The public universities of the midwest have been engaging in a price war, the better to be able to boost enrollments.  Used to be, the universities were going after out of state students by comparing their tuitions with the Ivies, or they were attempting to keep graduates in state afterward.

The price war has become more interesting, with the end of out of state premiums for matriculants at Northern Illinois University.
Sol Jensen – NIU vice president for enrollment management, marketing and communications – said this is not a new practice, and many other state universities have taken similar measures. Universities in neighboring states also have implemented these changes to entice Illinois students.

"We feel like now is the right time to be making our changes, as well, mainly because of all of the benefits we project NIU to take, including enrollment," Jensen said. "There is literature that shows students are more likely when they graduate to stay in the same state, at least for the early part of their career, so we can bring in more students that could potentially work here."
"Potentially" matters: Illinois governor Bruce Rauner's re-election campaign includes an advert in which governors of neighboring states are thanking general assembly speaker Mike Madigan for preserving Illinois's status as an anti-business tax hell.  For now, though, Chicago is still a destination for degreed professionals from the rest of the Big Ten, and beyond.

The university's announcement is redolent of corporate-speak.
The high quality of our faculty and academic programs—in such areas as business, engineering, education, nursing, the humanities, the sciences and the visual and performing arts—is well-known beyond the borders of Illinois. And we want students nationwide to experience our unique brand of hands-on, engaged learning.
I have yet to sound out my colleagues still in the classroom on their impression of this initiative. I fear, though, that "engaged learning" with continued cutbacks for classroom supplies, telephone and internet connections, and deferred maintenance and deferred pay raises is so much pokazhuka.


Dave Tufte said...

At my university, "engaged learning" often amounts to students doing charity work that not many people were looking for, and no one was willing to pay for.

Dave Tufte said...

Oh ... and let me add that I'm not really against that from the student perspective. A lot of them seem to get something out of working in the community. But I don't see that the community is really clamoring for this sort of help. It's all way too self-congratulatory.