TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Indiana State University’s overall enrollment numbers went down when compared to last year, but officials are optimistic due to other promising statistics.

Alyssa Gorski had several opportunities for higher education.

“When I toured here with my family a few times this past year, every time we went there were professors and students that would just stop us and ask if we needed help, or if we wanted to see anything, and it’s just really nice knowing there are people who care about you coming here,” Gorski said.

Gorski, from Chicago, a member of the freshman class, now calls Indiana State home. That class continues to show growth. From 1,535 students in the fall of 2022 to 1,568 this year. That’s a 2% increase and about 10% over the last two years.

That growth, ISU President Deborah Curtis says is partially attributed to the Indiana State Advantage. “We really think that’s the piece that’s provided us the most emphasis for us in this growth,” she said.

The headcount for the freshman class includes 349 students enrolled in the honors college. Including Alyssa, and a new record percentage at ISU.

“It tells us again and again, that the students that have a lot of other options and may have had some advantages in high school, they are disproportionately choosing Indiana State, by a significant amount,” Christopher Olson, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs said.

Indiana State welcomed 8,305 students to campus this fall. Down from 8,658 students in the fall of 2022, just over a 4% decrease. But University officials said they’re excited to see this year’s number above their budgeted number of 8,222.

“We budgeted flat as you may have recollected from all of our discussions with the trustees,” Curtis said. “That meant not anticipating a growth beyond the numbers we calculated last year… well, we’re actually a little above the budgeted amount, so we’re excited about that.”

Due to those budgets, Indiana State made about 12 million dollars worth of reallocations last year.

“We’re not digging out of a hole this year,” Curtis emphasized. “We set a very realistic bar, we made cuts where we needed to make cuts and Indiana State is not only stable, but we are ready to move forward with the new initiatives without worrying about filling a hole.”

Alyssa is excited about the opportunities on campus, “Right now, I’m looking into all the organizations. They’re special clubs that have to do with my major as well as I’m looking at Greek life. And they offer a lot of opportunities for internships or anything. They just want the best for you,” she said.