Recruiting students to Southern Illinois University

Recruiting students to Southern Illinois University
By: Arnold Wyrick

CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Summer enrollment numbers are down at Southern Illinois University, but those numbers could soon change in the future. "We have a team of professionals that fan out throughout the state.  Six folks in Chicago, four folks here in Southern Illinois, and another group of folks in central Illinois," says Carmen Suarez, interim vice-chancellor of enrollment at SIU.

With so many colleges to choose from for graduating seniors, how do they choose a school for their higher education?  And why do they make that choice? "As of May 1st they must decide which college they are going to, and they must notify that college of their choice.  Most of our students are going to John A. Logan College.  That's where a majority of our kids go.  Some are going to Rend Lake College, and some to SIU in Carbondale," says Kelly Hixson guidance counselor at Frankfort Community High School.

Hixson says of the 118 seniors graduating in May, about 70% are going on with their education.  But only a handful are heading to a 4-year university. "A lot of them have plans to attend SIU.  But they start at John A. mainly because of the cost of higher education.  The costs are increasing every year," Hixson said.

So in order to help out with the expense of going onto college, SIU offers students freshman tuition rates once they start at SIU, if they commit to the university, but choose to attend a community college first. "Our application numbers are up.  Our admission numbers are up.  But, having those numbers be up doesn't mean a whole lot if they don't come here.  And if they're not matriculates here this Fall.  We want them here and we want them with us at SIU," Suarez said.

Another way SIU plans to attract students at community colleges, is by opening up offices in all of the community college campuses here in southern Illinois.