WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Enrollment

A four-year degree is not the only option for students when they finish high school. But many choose community college in an effort to join the workforce sooner and save on tuition costs.

Illinois colleges and universities have been under pressure for years from smaller graduating classes, out-of-state competition and changing demographics. Private higher education institutions in the state face the same challenges public schools do and a couple extra.

Illinois State University had another great recruiting year, with a 1.2% increase in total enrollment and the largest freshman class in 33 years. It's another stable year. Several other schools throughout the state continued years of enrollment drops.

When Francisco Gamino arrived at Parkland College four years ago, he didn’t know how to balance work and find the time he needed to study.

International students, especially those from China, play a crucial role in funding the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

What happens when universities see enrollment plunge year after year? For many Illinois schools, they focus on how to hold on to the students already walking their halls. Students often leave between their first and second year.

Tammy Yates and Chad Hunziker
Rich Egger

Tammy Yates was excited to come to Macomb seven years ago. Yates and her partner Chad Hunziker opened Chubby's, a restaurant on West Adams Street, just a few blocks from the Western Illinois University campus.

The head of Western Illinois University said plans are already in the works to attract more students, though it might take a couple years to turn around enrollment numbers that have declined for more than a decade.

Rich Egger

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs visited Macomb this week. He was the featured speaker at a dinner hosted by the McDonough County Democratic Central Committee.

DATA VISUALIZATION BY COLE FREEMAN

A few years ago, when he was going to Yorkville High School, Matt Pitstick saw college recruiters roaming his school who surprised him and made his friends laugh. They were recruiters from a university more than 700 miles away: the University of Alabama. 

Rich Egger

Doug Freed will lead Western Illinois University's efforts to attract more students. Freed is WIU's new Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Enrollment Services.

WIU Enrollment Continues Downward Trend

Feb 5, 2019
Rich Egger

According to figures collected and released by Western Illinois University, student enrollment dropped again this spring. Enrollment at the Macomb campus for the Spring 2019 semester is down about 900 students, or 14% compared to Spring 2018. Western reported a total of 5,645 students taking classes in Macomb this semester.

The University of Illinois Springfield is the latest state school to see an enrollment decline, part a recent    trend for the campus.  

Winners and Losers As Illinois Universities Report Fall Enrollment

Sep 13, 2018

Illinois’ public universities have finished tallying up their student bodies for the new school year, and once again it’s a mix of winners and losers.

Illinois government wants to keep kids from leaving the state for college. Its latest effort is a website and app that allows students and their parents to compare in-state schools.

WIU Enrollment Down but Better than Expected

Sep 6, 2018
TSPR

Student enrollment at Western Illinois University this fall is down 10% from last year with a total student enrollment of 8,502 for both the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses.

Fall enrollment at SIU-Carbondale is down nearly 12-percent, but school officials say they are seeing some positive signs for the future.

Ten-day numbers released Tuesday show enrollment stands at 12,817 students.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University has seen a sharp drop in student enrollment in recent years, which means less money coming in through tuition and fees.  That, combined with decreases in state financial support – especially during the two-year state budget impasse – hurt the university's finances, leading to layoffs, furloughs, and an early retirement program.

Rich Egger

Student enrollment dropped 9.1% this spring at Western Illinois University compared to spring of last year.

SCC Looking for Ways to Boost Enrollment

Sep 29, 2017

Southeastern Community College is looking for ways to increase enrollment, even as it waits to release its official student count for Fall 2017.  President Michael Ash said community colleges focus primarily on recruiting students from local high schools. He said, though, that that is becoming more of a challenge.

WIU

The WIU administration blames the uncertainty caused by the two year state budget impasse for this year's drop in enrollment.

Rich Egger

Higher education has been among the areas feeling the pain from the state budget impasse in Illinois as funding has been cut.  It has forced some schools to reduce classes, lay off employees, and, in some cases, close for several days. 

WIU Student Enrollment Dips Below 10K

Feb 20, 2017
TSPR

There are 9,469 students enrolled at Western Illinois University this spring semester. It's the first time this century Western's student body has dropped below 10,000.

WIU Fall Enrollment Down; Freshman Class Stable

Sep 13, 2016
TSPR

Western Illinois University's fall student enrollment is down 6.5% compared to last year. Western welcomed more than 10,373 students to campus this fall. That’s 721 students fewer than last year.

Plenty of New Faces at Knox College

Sep 14, 2015
T.J. Carson

Knox College is confident the use of 21st Century technology is helping bring more students to campus.

Rich Egger

There are 145 fewer students studying at Western Illinois University this spring than there were last year. Enrollment fell from 10,821 in the spring of 2014 to 10,676 this spring. That’s a 1.3% drop.

Andy Borst, Director of Admissions, said students leave for a variety of reasons, but he does not believe it is because of dissatisfaction with Western. 

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas said declining student enrollment is one of the biggest problems the university faces.

Culver-Stockton College Adding Dorm Rooms

Jun 18, 2014

One of the region's colleges is facing some unexpected challenges, thanks to a problem other colleges would do anything to have.

Enrollment At WIU Continues To Trend Down

Jun 16, 2014
TSPR

In the spring of 2007, nearly 9,800 undergraduate students were attending classes at Western Illinois University's Macomb campus.  Only 8,000 were enrolled this past spring. The leaders of the university are currently working on plans to bring enrollment back up.

Public School Enrollment Down in SEIA

Jan 27, 2014

The trend of Iowa's public school enrollment being on the rise is not reaching the southeast corner of the state.

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