By Laia Meseguer Corbatón
Western Illinois University (WIU) had an historical record in international enrollment. This year, 1,108 international students enrolled at the university.
Amber Schultz, WIU Vice President of Enrollment Manager maintains that enrollment is vital for the university. Schultz highlighted the importance of providing the necessary services for WIU students. “Students’ success is our driving force,” stated Schultz.
Schultz explained that WIU experienced a decline in the number of enrolled students during the past fourteen years. Now there is a slow and constant growth. This year there are 1,074 freshmen enrolled. The main objective is to attract more students and keep those that are already at Western. The objective regarding enrollment is to reach a fifteen percent growth by 2027 from 2020 enrollment numbers. “Every effort of my being is concentrated in recruiting more students and keeping them here,” remarked Schultz.
With respect to gender, there are currently more women than men enrolled. “It is a thing across the board,” claimed Schultz. Regarding the type of studies, there are way more undergraduate students than graduate students. However, the growth of graduate students’ is larger than undergraduate.
The most enrolled program is Law Enforcement and Justice Administration (LEJA). Schultz found the explanation in the quality of this major in WIU. “We are the best in the country at LEJA,” said Schultz. Schultz stated that this program attracts students from a larger geographical area.
Shultz also highlighted the international nature of WIU. “International population is the largest we have ever had in the history of WIU”, expressed Schultz. These international students are mostly graduate students and come primarily from India. There is also representation from countries of Africa and countries of Caribbean. Nevertheless, there is not a big representation of European students.
Look at best practices in the industry, be more competitive, look at our lead generation strategies and double down on marketing efforts. These are some of the strategies that Amber Schultz considered for a successful enrollment. Schultz definitely looks toward improving the campus visit experience and ensuring the best academic experience. Schultz also highlighted the excitement of the new leadership team in enrollment and their desire to ensure that students have the resources they need to be successful.