Western Courier

More students means more money

WC Editorial Board

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Freshman enrollment had been in decline at Western from 2007-2009, and the number dropped to 1,641 two years ago. Yet for the new semester the number of incoming freshman has continued to rise since 2010.

Last year the number of incoming freshman increased to 1,758, and according to University Relations Director Darcie Shinberger, freshman enrollment for the fall semester is at 1,925 as of move-in on Saturday. That’s the highest enrollment of freshman at Western since 2007.

Shinberger said that the number could still change later on.

Western seems to have recovered nicely from its downward spiral for enrollment, and with the renovations going on around campus including those being made to Hanson Field, it would not be surprising if those numbers continued to rise in the coming years.

The Master Plan, which includes the new Performing Arts Center, could start to pick up more steam. The increased enrollment also means that more money will be coming into the campus through student fees.

The increased student fees might be just what the funding deprived Master Plan needs to start construction on the Performing Arts Center. Western broke ground on the site this spring, but construction has yet to begin.

Hanson Field on the other hand continues to move in the right direction, so it would be a large step forward if Western could get other projects under way.

The increased enrollment may be a sign that Western is becoming a more popular University despite worries that Illinois high school students were looking out of state for colleges.

Other schools aren’t fairing as well, The Daily Eastern News, the school paper at Eastern Illinois University, reported that its freshman enrollment is down for the fall.

They reported that eight floors in its Carman Hall will be vacant this fall.

It is reassuring to us to see more students attracted to Western. Even with the eagerly awaited demolition of Wetzel Hall, other residence halls around campus are seeing improvements. So, with any luck prospective students will have a newer looking campus to look forward to.

Maybe there won’t be a monorail running through the middle, but incoming freshman have a lot to look forward to at Western and as more students come the more likely it is the projects in the Master Plan will be completed before too long.

 

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
More students means more money