4/10/2018 12:36:00 PM Alabama attracting Illinois students
CHICAGO (AP) — Alabama colleges are luring more Illinois high school seniors away from in-state universities partly through financial perks.
More than 1,600 Illinois students enrolled at the University of Alabama last fall, up from about 150 students a decade ago, The Chicago Tribune reports . About 6 percent of the university’s first-time undergraduates last year came from Illinois.
Students cite financial incentives as one of the main reasons for flocking to Alabama. The university awarded more than 200 full-tuition scholarships to freshmen from Illinois last year.
“I’m paying less here than I would at a lot of in-state schools at home,” said Jessica Tobin, an Alabama freshman from Oak Lawn. “That’s something I hear across the board from kids from home.”
Illinois’ public universities have increased tuition and fees over the past several years to make up for lost state revenue. Costs have increased by up to 56 percent at some public universities since 2008, according to state data.
“Competition from schools outside of the state with generous scholarship awards appears to be the most significant factor in the decision not to enroll at Illinois,” the University of Illinois said in a statement last year.
Almost 46 percent of Illinois high school graduates left the state for four-year colleges in 2016, compared to less than 30 percent in 2002.
“Recruiting efforts from all out-of-state colleges has grown exponentially in the last five years,” said Janet Reis, a college counselor at Lincoln-Way Central High School in New Lenox. “The secret’s out at this point.”
Ohio State University, the University of Nebraska and the University of Colorado at Boulder are also popular colleges for Illinois students.