ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - Colleges and universities in Illinois are struggling to combat a trend of declining enrollment that's been spurred by low unemployment rates, a shrinking population, unstable funding sources and increased out-of-state competition.
The Rockford Register Star reports that data show that the state's community colleges and state universities had a decline of nearly 100,000 students from 2008 to 2018. The bulk of the losses were seen at the community college level, which lost 75,000 students.
The University of Illinois System has seen some success over the past decade. The system's Chicago campus has seen a 23 percent growth in enrollment.
Barbara Wilson is the system's executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs. She says the system has done well because of aggressive recruitment, outreach, financial aid and sheer size.