University of Illinois looks to increase diversity, enrollment

Although the academic year began only about a month ago, the Senate Executive Committee sat down Monday to discuss admission goals for next year.

Stacey Kostell, assistant provost for enrollment management, said the goal of the admissions office is to increase first-year enrollment to 7,000 students and 1,400 transfer students in addition to improving the quality of the pool. This includes a more selective application process.

“One of our major goals is to efficiently manage the admissions, recruitment, selection and enrollment process,” Kostell said.

Kostell said the University received 31,450 applications for the Class of 2016 and wants to increase that number to 32,000 next year. Another goal is to increase the total non-Illinois resident population from 24 percent to 25 percent. She said this year, more in-state students were admitted than "international and out-of-state students.":

In order to achieve these goals, Kostell said the University will need to increase marketing efforts. Part of these efforts, she said, should include traveling to parts of Asia, but as many University students come from China and South Korea, the University is hoping to look at other countries, such as Malaysia, Vietnam and Turkey. University officials are also making a greater effort to admit students in other areas of study, she said.

“When we continue to diversify and maintain the first-year international pool, we look to both the country of origin and across a variety of majors,” Kostell said.

Meanwhile, some members expressed concerns about increasing the freshman class size and the possibility of admitting more international students than American students.

Konstantinos Yfantis, vice chair of the council of academic professionals, an advisory body to the chancellor, said that while he recognizes the value of diversity, he is concerned that there won’t be enough space for first-year American students.

“How can we be sure that enough people from our state have access ... and make sure those seats are not taken (by) international and nonresident (students)?” Yfantis asked Kostell during the meeting.

However, Kostell assured senate members that the University is not admitting fewer Illinois residents than in the past and that in-state students are still a priority.

Also at the senate meeting Monday, members discussed changes to the Academic Integrity portion of the Student Code in regards to cheating. Renee Romano, vice chancellor for student affairs, said the updates will be released Oct. 1.

“We are going to post them online, and anyone — student, faculty or staff — can make comments,” she said. “And then a committee of students and faculty and probably some administrators, primarily from students (and) faculty, will review all the comments made between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31.”

Carina can be reached at

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