Enrollment Worx sheds light on numbers

Corryn Brock, News Editor

A deeper look into Eastern numbers gives insight into the enrollment process as a whole, showing that inquiries about Eastern were up 20 percent from the 2018/2019 enrollment cycle.

In the 2019-2020 enrollment cycle, 24,329 new freshmen inquiries were made compared to the 2019’s 20,285 inquiries, showing an increase of 4,044 new inquiries.

New transfer inquiries showed a much greater increase of 177 percent from 2,292 inquiries during the 2018/2019 enrollment cycle to 6,347 inquiries in the 2019/2020 enrollment cycle.

There are roughly 50 different inquiry streams according to Josh Norman, associate vice-president for enrollment management.

Norman said the university can expect to see over 20,000 inquiries each year but Eastern can thank the investment put into those channels this year for the increase.

From those over 30,000 total inquiries, Eastern admitted 4,931 freshmen and 776 transfer students.

Of those admitted students 891 new freshmen and 462 new transfers enrolled at Eastern as of September 8.

Norman said that is a common conversion despite seeming like a great difference.

He said yield rates also play a part in the large difference between numbers.

“When you look at somewhere that has more barriers to entry, like if your application fee is $75 or maybe $100 and you require a $500 deposit, you have more barriers to entry and you’ll have a higher yield rate because students are going to take more time to say okay do I really want to apply to this school,” Norman said.

This year Eastern’s application fee is $30 but the fee is waived for any student who applies before October 15.

New freshmen also pay a $150 enrollment deposit to claim a place at Eastern.

Once paid, those students can sign up for an Orientation date and sign up for classes.

Eastern’s on-campus residence housing deposit is $250 annually.

Eight hundred ninety-five new freshmen applied for on-campus housing, 856 signed contracts for housing and 810 made the $250 deposit.

One hundred seventy-seven new transfers applied for on-campus housing, 156 signed contracts and 128 made the $250 deposit.

Any student who requests more information about Eastern goes towards the overall inquiry number.

“The thing about inquiries is they have at one point or another said they are interested in getting more information about Eastern Illinois University and the numbers are huge,” Norman said.

He said events hosted at Eastern help generate many of those inquiries.

“Those are huge generators for inquiries that come to our campus and are like ‘wow it’s so awesome to run the blue and I like the facilities and I like the composition, I want more information’ or ‘I just want a free t-shirt so you can send me more information if you would like to,’” Norman said.

Norman said there is a lot of “ground-pounding that goes into generating those inquiries and relationships.”

He said in the 2020/2021 enrollment cycle they won’t have many of those inquiry streams that help increase the overall numbers.

“This year it’s going to be tougher because you don’t have some of those inquiry streams. You don’t have some of those summer camps and conferences,” Norman said. “You don’t have Boy’s State and Girl’s State track meets.”

Norman said for the 2019/2020 enrollment cycle he is happy to see where the numbers ended up and looking forward he believes they will be able to adapt for the 2020/2021 enrollment cycle as they have had to do with major events in the past.

“It’s an interesting place to be. As positive as our narrative is and I’m really happy with where we ended up, there’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to planning,” Norman said. “We’ll figure it out we always do, I mean if we can survive the impasse and do okay in a pandemic, we’ll figure out whatever comes next.”

Eastern saw 4,315 freshman FAFSAs filed in the 2019/2020 cycle and 2,832 students were packaged; 830 transfers filed FAFSAs and 643 were packaged.

 

A PDF copy of the Enrollment Worx numbers can be viewed here. 

 

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]