Incoming freshmen low

By Nissin Behar

The trend of declining freshmen enrollment throughout Illinois universities is acting as a double-edged sword at NIU by decreasing outside revenues and increasing class availability.

Patricia Hewitt, associate vice president of business and operations, said the decline in students is “not really good or bad,” from a financial standpoint.

“Fewer students does present an impact on NIU’s budget because there is no money coming from the outside,” she said. “The budget is adjusted accordingly, taking into account how far the fees will go.”

Hewitt said the declining enrollment will enhance students’ chances of obtaining classes because there is less competition.

NIU’s residence halls, which house mostly freshmen, are also combating the shortfall of students. NIU Director of Housing Donald Buckner said there will be 390 single rooms in the residence halls for the fall of 1989. There were 275 single rooms in the fall of 1988.

NIU President John La Tourette reported last spring that there was an 18 percent decline in Illinois high school seniors.

Suman Gupta, a statistician with NIU’s Institutional Research, said that there were about 3,623 freshmen in the fall of 1987. By comparison, 3,137 freshmen entered NIU in the fall of 1988, a difference of 486 students.

The official number of freshmen entering the university this fall will be determined by mid-September, Gupta said.

About 25,455 students attended NIU in 1987, and about 24,255 attended in 1988, Gupta said.

The number of transfer students has increased even though there are less freshmen, Hewitt said.

Room and board for the 21-meal-a-week plan ranges from $1,305 to $1,320 depending on the residence hall, Buckner said.