new opportunities for local businesses and new investment
in the community,” Gerlach added.
Public Relations and Media Manager