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Many public and private institutions of higher education in Illinois have seen student numbers continue to drop over the last decade. Contributing factors include the state's ongoing financial instability, a shrinking population overall, and increased competition from other Midwestern colleges and universities offering lucrative financial aid packages.Next week, we are unpacking the effect of Illinois students leaving the state for college and what these schools are trying to do to buck the trend. Enrollment Exodus is a week-long collaborative reporting effort by public radio stations across the state.Special thanks to contributing stations: Illinois Newsroom, NPR Illinois, Tri-States Public Radio, WBEZ, WGLT, WNIJ and WSIU.Story links will be posted here throughout the week of Sept. 23.

Statewide: Illinois' Enrollment Exodus

Many Illinois colleges and universities are struggling to attract and keep students.  The problem, along with what some are doing about it, is outlined in the Illinois public radio series Enrollment Exodus. 

On this episode of Statewide, we hear those reports from journalists throughout Illinois.  

This week's lineup:

* Sean Crawford talks with Jenna Dooley of WNIJ, who served as coordinator for the series.  She gives an overview of the problem and what the reporting uncovered.

* Rich Egger of TriStates Public Radio reportshow the loss of students is impacting the area surrounding the campus of Western Illinois University.

* Charlie Schlenker of WGLT talks with Jana Albrecht from Illinois State University's Office of Enrollment.She gives some reasons why ISU enrollment has been able to hold steady while other schools are seeing a drop-off.

* Dusty Rhodes with NPR Illinois tells howChinese students play a crucial role on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.

* Jennifer Fuller of WSIU reports on why some students find community college is a better fit for them than going to a 4 year institution right out of high school.

*Lee Gaines with Illinois Newsroom explains how Latinx enrollment is holding steady, but that doesn't mean those students always earn a degree.

* Peter Medlin with WNIJ has more on retention efforts at colleges as they work to keep students who are already walking their halls.

* Charlie Schlenker of WGLT takes a lookat how private colleges and universities are faring when it comes to enrollment.

* Rich Egger of TriStates Public Radio interviews Western Illinois University Acting President Martin Abrahamabout his vision for turning around the enrollment picture.  The school saw a 10-percent drop in students this fall.

* Not all schools are having difficulty attracting students.  Kate McGee with WBEZ finds outwhy the University of Illinois at Chicago has been able to buck the trend. 

Listen to Statewide across Illinois: 

  • Bloomington/Normal – WGLT 89.1 (Fridays 11 a.m. - Noon)
  • Carbondale – WSIU 91.9 (Fridays 2-3 p.m. / Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
  • Mount Vernon - WVSI 88.9 (Fridays 2-3 p.m. / Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
  • Olney - WUSI 90.3 (Fridays 2-3 p.m. / Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
  • Rockford/DeKalb – WNIJ 89.5 (Saturdays 6-7 a.m. / Sundays 6-7 p.m.)
  • Springfield/Decatur - WUIS 91.9 (Fridays 11 a.m. - Noon and 11 p.m. - Midnight / Saturdays 9-10 a.m.)
  • Peoria – WCBU 89.9 (Fridays 6-7 p.m.)
  • Pittsfield - WIPA 89.3 (Fridays 11 a.m. - Noon and 11 p.m. - Midnight / Saturdays 9-10 a.m.)
  • Urbana/Champaign – WILL 580 (Fridays 11 a.m. - Noon and 7-8 p.m.)
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