State schools see downturn in enrollment

Most of Illinois’ large, downstate universities are seeing fewer students this fall, while one Illinois lawmaker says the state’s schools may have priced themselves out of the market.

Only Illinois State University and the University of Illinois are seeing more students this year than last year. Eastern Illinois University is down 200 students, Western Illinois University will see a loss of 720 students and Southern Illinois University will experience a net loss of 800 students. Northern Illinois University is down 1,000 students from last fall.

State Rep. Mike Tryon, R-Crystal Lake, said that’s what happens when the price of tuition is too high.

“A college education is becoming unaffordable for the average Illinois family,” Tryon said.

Tryon noted Illinois students are instead going to schools in Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana.

“Take Illinois State University and compare it to Indiana State University,” Tryon said. “You can be an Illinois resident and go to Indiana State cheaper than at Illinois State.”

The total cost at Illinois State University is about $28,000 per year. An Illinois student who meets the basic academic requirements (a 2.5 GPA) would pay about $22,000 at Indiana State University.

Low attendance isn’t going to do much to help drive down the price of a college education in Illinois.

But many of those tuition dollars aren’t necessarily going to the classroom.

A 2015 report from Democrats in the Illinois Senate tracked how administrative bloat has gone hand-in-hand with the rise in tuition in the state.

–Illinois News Network

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