* In the last five years, Eastern Illinois University lost more than a third of its student population. The downward trend eased last fall and then January-over-January enrollment ticked up and this fall’s enrollment rose by 7 percent, including a 24.5 percent jump in freshman enrollment. How did they do it? Aside from finally having a stabilized state budget, the university points to three things: New programs, better marketing and forging bonds with the surrounding community…
EIU introduced seven new majors this year, and hired a marketing firm, The Thornburn Group, to completely rebrand their website, images and promotional materials, [EIU Admissions Director Kelly Miller] said.
The company also helped the university improve the positioning of its radio and TV ads, its billboards and social media publicity, to better reach the university’s target students.
EIU advertises as far away as Chicago, Miller said, but got a significant enrollment bump from local students this year, thanks to improved marketing and community support.
“We had a group of local business people that started a scholarship for students within a 60-mile radius,” Miller said, to encourage them to consider Eastern. “It was heartwarming to see how much money those businesses raised.”
* Charleston business owners revved up by Eastern Illinois University enrollment rise: Business owners are taking the news of Eastern Illinois University’s enrollment increase well, with some reportedly planning renovations and other changes to prepare for a growing student population. Jordan Landeck, interim Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce president, said some of these businesses in the city really took a beating as a result of the decline in enrollment in recent years.
* Eastern Illinois University sees 7.1 percent overall enrollment rise: The university president has set a goal for 9,000 students on campus since he took the position a few years ago. At the time he took the position, the university took a big hit, largely as a result of external forces like the state budget impasse. “(The impasse) was an unprecedented situation, and one our state must never face again,” Glassman said.
* Website shows how much students could earn after graduate: ILCollege2Career.com links employment and higher education data so users can compare the relative earnings value of college degrees. The information is broken down by schools and area of study, so that students can compare the earning potential of business degrees, for example, from different public and private institutions in the state.