URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) – University of Illinois admissions have hit another record high.

On Wednesday, the system announced over 94,800 students are enrolled this fall across all three campuses. Total enrollment numbers have increased steadily over the past few years. They’re up 10,000 students from five years ago.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Director of Undergraduate Admissions Andrew Borst said school leaders are thrilled.

He also said the applicant pool has become more competitive. The University of Illinois was included on the Common Application – a way for people to submit one application for multiple schools – for the first time last fall. Borst said that change led to a 33% increase in first-year applications.

So, the system can be more selective now. The admissions rate dropped from 60% to 45%. That means the average GPAs and test scores of admitted students went up.

Borst said they’re also pleased to admit more first-generation college students.

“One of the things that stood out for this cycle was the number of transfer students that we saw that maybe went out of state for college who are now rebounding and coming back to our institution. We saw a pretty significant increase in the number of students who thought it was a good idea to leave the state but maybe are choosing to come back home,” he said.

Urbana-Champaign’s freshman class dropped slightly from last year, but the university said it’s more gender-balanced, and they enrolled international students from more countries. Borst said their priority is still in-state students – and that population increased slightly this year.

Borst said they’ll start planning for the next cycle soon, but it’s hard to predict whether the upward trend will continue into next year.