College enrollment numbers inspire Illinois lawmaker
Some Illinois universities are seeing more students, some are seeing less.
But one state lawmaker on Illinois’ higher education committee said there is plenty to like about the fall enrollment numbers.
University of Illinois, Illinois State University and Eastern Illinois University all reported more students on campus this fall.
Western, Southern and Northern Illinois University reported fewer.
State Rep Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, who’s on the House higher education committee, said it was encouraging to note that freshmen classes at most state universities are larger.
“Look at Illinois State, Eastern Illinois University, indicating their numbers are up,” Brady said. “The University of Illinois says they have nearly 85,600 students across their university system. They’re looking at an increase of nearly 2.7 percent.”
The biggest jump at the U of I was at the Urbana-Champaign campus, followed by a jump at the university’s Springfield campus.
Brady said there are a lot of different reasons why each school in Illinois has its own enrollment challenges.
One reason is cost.
“What are our universities doing to be able to control their costs?” Brady said. “And what are they the best at, and how do we market that?”
A number of reports, including an Illinois Senate study, pointed to increases in university administrative costs as one driver of the cost of higher education.
Brady is one of a handful of lawmakers on a committee looking at ways to lower those costs.