Enrollment in colleges statewide have been at a steady decline as of late. However, one school has been able to maintain consistency throughout the drops. For the past three years Illinois State University has experienced record numbers in freshmen enrollment, placing them in the top three for overall statewide enrollment.
“Our admissions staff has been very assertive in getting out and making contact with perspective students,” said Eric Jome, Media Relations for Illinois State University. “When people come here they do realize that this is a good instution and a place that they would like to go to school.”
The drops can be attributed to a number of things. The state went without a budget for almost two years and there is reportedly less students graduating from high schools nationwide. But Jome believes the number one reason is that Illinois natives have started to leave the state when searching for colleges to attend. He mentioned that in the next few years ISU’s focus will lean on targetting more Illinois natives.
“We went into the time without a budget in very good shape and we continue to be in good shape,” Jome said. He went on to say “We have a good story to tell here. We continue to be a first choice university for a lot of students and they recognize the quality here.”
The only schools that are ahead of ISU in the state of Illinois for total enrollment are University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and University of Illinois at Chicago. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign doubled ISU’s freshmen enrollment numbers for this current spring semester but they have over 20,000 more students. The University of Illinois at Chicago has more than 10,000 students than ISU but only beat their freshmen enrollment by 2,000.