Spring enrollment at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is down.
But, school officials say they anticipated it following a decline in fall enrollment.
Despite the expectation, school officials say they were surprised by the 11.5 percent drop in graduate enrollment. SIU-C spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith says they attribute the decline - in large part - to the budget impasse, which forced SIU-C to delay decisions to award graduate assistantships.
"It was a wise thing to do at the time. But, it had some unintended consequences, certainly affecting graduate enrollment. So, we hope to make that decision earlier this year, even though we're still in the same situation because we don't have a budget and don't know what that budget will be if we get one."
Goldsmith says undergraduate enrollment is down 2.2 percent this spring when compared to the Spring 2015 numbers.
She says the school's decision to advance MAP grants to students in need likely contributed to the small decline in undergraduate enrollment.
"We think the numbers would not have looked as good had we not moved forward with that commitment. We're also seeing fairly good traction from new freshmen who enrolled in the fall returning for the spring. So, we think the undergraduate numbers are a positive sign."
The enrollment of 15,806 is down 878 students, or 5.3 percent, over the spring 2015 semester.