Saturday, April 11, 2009

CSU reaches out to white suburbs as school's enrollment hits 20-year low

Chicago State is referred to as a predominantly black university by the Sun-Times:
When Elnora Daniel left her post as president of Chicago State University last summer amid critical financial audits, enrollment at the South Side school was at a near-20-year low.

Now, at a time more students than ever want to go to college but costs have skyrocketed, the school's new leader is touting its affordable tuition -- under $8,000 a year -- in an effort to boost enrollment to perhaps 12,000, nearly twice the number of students now at Chicago State.

Interim president Frank Pogue says he wants to reach out to students who might not have considered the school in the past. Chicago State is recruiting overseas and out-of-state, for example, as well as from suburbs whose students haven't sent many applications to the school.

It's doing more recruiting at high schools throughout the area and bringing high school counselors to campus to show them what the school has to offer. The school also wants to launch a major marketing campaign.

One area that Chicago State -- whose student body is 80 percent African-American -- is targeting is the largely white southwest suburbs. That effort began under Daniel at the urging of state Sen. Ed Maloney (D-Chicago), a CSU graduate and former Oak Lawn High School faculty member.

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