More high school seniors are looking to Western Illinois University to further their education.
University officials recently received the 10,000th freshman application, and that's two months earlier than last year.
So what's behind the sudden increase?
WIU Admissions Director Andy Borst says the school is on target to break last year's record of 10,326 freshmen applicants, and he says while there are several reasons for the increase, he's just happy to see WIU gaining popularity.
More incoming freshman than ever want become part of campus at Western Illinois University.
WIU Admissions Director Andy Borst credits the record number of applications, to two things.
"Our faculty being more involved in our recruitment process, faculty have often asked to be more involved in talking to prospective students, to tell them about what campus life is like, as well as our scholarship program for students who are scoring at least a 22 ACT and a 3.0 GPA," said Borst.
And WIU's students have their own reasons for the increased interest from incoming freshman.
"They have anime club they have athletic programs through the world, anything that you could possibly need Western Illinois University accommodates you," said Jasmon Williams.
"I know that our programs have gotten really good in the last couple of years so that's probably why another reason kids are coming," said Samantha Skoid.
Borst added. "We have offered more than 100 Centennial Honors Scholarships [compared to 23 last year] to students scoring in the top 1 percent in the nation on the ACT or SAT. Applications from students who qualify for our new Western Commitment Scholarships are up 12 percent. We have received fewer applications from students who fall below our published admissions criteria and the waiting list for our alternative admission program is smaller than last year."
But Borst says in order to keep this positive trend going, he's looking to enlist the help of past students.
"WIU alumni are very passionate about being leathernecks, they love talking about their experience at Western, so if we can capture that and begin to tell that story to perspective students, I think it will be more powerful than what we used in the past," said Borst.
Borst says because of the increased amount of applicants, the school will be raising admission standards.
But those new admission standards won't be formally announced until September.
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