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Happier days at EIU

Friday, Sep 7, 2018

* 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.”

* Related…

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

24 Comments »
  1. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 1:35 pm:

    Wait until they rebuild Mother’s. Enrollment will surge.


  2. - CentrIL - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 1:48 pm:

    Mother’s is an afterthought, Marty’s has more holes in it than a campaign pledge. Make Marty’s Great Again!


  3. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:03 pm:

    An example of success in spite of rather than because of the governor and local legislators. My son is a recipient of one of those scholarships and we’re very grateful.


  4. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:04 pm:

    Good on them. WIU is doing some things too- connecting with locals better and offering a $3,000 per year for four years early commit discount. I think their numbers will start to rise too.


  5. - LakeviewJ - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:52 pm:

    There’s plenty to say about Rep. Reggie Phillips, but he’ll be able to look back at his career and be proud of his vote to save EIU.


  6. - IllinoisBoi - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    Astonishing: steady government funding, local community and political support, effective marketing, and re-tuned academic programs attract more students and revives a struggling university — which then benefits the local economy. Who’d ever guess that?


  7. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:01 pm:

    Here’s hoping the braintrust overseeing the SIU system can move past their recent controversies and work together to learn from EIU’s example and adopt reforms to revitalize SIUC the same way.


  8. - Pick a Name - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    Amazing what effective, diligent marketing along with innovation can do for enrollment.

    A certain poster will be enlightened(well, maybe not)


  9. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    I imagine Rauner is steaming


  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    Again…

    All EIU successes now are in spite of Bruce Rauner, not because of Bruce Rauner.

    No governor since the 1850s has flat out refused to fully fund higher education and Bruce Rauner did that for 3 fiscal years.

    Thank goodness Rauner hasn’t passively closed any state university.

    It’s only by the Brave 15, the Perfect 10, and a vote of 152-20 … is EIU still standing.


  11. - Pick a Name - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:09 pm:

    And if the administration and marketing team had done their jobs effectively starting about 2006–12 years ago— the school would not have seen such a precipitous drop.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:11 pm:

    Guess you’re fine Rauner not fully funding higher ed for two whole years.

    Got it. Thanks.

    The rest is your utter ignorance to the recent past.

    No parent will send a student to a school on the brink of closing.


  13. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:15 pm:

    Kudos to EIU and the community.

    Slightly o/t, but am I the only one being barraged by ISU ads on the teevee?


  14. - Pick a Name - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:32 pm:

    Apparently many parents sent their kids to a school “on the brink of closing.” Are you calling all of them bad parents? Apparently.

    EIU had a good product to sell, they just ignored their jobs.


  15. - DuPage Bard - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    So what will Bruce say about expanded majors? Didn’t he say only certain universities should be allowed certain majors? Streamline not expand was his deal. Does the EIU Board know that they’re going against the big guy?


  16. - panther - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:42 pm:

    Kudos to Katie Anselment and the entire EIU family. Katie took those cuts as personally as any lobbyist could and worked hard at the capitol to improve things for EIU. Woot!


  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:46 pm:

    ===Are you calling all of them bad parents? Apparently.===

    Nope.

    See, ya kinda walked into this one.

    It was Rauner himself that put EIU on the brink.

    Does that make him a good governor?

    ===EIU had a good product to sell, they just ignored their jobs.===

    Tell that to those who got laid off because Rauner wouldn’t fully fund EIU.

    Are you trying?


  18. - Pick a Name - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 3:58 pm:

    Those people got laid off because of the drastic decline in enrollment starting in 2006. The administration wasn’t doing their job, hence more and more people decided to go to school elsewhere.

    I am somewhat shocked you don’t understand business, marketing, retention, branding, etc.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 4:06 pm:

    ===Those people got laid off because of the drastic decline in enrollment starting in 2006. The administration wasn’t doing their job, hence more and more people decided to go to school elsewhere.===

    LOL

    No.

    The budget impasse. It was in all the papers. The state refused to fully fund EIU

    Keep up. There was no money to pay.

    The lawn wasn’t cut because of low enrollment?

    ===I am somewhat shocked you don’t understand business, marketing, retention, branding,===

    I’m not shocked you don’t understand you fund something at levels you want them to exist.

    You are a real… piece of work.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    “EIU struggling to recover from wounds inflicted by state budget impasse”

    https://bit.ly/2MXpkYY

    It was the impasse…


  21. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    ==Those people got laid off ==

    I’m pretty sure those people got laid off because the state wasn’t sending them any money.


  22. - illini - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 4:30 pm:

    All I can say is that this is great news. EIU appears to be on the road back to viability, as opposed to imminent closing. And all this in spite of, rather than because of, what Rauner was hoping to accomplish.

    Now if only some ( or preferably all ) of the other Regionals could start producing the same results this could end the “brain drain” that has been happening with us losing our students to other states.

    Relevance of programs are a part of this, but changes are sometimes hard to expedite. It sounds like EIU has figured this out.

    Pay attention to Willy - he and I are normally always on the same page when it comes to these issues involving Higher Ed, but he is always quicker than am I to comment and always is far more able to make the pertinent points.


  23. - South Side - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 4:32 pm:

    Mothers, Marty’s Sporties, all EIU institutions we Alumni love. But I am glad to see the resurgence after Rauner tried his best to destroy the grand old school. Now we will see if WIU can survive.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    (Tips cap to - illini -)

    In budgeting, where you spend money dictates its existence.

    Rauner vetoed full funding for 3 years.

    That’s on him, and him only. Governors own their vetoes.


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