More Chicago-area students calling Mizzou home

Posted Online: Dec. 09, 2012, 12:39 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Students from Chicago and the rest of Illinois are increasingly calling the University of Missouri home.

The Chicago Tribune ( reported that Illinois students now make up more than 20 percent of Mizzou's freshman class. That's up from just 6 percent in 2000.

A recent Tribune analysis of U.S. Department of Education data found that nearly one-fourth of all first-time Illinois college students left the state, compared to 17 percent a decade earlier.

The increase is part of the Columbia school's aggressive recruiting strategy, which includes two full-time recruiters in Chicago. A Mizzou fraternity recently added a position of Illinois rush chair just to recruit students from the Windy City.

'I had no idea how many people came here from Chicago,' said freshman Madi Ahsmann, 18, from Crystal Lake, who has a Blackhawks towel hanging in the room she shares with a student from Kildeer.

Of the approximately 30,000 college freshmen who left Illinois, half ended up in Iowa, Indiana, Missouri or Wisconsin. Illinois in turn imported about 17,000 students from elsewhere in the country.

Diane Dean, an Illinois State University education professor who studies college student migration, said the growing exodus has implications state lawmakers shouldn't ignore.

'Other schools cherry-pick and they are recruiting them with money,' Dean said. 'These aren't just any students who are leaving. These are the highly talented students. We are not talking about 20 people who went to the University of Denver because they loved skiing.'

Freshmen enrollment at the University of Missouri's flagship campus included 1,370 from Illinois, a record 21 percent of the class. Ten years ago, the school enrolled just 318 freshmen from Illinois.

The Missouri approach includes recognition of increasing competition and a steeper price tag at Illinois' flagship public school, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Missouri has long drawn students from throughout the country to its well-known journalism school. But a decade ago, university officials realized they needed to broaden their applicant pool as the number of Missouri high school graduates was expected to decline. Officials turned their focus to Illinois, creating a Chicago-specific admissions brochure with information about automatic tuition scholarships for high-achieving students from other states.

'It has all been deliberate,' said Ann Korschgen, the university's vice provost for enrollment management.

Zac Shenderovsky, 17, a senior from Mundelein, Ill., was won over by Mizzou on a recent tour.

'It just has this good feel to it,' he said.

Shenderovsky's father, Irv, liked something the school is less likely to advertise: Non-Missouri students can qualify relatively easily for in-state tuition, saving $12,000 off the $22,440 annual nonresident tuition. To do so, students are required to live in Missouri for 12 consecutive months, earn at least $2,000 a year, have a Missouri driver's license and voter registration card and meet a few other requirements. And nonresident students who score at least a 27 on the ACT receive automatic $2,000 to $5,500 scholarships

The influx of students can lead to some culture clashes and friendly ribbing.

'They always talk about the Chicago hot dogs like they're something special,' joked senior Alon Gilboa, a fraternity member from St. Louis. 'They bring their strange foods and strange customs. I guess we have to get used to it now.'


Local events heading

  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.

(More History)