University starts early student recruitment

SIU has started recruiting new students for next year, which is the earliest the university has ever looked to recruit in its history.

In her Sept. 5 State of the University Address, Chancellor Rita Cheng said recruitment began for the next year in August. She said the university is reaching out to students at the same time or ahead of peer institutions for the first time.

The school expects to reach 500,000 prospective students in this recruitment cycle, she said

Cheng also said the university is sending out fresh and exciting recruitment materials to a larger number of prospective students. She said she has asked the admissions offices to reach a goal of admitting at least 2,500 new first-time undergraduate and graduate students for next year.

Progress on reaching 500,000 prospective students is a goal that is plausible and reachable, Cheng said.

She said the reason the university has started recruitment so soon is to account for transcript transfer delays and to make the university more competitive with peer universities.

Cheng said recruiting early will not cost the university more money, and any additional costs will come from increasing outreach toward prospective students.

She said the admissions staff has been working hard on recruitment and have done a great job.

Rod Sievers, university spokesman, said the university continues to send its campus brochures and other materials designed to generate interest. He said in addition to these materials, the university will send scholarship brochures, a research profile,  which was produced earlier this year, and a campus visitor brochure.

“SIU is targeting more and more students who are in their junior year of high school, as well as those in their senior year,” he said. “In addition, top-performing students may well be contacted while they are sophomores in high school.”

He said these new items are sent to prospective students who respond to initial contacts as well as those who contact the university directly.

Some freshmen had mixed opinions on the recruitment materials they received.

Ryan Sample, a freshman from Macomb studying computer science, said he came to the university because he heard from his friends that SIU had a great program for his major. Sample said he received pamphlets from the school, but it did not affect his decision to come here. He said it is hard to be persuaded by a pamphlet when he received more than a dozen from different universities.

Whitney Boyd, an undecided freshman from Markham, said she came to the university for the fashion program. Boyd said she decided to come to SIU because of information about the fashion program provided by an information packet.


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