While NIU has endless opportunities for current students, the university needs to focus on its potential students.
NIU provides many organizations and groups for students to be involved with; it’s one of my favorite things about being a student here.
But despite all the groups available, enrollment rates are low and something needs to be done about it. It would be cool if we had a “shadow a student” day. Potential students could go to class with a current student to see what a typical day is like; pairing them by majors would make it more realistic.
Afterward, the school could host some sort of reception for the potential students with refreshments and time for questions. Days like these could make a difference.
We fix enrollment by working with the issues NIU is facing, not working against them.
We’re a big commuter school; let’s cater to that. I’ve seen enough blue permit parking lots to last a lifetime. We need to give more parking options to commuting students.
Along with more parking, let’s make the Holmes Student Center more inviting to students driving in from all over the state.
Let’s open up the awkwardly ornate Ellington’s to be more inclusive for students. Keep it running for longer than two hours and advertise the heck out of it.
Commuting students are on campus anywhere from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Don’t make them settle for junk food at the Huskie Hub or eat Subway for every meal at the Holmes Student Center.
To increase student enrollment, NIU must not only communicate personally with every applicant, but must tailor promotions and communication to its target audience.
Marketing only gets potential students to the door; strategic administration of the application process gets students in.
Research regarding geographic, economic and social statuses of applicants should be gathered annually to establish and confirm the characteristics of the majority. Based off these statistics, NIU must adjust the frequency, method and timing of its communication, as well as the content of its messages.
A college without solid application execution is like a turtle without a shell — incomplete. By increasing applicant interest and convenience, NIU will increase enrollment.
Students make a university thrive. Increasing enrollment is an important issue for NIU.
To do this, NIU needs to better emphasize opportunities like study abroad and internship programs to attract prospective students who look to gain experience in their field.
Sending out brochures and informational packets as well as visiting schools outside of the Chicago area can get NIU more students from more regions.
Scholarships generally exclusive to freshmen should be increased and made more expansive to ensure students who deserve and desire to attend NIU can do so.
These are only a few steps to accomplishing such a big goal, but they are steps I find vital in increasing enrollment levels.