WHY IT MATTERS. The University of Illinois receives a large pile of applications. It's possible that more applications will be coming to Northern Illinois University, with a lower sticker price than Urbana and more people nearby. Southern Illinois University, despite its remote location and corrupt administration, might reverse its 20 year slide in applications.
Administrators at all three campuses perceive some tie between enrollments and legislative support. As. If.
There probably are administrators who will ignore the reality that "we're not as good as Chicago or Northwestern and thus we won't challenge our students" won't retain students who would like the intellectual challenges and the networking opportunities of Chicago or Northwestern at a better price.