Fall entrance closed to many

By Vickie Snow

NIU closed its admission doors Friday to everyone except for minority, transfer and exceptional students.

“Further admittance (to NIU) could severely impact our budget and staffing situation,” NIU President John La Tourette told the Board of Regents Wednesday at their monthly meeting in Springfield.

Minority students, however, still can come to NIU this fall in an effort to increase minority attendance. Transfer and “highly-qualified” students might still be accepted, La Tourette said.

“We have space for minorities coming in on a late flow…a usual pattern,” La Tourette said.

The shutdown is not because of more applicants, but partly because of a 2 to 3 percent increase of people who decide to attend NIU once they are accepted, La Tourette said.

“We have about the same flow of applicants as last year,” he said.

When NIU was 8 percent behind in applicants a few years ago, other institutions were 20 to 25 percent behind, La Tourette said.

He said the number of minority students at NIU grew from 11 percent to 16 percent in the last 10 years. “We are making a major effort to increase the percentage.”

NIU sees between 5,200 and 5,300 new students each year among freshmen and transfers.

“Fifty percent of the students who originate in our region go to University of Illinois (at Champaign-Urbana), NIU or Illinois State University (at Normal).”

ISU also is closing its admissions, except for minority and honor students. However, ISU is facing a “stronger flow of applicants,” said ISU Provost David Strand.

La Tourette said “there is a tendency for students to apply to fewer schools and to apply later on.”

Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves said there is “a shrinking pool” of high school students applying for admission to state colleges, but more older students are seeking admittance.

“It’s a rapidly-changing picture,” Groves said. “In terms of enrollment, higher education has done better than expected” with the size of the applicant pool, he said.

The board governs NIU, ISU and Sangamon State University in Springfield.