For the past several years, Illinois has been losing more college students than any state except New Jersey. Last year, as higher education was starved by the state budget impasse, that trend continued.
Overall, undergraduate enrollment decreased by 2 percent, with even steeper drops at public universities and community colleges.
Schools defying this trend include those focused on medical professions, such as City Colleges of Chicago's Malcolm X campus. Mark Potter, the provost, said its home in the medical district makes it more attractive.
"Being a Center of Excellence means that students are going to come in order to pursue their healthcare interests,” he said. “But it also means that we're able to focus on building partnerships at that location to benefit those students."
Two nursing schools -- Chamberlain College and Resurrection University -- also saw significant increases, as did National Louis University and the University of Illinois' Chicago and Urbana campuses.
Graduate enrollment ticked up, but only by a fraction of a percent overall.