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Admissions Director: ‘ISU Brand is strong’

Written by on August 19, 2020

Photo courtesy to ISU Facebook page

NORMAL, Ill.- The Office of Admissions did not shift admission requirements or expectations of students for the Fall 2020 semester because most of the process was already completed. However, enrollment is lower after a record-breaking year 2019-2020.

“The university takes great pride in keeping a beautiful campus, and having a very welcoming community. Whenever we can get students to visit we are at an advantage. We had to shift very quickly, we started to offer lots in the virtual setting. ZOOM kind of became our crutch. That is true of so many schools.”

Soon the Office of Admissions took advantage of the webinars in ZOOM in order to cultivate an environment with more students and increase functionality.

ISU’s enrollment numbers for the Fall of 2019 were at their highest in 33 years. Office of Admissions Director Jeff Mavros said that the enrollment is lower this year.

As of this month, the enrollment has reached the 20,000 mark.

“We are going to enroll fewer students, there is no question of that.” said Mavros. The university operates best when we are between 20,000 and 21,000 students.

“We are going to be over that 2o,ooo mark by the tenth day of the semester,” said Mavros. “Given all that was out of our control, we feel pretty good about the number of students and families that still chose to be at Illinois State, whether they are taking their classes online exclusively,  or whether they are living at home, or living on campus. I think the brand is still really strong and people want to be here with us.”

In a “summer melt” a percentage of students that have committed to the institution will make a decision to do something else.

Every institution has some kind of melting.

“There is always so melt, but there will probably be some increased melt this summer because of all the unknowns. If we were to go back to a phase 2 or 3, I think it is just human nature that the more anxiety we try to hunker down and wall ourselves in,” said Mavros. “I think probably, nothing to do with the university, but the idea that things are becoming less safe, I need to do less, I think that is where people get guarded.”

Would students still stay enrolled, and just not physically stay on campus?

The university has allowed student to opt-out of housing and get a full refund.

“We are already trying to be a good partner in that way,” said Mavros. “We are seeing some students that are deciding to stay home, and then there are some that are saying, ‘I’m going away to college,’ it is really all over the board right now.”