Killeen to debut plans to increase campus enrollment


The Daily Illini File Photo

Students study in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building in Champaign, IL. October 4, 2016.

By Megan Jones , Staff Writer

University president Timothy Killeen will outline plans to increase enrollment by 15 percent over the next five years, across all three campuses.

Killeen hopes that this will raise the University’s commitment to Illinois students and underrepresented minorities by enrolling more than 93,600 students across all campuses, with more than 80,000 students enrolled currently.  Illinois residents make up about 80 percent of on-campus undergraduates on all three campuses combined.

He will present the plans during Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting in Chicago.

“Big numbers aside, this enrollment initiative is really all about opportunity – giving more students the opportunity for a world-class education that will transform their lives and seizing on our opportunity to serve the needs of the state by expanding the pipeline of talent that is so critical to its future,” Killeen said in a press release.

Each campus has different enrollment goals, but overall, enrollment would rise by a projected 6,304 more for the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Killeen asked each campus to develop a growing plan in 2015. Each unit was surveyed for enrollment plans through a campus budget planning process, allowing them to review enrollment trends and student demand. During fall 2016, the campus enrolled 46,951 students and Killeen hopes to increase this to 53,255 by 2021.

Growth will focus on graduate and professional programs, as the freshman class already ranked the sixth largest in the U.S. in 2014. Urbana will focus on increasing its online programs, such as the new iMBA and an online master’s degree in accountancy. Additional programs include the Carle Illinois College of Medicine in 2018, a master’s degree in computer science for data science and a master of science in information management.

Increased enrollment could help stop Illinois students from attending out-of-state schools, Killeen said. In 2015, 45 percent of Illinois high school graduates went out of state, up from  29 percent in 2002.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education estimates the net loss of 16,000 students would result in more than $215 million in additional tuition and fee revenue to Illinois public universities. Also, students who attend college in a different state are less likely to return and build their families and careers in Illinois, according to the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

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