An article in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education (registration required) highlights the ways in which the state of Illinois has been bleeding students for years. There are lots of reasons why students in Illinois are avoiding state universities, despite moves to freeze tuition increases for the past three years.
- There are attractive alternatives in other, neighboring states.
- Illinois has not offered easy roads to being classified as “in-state” student for tuition purposes.
- Out of state students also have many other options.
- State lawmakers have eviscerated the higher education budget for year (as has been the case in so many other states).
Some of these reasons are not ones that universities in Illinois, including UIUC, can really do much about. But this may also explain the dip in UIUC’s ranking in 2018. This year it is #52, while it was #41 in 2014.
If it were a nimble private college, UIUC might be able to objectives a bit better and make the necessary changes quickly to both regain students and its ranking, But as a public university, it will take quite a long time for it to adjust its game plan and improve its fortunes.