News Local/State

Higher Education Enrollment Numbers Down Across The State


A preliminary report on college enrollment in Illinois shows a decline at all sectors of higher education.

All three categories -- public universities, community colleges and private colleges — showed an overall drop in enrollment, according to a report from the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Illinois State University and the three University of Illinois campuses showed slight increases; all other public schools declined by an average of almost 3 percent compared to last year.   

Eastern Illinois University at Charleston reported a 17.3% drop in total enrollment, and a 18.1% drop in full-time enrollment.

Chicago State University reported the biggest enrollment declines ... 32% in total enrollment and 33.1% in full-time enrollment.

Private non-profit schools showed less of a decline, with an overall decrease of about two percent.

State Rep. Bob Pritchard, R-Hinckley, says the legislature deserves some of the blame:

“Some of that can be attributed to the uncertainty of state funding for the university,” Pritchard said. “There were several universities that weren’t sure they were going to be able to open in the fall.”

Among community colleges, the average was an almost four-percent decrease. Richland Community College reported greater-than-average declines. The Decatur-based college reported a 15.7% drop in total enrollment and a 10.5% drop in full-time enrollment.

Private for-profit schools showed the biggest overall decrease at about six percent.

All of Illnois public colleges and universities have been relying on a stop-gap funding allotment from the state, but that runs out next week. These schools are also funded by tuition, grants and donations, and a local property tax for community colleges.

Page 266 of the report shows the overall attendance shifts.